ONE THOUSAND WAYS TO MAKE FORTUNE – CHAPTER VII.
FORTUNE FOR WOMEN.
One Hundred Ways a Woman Can Earn a Living–A New Way to Remember Your Friends–The Woman with a Pet Dog–Solving the Servant-girl Question–Shopping for Pleasure and Profit–Profits of a Lady Barber–The Business of “Samples”–The Rise of the Trained Nurse–Dollars in Scents–How to Go to Paris Without Cost–Something that will Sell to Millions of Shoppers–How Clara Louise Kellog Got a Start–A Woman Who Sold her Jewels for Newspapers–Women in the Civil Service.
The field of woman’s work has been vastly augmented during the last half-century. From school teaching and dressmaking, which were about the only occupations open to our grandmothers, the number of ways a woman can make a living have increased to over two hundred. To be exact, there are two hundred and twenty-one occupations open to women, out of a total of two hundred and fifty. It is the design of the author to give only those methods which are unique, unusual, and presumably unknown to most lady readers. In a few cases these fortune-making methods must be considered as only tributary to a larger source of revenue, as when a salaried position or business enterprise is not sufficient for a support, or when a woman wishes to help the family “eke out a living,” but in most cases it is expected that the suggestions if followed will be an adequate source of income. Several of these ways may often be united where one is insufficient. There is no need for any woman to marry for the sake of a home. The examples given will enable any lady of the least tact, skill, or enterprise, to secure an independent living.
166. THE SCHOOL STOREIf you live near a public school, a small store containing candies, school supplies and knickknacks for the children will be found to bring much profit. The store need not be large or conspicuous. A room in a private house will do. Children, like bees, are all fond of sweets. The store need be open only for an hour in the morning, or noon, and at the close of school, so that other work may be carried on at the same time. A dressmaker, with hours arranged so as not to conflict, could combine very well these two ways of earning a living.
167. THE HAND ALBUMHave an album made in usual style, except that the places for pictures are omitted. Smear each page with soft wax to the depth of one-sixth of an inch. When a friend calls, slightly heat a page and request him to lay his hands, palms down, upon it. In that way you can preserve the digits of your friends, and you will be surprised to find there is as much difference in hands as in faces. When your album is full, if you choose you can consult a patent lawyer, and arrange to protect your invention. A novelty of this kind would doubtless be immensely popular, and enable the author to reap a financial harvest.
168. THE NOVELTY BAKERYA woman who knows how to make tempting creations in flour can make a good living. Begin by taking your goods to the Woman’s Exchange, of which almost every large city has at least one. If your baking is novel, from the Exchange will come demands from private customers, and even orders from hotels. A New England woman, beginning in a small way, in a few months had an income of $33 per week.
169. THE FRONT YARD SNAPWith a photographer’s outfit, go through the better class residential sections of a city or town and take the pictures of the children which you will see in every street, and in almost every front yard. Get a child in a most striking position, on a wheel, or in a swing or hammock, or at play. Secure parent’s consent to take the picture. No matter if they declare that they will not purchase, they will yield when they see a pretty picture of their child. Much fortune can be made at this.
170. THE PET DOGDo you know that pet dogs often bring enormous prices? You want the Yorkshire terriers, or the King Charles spaniels, or some of the rare Japanese breeds. A lady in New York counts on $500 yearly as the income from the families raised from one dog, a King Charles spaniel.
171. THE BOX LUNCHThere is a large field for some one to cultivate in our great office buildings and factories. Thousands would pay for a light lunch which costs five cents, and is sold for ten cents. Rent a small room near a business center. Make known your occupation. Go through the places of business if possible, or if not take a stand near the door, and if your lunch is tastefully arranged, it will find many buyers. After a time you will get regular customers. Profits 100 per cent.
172. THE HAIR-DRESSERA refined business for women is the dressing of hair. For $25 you can learn the business. Place samples of all kinds of bangs and switches in the window. They can be sold for a great profit, and if industrious, you can build up in a good neighborhood an excellent paying business, and best of all, it can be done in your own home.
173. TYPO AND STENOIn many large cities typewriting and stenography may be learned in the Y. W. C. A. Then with a machine and a rented room cheaply furnished a woman is all ready for business. Many women are making $25 per week. One enterprising young lady takes dictated matter in short hand, and then typewrites it at her leisure, thus saving much time to her busy patrons.
174. THE SEWING SCHOOLHere is a vast unworked field. If you understand needlework, and have a little business enterprise, you are certain to succeed. Advertise in the papers and get out circulars, stating that for the small sum of twenty-five cents per week you will teach all pupils plain and fancy sewing. Form your pupils into classes, and if you are gentle and patient, as well as skillful at the needle, you will in a short time have the work which mothers are glad to get rid of. And it can all be done in your own home.
175. FLAT HUNTINGRent a small office and advertise that for a trifling fee you will exactly suit persons looking for homes, and save them all the trouble. Three or four hours a day are spent in house-hunting, and two in the office. You must have a book with your customers’ demands set down in detail, and another book with a careful description of each house to let. A commission might be exacted from both owner and renter. An enterprising woman could in a short time build up a large business in this way.
176. A TEA ROOMHire a counter in a fashionable store much frequented by ladies. Have a sign that fresh tea is sold here, made to order with good cream. Small accessories may be fresh rolls, toasted crumpets, bread and butter, and other light articles of food. Ladies weary with shopping will surely come to your counter to be refreshed. A lady in one of our large cities made prosperityby this means. The requirements are dazzling cleanliness, a smiling welcome, a cheerful place near the door, and hot, fresh tea.
177. DRESS MENDINGHere is a good field. There is a vast army of women who would patronize a mending office rather than run around the city to find a sewing woman, or use their own limited time in the use of the needle. Have a tariff of prices for mending gloves, sewing on buttons, renewing the sleeves, putting braid around the bottom of dresses, etc. The right woman could earn a good living at this business.
178. LACE HANDLINGThe mending and washing of fine laces is a work that is given to experts, and commands high prices, yet is easily learned. In five lessons at a dollar apiece any lady of ordinary intelligence can learn, or, cheaper yet, one can sometimes give services in return for instruction. You are then in a position to earn a great deal of fortune. Issue a thousand circulars to the wealthier people of the city, letting them know of your enterprise. This plan combines the three advantages of fascinating employment, good pay, and work done at home.
179. INTELLIGENCE OFFICE on the subscription planBuy a copy of the “Social Register;” send circulars to all persons named therein; announce that you have opened an intelligence office on a new plan. For $10 a year you will keep them supplied with as many servants as they want, and you will guarantee satisfaction. Make a specialty of securing servants for people going out of town. Thus you will go far toward solving the perplexing question for your patrons, and make an excellent living for yourself.
180. PROFESSIONAL MENDINGHotels, boarding houses and bachelor apartments have loud and long calls for mending. Mothers with little ones, professional women, and school-teachers, as well as men, have neither time nor taste for this kind of work. Have an outfit in a small satchel, which should contain a light lunch, a white apron, and various assortments of tapes, buttons, etc. In a short time one would have a regular round of customers. One lady who did this never had to go out of one large hotel for work.
181. THE COLLEGE CRAMThere is room for a lady with a knowledge of the classics and a faculty for teaching to take boys and young men and carry them over the hard spots in their education. These hard spots, which are known as examinations, conditions, etc., are the bane and bugbear of many a young man’s education. In one town a lady earns $100 per month by taking pupils through the intricacies of algebra and Latin.
182. SHOE AND WRAP ROOMA room in some fashionable quarter where ladies could go after a journey on the cars and have the dust brushed off their wraps and their shoes polished would doubtless prove remunerative.
183. GENERAL CONVENIENCE ROOMThe last idea might be combined with this. Have a room in which, for the charge of a dime, one could get a glass of ice-water, could read the morning paper, have his clothes brushed, and look over a map of the city or a directory, and have all the advantages of a toilet room.
184. SICK-ROOM DELICACIESAnother unoccupied field is the preparation of delicacies for the sick. Bouillon, chocolate, jellies and many other kinds of delicacies could be prepared and placed in a show window in some fashionable part of the town. The conditions of success are exquisite neatness and daintiness. It would pay well, for people stop at no cost in providing for their sick friends.
185. SHOPPING COMMISSIONIf you live at a little distance from the city, a good business may be built up by shopping for your friends and neighbors. By dint of experience you know where to buy, and when your practice is built up you can buy cheaper by reason of larger purchases, and you can give both of these advantages to your patrons. Many women might find here both a congenial and profitable field.
186. SCHOOL LUNCHEONHere is another good field. Tens of thousands of schoolchildren have to eat a cold luncheon. Rent a small room near a schoolhouse, and provide bouillon, clam and chicken soups, sandwiches, baked beans, lamb pies, with white and brown bread, plain cake and fruit. You will help to preserve the digestion of myriads of children, as well as fill your own pocket with cash.
187. HATCHING BIRDSBuy half a dozen songsters at $1.50 apiece, the females at half that price. Get proper cages, mate the birds, provide soft nests made chiefly of cotton; and with care you can do an excellent business. Birds in good condition mate two or three times a year. One lady, with eighteen pairs of canary birds netted $500 a year.
188. BUTTER AND EGG STOREButter and eggs are two things which every housekeeper wants fresh, but which are difficult to obtain. Get some reliable farmer to supply you at stated dates, and procure a list of customers. Then with a boy to deliver and a push cart for the merchandise, you have little to do but figure your profits. An advantage of this plan is that it gives you the most of your time for other work. The business may be extended almost _ad infinitum_.
189. SARATOGA CHIPSThese are a sample of what may be done with a single good article by one who knows how. One family has a weekly income of $12.50 from this means.
190. FANCY LAMP SHADESMade of crêpe papers they are very cheap, and look almost as well as silk. Any woman of ordinary ability can make them, and they sell readily. She can buy for sixty cents material for a shade which she can sell for $1.25, thus more than doubling her fortune.
191. BEE-KEEPINGThis is another means of large profit. It can be carried on even in a city where there is a small plot of ground. Fill all the space not occupied by the hives with white clover and such other flowers as your study of bees will tell you they delight in. Buy a book about bees. The advantage of this industry is that the cost of supporting the bees is practically nothing. There is no risk. After the first small expenditure of capital for boxes and hives all is profit.
192. CLEANSING AND BLEACHINGThere are many things too costly to be intrusted to an ordinary washerwoman, and many other cleansing processes that do not come within that woman’s sphere. Cleaning feathers, velvets, furs, gloves, silks, and many other articles afford a wide opportunity for one who understands the business. Who can take grease spots from carpets, fruit stains from napkins and table covers, paint from windows, thumb-marks from books, and scratches from furniture? Here is a useful field.
193. FANCY SOAPSFortunes have been made from fancy soaps. The process of making is easy, and the variety of method is so great, and the possible ingredients so many, that there need be no danger of infringing on anyone’s trademark. Get a recipe-book and practice on the kinds given in the formulas; then branch out into new kinds. The sale will depend upon your ability. Give your product an attractive appearance.
194. HOME ARCHITECTUREWrite to the secretaries or agents of church building societies. Many of these societies publish pamphlets, in which, in addition to the designs for churches, will be found many cuts for pretty little parsonages. From these you can compile an attractive little book of home architecture, which would sell to every person contemplating building a home; and almost every one living in a rented house hopes some day to rear his own domicile. If you have a friend who is an architect, he would procure for you other books of plans.
195. HOME ORNAMENTSWhat is a home without at least a few trifling ornaments? An inventive mind can think of a hundred inexpensive ways of beautifying a room. But most people are not inventive. If, therefore, you have that gift, and can think of a few novelties in lace and embroidered goods which you can make and sell for fractions of a dollar, you will have opened your way to constant and remunerative employment.
196. DOUBTFUL DEBTSIt is well known that in efforts that require perseverance and persistence women succeed better than men. Grocers, butchers, real estate agents, and in fact almost every business man, has a large number of accounts, a considerable per cent. of which he considers worthless. To any one who could succeed in collecting them, the dealer would give a very large per cent., in some cases even amounting to half the bill. Many of these are really collectible if attempted with the persuasive arts of womanhood. Here is a large and profitable field for a woman having the right qualifications.
197. DRESSING DOLLSA fair profit can be made by taking orders for making dolls’ dresses, as they can be bought and dressed for about one-half the cost of those already dressed. Persons giving the order should be required to bring the materials for the dress.
198. FRUIT PRESERVERSVast numbers of people are in the country during the fruit season, and cannot “do up” fruits; they must depend on the grocer. Let a thrifty, economical woman who _knows how_ equip herself with sugar, fruit, cans and preserve kettles, and she will not long wait for customers if she makes her business known. The second year, her patrons having tested her talents and tasted her fruits, and finding them so much better than “store goods,” will flood her with orders.
199. A MUSHROOM CELLARAn enterprising woman hired a cellar at a rent of $10 per month, had it fitted up with shelves, placed on these shelves in order, straw, fertilizers, and soil; then put on mushroom spawn, renewing it at intervals, as also at longer intervals the soil. Average sale of mushrooms per week, $31.50. Average expenses, $8.80. Profit per week, $22.70.
200. POULTRY RAISINGFollowing is the experience of another woman in raising poultry. She bought forty-five Minorcas, because they lay a large white egg, and are nonsitters and prolific layers. Each hen laid on an average one hundred and sixty-four eggs per annum. She purchased also forty Brahmas for sitters and for fattening. Total expenses for fowls and for keeping, $278.70. Total receipts, $1,144.11. Net profit, $865.31.
201. HOME HOTHOUSEThousands of people will buy plants already started who would not go to the trouble to buy seeds, slips, and pots. There is also a large demand for cut flowers all the year round. Have a cellar for rooting, and a south room for sunning. A liberal use of cards and circulars, stating what you propose to do, will surely bring custom. The secret of the florists’ business is to provide flowers for every month in the year, and to force or retard the flowers that suit the demands of each month. This is a very pretty employment for a woman, and can be done in her own home. There are three hundred and twelve floral establishments in this country managed by women. The work is easy and tasteful to ladies. The elements of success are the habit of early rising, business ability, close superintendence of laborers, intelligent advertising, knowledge of plants, and promptness in filling orders. The best location is near a large cemetery. One florist thus located takes in from $1,500 to $2,000 per month during the busy season.
202. ART NEEDLEWORKHere is the way a woman paid off a $600 mortgage on her home, and at the same time attended to her domestic duties. She bought linens stamped with designs, and gave her spare time to decorative embroidery. She disposed of her work at the Woman’s Exchange, and at the art stores. Six hundred dollars in spare minutes are not a bad showing. Besides, one could form a class and add the income from teaching. Mrs. Clara Louise Kellogg began by giving lessons in embroidery at the age of fourteen. Before her fifteenth birthday she was earning $30 a week with these classes.
203. NEWS AGENCYKeep the daily papers. Almost any lady who will go into the business could count on one hundred patrons; and these by the recommendation of friends could easily be increased to five hundred. One hundred patrons would mean at least $3 per week, and five hundred patrons would mean at least $15 per week. Tact, enterprise, and good service are the qualities needed. If your place is on the main street, and you can make a show-window for periodicals, your income will be much augmented. A woman came to this country and heard of a news stand for sale for $250. She sold her jewels to purchase it. With her two brothers she made it a success, and it now supports three families. “Courtesy and application,” she says, “were my capital.”
204. WOMEN’S WANTSTake advantage of bargain sales–ribbons, silks, lace, and velvets. They can be had, if you watch the papers, at very trifling cost, but wondrous are the shapes into which they can be made by woman’s deft fingers. You can make boas, ruchings, berthas, lace bibs, draped collars, belts, etc. Every woman wants these things, and will buy them if they can be found in colors and style required. They can be sold at moderate cost, and at a very large profit.
205. HOME PRINTING PRESSPay $10 for a press, and a like sum for type and other accessories. Print visiting cards, at-home cards, business, reception, and wedding cards, tickets of admission, etc. Give a specimen of your work to every one of your friends, and request their patronage; place circulars with samples and rates in the stores, and solicit the favors of business men. Doing the work in your own home, you have no extra rent to pay as have printing establishments, and you can do the work much cheaper and still make a profit.
206. SHORT SERVICE BUREAUMany people want help in an emergency, and for a short time only. The housewife is suddenly taken ill, a servant without warning leaves, company unexpectedly comes, stoves are to be put up, yards are to be cleaned, gardens dug, snow shoveled, clothes washed, and a hundred other things done requiring short service only. Keep a list of men and women who go out at labor. Know accurately their whereabouts every day. Be ready instantly to supply any one’s demand. When it is known that you furnish that kind of service, your office will be in demand, and your patrons well willing to pay.
207. DELICATESSEN ROOMHere is a paying business that is not overcrowded, but success depends upon the quality of the goods. Make yourself a specialist in cookery. Homemade pies, plum puddings, orange marmalade, salted almonds, fancy cakes, jellies and jams can be made and sold at a good profit. Bakers and grocers will be forced to keep them when once there is a demand for your goods. This is no speculative idea. Many a woman has not only made a living, but accumulated a snug little prosperityby this means.
208. MISCELLANEOUS EXCHANGEMany people have no use for some of their possessions, but desire something else; others would be glad to get what these possess. Establish a place for the exchange of typewriters, sewing machines, bicycles, baby carriages, jewelry, bric-à-brac, etc. Charge both parties to the exchange a small commission. This plan has the advantage that it requires no capital, and hence has no risk.
209. CAP AND APRON PLANHere is a plan available near any large hotel. Have a place for the sale of aprons, waiters’ jackets, cooks’ caps, etc. Get out a great quantity of circulars, stating your plan in an attractive form, and have a boy to distribute them–one upon whom you can rely to hand one to every employee of hotel shop and store. Repeat the circulars every week until your business is thoroughly known. Arrange to keep the articles in repair, and engage the agency of some laundry establishment for their washing; then with the work of selling, repairing and laundrying these goods you will have an established business.
210. KITCHEN UTENSILSAs a rule you can sell five kitchen utensils where you can sell one book. The former shows for itself; the latter must be exhibited and explained. Send to a large wholesaler for the most modern samples of labor-saving tools for the kitchen. Test them for a few days yourself. Then start out among your neighbors. A housewife will purchase anything that lightens labor if it is only cheap. An enthusiastic person can make many dollars a day selling useful articles for the kitchen. A woman for three months averaged $4 a day selling an improved coffee pot.
211. WEDDING MANAGERHow many brides shrink from the work of a large wedding, while at the same time feeling under obligations to have one! A lady who has an artistic taste and a knowledge of the best social customs may very properly undertake the management of a wedding. She should know what is proper for the bride’s outfit, and how to dress her, how to decorate the rooms, what style of invitations to issue, and in short, all the delightfully perplexing details of a wedding. For this work she has a right to charge a fair sum, and if the wedding proves to be a very pretty one, she is entitled to the credit of it. When once the office of a lady manager is recognized, and the relief afforded to the bride’s family appreciated, the fashion will quickly spread, and others will wish to avail themselves of your taste and skill.
212. FOREIGN HOMESHere is an example of the pluck and enterprise of an American girl: Miss Mary Widdicomb went to Paris in company with a lady friend, and established a home for Americans in that capital. Her rooms accommodated thirty-five, and such was the success of her venture that she is about to open another apartment. Think of it! You can go to a French city and hear the American language, associate with American people, and have American surroundings the same as if in the United States. Here is an opportunity for young women with small capital to see a foreign country and make fortune at the same time.
213. LADY BARBERThere is a school in New York for the instruction of barbers. Three months’ apprenticeship will give you a knowledge of the trade. One lady who graduated a year ago from the school now has two assistants, and is earning from $6 to $10 a day.
214. MINERAL COLLECTIONS FOR SCHOOLSDana’s Mineralogy gives fourteen hundred places in the United States where rare minerals are found. There are 240,968 public schools, and each one needs a mineral collection. Why has no one thought of gathering these rare stones and selling them to our public schools? At $1 a school, the sale should be $240,698, but many rare collections would bring $5, and even $10 each.
215. TURKISH BATHOne lady opened a place for Turkish and Russian baths. She went around among her lady friends and acquaintances and secured the promise of a paying patronage. Five promised their patronage every week, eight every two weeks, and twenty-four at least once a month. Thus the sum of $60 per month was assured at the start, and this paid for rent and assistants, with a good margin of profit.
216. TRAINED NURSESTrained nurses in our large cities command $25 a week. The duties are exacting, but not difficult. Assistant nurses receive $15. The latter have less responsibilities, and are not required to spend so long a time in training. This is an inviting field for ladies who have gifts and tastes for this work.
217. TRAVELING COMPANIONIf you have a good education and can make yourself agreeable, your services ought not to go long begging for an engagement in this delightful occupation. Watch the advertisements in the daily papers; better yet, insert an advertisement of your own, modestly stating your qualifications. The remuneration depends upon the treasure and liberality of your employer.
218. PAPER FLOWERSThis has become a distinct trade. You can learn in a few months. There is a paper flower store in Broadway, New York, which does an immense business. There are great possibilities in this line in every city.
219. FRENCH PERFUMER AND COMPLEXION EXPERTHow does this sound?–Madame Racier, French Perfumer. Equip yourself with perfumes, essences, tinctures, extracts, spirit waters, cosmetics, infusions, pastiles, tooth powders, washes, cachous, hair dyes, sachets, essential oils, etc. All ladies like perfumes. Once let it be known that you are an authority on the subject, and you will lack neither patronage nor profits.
220. A WOMAN’S HOTELA hotel exclusively for women would no doubt be a paying investment. More than fifty thousand ladies without male escorts stop every year in the hotels of New York City. A very large proportion of this number would patronize a cheap, clean, well-kept place, fitted up and conducted solely for the comfort of ladies.
221. GUIDE FOR SHOPPERSA department store in New York recently made a census of its customers, and from the count kept for a single week it was estimated that 3,125,000 persons passed through its doors every year. This for a single store. But there are thousands of stores. Vast numbers of these people are from the country, and do not know where they can trade to the best advantage. What a field is here for a shoppers’ guide! Ascertain what stores make a specialty of certain goods, what ones sell the cheapest in certain lines, and what days they make bargains in certain wares. Show by what routes the places are best reached, where to dine, etc. Fill a little book with just the information a shopper wants to know; call it “The Ladies’ Shopping Guide,” put it on the market at ten cents, and you can sell millions of them.
222. BICYCLE INSTRUCTIONWhy, may not a woman teach “the wheel” as well as a man? Many women are restrained from learning through the dislike of falling from the wheel into the arms of a strange man, commonly a negro. A woman’s bicycle academy would pay in any large city.
223. COOKING SCHOOLMadam Parloa and Madam Rorer have set the example, and they will be sure to have many imitators. A course of instruction in cooking, costing $10, is a vastly better investment to any young woman than a course on a piano costing $100, or many times that sum. First, learn the art thoroughly yourself and then teach it to others. There is fortune in this, but it needs taste, tact and work.
224. THE BOARDING HOUSEOne who has a taste for cooking and a little marketing skill can do well in this somewhat overworked and not always paying business. The gains increase from zero with one boarder, in geometrical progression, until $1 a head is realized with twenty boarders. Profits, $20 a week. With great skill and management this may be doubled.
225. PEN ENGRAVINGIf you have a circle of one hundred friends, and can secure their patronage, you can make a fair living for one person at engraving cards. A lady with a large calling list should engrave $500 worth of cards a year. Expenses, $25. Remuneration for work, $475.
226. A LADIES’ RESTAURANTA restaurant where delicacies pleasing to ladies are made a specialty would surely pay. A lady who recently established one adjoining a large department store has been obliged to enlarge her premises to accommodate her crowd of patrons.
227. A WOMAN’S NEWSPAPEROne has just been started in a Western city. The editors, reporters, printers, and press-feeders, are all women. Of course it advocates woman’s reform. An enterprise of this kind requires considerable capital, and is not without risk, but a woman of ability and experience can make it pay as well as a man, besides the advantage of an appeal directly to her sex in support of a paper conducted in this manner.
228. ADVERTISING AGENTA lady by her courtesy, tact, and gentle address, is especially fitted for this work. All our great newspapers and magazines pay large salaries to successful agents, for, as a rule, the advertising department is the one that pays the dividends of the business. The shopkeepers and others who, by reason of repeated solicitations give the cold shoulder to the male agent, would listen at least respectfully to a lady. On the whole, this field presents to ladies who have the right qualities better opportunities than to men.
229. THE CIVIL SERVICEThis is now open to women. There are more then ten thousand of these places to be filled every year. Clerkships range from $600 to $3,000. Very few fall below $1,000. These places, according to the Civil Service Law, are filled by competitive examinations. There are thousands of bright young women who secured these places, not through any governmental pull, but by sheer merit in examinations. Get a book entitled “Civil Service,” by John M. Comstock, Chairman of the United States Board of Examiners, for the Customs Service in New York City, and published by Henry Holt & Co. This book will give you a complete table of the positions open, the salaries attached to each, and a list of questions required to be answered.
230. POST-PRANDIAL CLASSESFew, even among educated women, are masters of themselves to the extent of being able to rise before an audience, and without previous preparation express themselves clearly and creditably on whatever subject may be under discussion. A woman in New York, a member of Sorosis, made a reputation for bright, witty, after-dinner speeches. As she earned her living by newspaper work, a friend said to her, “Why don’t you add to your income by teaching other women how to say a few graceful words in public?” She caught at the idea, and organized classes in the hitherto untaught art of post-prandial speech-making, and had capital success, earning $500 by it in one season.
231. WOMEN DRUGGISTSThe neatness of women, their delicacy and attention to details, qualify them admirably for the drug business. At the Woman’s Infirmary, New York, the apothecary department is entirely in the hands of ladies. Drug clerks receive on the average of $9 per week. There are few lady proprietors, but there is no reason why there should not be more, as the business is very profitable.
232. ALMANAC MAKERSOf late years many of the great dailies issue yearly almanacs. The mass of matter which goes to make up these publications can be collected as well by women, who have gifts for details, as by those of the other sex. In one publication house a woman is paid $30 a week to manage one of these almanacs, and in another $20 for the compiling of an index for the daily paper.
233. WOMEN LECTURERSWomen of talent have earned a competence and almost prosperityon the platform. Lucy Stone was sometimes paid as high as $260 for a lecture, and Anna Dickinson also received large sums. The lady who hopes to succeed in this field must have fluency, the gift of oratory, self-poise, and a certain dramatic or magnetic power.
234. MAGAZINE CONTRIBUTORSIn this work women are paid as much as men, and their facile pens are often able to turn out equal and even superior work. The Harpers pay $10 a page; the Atlantic Monthly, $6 to $10; the North American Review, $1.50.
235. WOMEN PHYSICIANSSays a recent publication: “There is a real necessity for women physicians; there are many ladies who prefer them, and in some cases will consult no other. There are now over one thousand lady physicians in the United States, but the number will soon be doubled, and even trebled. Several of these lady physicians are making over $2,000 a year.” One of them says: “I have several well-to-do families whom I charge by the year. I charge $200, if they are people who are considered well off; less, if they are poor.”
236. PAPER BOX MAKINGHundreds of women are making paper boxes, but as employees, not as proprietors. A woman made the first orange box in California. Seeing that it was a good thing, and that there would soon be a demand for others, she built a factory, and is now turning out fifty thousand boxes a year.
237. HORTICULTUREHere is an example of what a California woman can do. A widow having four boys purchased thirty-six acres of land in San Jose, and under her personal care, aided by her boys, planted the tract with apricot, cherry and prune trees. For four years she did all the pruning, a difficult task for a refined and delicate woman, accustomed as she had been to luxuriant ease. Her prune trees alone netted $2,700 in one year.
238. VOCALISTSA lady with a good voice is certain of making a living, some have made fortunes with it. The demand is wide and various. If your taste does not incline to the stage, there is still a large field in the church. All large churches, and many small ones now, have paid choirs. The leading vocalists are commonly well paid. There are a great number of altos and sopranos in New York and Brooklyn, and in the fashionable suburbs, who receive $1,000 a year, or an excess of that sum. And this is an excellent compensation when it is remembered that the singer has nearly all her time in which to pursue some other vocation.
239. PACKING TRUNKSThis is a Paris occupation carried on exclusively by women. You leave your order at the office of the transportation company, and say when you want a professional packer. She comes, and is paid fifty cents, and sometimes $1 an hour for her services. She has genius for folding dresses so that they can be carried all over the world without a wrinkle. She wraps bonnets in tissue paper. She tucks away bric-à-brac in a way that makes breakage impossible. This industry might be introduced profitably into this country.
240. WOMEN COSTUMERSCostumes for the stage are now gotten up mostly by men. A woman of taste and ability could make a success of this business. Many rich ladies would consult them in matters of personal wardrobe.
241. EXPRESS OFFICEA woman can sit in an office as well as a man. One woman in Boston tried it four years ago, beginning in a modest way. Now she has three offices and five teams in constant use.
242. A FANCY BAKERYAn elegant and educated young woman in San Francisco took a dingy, dying little bakeshop, with sickening sights and smells. She put it in order. In two months she had cleared $700, and in four months $1,800. Another woman in Brooklyn has just opened a bakery under very flattering prospects. She works on the plan of exquisite neatness, trimming her windows like those of a fancy goods’ dealer, and wrapping her bread in tissue paper.
243. WOMEN GROCERSThere are not many women in the grocer business, but there is no reason why there should not be. A woman grocer in a Western State who has been established since 1860, has a business worth $80,000 a year.
244. FOOD AND MEDICINE SAMPLESProprietors of patent medicines and foods will give you a large commission to introduce their inventions into homes, and if successful, you will soon be employed at a good salary. These proprietors often pay ladies to introduce samples at country stores. The storekeeper will give you room rent free for a few days, with the understanding that he alone has the sale of the article in the place.
245. SAMPLES IN STORESLadies of tact and good address are receiving fair salaries in the introduction of new articles. Every inventor is anxious to introduce his goods, and every storekeeper is equally desirous to sell. Call upon the proprietor of some new article of household use, secure territory, and then solicit space in a country store. After three or four days in one store you should go to another, or perhaps to the next town. You may have to begin on a commission, but if successful you can soon command a salary.
246. SAMPLES FROM HOUSE TO HOUSEOthers find ample remuneration in introducing new articles from house to house. We know a little lady in Brooklyn who is paid well for giving away samples of a new baby food. This is much more pleasant work than that of importuning people to purchase.
247. THE WOMAN BEAUTIFIERWhatever is of the nature of beauty appeals to the heart of woman. A lady who has the secret of making other women beautiful cannot fail of success. After making a study of your business, advertise that you understand the art of removing moles, wrinkles, warts, wens, birthmarks, tan, freckles, and superfluous hair. If successful in pleasing one or two leaders of fashion, you will have plenty of custom.
248. THE MANICURE PARLORThe manicure business is yearly increasing. For $15 you can learn the business. Implements will cost you $10 more. With the capital of $25 you can begin business, and, if ladylike in appearance and gentle in touch, you can build up a big business in the right neighborhood. Any lady would prefer in this art to patronize one of her own sex. Get out cards and circulars and scatter them freely. There is room for many women to excel in this field. One lady who entered upon this work two years ago says she is on the road to a fortune.
249. THE MASSAGE TREATMENTAnother lady is having great success with the massage treatment. She has now more than seventy regular patrons. This method of cure is easily learned and readily applied. Hardly a lady among your acquaintances is in good health. It is a proverb that no woman is well. A vast proportion of these cases are nervous and will yield to the massage treatment. If you have strong muscles you could readily achieve a large practice by this system, especially in summer resorts and places where invalids flock.
250. ICE CREAM PARLORThis is not new, but possesses possibilities of a good living where the field is not overworked. There are five things necessary to success, and in the following order of importance: An attractive place in a clean, fashionable locality; good and generous plates of cream; unexcelled neatness; polite service; and popular prices. We have known a lady commencing business on these principles to oust quickly an older establishment run on slacker methods.
251. FLOWER PACKETSBuy quantities of flower seeds of all varieties. Put them up in very small envelopes, a few seeds in each one, advertise that you will send samples for a penny a kind, ten for six cents, twenty-five for fifteen cents, fifty for twenty-five cents, etc. A large mail envelope will hold fifty or more of the smaller ones containing seeds.
252. LADY CATERERA woman has a fine chance to succeed as a caterer. Her taste in arranging tables should at least make her hold her own with business rivals of the opposite sex. Mrs. A. B. Marshall, a woman caterer of London, often manages a supper for one hundred guests.
253. DELICACIES FOR INVALIDSThis is a new field which is being worked with much promise. “Mrs. Kate Teachman,” as she is known in the New York _Sun_, is working in this line with great success. She says: “Of course, if you want this sort of thing you must pay for it–sixty-five cents for a pint of broth, seventy-five cents for a pint of puree, sixty-five cents for a half-pint of jelly, twenty-five cents for chopped chicken sandwiches.”
254. INSECT POWDERA California woman who now owns four hundred acres of land has a history that ought to inspire other women with a belief in their ability to get on in the world. In 1861 her husband died, leaving her with a debt of $1,400, three children, and a small farm mortgaged. Within five years she had paid the mortgage by taking boarders, raising chickens, and doing whatever offered. In 1877 she began to raise pyrethrum, the plant from which insect powder is made, some years having one hundred acres planted with it. Now she has from fifty to eighty employees of both sexes, and is said to be worth half a million dollars.
255. RICE CULTIVATORA few years ago a young Iowa girl-squatter, with her sixteen-year-old brother, took up a government claim in Louisiana, and went to planting rice, the first crop of which paid her $1,000. She lives in a three-room cottage, and has a few fruit trees, plenty of good fences, and a sea of waving rice-blades. Her nearest neighbor is another girl-farmer who also settled a government claim, and is bossing an orchard that is giving her a comfortable living.
256. YEAST CAKESHere is what one woman did: Being thrown on her own resources, instead of following the beaten path of custom, she engaged in something novel. She made yeast cakes. Gradually her trade increased until she was obliged to hire help, and in time had to build an addition to the house to provide room for her thriving business. She now makes a good living, finding her work congenial as well as profitable. Here is her recipe: Take one dozen hops and boil two or three hours, remove from the fire and strain through a sieve, adding boiling water until there are three or four quarts of the liquid. Then thicken with canaille until quite stiff; and one-half tablespoonful of ginger and one-quarter cup of molasses; let it stand until cool, add one-half cup of salt yeast, or one cake of lard, and in the morning stir down with a little fine cornmeal. Let it rise again, then mix with cornmeal, roll, and cut with a cutter. This rule makes one hundred cakes. They sell for seventy-five cents per hundred, and retail for one cent apiece.
257. PHYSICAL CULTUREThere are twelve million young women in the United States. The great majority of them have an ailment of some kind; in fact, it is almost impossible to find a perfectly healthy woman. Physical culture will add years to one’s life. An eminent physician has estimated that twenty-four million years, or an average of two years each, can be added to the lives of our young women by simple bodily exercise of one hour each day. Get a book, study a chart, employ a teacher; then, after a thorough course go about among your friends and form a class. Induce your pupils to bring other pupils. Advertise, lecture, give class exhibitions. Charge $5 a quarter for a class of twelve; $4 for one of fifteen; $3 for one of twenty. Mr. John D. Hoover, of Los Angeles, Cal., says: “When I entered a college of oratory, I was almost penniless. I took a special course in physical culture, with a view to teaching that art. It is now eighteen months since I left the college, and during that time I have earned in clear cash from teaching physical culture the sum of $20,960. I have 1,507 pupils. My sister also has been very successful in teaching since she graduated, and has made quite a large sum of money.”
258. HOUSE CLEANINGEnterprising men have taken up the work of house cleaning with considerable success, but the business can be managed better by a woman than by a man. If your patrons are not too many, you can personally superintend the work in each house yourself to the great satisfaction of the lady, who would commonly prefer to have it managed by one of her own sex. If your business increases so as to require your presence in the office, you can send a lady assistant to superintend the work. Have a fixed price per room where there is no extra work, such as painting, kalsomining, and paper hanging. In the latter case it is better to take the work by the job.
259. SELLING OYSTERSHere is the way a woman with five little children gets a living: She hires a boy to open the oysters, which she then puts up in little pint pails and takes from house to house. She has many customers whom she serves regularly on certain days. Sales per week, fifty pints, or twenty-five quarts. Boy’s wages, $1. Net, $3.
260. PIE CARTHear what another woman says: “I have a little pie cart. It is nothing but a pie-crate mounted on wheels. I bake every morning ten pies and in the afternoon I sell them hot from door to door. I make about seven cents on a large pie, and four cents on small one.” Average earnings per day, fifty cents.
261. MEN’S NECK TIESAs every man, at least every well-dressed man, wears a tie, which must be renewed several times a year–white lawns every day–the number in demand is enormous. First learn the business, and then if you can sell them a little under the manufacturers’ price you are sure to dispose of all you can make. One girl earned $12 a week in this way.
262. DANCING TEACHERThe natural grace of women fits them better than men to be teachers of this art, especially to be instructors of young girls. Dancing teachers charge on the average $15 a quarter. There are several very successful lady teachers.
263. HABERDASHERThe selling of small articles of the dress and toilet is profitable if the location is good and the competition not too severe. Where one cannot purchase the articles outright, she can sell on commission. Dealers in small wares of this kind often take in from $12 to $20 a day, of which on the average, one-sixth is profit.
264. LADY ARCHITECTThere is no reason why women should not succeed in this occupation, since it is one in which taste is a chief requisite. Several young lady graduates of college have entered it recently, and with flattering success. Architects charge about three per cent. on contracts.
265. LOST AND FOUND AGENCYIn every large city numbers of articles are lost by the owners and found by others every day. A single New York paper contains daily from ten to twenty advertisements of lost articles. Open a small office, advertise in the “Lost and Found” column of the paper that you will receive any articles that may be found, and charge the owner a small commission. The agency could be carried on in connection with some other light business.