Getting A Grip On (En)Tangle(ment)z

Did I mention I had joined the Girl Scouts last fall?

I innocently took The Girlio to a meeting and ended up a collateral registrant, and... well... now we're up to our ears in cookie sales, pursuing the Bronze Award, and fundraising for an early May trip to San Francisco. There, C and seven other Seattle Juniors from her troop are joining 5,000 Girl Scouts to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge for their Bridging Ceremony. Our girls are working as a team to raise the $745 travel cost per person. They made great progress doing holiday gift-wrapping at Barnes & Noble. Today they're selling home-made or -baked items at the region's Annual Meeting.

C and I are very proud of our contribution to the fundraising efforts:

That's right, we designed and made those cute little hair ribbon things otherwise known as

Feast your eyes on the fruits of our labor. Three days of my life, to be exact. Thursday through Saturday of last week. Thursday went something like this: Woke up at 4am stressing about what we would make. Tossed. Turned. Tossed some more.

Got out of bed at 6:30am to surf the web for inspiration before the kids woke up. Having been a Girl Scout fewer than six months, I didn't have a clue what was done or not done or cool or not cool. The heat was on!

Then I discovered that the Girl Scouts licensed cute fabrics designed by Robert Kaufman. I could do something with that! But what?

Four ideas emerged based upon my research: Sit-Upons, Pledge Money Purses, String Backpacks, and Pony O's. Pony O's seemed the most manageable and the most salable -- and I hadn't seen anything like them out there specific to Girl Scouts. Yes!

Teachers at C's school were to have a professional development day on Friday. Since that meant she would be home with me the next day, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for us to assemble everything. I located the closest local store carrying the fabric and ran over to pick up supplies so we could start working as early as possible the next day.

I also had to pull out both of my sewing machines and open them up for repairs. Neither was working, and I knew it. I diagnosed the older one and ordered some parts for repair. Fortunately, I was able to put the newer one back into working order so we could use it right away. And use it we did!

Captains of the Industrial Revolution would have been impressed by the brilliance of the mass-production assembly line we set up in our living room.

Even though the cute little beads are hidden by the way I've secured all the bands, I love how these Pony O's look en masse!

It took a day longer than I had hoped, but by Saturday evening we had cranked out a total of 36 C & Z Original Girl Scout Pony O's. Wooo - hoooo! Of course C selected two to keep, so we're actually selling 34.

These are some seriously well-crafted Pony O's, too. We used the sewing machine to stitch fabric tubes from the Girl Scouts fabric, which we then turned right-side-out. She was a miracle of fiddly fabric-turning stamina! Catherine carefully assessed which color ribbons went with which color fabric... then which color band... then which color bead. The ribbon ends were neatly trimmed and sealed. And the whole was assembled and finish stitched by hand.

If you think that was the hard part, think again. We still had to figure out how to display them! The girls have about 20 different types of items to sell on a single little table, so space would be at a premium. We knew we had to go vertical. Six days passed before we figured out a simple, doable solution:

If you guessed "shoe tree," you're correct! C made a great sign. I figured out how to rig it to stand up nicely.

C practiced assembling and disassembling it all so things will go smoothly at the sale. Then she practiced her sales pitch and her best "How could you possibly say no to me?" look. Again, success:

She has every reason to be proud of all her work! We got out of a fundraising idea tangle, and we can help 34 lucky girls keep their hair tangle-free stylishly while participating in all their Girl Scout activities!

My fingers are super-duper crossed. These fundraisers are challenging in so many ways, and it would be nice to make another big step toward the girls' goal. Anyone want to order some for their own little Girl Scouts? Let me know! Leftovers will be posted for sale on Etsy Sunday, and we'd be happy to make more if they all sell at today's meeting.


meredithp said...

Those are really cute. Best wishes for sales success!

Elizabeth said...

You rock! So does the girlio. Anderson's hair is halfway down his back, but something tells me he won't want to wear one of your fabulous pony o's. Can't wait to hear how it went.