My mom sold Avon in the late sixties and early seventies. I’m not sure she made any money at it but if anyone is interested she has boxes of soap-on-a-rope that looks like Tweety Bird she’s willing to unload.
I remember going to a lot of parties. PartyLite, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, and Cookie Lee jewelry. My mom bought Tupperware from a home party and make up from Mary Kay. I think these home based businesses were The Thing back in the fifties, sixties, maybe the seventies as women needed and wanted something to do besides having dinner on the table by five and vacuuming in heels. Women craved connections with other women and who doesn’t love new lipstick? And the home based parties were introduced and spread across suburbia ever since.
Back in the late 90s I fell into the trap.
I remember how it all started too. I was watching the Rosie O’Donnell show (hey, don’t judge) and she talked about how she scrapbooked a page in both her kids (she had only two at the time) scrapbooks every night. I thought, wow, I have two kids so surely I could do that too.
That weekend I set out in search of whatever scrapbooking supplies I could find. And I ran into a Creative Memories consultant at the local Costco.
I not only bought a car payment-worth amount of supplies but I signed right up to be a consultant.
I didn’t make a dime.
But I sure spent a pretty penny each and every month until I gave it up when I was pregnant three years later with my third child.
I learned something valuable about my experience with Creative Memories: I AM NOT CUT OUT FOR (HOME) SALES.
More importantly, I was not cut out to talk about my business everywhere I went and to (dear lord, hold me) set up the now-dreaded “home party”.
Of course, for Creative Memories (in case you never went to one) it meant charging the, ahem, party goers $10 (they got scissors) just to attend – which was the one part of the whole deal I was the most uncomfortable about. Also difficult with Creative Memories was the notion that I was selling someone a new hobby and asking them to squeeze this very important task of preserving your family’s memories into their already bulging schedule.
Here, buy some candles and make your house smell good. That’s easy. Here, buy a new tube of lipstick and you will feel great. Again, easy peasy. Here, everyone needs new Tupperware! But ask someone to take up something that required an additional item to be added to their to-do list wasn’t super easy.
And I sucked at convincing people that scrapbooking was the best. thing. ever.
However, there was something good to come out of my stint pimping adhesive and colorful albums: I realized that the home based business profile was NOT FOR ME. Period.
I don’t want to talk to everyone I meet about this awesome new scrapbooking company where you too could preserve those precious photos of little Sammy in the bathtub for millions and millions of years – all you gotta do is attend a party, host a party, contact all your friends, and take up a new hobby. Oh, and everyone has to pay $10 to attend. And I hated talking about becoming a consultant and down-lines and up-lines and how much everyone could make and then let’s have meetings to discuss how to get more people into the
net circle. Yuck.
I hated scheduling those parties and I hated doing those parties and I hated how I sounded talking about the parties and the business and it all felt – I don’t know, fake.
I have a friend who recently began selling an awesome line of skincare from Rodan + Fields and I’m super happy that she has found something that gives her life meaning and a purpose and she is a great salesperson and I love being a customer – but to jump on board – despite how many awesome trips one can earn and the potential for a shiny new Lexus just isn’t enough for me to step out of my skin (no pun intended) and climb aboard the train to Home Based Businesses.
I mean, if that is your bag – more power to you – that’s great. If you love having parties with your friends friends and you don’t mind pushing the business on Facebook and in the grocery store and offering discounts if you buy X amount of product during the month of July – awesome.
For me, I would rather rinse out my old Cool Whip tubs and buy my lipstick from Walgreens, thankyouverymuch.
What do you think? Have the home based businesses and ALL those
dreadful home parties finally run its course? Does anyone even like going to those parties anymore? And do you feel all funny inside too at the thought of pimping selling your notions and potions via a home based business as one of their “consultants”?