Amy Clark

Frugality Births Creativity

I feel very blessed to have learned to be frugal because it has stirred within me creativity that I never knew I even possessed. The blessings from my thriftiness are endless and seem abundant in our life. When we had money, we did not feel the urge to be creative with our resources. If we wanted something, we bought it. End of story. Now that we are trying to be more careful with our funds, I have found that I am more creative than I have given myself credit for.

I just want to share with you one example of creativity that has helped us financially. Obviously the website has been a great endeavor for me, but there are little things in my life that I haven’t had the opportunity to share yet.
When we found out we were having a girl, all I could feel in my heart was love and a sea of pink. I couldn’t wait to dress her up in pretty dresses, tights, patent leather Mary Janes, and get to have tea parties with her. I love my son like crazy, and was just so excited that I have one of each child so that I can do unique things with each of them.
When she was born, I never knew that a baby could have so much hair. She had this beautiful, thick dark hair and all I wanted to do was put hair bows in it. We started out with the baby headbands and I was disappointed with the selection in our area. When searching online though, I thought the prices were ridiculous and not worth that amount of money.
Fast forward to six months later, and I had completed a spokesperson position with Cascade. We received the money from that endeavor and I turned to my husband one day and said, “I want to invest that money into a little business for myself making girl’s hair bows.” I won’t say that he was jumping up or down or anything, but he said he supported me, if that is what I wanted to do with my money.
I got a book on how to do it and started hording myself in our basement with a glue gun. I researched for hours on ways that I could get these little masterpieces to stick in their hair without ever being removed. I researched the best types of ribbon, where to purchase the ribbon, how to present the bows and pricing on them.
Pictured here is an example of some of my handiwork. These batches of bows were made for my girlfriend and I was so thrilled to put together such fun ribbon selections, chosen by her. When purchasing ribbon for her bows, I also happened upon these really cute Irish ribbons and I grabbed as many as I felt I could afford. We live in Irish Country (Notre Dame University is just minutes from our house), so in other areas this would be a seasonal item. In our area, it is a year-round type of thing.
I have had great success with selling the girl’s hair bows. Although I am not brave enough to put myself out there online, as it is a tough market, I have had great success by just taking my daughter places in her bows and people asking where I bought them. She has been a great little model for me and I have made some good money doing it. This money is being socked away for something special. What that is? I don’t know yet, but I feel empowered knowing that I can help with the finances and to have a little stash stored away for a rainy day.


The lessons I have learned through my latest little business are great…

I have learned that I can be a creative, even though I never believed that I was.
I have learned that a supportive spouse is worth its weight in gold. My husband could have shook his head and told me he thought my idea was ridiculous, but he didn’t. I didn’t say he didn’t think that in his head, but he never voiced those feelings to me.
I have learned that if there is something not out there that you want, or if there is something you want but can’t afford, find within yourself to be creative and come up with it yourself.
I have learned that there are two types of people- those who think I charge too much and those who think I am selling myself short.
I have learned that asking for money upfront is the best policy. I have had people place orders that have never paid or make requests for items that I worked tirelessly on, only to tell me that they changed their mind.
I have learned that one compliment can go a long way with me. Just one person telling me that they liked what I do is enough to push me for an extra week on whatever I am doing.
I have learned that there will always be people who think that they can do whatever you are doing, but better. There will always be haters out there, but the important thing is to not allow their negativity to take the best parts about yourself out of you.
I have learned that by teaching myself new skills, that I can draw from those skills when occasions arise and save a lot of money on gifts for others.
I have learned donating my creativity to good causes makes me feel more creative and powerful than I have ever thought I could be.
I have learned that doubting myself is the biggest creativity buster of all.
I have learned that frugality fuels creativity. Creativity fuels our bank account. Our bank account fuels a peace about what we have. The peace fuels a happy home. A happy home fuels my life. My life fuels my family. My family fuels me.
What are some of your proudest creative moments? What has frugality fueled within you?
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Published February 21, 2007 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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