Wednesday, 5 March 2014

lily's street art sale

On Saturday evening, I snuggled up with Lily to read another chapter of Milly Molly Mandy. How we adore the stories of this sweet and caring little girl. In this chapter, the children sell flowers and do chores to make money (to throw a party for their parents, no less!!!). Well, Lily's eyes lit up and she was soooo excited at the idea of a kid earning their own money. She wanted in. Now.

We had some discussion about various options (not many flowers in our garden)! She wanted to sell off all her toys but I pointed out that her parents kinda owned most of them (if she was going to do this, I wanted it to be something that took her own effort/responsibility - aren't I cruel). Her brightest idea was that after we finished reading the book, she sell it!!!! Cheeky ;) Then she came up with a plan to do some drawings, and setting up a little 'shop' with a sign in the front yard. Jackpot. So on Sunday after church she took to her room during rest time armed with textas and paper and spent two solid hours drawing intently. We decided that ten cents was a fair price (didn't want to guilt too much real money from people!). We then dragged out some little table and chairs, made up a sign and..... well, she was in business!

Now what?? 

It was mid Sunday afternoon, it was hot... and we live on a circuit so... NO TRAFFIC. I wasn't sure how much to intervene, and how much to just let things unfold. I texted my parents and a couple of neighbours to let them know the shop was open, but thought we'd just see what happened from there. I was a little torn between letting 'real life' happen and also wanting to encourage her little venture. Well... it ended up a little from Column A, a little from Column B.

For thirty minutes, we sat in the blazing heat with nary a soul coming past. I suggested going inside and coming back later in the day or even tomorrow (when I had more time to give people notice). But no, she would not leave her post!! I was pretty proud of her resolution to stick it out. Then Eli and Daddy came out to make some purchases. Lily was just thrilled and I knew she would be happy enough with that. But finally a neighbour (that we had never met!) drove by and Lily's frantic waving must have charmed her as she walked up, perused the fine art on display and insisted on paying 50 cents for a drawing!! Lily's smile almost split her cute face ;)

Two other neighbours came by during the afternoon, and Lily even ate her dinner out there as she didn't want to miss a potential sale ;) I think she was out there for about 2.5 hours in the end. She even asked if she could stay home from school to sell more art! I informed her I would like her to at least finish Year Three before quitting to pursue the entrepreneurial life.

Before long, she was dreaming of how she would spend her precious coins. After seeing one at school during the week, she announced she was now saving for an iPad!! But shortly after decided on guinea pigs instead... then decided she would get both. Who knows, huh? She made $1.80 that day and was very happy with the result.

And now the story in pictures...

Wondering if anyone would pay money for these flowers...
Weighting down her artworks...
Her darling brother eagerly came skipping out to make the first purchase.
The gleeful look of a kid who just earned her first dime!!

Oh, Daddy.

He really is the most wonderful Daddy in the whole wide world. Wanting to encourage and support his eager daughter's endeavours, he decided to come and buy a drawing. But to make it a little more fun and pretend it was really being bought by 'the public'.... he appeared in the driveway... yes in *public* with my green waffle weave bathrobe tossed over his clothes and the kid's crazy Jack Sparrow-style pirate wig on his head. Oh goodness, it was so funny, I was literally crying/laughing. He enquired about making a purchase in his 'little old lady' voice, selected one and then waltzed back inside. Lily and Eli were giggling hysterically, it was truly the funniest. But the best of all?? When after he had disappeared, Eli piped up sweetly 'Did she go into our house?'... !!!! Yes, he really thought it was someone else. Oh darling boy.... cutest ever. The outfit was so bizarre I can't even bear to put it on the blog. But you can enjoy his second outfit which is rather wintery and thus still strange.

Giggling at her funny Daddy.
A wintery art buyer in the midst of summer! He must have been sweltering!
Our lovely neighbour spots Lily and comes over to make an art investmest ;) Three neighbours (thankfully!) happened
to come by and all made a little purchase. To say Lily was tickled pink would be an understatement. Thrilled!
Eli's sweetness just slays me. He is so adoring of his sister. After Mark's appearances, he ran inside and reappeared in full Spiderman costume to make another purchase. Darling boy!

A childhood is made up of moments like these. How sweet it was to be able to encourage her in this little endeavour :)

Beautiful brother, helping pack away the chairs. He is so very tender hearted.
'Mum, are there any more orders?' she calls. Taking her business pretty seriously ;)

Churning out the 'custom orders'

In the aftermath of all this, wonderfully kind friends asked via Facebook for 'custom order' drawings, and Lily has been industriously working away on those all week. Two beautiful friends even sent special requests in the post with sweet letters, envelopes, new textas and even a canvas for her to work on. What a surprise! Well, you know my little lady was super duper excited about that. It touched my heart to see others be so supportive of her little venture.

This is what encourages kids to dream big and go hard... having an encouraging community around them, even in little things like this.

She is eager to hold another street stall again soon... we shall see?! It's her thing to lead and organise! But it's been gorgeous to watch her experience earning her first dollar (or two or three). And now that she has more seriously grasped the concept and joys of the 'moolah', it looks like the pocket money conversation might need to happen soon too. ;)


  1. Absolutely precious! I live for moments like these!

    "This is what encourages kids to dream big and go hard... having an encouraging community around them, even in little things like this." - I completely agree!

    Found you via An Everyday Story!

    1. thanks for your lovely comment Lina! I so agree, events like this is some of the most precious moments of childhood. a 'rite of passage' really, that is so lovely to witness. thanks for stopping by! x

  2. Oh I just love everything about this! She is the sweetest ever and her drawings are beautiful! I totally would have bought the whole store if I were her neighbour! Can't wait for my little boy to grow up and do things like this, what wonderful memories!

    1. oh thank you :) yes you have many sweet moments like this ahead of you too!! :) cant wait to hear all about it!

  3. You're such thoughtful, attentive, and supportive parents Kate and Mark, I loved everything about this post. Lily will just adore reading this and seeing the photos when she grows up!


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