With all of that in mind, I present another in my series of Frugal Icons:
If you have read the second chapter of any BSC book, you know who they are. Kristy is the bossy one who invented the club; Claudia is the artistic, bad-at-school one; Mary Anne is the shy, smart one; Dawn is the hippie; Stacey is the cool girl from NYC with diabetes; and then there are also various hangers-on (Logan, Abby, Malory, Shannon, etc.)
|Hola, everybody! BSC goes yachting!|
Who were these girls, and what about them is inspirational? Well, Kristy - the mastermind behind it all - noted a need within their neighbourhood. During the first book, Kristy's Great Idea, she has a flash of inspiration - with so many parents in the neighbourhood who need babysitters, rather than phoning all of the teens, why not have one central number to reach them all?
Because this was the 1980s, nobody had cell phones so they made their base their friend Claudia's room, because she was the only one with a private phone number. I remember one girl in elementary school had her own private line and everybody was so jealous of her.
|Risk of having your own phone line: phantom phone calls!|
Anyway, Mary Anne, the sensible one, was made in charge of their appointment book. They were available for parents to phone for appointments Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 5:30-6:00 pm.
For marketing, they put posters up around their neighbourhood, as well as relying on word of mouth. Most of the girls were already babysitters, so they already had their stamp of approval. And then, their habit of putting together fundraisers and solving mysteries only increased their prestige.
|Terror seemed to follow them wherever they went.|
When Kristy moved out of their neighbourhood, rather than packing it all in, they took it as an opportunity to expand their business. Luckily, her older brother Sam was desperate enough for driving practice that he would drive her back over to Claudia's for regular meetings.
Oh, and the money that they raised went back to the BSC to buy supplies for their babysitting jobs - books, stickers, craft supplies, etc.
|I love Raina Telgemeier's BSC graphic novels from a few years ago.|
So many little kids read these books which really present an inspiring entepreneurial spirit coming from little girls. Even Claudia's increasingly insane outfits were made out of craft supplies she found from around her house.
The BSC: frugal (and business) role models for us all.
Links to read more about the BSC:
The story of a man whose life was literally saved by the BSC - from XO Jane
What Claudia Wore - fashion critiques of their outfits on the book covers
The Claudia Kishi Diaries - modern interpretations of Claudia's outfits
The Babysitters Club, Revisited - a grown-up re-reads and reviews the BCS books, based on her memories