Shopping at home still popular, for good reason
It is a leap of faith, on any terms, to go into business for yourself. Nowadays, of course, more and more people are doing so - from necessity. Independence brings its own demands, such as considerable self discipline, focus and a determination to succeed.
The home party selling scene seems to be thriving in this environment of necessarily self-employed people, as well as those who just want the challenge.
It probably began with the Tupperware parties - which are still being held, so I understand - decades ago. In this changing world it is nice to see the old stand-bys are still valued.
Just in case you do not know exactly how this works, let me explain. A lady invites a number of her friends and acquaintances to her home for tea/wine and goodies for the purpose of giving them the chance to purchase specific products not sold in stores.
These products, which now cover a fairly wide range of categories, are brought along by a person who offers the product and usually something interesting to tell about it.
There are candles, make up, jewellery, home cleaning products, kitchen goods, cooking supplements and many other types of goods available. Each party and each sales person only deals with one product and its variations.
I had the chance this week to chat to two ladies in the business of selling their chosen products at home parties to discuss the different perspectives on this way of selling and meeting people.
Kelly Dash sells "Epicure Selections" which is a line of dried mixed dried herbs and spices. She worked for 10 years in the corporate world for a company in Mississauga.
After giving birth to her second daughter, she decided that she really wanted to stay at home with her children and so, looked for an alternative way to earn some money.
After "a lot of investigating" into the options, she chose Epicure Selections for their product and their way of conducting business. And she has been very happy with her choice.
Ambitious, she has worked to collect a "team" of ladies. After working for 2 1/2 years, Kelly decided to move on to the next level, which entails finding others to train and help to set themselves up, like herself, to sell the collection at home parties which they book and help organise.
Now Kelly has some 25 people on her team. So, she not only does her own home party sales, she also works with her team members to improve their sales numbers, earn more money and have more fun.
"I love to watch them do well and get their independence," she told me with enthusiasm.
Kelly earns a small commission from the sales members of her team, compensation for her time as trainer and support for them.
She said: "I like to lead. I love encouraging them to have their own business."
The herbs and spices that they are selling enrich the flavour of food: used to create dips, salad dressings and sauces. Kelly told me that men sometimes attend the parties because "men love to cook."
It is altogether a winning combination for Kelly: "I get to stay at home and watch my children grow up; there are no fixed hours. I am much happier being my own boss and I party for a living!"
Connie Smith sells the well known Mary Kay line of cosmetics and skin care at parties. She has been doing this for 2 years, starting as a help to her sister.
At first she thought she would just do it to earn free products but when her family felt a financial pinch, she worked harder at it, learned to like it and did well.
As her business has grown, Connie has learned to value the female friends she has met through the business.
"We meet once a week and I so look forward to those meetings," she explained.
Connie really enjoys selling the make-up. "I really like the whole faceto face contact with other women - it's fun."
Speaking of fun, Connie and two of her colleagues - her sister and a friend - hold monthly Ladies' Nights Out at Greystones Restaurant, where a single price of $28 covers an evening meal and a facial makeover at the historical restaurant.
Connie commented, "They are such great evenings - we laugh and have such fun. I love making people laugh.."
You can contact either of these ladies to join in their fun one way or another:
Connie Smith's number is 519-939-8393; e-mail: email@example.com.
Kelly Dash is available on 519-943-1391; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org