Sunday, December 26, 2010

Here We Go Again...

Remember my last post on people contacting me about my direct sales "business"?  Just got another one:

Good Morning!

Its Dumbarse* from Tampa, FL and I was looking into Creative Memories and I found your information. Is Creative Memories a good company? How is Creative Memories working for you?


* Name changed to protect the stupid. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don't Go Away Mad...Just Go Away

An Open Letter to People Who Spam My Email Using this Site:

Yes, I have a gmail address on my main page for people to contact me.  It is used mainly by people who ask me questions about the site, and people who are sending in funny home party stories.  I do realize that this leaves me open to receiving all sorts of crazy shit.

However, I do NOT want to hear about your "Wonderful Business Flopportunity."  If you had actually READ any of my posts, or read my "About Me" page, you'd probably see that I am not involved in ANY direct sales business anymore. 

I do not want to join your company where you claim I will earn $10,000 a month.  I also do NOT want to buy tapes for your "business" that will ensure I make $10,000 a month on my direct sales business.

For the record, the top 3 offenders have been:
Mary Kay (no surprise there)

So in closing: if you have a great "Flopportunity" for me: Don't go away mad...just go away! 

- Calamity Queen

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Southern Living at Home is now Willow House

Hello, fellow Calamity followers.  I've had a very difficult few months and let the blog lapse.  However, I'm BACK and have several news stories to share with you. 

I'm still looking for funny/strange home party stories, so feel free to send those in! 

Has anyone heard about this news? The home party company Southern Living at Home has now been changed to Willow House. It was sold to Entertaining at Home.

Southern Living at home was one of the home party businesses that I half-heartedly attempted for a couple of years. I loved their products, but up here in the Northeast, the Southern Living "brand" isn't as well known. Their catalog had beautiful things...I'd show it to people and for some reason, they'd say "Wow, what a beautiful catalog!" And then they'd invariably say "But none of this stuff would go in my house."

Anyone a Southern Living at Home/Willow House consultant? Any thoughts?  

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm Back Into my Facebook Page

Some new posts coming real soon, I've made a list of things to talk about! I've run across some interesting direct sales news lately.

Back soon, Calamity Queen

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Having Trouble with my Facebook Page

Hello everyone,

I'm having a lot of trouble logging on to my Consultant Calamities Facebook page. It's been aggravating, but I'm hoping to figure it out this week. I tried to reset the password, but I'm still having trouble getting into the page to make updates.

Thank you for your patience, especially if you find out about new posts via my Facebook page.

However, my Consultant Calamities Twitter page is working. You can sign up there for updates as well.

- The Calamity Queen

Avon Acquires Silpada Designs for $650 Million

Silpada Designs, a sterling silver jewelry Home Party company, has been purchased by Avon for $650 million.

Here's an article about the purchase. Nearly twenty years ago, friends Bonnie Kelly and Teresa Walsh started a small home business helping people put together outfits from their closets. They then started selling costume jewelry, and eventually moved to sterling silver jewelry.

Silpada Designs is one of the Home Parties that I worked for. I have to say, the parties were easy for a Consultant, and I made a surprising amount of money with the parties. Their jewelry is striking, and I still get comments when I wear some of the jewelry that I kept.

As a rule, I am not a fan of Home Party businesses. I don't think that it's a very good business model. However, I will admit that I had the most fun being a Consultant for Silpada Designs. It was fairly easy and profitable, compared to the two other businesses I tried (Creative Memories and Southern Living at Home).

Apparently, Avon plans to keep the Silpada line separate, and let it operate as usual. Silpada's jewlery costs from $12 to $279. Avon does sell costume jewlery, but at a much lower price point (mostly under $25).

Who knew that Avon was doing so well? Apparently, Avon has over $10 billion in annual revenue. I recently saw an Avon catalog. Their items have really changed over the years.

Do any of you work for Silpada or Avon? What do you think about this?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Those Pans Must be Made of Gold

I went to a Lifetime Cookware party. If you haven't heard of them, you go and they cook you supper. We had salmon, steak, chicken breast, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and pineapple upside down cake. Very delicious. Then today, the wife of the couple that did the cooking came over to try and sell me these pans. I had talked to my husband and we had agreed upon getting two pans. He couldn't be here right away so I sat and listened to her spiel.

The highest set which included everything in the line was over $13,000 but I could get it for $10,000 something. The next line under was $6000 something, and the bottom was $4000. With any of the sets you could get four free items. Two were specials and two I could choose whatever I wanted. Very nice stuff. Each line had monthly payments you could make.

I knew hubby wasn't even going to let me have the bottom line for $4000. It would have been around $200 a month for 2 years. When we went to discuss it, he said "Either you can spend $4000 on pans, or you can take that money and we can finish the porch you've wanted and do the patio in the back yard. You decide."

I went back upstairs and told her I would take the electric skillet only. Which, by the way, was over $700. When I told her this, she looked at me and asked me what was going to change with my money between now and the time I had a party. I told her nothing, unless my husband just up and changed his mind. I told her what he said about the porch, and told her what my choice was. She looked at me and told me I would get nothing from my porch, but the pans would give me better health and pay for themselves, blah blah blah. I was floored. She definitely wasn't happy with me.

I had to have three parties to get cookware. The lady whose house she went to after mine is widowed and she has a very small income. There is no way she could afford anything at all. I almost felt like I should call her and warn her about the price.

I know these people are selling this stuff, but they really shouldn't act like the world is ending if you refuse to buy everything. Goodness, I just spent $800 on an electric skillet for crying out loud. Who in their right mind would do that? I have no idea, but I just did.

Well, I called the lady that had the party I went to, and asked her if she got anything if I had a party and she said no. I also told her I can buy the same pan on ebay for $150 so she is going to look there also. Hee Hee.

So, I called the sales lady back and told her I wanted to cancel my order and also the parties. I told her about ebay and of course she told me a pan from ebay will not have any warranty. I don't care. I also told her that I wanted to cancel my parties because I couldn't in good conscience let her go into other peoples’ homes and try to get them to buy these pans. She asked if I felt pressured, and I told her what she said about my porch. For some reason, after that the line went dead...

I feel so much better now. It feels like a load has been lifted off of me. And every time I go out and sit on my porch, I will totally enjoy myself without the guilt.

K.K., Illinois

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Finally - A Home Party for a Great Cause

I recently read in Redbook magazine about woman named Sarah Symons from Massachusetts. She started a nonprofit organization called The Emancipation Network. You can click on the Made By Survivors site for more information.

The organization helps rescue women and girls from sexual slavery. After visiting a shelter for rescued girls in Nepal, she purchased some hand crafted items that the girls had made, and brought the items back to the United States. She threw a "Shop for Freedom" party. Women at the party bought the crafts, and hosted more parties. The profits were sent back to Nepal.

You can also purchase items directly on the site, or host a party. I'm wondering how much of the money goes to Consultants and Hosts, and how much goes back to the organization.

Any thoughts? I'd be more likely to host a party for a cause like this; although I would like to know what percentage is sent back to the girls and women.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Consultant Calamities is on Twitter

You can now follow Consultant Calamities on Twitter! I'll be making Twitter updates when I have a new story or new info.

Remember to send in any funny stories that you'd like to share to:

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Mary Kay House

How would you like to go in together and buy a house with your Mary Kay "sister" Consultants? These ladies did just that. Here is a link to the pictures of the house on a Facebook page (which, for now, is still public):

Scary Kay House

How do you like the "shrine" to Mary Kay above the fireplace? Cuh-reeeeepy.

I also sent this information to the fabulous site Pink Truth, where the site owner posted the photos and her thoughts on the house. I've been meaning to post it on here, as well. I wonder if the Consultants are still each able to pay for the their share of the house.
This is a bad idea on so many levels.

Can you imagine having the responsibility to pay a portion of mortgage and taxes on a house, with your fellow Home Party Consultants? If you've ever been a Consultant for any Home Party, you know how difficult it is to make a consistent amount of money every month. At times, it's difficult to make any money at all. Some of the MK Consultants are Directors, but that is a tough position to hold, and many lose their Directorship in a short period of time.
What will they do if a few of them default on payments? The others will have to make larger payments, or they will eventually have to sell the house.

Plus, who's job will it be to clean the toilets? That's what *I* want to know!

*Thanks to a friend for finding the Mary Kay house online and sending it to me!*

Monday, May 17, 2010

Raise Your Hand if You've Ever had this Happen Before...

I'm so glad to finally have a funny story to share!!

I'm a Scentsy (wickless candle) consultant. One day, I got a call from a lady who bought some of our warmers overseas, and needed some new wax. She heard about me through the neighborhood grapevine, and asked if she could come take a look (sniff) at the scents that I had in stock. I gladly invited her over.

The day she came over, I had everything set up at my kitchen table for her to try them all and see which ones she liked. Half-way through our conversation, she asks me how I like being a Scentsy consultant. I tell her that it's a lot of fun, and that's mostly why I do it. I still have a full-time job, and I just do Scentsy on the side. She goes on to tell me that she wants to tell me about her business, and she says that if I "love money," I'm going to love what she has to offer.

As she begins telling me about her company's line of "shapewear" that is supposed to instantly take you down 3 sizes, I begin to wonder if she really did come here for Scentsy at all. She's got her own sales pitch down pat, and she's going a mile a minute. I should note that this lady is black, because after she has just about wrapped up her spiel, she looks at me and says, "I'ma be honest witcha. I need a white girl." Not only did she want to try and sell me one, she wanted me to become a consultant under her and have me tell all the other white girls I knew, because she wasn't having enough success "breaking into the white market." She then proceeds to pull a garment out of her purse and say, "So can I put you in one?"

Thankfully, I come up with a great, and completely honest, excuse. I had a kidney transplant, and I can't wear something that will constrict my torso so much. I barely refrain from using the word "violently." Honest, from the pictures she's showing me, it really does look violent, what that piece of clothing is doing to those women. It's almost like corseting, and they do promise to permanently decrease the size of your mid section over time. I probably could use a little help in that area, to be honest, but I don't want it that badly!

So, I politely decline, but assure her that if I hear of anybody interested in something like that, I'll definitely refer them to her. Again she says, "Anybody who loves money will want to do this, because I do very well!" Yeah, right. She completes her purchase of a few Scentsy Bars, and leaves, visibly upset. I wonder to myself if she thinks I'm lying. I could have lifted my shirt and displayed the 12" scar across my stomach, but I thought the whole thing was just so funny and insane that I didn't even care if she did think I was lying.

If anything, I learned a great way to NOT get people interested in my business!

- A.D., Louisiana

Monday, May 3, 2010

Something Stinks in Here

I never thought I'd see this day, but now there are DIAPER Home Parties.

Wooo hooo, just what *I* want to do as a mom on a fun girl's night out: talk about diapers! How would you like to host a Home Party where you and your friends look at and touch assorted cloth diapers, diaper wraps, breast pads
, flushable diaper liners and diaper lotion?!

Since this company still looks pretty small, there aren't enough Consultants to go YOU have to pay the company $25 so that they can send you a kit with samples to check out at your party. (This also covers the cost for you to ship the items back). You also have to pay to print your own invitations off their web site. They say that there are hostess rewards, but there wasn't anything about rewards that I could find on the site. also have to supply dolls for test diapering! What fun! Time to dust off your old Cabbage Patch Dolls. Since the main part of the product line is about cloth diapers and diaper covers, etc, they want you to test out their brand if you are trying to decide to switch to cloth diapers. I can't imagine what these diapers would cost, since Direct Sales prices (and shipping) can be through the ROOF! I didn't find any prices on the site.

Would you go to, our host, a diaper party?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

President of Creative Memories Steps Down

The President of Creative Memories, Asha Morgan Moran has resigned from the Minnesota scrapbook company. The board of directors made former chief operating officer Chris Veit the company's new leader.

This article from the St. Cloud, Minnesota Times, gives a few more details:

President of Creative Memories Steps Down

The comments after the article are VERY interesting. Since the St. Cloud Times doesn't leave their articles up for very long, here is another article:

Another Article about New Leader at CM

Remember that Creative Memories is being sued by former employees:

My Previous Article about CM Bankruptcy and Lawsuit

So, what will this mean for Creative Memories? Who knows, they are never very forthcoming with the details.

Anyone here a CM Consultant? What do you think of this?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Direct Sales Party - emagineGreen

I recently read in the magazine Woman's Day about a new Direct Sales company called emagineGreen. This company was started by a woman named Tonya Ensign in Arizona. Tonya wanted to make her own life more "green" by recycling and saving energy and she wanted to share this info with friends. She has started a Direct Sales company with trained "greenCoaches" who give people strategies on how to live a more green life at Home Parties called "eco-parties."

Everyone seems to be jumping on the "going green" bandwagon these days. However, knowing how Direct Sales companies work, this concept seems a bit odd to me. There is a lot of waste created by Direct Sales companies; between the catalogs, paperwork, people driving to and from parties, Consultants delivering products, etc. etc. I'm all for people recycling and saving the environment, but do people really need to go to a Direct Sales party to learn about these things?

Would you go to an eco-party?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Creative Memories Bankruptcy

This may be old news to some, but one of the stories I wanted to cover was the bankruptcy of the scrapbook company Creative Memories. This is old news by now (the news hit in November 2008), but the fallout continues.

Disclaimer: one of the companies I used to be a Home Party Consultant for was Creative Memories. I didn't have the best experience with them towards the end of my time with them. I'm fully aware that this will cloud my articles about this company. You've been warned!

This November 2008 article from Minnesota Public Radio gives an overview from the company's point of view. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

This November 2008 article from the Scrapbook Update blog (a great blog about scrapbooking news) talks about "Key Points" of the bankruptcy. At the end of the article, there is a list of several other articles about the bankruptcy.

Now read this January 2010 article from the Yellow Springs News. There is much more to this story. A group of former employees has filed a lawsuit against Creative Memories company leaders. The article is long, but worth reading if you really want to know more. The group claims that actions by company leaders caused the bankruptcy, which led to the loss of employee retirement funds, to the tune of over $20 million.


Creative Memories was one of those companies that people (Home Office employees and Home Party Consultants alike), felt good working for. I wasn't the only one who felt "good" trying to help people to preserve their memories in scrapbooks. Increased competition from online and brick-and-mortar stores, a move away from my large group of core customers, and company decisions made post-2007 led to my exit. I am less than impressed by this bankruptcy and the news about the employee lawsuit. I'm disgusted that so many employees lost retirement funds.

What does this mean for the future of Creative Memories? Who knows. Some of you may not have even heard about the bankruptcy at all. The company keeps plugging along here in 2010. You can still buy their scrapbook products from a local Consultant, although their Consultant base is shrinking. I will post updates when something else comes up; I'm betting there will be more to come.

Has anyone dealt with Creative Memories, either as a Consultant, a Home Office employee, or a customer? What do you think of the bankruptcy?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Content Coming Soon

Hello All!

I realize that it has been since December '09 since I've posted...the thing is, I kind of ran out of stories. (eeeek!) I may be able to dig up a few more, but I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I'm going to change the direction of the blog a bit.

First, I'm still going to collect amusing/strange/weird Home Party stories, so keep 'em coming if you got 'em. See my email address to the right.

I am going to continue to talk about Home Parties, but in a different way. There have been some businesses that have gone bankrupt, of course....I'd like to talk about that, and how they are surviving (or not). Despite the economy, some new Home Party businesses are popping up. This surprises me, and I'd like to talk about it. I had thought the era of the "Home Party" was coming to a close.

I have a lot of topics I'd like to cover about Home Party businesses, so watch in the next week for some updates. I hope you'll stick with me.

- The Calamity Queen