After yesterday's lunch with the ladies, I decided to make plans for tonight. Instead of an expected evening in Mario mode, I decided to eat Chinese with the ladies, and stay en-femme for one last day.
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There were several things I knew I had to take care of when I got up in the morning. One of these things was to make a deposit of 3 checks that have been sitting in my pocketbook for months. Not having this money available isn't a problem for me. But money is money, and I'd be a fool not to keep it. Another thing to take care of is buying another wig brush or two, and that means dropping by a wig store I haven't visited in months, and chatting with a lady who has little in her life except for running the store.Of course, there was the obligatory phone call to Lili, as well as checking back with Pat to see how things went with the man in her radar.
You'll note that none of the above things I listed are high priority. In a way, that has been a theme in my life lately. I've developed a routine which allows me the benefits of romance, the benefits of being Marian, and the benefits of having friendships. Yet, without meaningful work (paid or volunteer), there is something missing right now.
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I ended up going to the wig store and ended up chatting with the owner. She could tell that the wig I was wearing was not one she sells. (That's true. The wig is in dire need of replacement, and I mentioned that I'd like to get another wig from the same manufacturer and in the same style as the one she sold me 3 years ago.) Given that I know what her profit margins are likely to be, I'm surprised that she is still in business. Let's say that she has 1,000 sq. ft. of floor space in an out of the way area of a strip mall. This would mean that she likely pays a minimum of $6,000 per month in rent. (Trust me, I drastically low ball the estimated rent here, given the region where her store is.) Let's also assume that she sells 1 wig per hour (at $500/wig). And let's assume a 100% markup on her goods. Since the store is open 4 1/2 days per week, we get the following:
8 wigs * 4 1/2 days = 36 wigs.
36 wigs * $250/wig = $9,000/week
4 weeks/month * $9,000 = $36,000 Not bad!
Subtract the rent ($6,000) and this woman should have a gold mine before taxes : $30,000.
Let's now subtract 50% of this for taxes and other expenses, and she would get $15,000.
Now, I have to throw a in a few clinkers. First, in the 4 hours I have spent with this lady over the years in both wig shopping and general gabbing, I was the only person who bought a wig. So let's divide her gross revenue by 4, and her rent likely equals her revenue. Next, she has inventory that isn't turning over quickly. I figure that she has at least 200 wigs in stock, and this means $40,000 in non-performing inventory. The owner is not well educated. I could play with the above figures by cutting her rent and assuming she takes $1,000/week in salary. And you can see that the store is likely to be under performing,
What this woman has (and she knows it) is the map to a gold mine. She has contacts with all the major medical insurance firms to provide wigs as Durable Medical Equipment (DME) - in the same way that my CPAP machine is covered by insurance. The vast majority of the wigs she sells are sold to female cancer patients. Chemo does a number on a woman's body, as is causes most women to lose their hair. And insurance companies cover these wigs with varying rates of reimbursement. One insurance firm will pay up to $300 for a wig, while another will pay up to $1,500 for a wig. Since most of the insurance companies are not issuing new contracts to provide wigs as DME, this woman has a potential gold mine - if she can figure out how to extract gold from that mine.
Her contracts are worth more than the store itself. And she knows it. But I don't think she knows enough of how to manage the people needed to run second, third, and fourth outlets of the store. This is a shame.
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After I was done at the wig store, it was off to Hartsdale for Chinese dinner with the gals, with a quick stop at the house to freshen up. On the way down, I chatted with GFJ, and ended our chat when I got to the restaurant. It was a great night out, with WPB and the crew. It's always nice to simply be one of the gals, and to be accepted as a peer. One of the ladies and I couldn't help but keep chatting with each other - and not just because we were sitting next to each other. There is a certain chemistry that we have, and I like her company in a sisterly type of way.
All too soon, the evening had to end, and it was time to go home.