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Selling Independently

Consultants find ease in selling products that fit their interests

October 24, 2010
By MIKE ZUMMO, The Leader-Herald

Sarah Schwartz said she received Scentsy products when she was married in August, and "fell in love with them."

Now, the products are helping her bring in some extra money. She recently became a consultant for the company, which sells flameless candles, air fresheners, room spray and other items.

"The product is good and it sells itself," she said. "Everybody else loves it. It's very innovative for people who love to smell good."

Article Photos

Bobbi Jo Etherton-Haverly, a Gold Canyon Candles independent demonstrator, lights a candle.

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan

Schwartz got started by having a launch party at her home, where people were able to come and check out the products. She said it cost her $100 to start the process and she has made $300 so far after receiving the product from her first order earlier this month.

Lavina Town of Johnstown has been an at-home consultant for Pampered Chef since 1996, and she said she started small with an at-home party. She said she did four shows and "got a whole bunch" of free products. Her first year, she said, she earned a trip to San Diego.

"It was just something I could do and I started becoming hooked," Town said.

Bobbi Jo Etherton-Haverly of Johnstown, a stay-at-home mom who was looking for a way to make extra cash, has been hooked on being a consultant for Gold Canyon Candles for about 2 1/2 years. She said she had a friend who was looking to get out of the candle business, giving her a client base to start from.

"That got my foot in the door," Etherton-Haverly said. "She helped me get established."

There are plenty of companies out there that employ people to be sales consultants from their homes, such as Tupperware, Mary Kay Cosmetics and Avon, but Town said she was drawn to Pampered Chef because "everybody has to eat." She said Pampered Chef has taught her how to cook.

"You don't have to have nicknacks, but you have to eat," Town said. "Nobody can afford to eat out every day of the week."

Both Etherton-Haverly and Schwartz said they enjoy the scents of candles, and that makes selling those products easy for them.

"I wouldn't be able to sell Pampered Chef because it's not something that's up my alley," Etherton-Haverly said. Candles are definitely something I enjoy, so I can be true when I'm pitching something."

Being an at-home sales consultant also allows them greater flexibility to work around their own lives. Town works full time so she uses the profits from her Pampered Chef work as "fun money." There is little interference from Pampered Chef as the company only calls for a quota of $150 per month.

"I have customers that buy that much," she said. "It's very flexible. It's up to you to determine how much you want to earn."

Etherton-Haverly said Gold Canyon is also very hands-off.

"They encourage you to make it your own business, but they also want us to represent their company in a professional manner," she said.

The company also wants its consultants to be involved with the community. Etherton-Haverly said she has done fundraisers with the Johnstown High School winterguard. She said she has done some fundraising in Fonda, and also has worked with the Boy Scouts.

"They want us to give back to the community," she said.

Over her nearly 1 1/2 decades of working as a consultant for Pampered Chef, Town said she has enjoyed the camaraderie among other at-home consultants.

"Other consultants give you ideas and can help you," she said. "It's a nice feeling. I don't think there are a lot of jobs where other people will give you their best advice."

Town said she has met people throughout the United States and been invited to the homes of consultants as far away as North Carolina. She also said there is a Pampered Chef group in Albany where consultants can attend meetings.

She said she's always willing to help, even if it's giving a new consultant a word or two of advice.

"You get what you put into it," she said. "If you want to help this mom learn how to cook five meals for under four bucks to make her life better, then I feel good because I've helped her achieve that for her family."

Mike Zummo is the business editor. He can be reached at



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