Monday, October 6, 2008

True Retail Therapy in the Garden

Being married to an entrepreneur who has started multiple businesses has permanently damaged my brain. I am in constant wonder of product development and consumer education. Having operated a retail operation for five years, hauling around Rainbow Girl all over town to buy supplies, make home-made signs, research the competition, improve your product and then wonder how you can educate the public on your amazing wares with an advertising budget of twenty's enough to make you cross-eyed, or at least make your house dirty.

I am one of the rare few that reads all the billboards while driving down the interstate.

I am one of the cursed few that sits around and thinks of product concepts that could be successful if I had money for product development, focus groups, and the single vertical billboard on the way to Interstate 15.

And it's not just retail that gets me obsessing over product development. Take my older sister, Monica.

This is Monica now. You wouldn't believe she has produced 5 offspring. And NO she was not a teen mother.

Remember this picture? This was Monica back in 1982, and even then she was a wonder in time management and product development. By this time she was already filing away her underwear by color neatly into her dresser. She also was helping my mom pack all of our school lunches. I'm pretty sure she still has these jeans. They're worn out now so she only wears them when doing major home renovations, so only every other day or so (at least I can find consolation in the fact that she's wearing a matching fanny pack *sigh* at least I have that).

So when I use up an afternoon thinking of how I could market family vacation photos and felt fabric, well, that's the same amount of time that Monica opens up three gallons of paint and does this:

And this! (hello little niece)

And this!
It's amazing what she can paint, finish, or bake with whatever she's got lying around. Which reminded me of someone else who's pretty good at taking rough wares and producing the most amazing results ever.

Exhibit A: One single, shriveled little corn kernel. A.K.A. garden seed. And yes that front appendage is a thumb, where does it end? It must be a foot long. If I had ever been a hitchhiker, I would have gone far I'm sure.

So this seed, right! Throw some dirt over this humiliated shriveled-up little lady, add water and sunshine and before you know it you have this monstrosity taking its place.

I'm sorry but what in the Sam Hill? How did this happen? This isn't even the product! This is just advertising! Look at me. I'm taller than you. I took worm poo, water and sunshine and made dinner for six!

Thankfully, I wasn't in charge of this product development. I probably would have boiled the seeds, spray painted them black, compared them to river stones from Valley of Elah, packaged them into an over-sized plastic Goliath, called them !Philistine Filibusters! and tried to sell them to Congressional Seats from the Southern States. I would have never seen their true potential. Their simple, delicious, over-abundant potential.

Exhibit B: Final product produced from one stalk of corn. Six delicious ears of corn. This pattern is going to look familiar. Every time you see it, please say to yourself : one shriveled seed produced this.

(Okay, so we've been eating corn on the cob for 3 weeks, just filled a bag for my cousin and invited my neighbor to feed a big Sunday crowd with my corn. So yes, I threw 2 extra cobs in, but I 85% guarantee that this is still a conservative estimate and I should have thrown in three more on top of this)

Exhibit C: Offspring Numero Three. We'll call him Buddha Baby. When you and The Mister of the House are debating whether your baby production days are over, let's just say that every sprouting seed in the garden rises singing the Halleluja! Chorus. Halleluja! God is Life! Fertility is the order of the Universe! Every living thing bears seed and testifies of continuation of life! Of love! God is life and love! Fertility becomes you! You have a million eggs in your ovaries! Plant and live! Grow and love! Babies! Babies! Babies!

If I didn't have Buddha Baby eating up our disgusting sandbox while trying to work in the garden, then this glorious chorus just might bore a hole in my head. Don't you know there are cats in the neighborhood?! Bad Baby!

Look familiar? One shriveled seed produced this.

Let's get undressed, shall we? Oh, and don't forget! One shriveled seed produced this.

There she is! Right there in the middle. What a humble little darling. Are you sure she did it?


One shriveled seed produced this.

Now let's get those bulky cobs out of the way. Let's just take this down to the basics. Here we have cut all the delicious kernels from the cob.

Repeat after me: One shriveled seed produced this.

One shriveled seed produced this? Yes!

It kindof reminds me of my uterus. Isn't it beautiful?

If only I could educate consumers about this amazing product! I'd make millions I'm sure. It's almost like magic isn't it? Even Monica would be impressed with the market potential I've discovered.

When what to my wondering eyes? Some left over seeds that didn't find a home in the dirt!?

Just look at that market potential! Multiply each of those kernels by the hundreds of morsels dancing around their long straight cobs...I could feed a hundred people! I have a market! I'll make millions! Come sister, let us package this stuff with colorful stripes and sell them in a high-end boutique!

*Cough* Excuse me? A measly buck n' ten? People pay $1.10 for these magic beans? That's it?!
Who makes this stuff anyway? They're obviously not in it for the money.
Sing with me now:

HaaaAAaaa-le-luja! HaaaAAaaa-le-luja!
Ssshh! I found out the source of our magic beans. In my neighborhood we call Him Heavenly Father and He has produced many amazing products, including the one pictured above. I love Him.
p.s. thank you Heavenly Father for my lessons in the garden. I know you can read my blog and I love you.


Monica said...

I love that you have a thriving garden, and that you are apparently considering producing more offspring! Good work, you lil' entrepreneur. Also, did you hear RS broadcast where Elder Uchtdorf talked about how we find joy in creating things on this earth? It made a lot of sense to me and totally justified the 5 hours I spent afterward creating Regan's mermaid costume for Halloween. Hallelujiah!

Anonymous said...

You are too clever. Love you, Mom

Jenny said...

How inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Wow. How did you come up with all that? I guess that's all in the brain of an entrepreneur :). And were the corn pictures taken just for your blog?
~Victoria the niece

Lee Family said...

maybe you should have just one more baby so your hallelujahs about seeds of corn aren't so regular. Perhaps a 4th offspring will hush your choral tunes in the garden. Buddha baby is SOOOO cute, I really need to see him. The last picture of raindrop girl is classic. I'd love to see a whole post about Moka's fashions throughout the years. Wouldn't that be fun for all of us to see her 80's wonders. don't you think??

Lee Family said...

could you please respond to my comment. comments need validation too you know.

Mrs. Olsen said...

Hi! I am loving that Victoria the niece is commenting on the blog. Victoria, go to all the American History sites while in Boston and don't let little bratty Madeline get on your nerves (I still love her Niki).

My garden revelations are not completely related to being baby hungry, so we're still not sure about producing more offspring, especially when I fail to have a waist to start out with.

The corn pics were taken for the blog, because these numbers needed to be documented. Because I threw seeds in the dirt and was amazed. Grandpa Anderson would have been so proud.

Monica, can't wait to see your craftiness on your own blog. I have already named it...Monica the Muse.