In November 2013 I started a business with my sister. Nothing serious and life-altering, just something that allowed us to make our own money. The reason for it was the fact that it was impossible for us to get a “normal” job yet, like being a cashier at supermarket, because we were still so young.
At the time I wanted to become an exchange student in the US, when I was done with primary and lower-secondary school, and since I knew I would have to pay myself, I had to start saving up.
I was already babysitting for a couple of our neighbours once in a while, but it wasn’t that often and I’d already tried delivering newspapers, which is pretty much the only official job you’re able to get at age 12 here in Denmark. And though I did make money, the amount of effort the work required did not match the pay so I quit.
I was still pretty desperate to figure out a way to start making my own money, since I knew that birthday money wasn’t gonna cut it for the 15,000 dollars I had to save up.
Then my dad had an idea. He proposed that my sister and I went and asked our grandmother to teach us how to iron clothes. It would be a win-win situation. We’d all get to spend some time together and my sister and I would have learned a new skill we could put to use by starting our own small ironing business.
So that is exactly what we did. We spent an afternoon with our grandmother being taught how to iron, by someone who was practically an expert, and then we went home to make fliers and create our own website and Facebook page. We decided a price and then we were pretty much good to go.
*Text on photo translated: Left = Are you also tired of wrinkled clothes? Then the help is right here. Right = 10 DKK per item*
The most incredible thing is the fact that we actually ended up getting costumers. The first year or so we ironed for some of our neighbours who’d thought it was a great idea and would like to support us. The practice was good for us and we were thrilled to be working and thus making money.
I don’t exactly remember how, why and when, but somehow the word spread, people stumbled upon our Facebook page or website and we gained more costumers. We had a bunch who just used our service a couple of times, but we also started to have some regulars that would contact us again after a month or two. Even people who lived a bit further away than just our neighbourhood would call, so we also started offering to pick up and drop off the items again for an extra fee.
Today, almost 5 years later we’re still doing it. We haven’t expanded further, though we probably could if we put some effort in, but since this isn’t what we imagine ourselves doing as a full-time job, we just keep it at a stage where we can still manage it just the two of us along with school and our other jobs. It’s not like we have hundreds of costumers and make a ton of money, but we have our few regulars and make a little extra every month so it works for us.
Maybe ironing isn’t the greatest thing in the world and it requires some time, but I get to decide when I do it, how fast I go and I can watch Netflix at the same time. Personally I’m not mad about that ;P
In retrospect I also do think it’s pretty cool that we were able to be entrepreneurs at such a young age, even if our story isn’t a “holy shit this blew up and now we’re billionaires” sort of thing. We were very lucky that people wanted to give us a chance and we’ve learned a lot from it. We haven’t just learned how to iron, which most of our peers at our current age still don’t know how to, but we’ve also learned what it’s like to run a tiny business and what it takes to make money.
According to me, they’re not exactly bad things to know.
As always, thanks for reading. I hope you were sufficiently entertained and if you have any stories of your own, please share! I’d love to hear what kind of jobs you’ve had and/or what you did to get a little extra pocket-money when you were younger 🙂
I’m going to be camping for the next 3 weeks, so I probably won’t be able to post much since the wi-fi is pretty shitty, bordering on non-existent… Just my luck.
I’ll see you when I get home and back to a stable wi-fi connection ❤
Have a great couple of weeks guys!