A pitch I've heard many times... There are hundreds, probably thousands of 'work from home' companies out there. Recently I've particularly come in contact with the home party/consultant type. I ran into Avon ladies at church growing up. My room mate's friend was a Mary Kay lady my sophomore year of college. I got roped into going to a party lite party by some girls at work. An old friend/mentor approached me about getting into the Arbonne business, and another friend invited me to her CAbi party. Recently I attended a SPA Girl party of another friend. The products are always superior, some times inexpensive, some times not. What is the draw of the party based sales? It all started with Tupperware. Which upon reading up on is quite an interesting tale. A man invented it, and couldn't sell it, until a woman names Brownie Wise came along and figured out that by throwing parties, women would buy it more! Article Here.
But Avon is an even older business. It was founded in 1886, also by a man. He was actually selling books, and gave perfume away as a gimmick. But women became more interested in the perfume then the books! So he switched his market...
Personally I've never really liked Avon too much. It's always seemed aimed at the suburbanite middle aged woman, with tacky jewelry and mediocre perfume. I've never found their products to be of very high quality. More of a door to door and catalog company, rather then party, it still falls into the genre I think.
Mary Kay has always seemed to me to be the primary competitor to Avon. A little more sophisticated, and little 'richer' perhaps. And we can't forget the pink Cadillac! They are a much newer company, started in 1968, and more controversial too, with accusations of Pyramid schemes, and conflicts with PETA and other animal rights groups.
Arbonne is a company I am a consultant for (or was, I haven't paid this year, being a consultant is more like paying discount fee...). Though my activity is strictly limited to myself and my close friends. When I was considering becoming a cosmetologist, I thought it would be a nice compliment for my salon, to offer a line of products. Especially one I could get behind. Arbonne is big about not doing any real advertising to speak of. Their business is spread exclusively through word of mouth. They also are very hypoallergenic (although some people on the interwebz review sites claim otherwise). And they don't do any animal testing or animal additives. The company was started (also by a man) in 1975, it's a Swiss company.
SPA Girl Parties is something I was just introduced too. They seem like a decent company, with decent products, though nothing terribly special. The party I went to was fun and included a mini-pedicure. But the woman running our party lacked confidence (I think she was pretty new to it) so it's hard to say how my impression could have been different from a different consultant.
Moving away from the cosmetic/skin care area Partylite is a candle company I've become a big fan of. Though their candles are paraffin, not soy (I prefer soy). The parties are always fun, and the candles are a decent price. It's the candle holders and other display things that are super pricey (and where the company makes is money I'm sure). At the last partylite party I went to the consultant was totally on me trying to convince me that I wanted to get into the business, she said my personality was perfect for it (much like Vicki, my friend who does Arbonne was saying, only trying to convince me to do Arbonne)
CAbi is clothing, really nice high end clothing. And damn, their are few ways to convince me to spend a lot of money better then at one of these parties. The clothes are amazing, the prices are big, but not quite so spendy as to be more then I can convince myself to spend. The parties are always fab, who doesn't love trying on a bunch of new clothes?
Passion Parties and other 'adult' themed parties sound really fun. I've never been to one so I can't say much more about it, but I think it would be an exciting thing to go to, though I don't know that I could host one myself. I don't know if my friends would come to something like that...
You're probably wondering what this has to do with a wedding? Skin care and cosmetics have plenty to do with weddings, I know people who have spent big bucks to make sure that their skin was clear and zit free for their wedding, in fact we might do something like that for my Mr. if we can find something that works. I've also heard suggestions of Passion parties, or the like as bachelorette parties. Not something I would choose but hey? How about using one of these venues as a way to earn extra money to save for said wedding? I don't think I'll have the time. Part of my reluctance to become a full fledged money making consultant is most of my friends are poorer then I am, they can't afford this stuff!
What other consultant/party based businesses are out there? What are your favorites? Any one planning on integrating something like this into their wedding planning?