Thursday, February 24, 2011

Will work for food.

You've seen people holding these signs on the street, but I'm here to tell you, I have honestly "worked for food" before. What I am talking about is bartering. Yes, bartering. I know, I know. It sounds crazy and ridiculously old school, but hear me out. It totally works. For a while, I thought I was one of the few still using bartering as a way of saving some cash, but when I saw a girl in the March 2011 issue of Lucky magazine mention that she traded her makeup applications in return for free yoga classes with a friend, I knew I was onto something.

As I mentioned here in my very first post, I love food. Again, it's a joke among friends and family because homegirl can eat. (And when I say homegirl, I am referring to myself of course). Taking this into consideration, my friend Torry, who owns his own tutoring business called Masterminds, offered me dinner in return for some tee shirt designs for his students. As a close friend — and a foodie — I thought that was a reasonable "friend rate" to give. The end result were some pretty sweet tee shirts and a couple of hilarious dinner conversations with a paid bill at Chuy's.

Chosen tee shirt designs. 

I have designed countless other pieces for friends and family in return for dinners or movies or anything else that I am interested in. I once even designed a logo for my previous hair stylist's new salon she was opening in return for two free visits with her for cut and color — now that's what I call a deal. This design bartering includes working with my own mother, who I have designed her logo, business cards, address labels etc for her business Oopsy Daisy (I even helped her name the business, too). In return, she has taken me to market numerous times (among other gifts), where I have scored some pretty amazing purchases, like this fabulous coat seen here and the jewelry in yesterday's post.

Some of my favorite design bartering examples. 

Also, as you can see here and here, I love music. I mean, I honestly struggle sometimes with whether I consider music a luxury or a necessity. Pretty sure it's a necessity for me, ranking right up there with food — especially going to see live shows. Which, as you know, can get expensive. And when you've got a mortgage, it's hard to make live shows a necessity like I really want them to be. Enter in bartering method number two: will trade babysitting for concert tickets. Yes, I am super lucky that I have a friend in the "entertainment biz" here in Bham who can usually hook me up with free tickets to a show or two that I am just dying (but sadly too broke) to see. And in return I watch their kids on a Friday or Saturday night. It's a win-win situation for sure.

But my new favorite babysitting bartering story is with my good friend Laura. She is an amazing photographer who has obliged to take my photographs for this blog in return for free babysitting services. (psst, I think I'm getting the better deal here). Apparently free babysitting is a hot commodity! I'd highly suggest offering that service if you're willing, cause you can nab some pretty great things in return.

Me and my photographer, Laura, and our off-beat visual interpretation of success after a photo shoot.
This might be the one time I get her to step out from behind the lens and to the front of the camera.

So now that I know I'm not alone, what's your craziest or favorite bartering story? I want to know! Leave me a comment below. And if you want to barter with me, I'm game...let's talk!

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