Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Everyone likes Candles, right?

Friday, before we went to the coast, I went to a Partylite party at my cousin's house. (If you're not familiar, Partylite is one of those party sales companies where the product is sold from a consultant, via parties, to customers, much like tupperware, CAbi, passionparties etc.) I've used Partylite candles for years, I honestly can't remember how I first go exposed to it. Maybe a friend from work? I've hosted parties myself, gone to friends, worked off and on with several different consultants. The candles are excellent, the candle holders nice enough, the scents are amazing. It's fun, and it's nice to always have some candles on hand. The prices for the candles are reasonable, comprable to what you'd pay for any brand name candle, and you absolutely get your money's worth. The candle holders are hit or miss. Some are priced well, others over priced, some are attractive, some don't appeal to me. But what do you expect?

The reason I bring this up is because every time I go to one of these parties, at least for the last few years, the consultant picks me out as the person they think the can convince (I mean...would be good at...) being a consultant. I even nearly tried it out with Arbonne, mostly because the woman who approached me about it is someone I have a lot of respect for, and I do LOVE make up. Arbonne didn't work out for me. I wasn't very committed to it, I didn't jump in 100%, and the make up is more expensive then most of my friends could afford. Plus, after using the products myself, they didn't seem to be much better then anything else, so they had only their business practices (as far as how the make up was made) going for them.

Well, I spent a fair amount of Friday's party thinking "I could do so much better then this woman". Not that she was bad. She wasn't. But I could do better. And once again, I was the person that she honed in on when it came to the part of the party where she talks about being consultant. Usually I play along and brush it off. But this time it was different, for a few reasons.

Last time, I was in graduate school, aiming for a career where I was confidant I'd find work. I had goals, and a regular job. I was busy as hell, and I loved what I was doing. I was financially stable, even if I was relying on my parents and loans.

Things are different now. I have a Masters degree with no prospect of a full time job. I have tons of free time on my hands. I have no specific career oriented goals as I'm stuck with whatever opportunities arise. I live paycheck to paycheck, supporting my husband (more or less), and I'm STILL relying somewhat on my parents.

So this time, I really thought about it. And I asked real questions, and thought about what it would mean to me.

Basically - There is no start up cost for your display 'kit'. There is a recommendation/expectation that you find 6-10 parties to host the first month. That's the part I'm the most worried about, but after that, you can do as many or as few as you like. Take home pay is 25% of the profit on your shows. Most shows are about $400 they say, although I'm not 100% sure I believe that. There is opportunity for greater income should I decide to join their 'leadership' program, although at this point I don't anticipate that being something I'd be interested in.

So what's holding me back?

Well, I'm afraid that I don't know enough people who would want to host parties.
Luke is suspicious and somewhat dismissive of 'jobs' that aren't part of a formal company. He doesn't approve of busking, he's afraid that all consultant sales programs are pyramid schemes (although in one of his business classes they spent a class period on Partylite so he's actually supportive of their business model), and he's not into spending money.
When I mentioned I'd been to a Partylite party around Luke's parents, they were also dismissive.
I haven't talked to my parents yet, so I don't know what their thoughts would be.
I'm afraid I'll fail.

Reasons to do it?
I could use the money.
I could use the focus, something to be excited about and make goals about.
I could use the non-project/sewing/knitting/SCA stuff to do during the day when I'm just sitting at home on my ass.
It might be fun.

So, reactions? Advice? Thoughts? Has anyone done anything like this before? If I was a consultant, would you host a party?

(And if you think it's a bad idea, I especially want to hear your opinion!)


  1. I think you would do wonderful. You are well organized, a great planner and I would totally support you. You only have to start out with the ones you know, then build from there. And the people that are dismissive about it have either never been to a Partylite party or simply wont be the ones you will waste your time with when you are a consultant. Its about finding people excited about what you have to offer and working together to build a client base.

  2. Thanks, that means a lot. It's nice to hear some feed back that's not super skeptical. You put it that way, and it sounds like an awesome idea.

  3. I think it would be awesome for you! Don't worry about hosting parties, because what is your super power again? You know everyone! And those people know people as well. Stuff like PartyLite are all word of mouth. If you're a good hostess at one party an atendee you may not know may consider using you to hostess a party party of her own.

    I have never been to anything like a PartyLite, Tupperware, or a passion party so I don't know what they're like. But you've always been a gracious and awesome hostess. I'm sure it would be something you would be really amazing at.

    I say go for it. What do you have to lose? What does it matter what others think? You know what's best for you. If you feel stuck where you are and you think something like this could help you feel productive and they you're contributing do it. If it doesn't work out it doesn't work out. No one will think less of you, and if they do they're probably not good people to have around you.

    With that being said I will totally buy candles from you! Do they have the wax tarts? Those are my favorite things ever!

    You have my love and support :)!

  4. Thanks for the encouragement! One distinction I should make is I wouldn't be 'hosting' the parties, I would be the consultant, and other people would host, though I can certainly help folks who aren't necessarily used to hostessing.

    I do think that especially at first, I would give friends the option of being the hostess themselves, but hosting it at my home, since I know a lot of people that don't have the space in their house to have more then a couple people over, and in theory, a party should have about 10 guests.

    I'm definitely leaning towards doing it now. I do kinda want to get my parents opinion though.