And this picture was taken over a year ago, so just imagine another year's worth of discount tights shoved in between those nice and neat rows. But be it my wardrobe or my silly faces, kids love me. I was often told I should be a teacher, but I never agreed. Yes, I am marvelous at getting the noisiest kids to listen but the truth is I couldn't see myself in a classroom. When I became a nanny I realized this was because one of my biggest tools is the world around me. I don't want to be a teacher (although I'm a damn good one, just ask the 3 year old I watch who can now write the whole alphabet in upper AND lower case) I want to be a show-er. I don't want to teach geography, I want roll down some hills. I don't want to teach history, I want to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge!
Speaking of the Brooklyn Bridge (I know, I know, amazing segway), I walked across it on the day I registered Sarah Poppins as a business! Let's see, where did we leave off...
So after the business cards came in the mail, my boyfriend set up a website. Don't ask me how he did it, but he set-up the website through blogspot and he did an amazing job. Seriously, without him I would've had to have hired some sort of graphic designer/website warlock and that's money I don't have. I bought the rights to SarahPoppins.com through godaddy for a little over $12 and Justin worked his magic so when people typed in SarahPoppins.com they would be redirected to the blogspot page. I'm sorry if this sounds all over the place, but I'm terrible with all things internet therefore I claim ignorance.
After my beautiful website went up, I was feeling a little more confident about telling people. One thing I always tell the kids is "If you need help, use your voice." I figured, why not talk about it and see who can help me? This is exactly how I learned about registering a business.
I think the month was November because it was chilly-but-sunny at the park. I was talking to a father friend while the young ones played "baby". This game is ridiculous in the sense that one child lies completely still while the other one runs and fetches a bottle/a new diaper or sings a lullabye. The whole point of going to the park is to get rid of some energy, this game helps them conserve it! But anyway, I told my friend about my idea and he asked me if I had registered my business.
"What do you mean by that?" I asked, trying not to pull out my notebook too eagerly as I rushed to jot down some notes.
"You have to go downtown, near City Hall, and register your business. That way the tax man can't get you." I should tell you now that this father friend I am talking about has an Spanish accent so everything he says sounds that much cooler.
"Good to know!" I thanked him as I jotted down CITY HALL BUSINESS in my notebook.
Later that night I googled (I swear I practically built my business via google) "register your business in NYC" and I came up with this. I think most states have similar requirements, something along the lines of going down to the county clerk office and registering the name of your business. The whole thing costs around $100.
So I printed out the paperwork, filled it out, and the next morning my 3 year-old sidekick and I packed a bag full of snacks and headed downtown. The weather was (again) chilly-but-sunny. I clutched a small bike in one hand and the 3 year old's hand in the other as we emerged from the subway.
**Let's go ahead and call the 3 year old Sophie because I don't feel right using her name without her permission and since it's too hard to explain to her what a blogpost is, I'll just go ahead and change her name.**
Sophie hopped on her bike and we headed for the court house. I am rarely in any government building, I even try and avoid the post office. But I am always terrified of all the security. I'm always afraid that I'm going to be that person who didn't realize they had a giant steak knife in her purse and then the suits would scoop me up and charge me with terrorism or something like that. I nervously held up Sophie's bike as we approached the metal detector.
"Should I put this through the machine?"
A nice security officer smiled and shook his head. He told me I could leave the bike at the front while we went about our business. So Sophie and I made our way through the bustling court house until we made it to the right office. Now, when you register a business there is really only one thing that needs to be approved-your business name. I handed the woman behind the counter my paper work and she looked from the forms back to me.
"Sarah Poppins? Is that like your name?" she asked. "Because your business cannot be your name."
"No," I replied while Sophie rested on my hip so she could see over the counter, "it's not my name."
The woman reached under the counter and came up with a dictionary. She leafed through the P's, presumably looking for the word Poppins.
"It's Poppins, like Mary Poppins." At this point I was very nervous. I had already ordered business cards, built a website, and told everyone I was starting a business called Sarah Poppins, what if I couldn't use that name?
"Oh, no, we can't do that either" the woman replied. "It has to be a real word."
I shifted Sophie from one hip to the other. One thing I've learned is when you are trying to get some sort of service, bring a child. Their cuteness factor exceeds yours and they lighten just about anyone's mood. "It is a real word. Poppins, it means nanny, or really great babysitter."
"I don't know." the lady replied. She smiled at Sophie and Sophie shyly put her head on my shoulder. Just the cuteness I needed. "Well, you'll have to add something to clarify what it is exactly you are."
"I can do that!" I grabbed a pen and jotted --EXPLORDINAIRE. The woman looked at the paper and then to me, then she smiled and stamped the page.
"Pay down there," she said as she waved at Sophie.
After we left, Sophie and I ate snack bars on the steps of the court house. I felt like an episode of Law and Order was on the brink of appearing right before our eyes.
I took this picture
and then we grabbed our stuff and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge for fun. I felt like I was finally starting to take some steps with Sarah Poppins. I may not have gone to school for business, but I was determined to start my own. So start it I must!