Bag Project Chapter 5: Too Inexperienced to Fail

So I’d secured a designer and validated a dream. Next?

The only business class I took in college was “International Marketing.” My group’s project was to open a bagel shop in Buenos Aires. One of the justifications for its projected success was the relatively high Jewish population in Argentina.

That was my idea.

Armed with that fantasy-world business experience, I concocted my first few steps in this bag-building venture:

  1. Design the bag.
  2. Build the bag.
  3. Peddle the bag in baby boutiques in New York and Brooklyn
  4. Develop a website for online sales
  5. Watch the money flow in.

Easy enough.

Though no money had been spent, I could taste anxiety trying to derail me with every decision. Everything felt debilitatingly critical: where should we bank? Can I still consider myself an “occupy wall street” wannabe if we bank at HSBC? When we secure a website, should we purchase the .info and .org domains as well? What about when .xxx is released? When I’ve made $10 million, should I buy a yacht? Will the “Amazing Race” ever run out of interesting cultural activities in Indonesia?

And most profoundly: Will my life end up a trail of Christmas letters in which I share plans for creating a company, promise the next year’s letter will show progress, and then the next year and then the next year and then pretty soon I’ve given up on the plans and just don’t mention them, in the hopes that no one will write on their Christmas letters, “Hey, what ever happened to that bag company you were starting?”

Isn’t it sobering when Hallmark notions of “nothing risked, nothing gained,” smack you in the face?

I’m stoked about this venture. I prefer to avoid failure. So I shall avoid said failure.

Drawings in hand (meaning: on my phone), I figured I’d start browsing the fabric stores in New York’s garment district. I’d never actually seen fabrics, only endless storefronts of tacky ball gowns. But I’m not afraid to ask for directions and help. That’s the strongest of the tools in my cache.

Once I’d found the fabrics, I’d charm one of my contacts from the Broadway costume world to build my prototype.

With that prototype in hand, I’d hit the pavement and try to sell the prototype to baby boutiques throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.

That business plan could have been a friggin’ masters thesis at Business School.

In Narnia.

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