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Cut-throat Playground Entrepreneurs - Just Being Funny


I never really won anything cool or was the most popular person. Getting a shot the fourth-grade prize box because I had perfect attendance didn’t count. Any ole Joe can have perfect attendance; you just need parents who ride you and bus drivers who wait when they see you running.

One year some colorful plastic strings called Scoubidou appeared on the playground. Rebecca got some while away on vacation and weaved away her recess time.
After making the same snide remarks about teenagers playing with string like old women knitting in groups for the thousandth time, Rebecca challenged to stop hating. Making the simple two-strand square was a no-brainer. Same for the two-strand circle. Instead of quipping, the clouds parted in my hater heart and I could feel the glow of this wholesome activity radiating through my body. 


My brain screamed: MAKE ALL THE DESIGNS YE WITH GIFTED HANDS!


We invested in the string market. Rebecca handled the money bag and individual string sales. I doubled as security and fulfilled custom orders: giraffes, dogs, and hearts with initials inside. If you dreamed it, I weaved it. I was quick with it too, you would think I had a lil’ sweatshop back at my house. 


We had the premium-quality string. While others sold them at two for $0.25, Rebecca maintained that we would sell for double. That’s right! One string for $0.25. No credit. No checks. No layaways. No refunds!


Customers cried, complained, and some bold souls even tried to rob us. We were blessed and highly favored in this string hustle. No playground scam formed against us prospered. Psh, I was ‘securing the bag’ before people even knew there was one to secure.


The hustle was sweet and the bounty was plenty. We leveled up and got our connect in the Netherlands to send us even fancier string. Now we had an exclusive that eviscerated the competition: glitters and jumbo strong. These we sold for $0.50 a pop. 


Yeah, people were mad, but at the end of the day it was be salty or be trendy. Like bees in a trap they chose to be trendy. 


Art and money. My two favorite things after ice cream, naps, ankle socks, soft chocolate chip cookies, chilling at the dentist -- too literal? Oopsie.


Anyway, we took some designs down to my dad's restaurant. We shook down the tourists harder than a Girl Scout in second place to being top sales girl. 


We sold our creations for minimum $15 a piece. I was concerned about being pricey but our dads taught us about pricing for cost, labor, future investments, and profits. Such a precious thing fathers bonding with daughters.


We came and conquered. Most importantly, we exited before the market crashed. That year I was crowned the Scoubidou Queen by a local teen shop. I used the last of our inventory to create a jungle featuring all sorts of colorful animals and plants. 


For a girl who never won much, that was an epic winning streak.


Shout out to all my playground entrepreneurs who don’t let school administrators tax or regulate them.

What would you do? Tweet me using #JBFxOnicia


Created on St. Maarten. Based in Chicago. Onicia Muller (@OniciaMuller) writes, says funny things, and enjoys hanging with creative minds. Originally published in The Daily Herald's Weekender, Just Being Funny is a weekly reflection where Onicia laughs at life


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