If you're wondering what I have been busy with, well, I've been participating in carnivals. Let me tell you, for the amount of hard work we've put in, the results have been dismal. I'll be lying if I say I'm not disappointed. Sometimes we even wonder why we are wasting our time on this when the opportunity cost is so high.
Our last bazaar was in the basement of a hospital building (picture below). It has got to be the pits because the air smelt bad and dank, maybe because the stands were right next to the mortuary. Air-con ducts and water pipes were hanging just above our heads and hospital staff were pushing soiled linen and other equipment around. Strangely, the staff canteen is not too far away and the entire hall came alive during lunch hour. Can you imagine how spooky the place would be after office hours?
Yet, I choose to look on the positive side. In the first place, it all began with our passion and dream of making it big. Bazaars and carnivals allow us to test-market our products. It is important to see how consumers respond to our ideas and concepts.
The experience also helps build our character. I remember during our first outing last year (photo below), I was very self-conscious and too nervous to approach customers.
These days, chatting and even cajoling comes easy to me. I can size up a customer quickly and know when to move in or step away. It's all part and parcel of the job.
Whilst it has been an eye-opening experience, I think our days of participating in carnivals are over. Unless it is for a good cause, we don't foresee ourselves lugging heavy bags of soil and equipment across the exhibition hall, making labels and displays or standing on our feet for hours and suffering from aching shoulders all week.
Now is the time to sit down, reflect and strategise our next move.
We tell ourselves that when we make it big, and the media comes flocking to interview us, we can tell them about the time we sold our products next to a morgue. How cool is that?