You may or may not remember this about me, but back in the day I started selling Pampered Chef products when it occurred to me that I knew more about the products than some of the consultants at shows I was going to. (Really, though, all it takes is for me to attend about two shows, and with the way I retain information, I can easily become the most obnoxious party guest because I know more than the seller does and then it gets all awkward.) I tend to fade into an inactive status rather quickly (who has time to do a show every month?!), but somehow manage to pull off about one show every six months to keep myself from getting booted from the system. (Hey, look, I finally found a way to make my knowledge-retention skill profitable, and what do I do with it? Zip.)
It seems to me that the direct sales/home party business has exploded lately and it's so frustrating for everyone because everyone is hosting shows and asking them to come spend money so they can get some free shit. (I'm guilty of this. I have an unhealthy addiction to Lia Sophia. That's really what I should be selling, truth be told. I could do with some of their benefits and discounts. Not that I need any more jewelry. Because I really don't.) I've never been good at this endeavor because I hate sales. I hate being pushy. (Well, no. I don't mind being pushy, as long as it's for something legit. I feel bad being pushy about kitchen utensils because it really doesn't make me that much extra money and it's not really for any sort of greater good.) Plus, I'm sitting squarely in a demographic that doesn't have a lot of disposable income. (which is why you HOST. so you get FREE STUFF. Honestly, I don't know why it's so hard to book shows because YOU GET FREE STUFF WHEN YOU HOST and everyone wins because the more shit your friends buy, the more free stuff you get and the more commission I make. Nobody wants to commit to it but all you really have to do is email your friends and tell them to come over. And maybe clean your house a little. Easy peasy.) (No, dear local friends, this is not aimed at you, just people in general. Though if you choose to now feel guilty and would like to do a show, I would not be opposed to the idea.)
That said, I'd pretty much given up on this whole thing until about a month ago when a coworker emailed me and asked if I could do a bridal show for another coworker. That's my favorite kind, where someone asks me to do one. It's also my favorite kind of show in the sense that it's a bridal show, because it's guaranteed sales. People will buy something for the bride off her wish list and usually something for themselves while they're at it. So even though I had to fork over some cash to get some supplies and catalogs, I consider it a good investment since bridal shows generally do quite well and I should make it back and then some. This was kind of a godsend given how broke I've been. As little as I make of an average show, it's not usually worth the hassle, but bridal shows are a whole different story. So I was more than happy to do it. Even more so because it was for someone I knew and I like giving my peeps the hookup on their free products. I'm like Oprah. Ish.
I don't want to brag or anything, but the recipes I found and that we subsequently made for the party totally rocked. It was kind of a rushed ordeal and there wasn't a heck of a lot of measuring going on, and I was really worried that everything was going to turn out terribly. Generally speaking, I am a pretty good cook, but I need recipes and directions. I'm not like my grandma; I can't just throw random stuff in or eyeball the measurements and have something turn out delicious and wonderful. I also didn't want to embarrass myself in front of a slew of coworkers by making crappy food for them to eat. (We went ahead and made all the food before the show instead of during, which is a bit of a deviation from a normal show, but whatever. That's what they wanted to do and it was fine by me.)
Much to my relief, everything turned out very well, and I looked like a culinary genius.
I'm now going to redirect you to my dust-covered food blog where I occasionally post recipes, in case you would like to pull some fancypants appetizers to impress people at your next gathering. These are stupidly easy and they look really fancy when you have them all set out on proper serving plates. (You'll have to trust me on this. My food photography skills are shit. At least I took them on a real camera this time instead of on my blackberry.) Everyone will think you are amazing.
Mango Confetti Salsa
Honey-Apple Brie Bites
Also I feel like there is more I want to say on the whole direct-sales thing because I totally have both an insider and outsider perspective and I don't feel like anyone has written too extensively about it, but I'm sleepy and I'm not even sure where to start. Maybe another time.
I'm going to go revel in tonight's successes. And by revel, I mean: go pass out.