Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tom Wat

Does anyone remember the "Tom Wat" kits. You may not believe this, but the company is still thriving and still doing fundraisers, over 50 years. If I recall correctly, we did them in FBLA. We each received a suitcase shaped cardboard box filled with "things". I remember the plastic tote bags adorned with large blue and yellow flowers...kind of a sixties thing. Who knew we sold people bags that they could reuse, and save the trees. There were plastic rain bonnets, collapsible cups, notepads, and some of the tackiest little items. But we sold them. We went door to door, opening the cardboard suitcase each time to let the customers view each and every item. This was to teach us about business. Talking with customers, handling orders, collecting money and finally delivering their orders.

The one thing that I remember is that at the end of the fundraiser, we ordered the extra items that we sold, but filled some of the orders with what was in our cardboard suitcases. I always wondered if the customers knew that their item had been carried around in a box for a month, handled by other people, and given to them as a new item. If they did, I am quite sure they didn't mind one bit. Our parents and our friends didn't buy the items because they needed, or wanted them. They bought them because it was us selling them. Or it was one of our friends selling something. I am sure that every parent, and now grandparent, has a "had to by it" closet or drawer. And we will just keep adding that magnet, decal, or if you are lucky, cookie dough to our collection. Wish I still had one of those bags...they would be back in style.

2 comments:

TAMMY COOK said...

I SOLD TOM WAT FOR MY FHA CLASS. WE USED THE MONEY EACH YEAR FOR AN OVERNIGHT TRIP TO A NEAR BY CITY TO ATTEND A CAREER CONVENTION,THIS WAS BIG TO A SMALL TOWN GIRL WHO CAME FROM A FAMILY OF 9 CHILDREN. I AM NOW A MOTHER OF 3 TRYING TO PARTICIPATE IN AS MANY FUNDRAISERS AS POSSIBLE TO HELP SUPPORT THE SCHOOLS MY CHILDREN ATTEND. I AM SADDEND BY THE ITEMS FOR THESE FUNDRAISERS, I FOR ONE LOVED THE SMALL INEXSPENSIVE ITEMS FOR 10.00 OR LESS, MAGNETIC PHOTO FRAMES FOR THE REFRIGERATOR, THESE WERE FUN ITEMS THAT ALL HOUSEHOLDS COULD AFFORD, SOME MAY CALL THEM "TACKY" LITTLE ITEMS BUT FROM A MOTHER WHO IS CONSTANTLY BOMBARDED WITH FUNDRAISERS, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE SOME OF THOSE CHEAP ITEMS THAT ME AND MY FAMILY ENJOYED AND COULD AFFORD. YES THE NEW CATALOGS LOOK GREAT THEY ARE RIGHT WITH THE COMPETION WITH THE ITEMS BEING SOLD BY OTHER AGENCIES, BUT THATS WHAT SET TOM WAT APPART FROM OTHER FUNDRAISERS I THOUGHT. LOOKING FOR UNUSUAL SMALL FUN THINGS FOR STOCKING STUFFERS JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS, THAT IS THE TOM WAT I WOULD LOVE TO SEE AGAIN. I SOLD TOM WAT IN 1980 THRU 1984 AND EVERY YEAR I COULDNT WAIT TO GET MY SUITCASE!

Linda Gardner said...

I sponsored the fundraising for our Future Business Leaders of America at our high school always selecting Tom Wat Showcases. Our students enjoyed getting the showcases and sold the items for stocking stuffers during the fall.
We used the money to purchase fruit baskets for elderly in need or had lost a spouse and was alone. We purchased gifts for children in need at Christmas. What joy for our students and the people we were able to visit. It brings joy today when thinking of the success we had using the Tom Wat Showcases and being able to help others as Future Business Leaders of Madison High.