Once you speak to a direct sales consultant for Avon, Mary Kay, Paparazzi Accessories and The Pampered Chef, you know they love what they do.
That enjoyment comes from believing in the product they sell.
Karen Murray, The Pampered Chef independent consultant, has been working direct sales for almost six years. Murray, a Jamestown resident, said she enjoys selling The Pampered Chef items because she likes the product. The Pampered Chef is a global company that offers a line of kitchen tools, products and cookbooks for preparing food in the home. It has a worldwide direct sales force of more than 60,000.
Cooking items people can purchase from The Pampered Chef are shown above. The Pampered Chef is one of several direct sales companies with representatives available in the area.
P-J photos by Dennis Phillips
"I enjoy spending time with my fellow consultants, too," she said. "I've made a lot of friends. We've traveled together, and have gotten closer. Also, I guess I enjoy the extra cash I make on the side."
Murray's full-time job is being a nurse, which she has done for 30 years. She said becoming a direct sales consultant was a new challenge.
"To get in front of people to speak, it was a challenge. A personal challenge I wanted to do," she said.
Murray said it was easy to start selling The Pampered Chef merchandise. She had hosted a few parties before becoming a consultant and enjoyed the atmosphere.
"You start by asking people to host parties for you, and you go from there," she said. "I've gained a lot of friendships, and I think that is the best part."
Kris Paterniti of Jamestown has been a Mary Kay consultant for more then three years. She became involved when her family needed an additional direct sales consultant.
"They came to me and asked if I would consider this. I wasn't sure I wanted to do it. I was cleaning houses at the time," she said. "I told them I'll try it for a year, and now it has been three-and-half (years)."
Mary Kay is a privately owned direct sales company that sells cosmetics products directly to consumers. Mary Kay was the sixth largest direct selling company in the world in 2011, with net sales of $2.9 billion.
"It is a phenomenal business to be in," Paterniti said. "I'm working around my family's schedule. I work as much or as little as I want. The product is awesome, so it is not hard to sell."
Paterniti said she decided to start selling Mary Kay products because she felt it would improve her health compared to her previous job.
"I had been a stay-at-home-mom until about five years ago when I started cleaning houses. I'm in my late 40s, so cleaning houses was a more strenuous activity then what I wanted to do," she said. "I wasn't looking for another job until this opportunity came around. I now make more money in one party than I was in one week of cleaning houses."
Paterniti said selling Mary Kay items fits easily into her life.
"I do it around my kids schedule. I have one in high school and one in middle school," she said.
Along with the money she makes from selling Mary Kay, Paterniti said she enjoys time with other women.
"Getting to know my customers and taking care of their needs," she said. "It is a lot of fun to get to know the people. It is in a group setting, so that is perfect. I used to be very shy, and this has brought me huge confidence."
Paterniti said working for Mary Kay is an enjoyable experience.
"If you have a problem, the company is right there for you," she said. "We have scripts we use, they become your own words. So it is very easy to sell the product. The product sells itself."
Lorena Smith of Jamestown has been selling Avon products for 13 years. She said she started because it is sort of a family tradition.
"My mother used to sell it, and my grandmother did too," she said. "It gets stuck to you and gets under your skin. So it is something you do when you get older."
Avon is an international manufacturer and distributor of beauty, household and personal care products, which are sold through representatives in more than 140 countries across the world. As of 2010, Avon had annual sales of $10.8 billion worldwide.
Smith said she also wanted to sell Avon because of the charitable work it does.
"Avon's breast cancer awareness really drew me in. They do so much to help the community," she said being a breast cancer survivor for 17 years. "So between being able to tell people my story about what happened to me with breast cancer, and how much Avon supports the cause, it was just a good fit."
Tammie Donato of Jamestown said she started selling Avon products three years ago because she wanted to meet new people.
"It is an opportunity to expand my world," she said. "My 9-to-5 job keeps me locked into the same people, so this allowed me to expand my social network a lot."
Donato's career job is being a property manager for senior housing. She started her part-time job because it was an inexpensive way to start a new career.
"For $10 I started my own business for Avon, which is extremely affordable for everyone," she said.
Donato said people are welcome to call her at 664-9482 for more information on the Avon products she sells.
Carolyn Bennett of Jamestown is a consultant for Paparazzi Accessories, which is a jewelry product company with all items costing $5 apiece.
"I saw a display of Paparazzi at a woman's expo. I immediately fell in love with the jewelry," she said. "When I found out that everything was only $5, I knew it was a business I wanted to join. I have been involved with direct sales in the past, with the biggest complaint being that the items were too expensive. I knew selling trendy, fun, fashionable jewelry, along with the $5 price point, this business would be a success."
She said the parties where she sells the affordable jewelry is what she enjoys most.
"Every Paparazzi party is like having a girls night out. It is an opportunity for me to meet wonderful ladies while I help my hostess earn free products. Getting paid to party is awesome," she said. "It is very easy to start a Paparazzi business. They offer different kits to choose from. Once a new consultant receives her kit, she usually hosts an open house. The product sells itself. There are many times I sell the necklace right off my neck at my parties. Being cash-and-carry, it is a huge bonus to the hostess and guests."