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$100.00 Challenge Final Report

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$100.00 Challenge Part 6 Report

This semester I was tasked with creating my own business, and I was excited to try my hand at something new. Because I have always enjoyed creating things, I knew my business would focus on selling products instead of services. What’s more, the timing of this assignment was perfect for me since I have always given hand-made gifts to close friends and family for Christmas. This year I had been toying with the notion of making either stress balls or portable night-lights. The decision to make Autumn Lanterns was put into motion when my family heard about my ideas and immediately commissioned me to make them several portable night lights. Thus the idea to make Mason jar lanterns was born.  

Even though my family loved the idea of Mason jar lanterns, I was still unsure as to what I needed to do to make them. That’s when I came across the idea of putting different colored fall leaves on the jars. I decided that fall leaves on the Mason jars was the best way to go because the colors were versatile enough to be used with different holiday themes and traditions. One of my main concerns for this project was that I wasn’t sure I’d still get orders after November. Still, I was confident that I would sell more than ten lanterns before the end of November so I wasn’t concerned about meeting my $100.00 profit quota.

With a solid idea of what I wanted to do in mind, I set out on making my first lantern. I was able to find great deals on Mason Jars at my local 99 Cent store. When I came across ten pint sized Mason jars that had small black metal handles, I snatched them up and asked the manager to order more for me. Within the first week of finalizing my project, I had already received nine orders from my family so I knew I’d need a way to get more Mason jars for future orders.

During the construction of my Autumn Lanterns, I realized that the Mod Podge—a glue, sealer, and finisher—took a long time to dry and required numerous coats to make my leaves stay on my jars. The first five lanterns ended up taking two whole days to make (making sure the Mod Podge was completely dry was the reason behind my lengthy production time) and I realized that I needed to make a quick adjustment if I was to keep my lead time low. That’s when I came across my old hot glue gun. The hot glue gun worked in getting the leaves to attach to the glass jars, but after a day my leaves started to separate from the glass. By the first week into my business, I was starting to have some serious doubts about whether or not my business was going to work.

By a last, and albeit stubborn, last effort I tried applying one coat of Mod Podge onto my leaves after I hot glued them to my Mason Jars. Thankfully, the leaves stayed attached to the lanterns and the leaves had a slightly glazed look about them which made them even more appealing when a tea-light was lit in the jar. This little effect was something I didn’t anticipate, but my family seemed to like the look on my product and was still insistent on buying nine of my lanterns.

By the start of the second week I had given away a few of the Lanterns to family members. I only accepted cash as a payment option and because of that I had to wait for some family members to pay me in my requested form of currency. Luckily, my “cash only” rule didn’t seem to bother many people. Regardless, my family members were quick to start displaying their Autumn Lanterns and it wasn’t long before neighbors started asking about my lanterns.



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