I am a new Avon Representative, and I joined Avon because I needed a support system. I needed to get out of the house.
From the moment I turned 16, I always had a job. I love working. I was raised to believe work is something I am supposed to do. That my mind had something valuable to offer society.
When I got pregnant with my first child around the age of 28, I was managing tax offices in Wyoming, freshly separated from the Air Force. I was fired at the beginning of my 9th month of pregnancy for being pregnant. My male boss told me, “You won’t have the time I need you to commit to this office now that you are going to be a mother. I need someone who can give me all of them.”
Since then, I’ve probably gone through 50 job interviews where I was either pregnant or nursing. It got to a point where I could see their face expressions during the interview humoring me with questions just to give me the false sensation that they would actually consider an active mother for the job.
I couldn’t just be a housewife. I was not raised to be a housewife. I’m actually a very lousy housewife. The reason I’m a lousy housewife is I won’t clean. I’ll find something else to do, whether I paint a picture as a hobby or take the kids somewhere just to get out of the house, or blog. That’s what I did. I blogged. I designed T-Shirts for Cafepress. I got some freelance writing and graphic design gigs. I created some fonts. The problem with this is while I was unleashing my creativity somewhere productive, I was also alone. Forcing myself to clean things alone. I did eventually clean things.
For the last 8 years, I’ve been alone. I’ve been sitting at home by myself talking to people on the internet. I do talk to my children, their teachers, and the telemarketers, but it’s not friendship. It’s not a support system.
My family and friends I had before the onslaught of motherhood were drowning in their own lives to really become involved in mine. They just weren’t there anymore.
I finally had to accept that it was time to find new friends.
A friend of mine invited me to a Mary Kay party where I was invited to join the Mary Kay team. I laughed. I am not a beauty selling person. I’m a hermit. But after a few phone calls and some thoughts, I signed up for Mary Kay. I paid my $75 to get my bag of stuff to find out they want you to keep an inventory. All the sales incentives they offer are not for actual sales, but for your purchases you decide to make to keep an inventory, and then it’s on you to sell what you got. They also had a lot of rules for something they sell is your own business to do as you please. In addition, everything they did required money. Every meeting you attend is $3.
That was too much for me. I did not want to pay $3,000 to get out of the house a little.
Then my Mary Kay bag came in the mail. My neighbor noticed the box sitting in front of my door and asked if she could have a catalog. I explained I won’t be selling Mary Kay, but I’d love to direct her to someone who was, but then she said, “I wish you sold Avon. I like Avon better. They have more products and better prices.” Right after that conversation, not even 15 minutes, I found Avon’s website and signed up. I have yet to even let Mary Kay know I’m an Avon Representative now.
The best part is the Avon Ladies. I attended my first meeting. I did not have to pay any money to be there. My home schooled child was allowed to go with me. They offered me and my daughter free pizza. My daughter won a huge bottle of Skin so Soft and a ring. They gave me some samples, some earrings, and a lot of helpful advice and tips. In this meeting, I volunteered to put together a Relay for Life team.
My second meeting with the ladies was one I put together for the Relay for Life. I honestly didn’t think anyone was going to show up. I have a history of planning a little shin-dig and have nobody but one person show up, even my kids’ birthday parties are that way. It’s been that way since I was a child. Nobody came to my birthday parties. Everyone I asked to attend my meeting was there, early.
We got through all the things I needed to go through fairly quickly, but everyone was active in all parts of the planning. They were excited and motivated to do something good for the community.
I really got to know them better. They have normal lives like me, but the best part was they all had positive advice and were supportive of everything I said or did. They were like a cheer leading team saying, “You can do it.” In fact, I talked with my team leader who explained that a lot of them were very different people before Avon, and somehow Avon has opened them up to be less shy, more outgoing, and the person we all wished we were.
When it was time to part ways, we hugged.
I know it sounds silly, but I haven’t had a hug in a long time besides my husband and kids. I didn’t realize how much I needed that hug until I got it. The connection with people is so important, and you can’t get it online. A real hug does things that the comment (((hugs))) on your Facebook status can never accomplish.
Avon gave me an opportunity nobody else has.
They gave me a job that I can do with my children. They let me be a mother first. They gave me friends when I needed friends. They give me a reason to dress up and get out of the house. As a former frumpy housewife, I can vouch that it feels good to go in public with a fresh pedi and some makeup. It’s like I’m finding the real me underneath all the motherhood.
I’m looking forward to planning the Relay for Life, and more importantly, I’m looking more forward to being there with my new Avon Family. Now to design some t-shirts so we can all match. We are going to make our husbands wear pink AVON shirts with us. I’m so posting pictures later.
P.S. It’s also awesome that Avon stopped testing on animals a long time ago. They were one of the first to do so. And they do a lot of philanthropy for causes I truly care about: Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence. It just feels good to work with a company I can morally agree with.