Crafting I did to earn my living – For many years I earned my living from a stall on the markets selling names on a grain of rice.
I used to have some jewelry added, and did a lot of pre-done stock, for when things got too busy. It started with the grain of rice and grew to a mixed jewelry stall. The type of jewelry was mostly what I called hooligan jewelry. The stock was most popular with teenagers, bikers and at music festivals.
To give you an idea as to how long ago I did it, one of the most popular ones was Brittney Spears – so it was way back in the 90’s
But, generally 70% of my income came from writing a persons name onto a grain of rice and then putting it into a glass tube and making a necklace out of that.
The example in my picture was actually a pasta grain of rice. They were bigger and I did a lot of those – they were a lot harder to do because I usually did art on them. Full color and details that would never have fitted onto a grain of rice.
What made my sales as much as 6 times better than my opposition was because I did a few tricks with my marketing and it always drew a crowd. The poor opposition guys used to just sit and stare at me while I took order after order and stayed busy all day.
They had the same prices, but only did the ordinary names on rice, and that was quick to do, and therefore if they got an order they were done in a minute.
I would do detailed pictures, which got everybody interested and they all stood around watching me work. I then took a dozen orders and did them production line style. IE all name at once, all oil in at once all gluing at once. this also caused the collection people to pile up by either waiting for their orders or coming back later and standing around my table.
All in all, my big mouth helped a lot too. I never ever stopped talking, making jokes, teasing people and generally having a lot of fun.
Back in 2009 I wrote an article about this for EzineArticles – here is the full article
Home Business Idea – A Name on a Grain of Rice
Home Business Idea – A Name on a Grain of Rice
This business model is one that I personally used for a long time. The simplicity of this method of earning money and the fact that you are extremely mobile makes it a great business for someone than needs to start up a small business.
What is this business idea? You use a very fine pointed pen to write someone’s name onto a grain of rice. Then you place that grain of rice into a small glass tube, fill it with oil and then glue a plug into the top. Finally you fit a metal cap and hang it onto a leather thong or chain.
You would place some samples on a table or display board for visitors to your stall to see and choose from.
There are very often glass blowers that will make up very high quality glass forms to give you some variety to offer the buyers. I had some brilliant shapes, like dolphins, crosses, round balls and teardrop type styles.
You were able to charge more for the patterned ones like putting two names of lovers into a heart shaped holder. Now that is the very basic outline of the business model. The fun starts here, as I am not a very normal business marketer, and I feel that there is always scope for tweaking and growth.
So the very first thing that I did was offer a second style where I also did full designs on a bigger grain of pasta rice. Because this grain was bigger it allowed me to do a huge amount more onto the surface of the grain. Naturally the novelty of the grain of rice being written on made a big impact, but when faced with a “novelty” option or a more detailed picture option, the colorful one was always the winner.
Now this gives you a huge amount more scope to develop your product. You can do examples with multiple intertwined hearts with the names inside. You can place different items into the oil to complement the grain. A good example was a mustard seed with a religious quote placed together. Another example would be a picture of an elephant on the grain with a small piece of veldt grass added.
Over time I thought up hundreds of good examples. What I would then do was to prepare stock before hand, and then when visitors appear at your stall you will have a stand on display with a couple of hundred of pre-written samples. You can write the popular bands and stars that are popular, you can write popular name brands and big iconic things.
The options will keep coming to you because guests will spend time looking through your stock and then they will get an idea and tell you about it.
Creating a vibe around your stall is a skill all on its own that can double your sales, and done correctly you can easily earn a living from this business model.
If you are needing a lot more detailed hints and tips on how to do this or any other flea market business, then please go and look at my business training product at http://workfromhomemembership.com.
There is a free preview if you would like to learn more before you commit yourself. If you are just looking for some more great small business ideas then feel free to go to my blog and hook yourself up. http://workfromhomemembership.com/blog
See these example videos I found of other guys doing the grain of rice thing
See some examples of miniature writing here – http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/25/foer.php