Halifax — Mom-preneurs across the Maritime provinces are seeing the trend of home-based businesses slowly switching from multi-level marketing back to a buy-and-sell model.
Kelly Wright, a stay-at-home mom from Halifax, used to run 3 different business empires from her living room.
“I’m a real go-getter,” said Wright. “I could sell ice to an Eskimo, I’m sure of it. I started with Avon, then after achieving Neon Gold status in that, I moved onto bigger things. Next I took on children’s books and toys. I’ll admit I didn’t find my niche market with those products, so I jumped on the Arbonne bandwagon and then my family and I were living the high life — I was an Executive Regional President within hours!”
Wright cites Facebook as an integral factor in her success. “It was so easy to reach a large number of customers through my friends list. I might not actually talk to these individuals on the street, but I sure would add them as a friend for sales pitches.
“I also had great success with disguising social gatherings as a chance to make some income. ‘Come to Harry’s retirement party, but leave with some pea protein shakes! Because really, Samantha, that dress tells me you could lose a few pounds.'”
Wright eventually saw her business dwindle and realized she was going to have to take her sales pitches to the next level. Again Facebook saved her; she began posting pictures of available items in her home and selling them directly to her friends list. Wright has teamed up with her friend Casey Somerville to increase the available inventory; the two women now take turns visiting each other’s homes and posting items that they no longer use for slightly more than reasonable costs.
Wright’s husband Darryll supports the change in business focus. “I mean, it’s great for me — no childcare costs as Kelly never leaves the house. People stop by at all hours of the day and night with cash in hand. My only complaint is that I can’t seem to find my damn pants, and I’m fairly sure that I saw the neighbour wearing them!”
Somerville said that thanks to her friend’s business smarts, she has been able to quit her job as a dentist, because the tax-free income she’s making is far more than she could dream of as a mere medical professional.
“I just wander from room to room and snap pictures with my phone!” Somerville exclaimed. “It’s amazing what people will buy if they think they’re getting a deal; after all, one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Lately the market for partly used shower gels has been booming!”
When asked how the partners will keep their inventory stocked, Wright said that after they have emptied both of their households they will simply buy bags of used clothing from Frenchy’s and sell each item individually at inflated prices.
“I feel a little bit bad taking advantage of people like that, but whatever… I’m a trailblazer and this will get us that Hawaiian cruise we have been dreaming of!”