Why I’m hosting a home party for HER

I haven’t officially hosted a home party in over three years since I had a Thirty-One show for my friend and cohort, Jen.

As a supporter of women and a HUGE fan of direct sales, I frequently shop from my friends who have home-based businesses. I have a LOT of women in my circle of influence who would looooove for me to host a home party for them.

This Friday, I am–for my friend Shannan, of Origami Owl Custom Jewelry (click the link to visit her website).

It falls during Spring Break so I’m making it a “bring your kids and come eat, drink, hang out, make some origami crafts, meet new women, have fun aaannnddd look at Origami Owl jewelry” kind of event.

crafty spring origami owl party fantabulouswomen

Origami, color, jewelry and more!

Their Spring line is utterly amazing. 

fantabulouswomen.com hosting a home party origami owl

Origami Owl Sprig 2014

Some of my friends are coming to “get their craft on,” some are coming just to hang out and some are coming for the Origami Owl jewelry bar.

So WHY am I hosting?

There is only one REAL reason I am hosting FOR Shannan IN March….

I want the hostess special.

FanTABulouswomen.com why I am hosting for HER origami owl party

I need this.

Isn’t it to die for??

It’s turquoise, my signature color. It’s fabulous and it has to be mine.

Shannan knew I’d love it so she brought it along when we had coffee together a few months ago. I immediately said, “Oh, I’m hosting a jewelry bar, then. I must have it.”

I’m just like every other woman you meet–I have one question on my mind: “What’s in it for me?”

I’m glad Shannan will meet some new friends and customers. I’m glad my ladies will have the opportunity to purchase Origami Owl jewelry to help them tell their story. But ultimately I’m hosting because I want that bracelet.

Never forget that, ladies–when it comes to hosting an event or selling a product or service, every woman is wondering, “What’s in it for me?”

Give a woman enough of an incentive and you can get her to do almost anything.

By the way…to entice ladies to attend, I’m remembering the “What is it for me?” concept and offering them snacks (see below), drinks, origami tutorials and prizes along with the chance to experience an Origami Owl jewelry bar.

direct sales fantabulouswomen.com whats in it for me

 

I know my friends are only coming for what’s in it for THEM, too.

STAY TUNED for more direct sales tips in a post soon called “Finding enthusiastic hostesses.”

Do YOU host home parties?

Why or why not? Comment here or hop on over to the Facebook page to keep the conversation going.

 

Crafty Spring Origami Owl Day

Spring is coming, spring is coming!! 

I want to make bright ribbon streamers and dance barefoot through the streets shouting “Spring is coming!!”

I love spring.

So I’m hosting a shin-dig!

It’s my “Crafty Spring Origami Owl Day.”

It’s basically all of my favorite things rolled into one afternoon: friends, refreshments, crafting, origami, spring and Origami Owl jewelry. Yippee!!

crafty spring origami owl party fantabulouswomen

It’s Friday, March 14th at 3:00pm at my house.

We will be

  • having “girl time” in my home studio/craft room
  • making origami goodies like dresses and envelopes–yes, you will leave with finished creations! (doing origami is so relaxing!)
  • enjoying yummy food and drink
  • looking at the HOT spring colors for 2014
  • checking out my friend Shannan’s Origami Owl jewelry (side note: Shannan is such an amazing designer and team leader for Origami Owl–come learn some of her secrets!)
crafty spring origami owl party fantabulouswomen dresses

We will be making dresses like these!

You can check it out on Shannan’s Origami Owl website here.

You can also follow Origami Owl on Instagram and on Pinterest.

I have a few things on my Origami Owl Love Pinterest board, too.

Let me know if you want a catalog, too.

If you’ve never been to an Origami Owl jewelry bar, they’re so much fun! These “living lockets” make a wonderful gift for you to give yourself or give to a loved one. What a wonderful way to tell your story! They’re also perfect for Mother’s Day, which is coming up soon!

Of course there will be prizes, too!!

crafty spring origami owl party fantabulouswomen

Cute journals I’m giving away!

This event falls during our Spring Break so, yes, kids ARE welcome to come along and play in our playroom or back yard. My house is not baby-proofed, but it IS kid-friendly!

Moms, daughters and friends are welcome, too!

So meet some new ladies and “get your craft on!”

crafty spring origami owl party fantabulouswomen

Papers we’ll be using.

Event details are on the Facebook event page. Seating is limited to 12 so your RSVP is appreciated.

Creative Connections event was a blast!

If you’re the “self-employed woman entrepreneur” type, there is someone you need to meet.

Here’s the story. Fellow writer and my dear friend Anne of McAuley Freelance Writing had been talking about someone called “Coach Erin” for a while. I eventually looked her up on Facebook, then Instagram and quickly realized that Erin is “my people.”

When I heard about her upcoming Quarterly Creative Connections event on February 20th, I knew I HAD to go.

creative-connections-new-logo-with-vision-explanation

From Erin’s website

 

The description (from EcoachErin.com) says it is “about making connections and getting inspired.  Each event focuses on you getting to know the other women in attendance on a personal and professional level, connecting with those you can create collaborative marketing and joint ventures with, sharing referrals and inspiring you to create more momentum in your business.”

It was that and so much more! Erin’s activities and exercises were fun, thought-provoking and effective and she even offered a small dose of “coaching” along the way! I learned new things about myself, got to know the women in the room in  a new and unique way and truly enjoyed my time there. It was refreshing and inspiring!

One of the activities involved creating a “billboard” for what we do in our business–this is Anne and me sporting ours!

creative connections February event ecoacherin fantabulouswomen.com

Rather than giving a commercial, we had to silently move around the room and let the other ladies read our billboards–it was a hoot! (I told you it was fun and unique!)

I can’t say enough good things about Erin and this event and I am already looking forward to the next one! 

Find out more about the event here. The next one is Thursday, May 22 and I’ve love to see you there!

Erin is adorable, delightful and knows her stuff! I am so glad she is a part of my world. I hope you’ll find her on her website, on Facebook or on Pinterest and PLEASE tell her that Tabitha sent you!

P.S. I have a phone call schedule with Erin tomorrow and hopefully a forth-coming coaching session–I’ll keep you posted!

The #1 Secret to How I Built a Business I Love In Two Years

Two years ago, I came home to the east valley of Phoenix when our little family packed up and moved into my parents’ neighborhood in Chandler, Arizona.

When we relocated, our mortgage payment increased along with our our living expenses. Our sons were ages two and five and quite independent.

My husband affirmed what I had been thinking: It was time for me to find a job.

I had been “working” from home since my first son was six months old, but mostly dabbling in various direct sales companies and even running an Etsy shop for a couple of years.

It was time to get real.

But…I didn’t want to get a “real job” in an office or in a retail store. Having one son still at home during the day, I determined in my heart to become a work-at-home mom. I wanted to create a small business all my own and work from home so I could earn money to help our family while also parenting our sons, managing our home and volunteering within the community…and enjoy every aspect of it.

So I set out to build a business for myself. Boy, oh boy, has it been a journey! 

I am being absolutely vulnerable and authentic when I tell you that only in the last two months or so have I moved past being a “hobbyist” to actually turning a profit.

But I did it all in two years and with virtually zero capital (along with a very supportive and understanding husband by my side and a LOT of help from my parents, friends, extended family and cohorts).

In a way, I wish I had started sooner or could have sped up the process…but looking back, each obstacle, phase and success was another perfectly timed and vitally important step of my journey. I can honestly say that I have no regrets. 

Whether you think building a profitable home-based small business from scratch in two years is impressive or pathetic, if you’re still reading, I bet you’re wondering how I did it.

What’s the secret, you ask? I can summarize it in one word: networking.

 

Anyone who works as their own boss or works on commission knows about the power of networking.

There is a lot of power in the use of marketing and sales strategies, social media, honing your skills, personal development and the myriad of other areas of growth for a young small business—but networking is the one that fuels and propels them all.

See these business cards? They are just a small sampling of the cards I amassed over the last two years.

fantabulous women networking

I didn’t, however, merely go from meeting to meeting collecting cards! These cards represent hundreds of connections, contacts and resources shared. Many of these cards belong to people that I now call “friend!”

In my opinion, networking is a key component of any small business’s success. It took me two years to build my network to the point that it buoyed a profitable small business.

 

Yes, I’ll be writing more about this topic in the weeks to come and revealing the actual secrets to effective networking. I have a lot to say on this topic! Stay tuned!

What about you? Are you a master networker, a newbie or something in between? What do you want to know?

 

Tips for New Direct Sales Reps

I have loved the direct sales industry since attending Tupperware and Mary Kay home parties with my mom back in the 1980s.

I loved eating the snacks, seeing the products, hearing the consultant’s presentation, playing the games and helping my mom fill out her order form.

fantabulous women direct sales tips

I have always been involved in at least one direct sales company for about ten years now and have hosted countless home parties for my friends and family.

I’m something of a direct sales addict. 

In fact, just this month, I became a Senior Consultant with Mary Kay when I added my very first active team member!

In advising her, I got to thinking about what I’ve learned over the years and I thought I’d share it here in case it can help someone who’s just getting started, or maybe give you a new idea if you’re an old pro.

Tab’s Ten Tips for New Direct Sales Consultants

1. Determine your target customer.

Who is she? What is her age group? What phase of life is she in? What are her hobbies and interests? Where does she hang out? What does she value? What are her spending habits?

While you can’t sell to your target customer exclusively, knowing who she is will help you narrow your focus and became an expert at finding her and servicing her needs.

2. Use your catalogs.

Keep one catalog for yourself to make notes on product information and questions people ask.

Give out catalogs freely. Treat them like business cards! You can even provide people with sticky notes so they can mark the items they want to buy. Tell them “If there are more than five, you should host a party!”

Ask a few friends and family members to mark their favorite items to give you an idea of what will be popular so you can educate yourself on those first.

Ask a friend who is also in direct sales if she would give out your catalogs when she delivers orders to her customers–and do the same for her. That’s great cross-promotion!

3. Have a launch party.

Make yourself the hostess so you can reap the hostess rewards to build your collection of samples or inventory.

Invite people personally, whether over the phone or in person. Emails, Facebook event requests and e-vites don’t mean as much as hearing your voice does.

Offer incentives to them when they bring a friend.

Keep the food and drinks simple so the focus stays on the products you’re selling. And eat first so they don’t think about the food during the entire presentation!

Have door prizes and multiple ways to earn entries. People love winning prizes, even if they just cost you $1.

4. Always tell your story about WHY you chose the company you are with and what your goals are.

People will connect to your story and want to help you accomplish your goals. It could also help you attract a new team member!

5. Showcase YOUR favorite products.

People will love what you love! Plus you’ll know all about them and can answer questions people have about them.

6. Remember that YOU are your best advertisement!

Wear your company logo shirts and your name tag.

Use or wear your products as much as possible or carry a bag with clear pockets so you can insert pictures of your products. Be prepared to give your “elevator pitch” when people inquire! (P.S. If you need help with your “elevator pitch,” contact me for a consultation!)

Give your products as gifts.

Hand out samples as much as possible.

7. Find “power partners” with compatible businesses (or people who work with or for your target customer).

These are people who will refer new customers to you and vice versa. This is how you build your customer base beyond your warm market.

8. Embrace the power of social media…but establish boundaries.

Social media is important for communicating with people, offering promotions and keeping your business “top of mind” for your customers…but don’t let it take over your life. Set time limits and eliminate lengthy back-and-forth exchanges with a phone call.

9. Keep it FUN!

Don’t get so caught up in SELLING that for lose your sense of fun in the process. Remember, people are drawn to YOU first, THEN to your products.

10. Lastly, be tenacious and keep at it.

Direct sales consultants are notorious for giving up within the first year, just about the time that business would have really picked up if they had just stuck to it. It takes time for people to be sold on what you do and for you to build your business.

Outlast the competition! Remember why you got started in the first place and never lose your passion.

There is plenty of business for you out there–you just have to go get it!

Do you have questions about direct sales success? Fire away and I will do my best to answer!

Tips for Vendor Events and FREE Checklist

Tabitha Tips for Maximizing Vendor Events. Elevate Your Image. Expand Your Influence.

I love direct sales, I love shopping, I love discovering new women-owned businesses and I loooove vendor events!

I’ve attended plenty and have participated in too many to keep count. Here are some of my hard-won lessons about making the most of participating in vendor events.

1. Stand at your booth or table. This makes your table more approachable and encourages interaction with your customers. You want them to feel comfortable perusing your goodies and asking questions. If you feel awkward, straighten or rearrange items.

Fantabulous Women vendor event tips stand up made in lowell

Image from “Made in Lowell”

2. Make sure your display is interactive, and have plenty of samples. If you sell something wearable, let women try it on.

fantabulouswomen.com vendor tips

fantabulouswomen vendor event tips let them try it on

At my vendor event, October 2006.

3. Offer a giveaway or raffle prize to collect your prospects’ name, phone number and e-mail so they don’t just walk off with your catalog and disappear into oblivion.

fantabulouswomen.com vendors tips raffle prize

4. Make the most of your space. Put products at various heights to add interest, prominently display your company name or logo, have catalogs available and keep it attractive and color-coordinated.

fantabulouswomen.com vendor tips attractive displays

Photo from Team Guazzo

fantabulouswomen vendor tips various heights

Photo by Alex Holloway

5. HAVE FUN! When you are excited about the event and what you’re promoting, your customers will be, too!

Download my vendor checklist!

Download my Vendor Checklist!

What questions do you have about maximizing your participation in a vendor event? I’ll be happy to answer them!

Copyright Tabitha Dumas, online and in-persona image consultant Gilbert Chandler, Arizona. All right reserved.