How selling Pampered Chef transformed mealtime for this full-time attorney and her family.
“I don’t have mom guilt when I’m working on my business.”
As a full-time attorney and partner at my own law firm, it never crossed my mind to try direct marketing. But after I successfully hosted a Pampered Chef cook show—a party, usually in someone’s home, where a consultant demos products, friends cook a meal together, and the host can earn credits to buy items—my pal, who led the party, encouraged me to try it.
At first I thought she was crazy—how was I going to find the time? And I thought I was failing at mealtime. My busy schedule made getting food on the table difficult, so I thought, “I can do this for me, and do mealtime, and get the kids involved, and be healthy.”
In April 2016, I started my business. I saw a profit within the first 30 days, and skipped several promotion levels to become a director, signing five consultants in my first 90 days.
I spend seven to 15 hours a week on my side business, usually working on it late in the evening when my kids are asleep or early in the morning when the house is quiet. A good chunk of what I do is online—even cook shows can be done virtually—so I can work from anywhere. I’ll put up Facebook posts and send email blasts throughout the day, even when I’m at my son’s ballgame.
The Balancing Act
I work 60 hours a week on average as a lawyer. But I have some schedule flexibility because I’m a shareholder.
In the beginning, I had virtual cook parties on Friday nights, and I learned that wasn’t good for my schedule. Now I start and finish those parties on Sundays, since that’s when I have the most time to close them.
When my kids see me receive and test out new products, they want to help. They assist me with several recipes, like quinoa energy balls, which require our manual food processor.
I don’t have mom guilt working on my business because my kids have fun and are learning good, healthy habits.
As soon as I became a director, I started making anywhere from $700 to $2,500 a month, which includes earnings from the parties I do, sales I make, and recruiting.
Leading a team, you get a higher commission percentage, plus bonuses from your team, depending on how many members there are, the numbers they hit, and when you all reach certain sales and promotion levels.
I’ve earned enough to take my family on vacations, and recently we did some landscaping at our house.
There are three starter kits: The smallest is $109 and provides online and home-office training, recipes, party packs, catalogs, fliers and instructions on how to build a team. It also includes recently launched items and products for your cook shows.
I invested in the smallest kit and paid only $59 for it, since I received credits from hosting a cook show.
If people are discussing recipes, I mention the products, or if someone just got engaged, I mention the Pampered Chef bridal registry. There are so many avenues to get into someone’s life, and then it spreads by word of mouth.
And cook shows are crucial for generating your customer base and finding people who want to host parties.
I’m all about making life easier and more family-focused for working moms. I explain what works for me or show the convenience of certain items so customers want the products.
The Fun Part
I’m very goal-oriented. If someone says, “This is what you need to do, and this is how you can get there,” I’m going for it. I don’t like to call Pampered Chef a hobby; it’s more than that. I’m passionate about my business, not just because of the focus on food and family, but also because I’m focusing on myself. Pampered Chef is helping me achieve personal goals.
LAURA LUETJE Attorney and Pampered Chef director, Ankeny, IA, mom of Carter, 6, and Claire, 4 By Maricar Santos