My name is Tarrah and I am in 8th grade and Anthony Wayne Middle School. I have done TREP$ since I was in 5th grade. Every year I make something by hand to sell. The first two years I created clay figures. I used techniques that I learned in windows art. They took a long time to create and so I would start making them at least a month and a half ahead of time. The clay figures where popular and sold well. People kept buying them even after the TREP$ Marketplace was over.
Last year I tried something new. I created dog toys from recycled clothing, goo and pet rocks. I was busy so I didn’t put as much effort into my items as I had done before. I found that people were not as interested in buying those things.
This year I decided to go back to making things but I didn’t want to do clay stuff anymore. I looked on Pinterest for some ideas. I found some mini vials filled with beads, glitter and colored water. Each had a theme like “dreams” or “Over the rainbow” or “Ogre’s Blood”. They looked fun and easy to make. So I created a list of about 100 unique kinds. They were in categories like “magic”, “Disney”, and “zodiac signs”.
At first, I thought the materials would be too expensive but my mom helped me find some bulk items on line. I had to buy mini vials with corks and eye hooks. We also found some affordable necklaces to include. I had to invest about $100. I was nervous that I wouldn’t make my money back or that I wouldn’t make much money. The vials were going to be a lot of work and I wanted to make a good profit.
The vials took a lot of work. I wanted each one to be unique with no duplicates. I used beads, glitter, charms, colored wire, and various other items. They were starting to look pretty good so I decided to wear one to school. People liked it and thought I had bought it at a store. So, I started wearing a new one each day to get people excited about my store. The favorite was “Melted Snow Man”. That one had water with two black beads and a wire wrapped to look like a carrot nose.
When I set up my display I wanted shelves. We didn’t have any at home so I created some with cardboard boxes. I taped them together, made sure they were different heights, and taped black table cloth over the tops. The display looked really cool and the black table cloth made the colors in the vials pop. I called my store “Tarrah’s Magic Emporium”
My store was busy the whole time during the TREP$ market place with only a few breaks in between hordes of customers. I even had customers returning to by buy “just one more”. I even had people ordering them. I was surprised because I set the price at $5 per vial and people said it was too high. However, I had seen vials sell on Easy for more than $5. I’m glad I kept to my price because I sold over 50 vials and I could have sold more if the market place had stayed open.
My mom wants me to put the rest on Etsy. I’m thinking about it. Especially since this is my last year that I’m able to do TREP$!