FOOLPROOF way of Starting Mercantilism - Start small in a recession -- Start Locally! Export to LOCAL businesses in our own city i.e. the First world, then export Higher up the food Chain to Japan/Europe where our dollar is like pesos!
Frances Moore Lappe argues that we should manufacture locally, shop locally as it improves the economy right around us. SO READ THE FILE CALLED "HOW TO SELL STUFF ONLINE" Let it inspire you.
Then you want to buy locally too. Give your dollars to the shoe maker at your corner store, or the shoe fixer guy. Or that dressmaker who can do a cotton dress for under 15$ especially if you bring the fabric that you've been saving for so many years it's vintage fabric! That dollar that you spend stays in your area. Why buy shoes from Walmart which then in turn exports dollars in a gush to CHINA? (And those poor Chinese workers get a pittance from them, ditto the local Walmart 'associates.'
So maybe, when we enter into the INTERNATIONAL IMPORT/ EXPORT business, shy not start by TRADING locally. Manufacture shoes that you sell to stores in your town. Manufacture something that will sell well as everyone really needs it, even in a Depression.
Investigate what LAPPE refers to when she says local by googling key words like "small is beautiful.' "locally manufactured".
And after all, it's cheaper. What American can buy all his clothes, furniture, food IMPORTED from France or Germany or even Sweden, now while the American ECONOMY has such limits? Our dollar has lessened value lately, which is why GASOLINE appears to double in price. It's that the dollar has shrunk. Compared to Arabia and Europe. Many economists even say that that the dollar HAS TANKED!
Consumers may even buy local produce, objects, furniture, cars, tvs as they are cheapest. Buying local products enriches local people, it puts bread on local tables which come back to you. In a tanked economy, you need to have a line of merchandise up and running that is utilitarian, very required, that must be rebought frequently. Shoes are a good example. You can't go broke manufacturing shoes.
I learned this years ago when I manufactured four poster beds in India. They were mahogany, carved, twirly posts with finials, all carved and sumptuous. I put them in my friends WEST HOLLYWOOD chic store, and they sat there for months without a single order. Cuz who needs a bed but once a lifetime? The shop owner taught me that what people needed all the time was chairs, desks, bedside tables I still have those beds, 40 years later.
Today, as the dollar is cheap and we are Europe's Tijuana, I would seek to manufacture something that would be costly in Europe and very highly esteemed. I feel that AMERICAN INDIAN UTILITARIAN OBJECTS, embroidered or dyed or woven or potted with typical, identifiable tribal designs, would bring highest cash in Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium. Holland. If I were near a tribe, Santa Fe, Denver, Portland, that would be a superb way to make a million.
So create a line of merchandise, well thought out, objects so totally needed that people will buy it at a relatively high price so you can make a profit. Look around you, what are the most utilitarian things that you require, daily?
ARTISANRY ITEMS YOU CAN BE IN, WITHOUT ANY TALENTS OR TRAINING
Try going without shoes (Be a SANDAL MAKER, leather worker) One class at trade school.
Make skirts dresses, see DRESSES. (Be a SEAMSTRESS or hire out) Women need a lot of frocks.
Trousers, Jeans, pants - they tend to last! We don't need them so often. We can find 'em used.
Shirts - (We go thru them fast! They melt.
Flannel 100% cotton soft nighties with no itchy lace at neck or wrist. Unisex. And lingerie.
Belts, purses (leather worker) needed though 1 will last client 20 years
pots to cook in - Me I burn these up fast. Find at thrifts, clean/polish resell. King is copper clad steel.
Food, grains (FOOD CO-OP) GO thru this fast, need a lot especially BIBLE BREAD
Lamps (ARTISAN). We frequently NEED them as new reading sites show up in our homes. Hit the garage sales, thrifts, learn to refurbish wiring, lampshades. Plus mid century modern is HOT!
Furniture - Find it at garage sales or in alleys.
Hand loomed wool carpets yarn spun from your own sheep handloom woven. (IMPORTED CARPETS are not a recession thing. rags get wound into carpets. Google 'making rag rugs' )
Bedspreads (TEXTILE collectors love INDIA/MEXICO cottons, slubby, thick, upholstery grade)
MEXICAN "MANTA" is my favorite handspun cotton Textile. Among others, TELARES URUAPAN weaves it, in MICHOACAN close to Mexico City. Spectacularly inexpensive and beautiful, manta or cambaya comes as upholstery fabric texture for sofas and bedspreads, or tablecloth weight. It is hand woven the heavier grades are slubby. My favorites are not solids. I prefer the plaids, in hot gumdrop colors, no black, brown... but searing, neon or pastel lines intersecting to make a PLAID. The colors mutate and blend where the lines intersect. It is truly a thing of beauty reminding me of thai silk. If I saw yardage of it, tablecloths, napkins, bedspreads anywhere in a major city, I'd buy that item but they are not available anywhere but in Mexico! Do a search on google with these terms "algodon michoacan manta cambaya" then go to Michoacan. Drive out of Mexico City in a car you rent. Seek out TELARES URUAPAN and buy several color themes on bolts of l00 meters at a very low cost. Rather than hire Mexican seamstresses, come home to USA, design your line. I'd bind the ends, for bedspreads, table cloths, nothing more. Maybe line a bedspread with cotton if you want. Then, make PILLOWS out of this fabric. PRODUCE your renditions locally in a garage workshop, yourself. You can't weave your own cloth -- that's an Indian thing. They grow and dye their cotton, hand weave it, but you could import the raw fabric which is sooo cheap in MEXICO. Hem them here, and you have a knock out product! Invent new uses. How about some high end, super classy SHOWER CURTAINS for the elegant set? You line your textile with plastic.
Walmart may have shower curtains for l0$ but these are HIGH END!
Try a set of two, lined, some bright RINGS, at 100$
Drapery making. You need to learn to hang rods, Everyone needs this service!
If you aspire to start a business, attract venture capital. You write up and
print out a PROSPECTUS and Deal Memo. One of every three
people you show it to will invest! .....and probably join you on buying trips!
The careful way to start wholesaling is to manufacture much needed, utilitarian
items of decor, jewelry, shoes, purses, men's bags and do it in your garage.
There is no additional start-up costs, or very small ones, when it's your
I know, while we're young, we prefer to travel the world, see all the exotic
places and that's where great artisanry is produced. But you can do that after
a year of profiting from a "LOCAL BUSINESS." The THIRD WORLD is
not all that costly even during a planet wide recession. It's safe if you go in a
team*. I'd go to AFRICA, INDIA, MEXICO, BALI, INDONESIA TOO,
CHINA and the PHILIPPINES then, as a merchandiser, provide
the treasures you find to the American public at low cost. But I'd wholesale
to extant elegant shops rather than pay HUGE rent to a landlord for his STORE
which means thousands of profits go to landlord. No way Jose. Do the wholesale
bia out of your home. Store in your garage. AND LOCK the GARAGE!
Think of unique designs, which are not produced anywhere in the USA. High-
Concept! See THE LIGHT YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS LAMP with
bulletin boards on all four faces which is guaranteed to improve the owneer's life
see it in MERCANTILISM FILE !
GARAGE workshops out of RENTED COTTAGES which you share
with your work team make sense. But one set of keys to start with! eh?
* SAFETY of third world individual countries must be checked with
the US. STATE DEPARTMENT ONLINE
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