Sunday, December 7, 2014

Jamberry Nails

The last time I tried Multi-Level Marketing I sold Mary Kay Cosmetics.  That was 17 years ago, and ended so badly I never wanted to sign up for direct selling ever again.  I learned a lot about the pitfalls of MLMs from that experience.

I love hosting parties.  I love the products I've bought from home parties, but when my friend asked if I wanted to sell Pampered Chef I said, "No Thanks."  When another friend asked if I wanted to sell Origami Owl lockets, I smiled and said, "Nope, not me."  When yet another friend asked if I wanted to sell Thirty-one Bags, I laughed and said, "Thanks, but no."  The same goes for Premier Jewelry, Tupperware, Longaberger Baskets, and several other awesome companies.  I mean, I could probably tell you as much about these products as the ladies I know who sell them.

When they asked if I wanted to make some extra spending money each month, I talked about how content I was with my husband's salary.  When they talked about buying the product at a discount, I said I was fine earning hostess rewards.  When they asked if I wanted a chance to earn special incentives only available to consultants, I said I was happy with the products available to me.  There was really no way anyone could convince me to go back into direct sales.

So, why in the world did I decide to sign up to sell Jamberry Nails?

Honestly, when I first heard about them I scoffed.  I gave up on nice nails long, long ago.  I used to love doing my nails when I was a teenager.  I remember bottles of nail polish drying up far too quickly because I was painstakingly trying out a new nail art technique.  My favorite was the two-stroke hearts.

When I got married and started taking care of my own house, nail polish just didn't last anymore.  Between doing dishes and gardening, and taking care of babies, I didn't really have time to do my nails.  Even if I did set aside some "me time" within 24 hours the polish was cracking and chipping away.  I'm a serial picker and if there was even a little bit of polish chipped off, I would systematically pick the rest off.  

On top of that, there was the stigma.  I grew up in a house full of boys who teased girls who were obsessed with looking perfect all the time.  God forbid I ever broke a nail and mentioned it to them.  They would assume I was being a preppy, obnoxious Valley Girl because my nails weren't pristine and perfect.  As an adult I felt silly trying to keep my manicure from getting ruined.  Only rich ladies could afford to skip doing dishes just to keep their manicures looking perfect.  

I can think of exactly two times in my 18 years of married life when I paid someone for a professional manicure.  Both times I had to schedule the mani on the day of the event I wanted to look nice for.  I knew that If I did it the day before my nails would look awful by the night of the event.

So, yes, I scoffed at Jamberry nails.  I loved to look at them, but I scoffed.  The first party I was invited to, I declined because, well, "I don't really like doing my nails anymore."  When my friend Olga joined up and added me to her group I ignored her.  She lived in Reno, and I didn't really interact with her as much anymore, so I didn't feel like she would be hurt by my not purchasing anything from her.

Then my friend Lisa bought some Jams to try out.  She wore them to homeschool co-op and I noticed them right away.  She was smart.  She applied salon quality polish to most of her fingers and then applied Jams to the remaining fingers.  Then she waited. After a week the Jams still looked amazing and the polish was chipping off.  After two weeks, the Jams still looked amazing and the polish was mostly gone.

There's more about Lisa.  She and her husband are church planters, and I know sometimes finances are tough, so I don't mind helping out when they are trying to earn a little extra income.  When she told me she was thinking about selling Jamberry products I saw an opportunity to encourage her and her family.

Also, we're pretty good friends.  I know that she deals with a lot of the same stuff I do.  Cooking, cleaning, homeschooling her kids, being active in the community.  I know she doesn't have time to devote to making her nails look perfect all the time.  I know she places more emphasis on caring for others than primping.  By watching her test the jams I had a pretty clear vision of what my experience would be.

The last straw, the thing that made me order was a post on Facebook about Jams helping people who are nail biters.  Not only that, but they made kid-sized Jams, too.  This meant I could order them for my youngest, who habitually bites her nails.

So I bit the bullet.  I ordered two styles for myself and two for my 6 year old.  I also ordered all the application stuff, the heater, the application kit, even the cuticle oil.

I put them on the night I got them.  I even let my 6 year old stay up past her bedtime so I could apply them.  I didn't really have any directions, other than a couple of videos I'd seen on you-tube, and some comments on Facebook.  I was too excited to wait, though.

My left hand went on pretty well, my right was awkward and frustrating.  They lasted a week.  That was longer than any manicure I'd ever paid for or done myself.

For the second style I got smart.  I did my research, and even asked one of my teenage friends to help me with my right hand in exchange for me giving her some of my wraps. Unfortunately I didn't realize that the metallic and glittery ones are the hardest to apply, so I still struggled with some of the edges.

Before the week was up I was ordering another four designs.  This time, they were all for me.  Even though I probably could have kept them on longer than a week, my second wraps had to come off... it was officially Christmas season and I wanted to look festive in my next design.

Then I realized... It costs $99 to become a consultant.  Between me and my three gals, and my BFF and her two daughters, I could easily go through enough Jams to stay active over the next year.  I waited a week or two to really think things through.  I asked Lisa all my questions.  I let my hubby know what I was considering and asked him for input.  (He's pretty awesome, in that he's never once told me not to go for it.) And then, I made my decision.

So yeah.  That's how I became a Jamberry consultant.  And you know what, I never even hosted a party.

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