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