example of emoticon jewelry

Tonight Little Sweetie was thrilled to learn that she has been accepted into the Vancouver Maker Faire, a DIY festival we attended last year. She loved it, and immediately wanted to run her own booth, based on her Etsy store,  2 Dots 1 Symbol, which sells emoticon jewelry.

Her Etsy store has been a great way to develop a range of skills, and the Maker Faire has the opportunity to put that in overdrive. So tonight I began the process of developing a workbook that will help her get ready for the Maker Faire, and hone her math, research, analytic and creative skills in the process. I think of this as the Pre-School for Creative Startups, for which I owe a debt to Doug Richards.

Here’s what Lesson 1 looked like:

Profits and costs

Profit is the difference between how much it costs to make something, and how much you can sell it for. You have two kinds of costs for this project: fixed and marginal.

Fixed costs

Fixed costs: These are the costs that you will have no matter how much jewelry you sell.

Your fixed costs for the Maker Faire include the costs for your booth:

  • $180 for registration
  • $25 for one additional table
  1. What are your total costs for the booth?

Labour costs: These are the costs of having people help you do your work at the Faire, or preparing for the Faire.

If we need help setting up, tearing down (cleaning and packing up), or looking after the booth, you will have to pay for that help.  The hours of the Maker Faire are:

  • 10am to 6pm on June 23 and 24th to run the booth
  • 12-8 pm for on June 22 to set up
  • 6pm to midnight (12 am) on June 24 to tear down
  1. How many hours will you need to run the booth?
  2. How many hours will it take to set up the booth?
  3. How many hours will it take to tear down the booth?
  4. What are the total hours you will need to spend at the Maker Faire?

Labour costs: These are the costs of having someone work for you.

If we need someone to help us keep an eye on you and your friends while you are running the booth, we should pay them $15/hour.

  1. If you pay someone to help out during the hours you are working on or at the booth, what will your labour costs be?


Little Sweetie dove into these problems with enormous enthusiasm, even though she’s normally the type to avoid doing her math homework. I’m hopeful that the real-world challenge of running her own Maker Faire booth will encourage her to work away at the various challenges I’ve now spelled out for her in a series of worksheets she will complete in the weeks ahead.

This is worksheet one of many. Follow the rest as I post them here in the coming weeks, or come see Little Sweetie’s completed work at the Maker Faire!