Tuesday, July 29, 2008

To party...or not to party...that is the question

**Don't forget to vote for the random blog post over at the right sidebar!**

I have a love/hate relationship with the home party. I love to have them. I even like going to them. But nothing makes you feel more like a loser than no rsvps to your party.

The first home party I ever went to was Pampered Chef. It was in 1997. I was pregnant with Katie. And visiting my bff Cindy Sue who was living in Albuquerque at the time. She had a party while I was there...and it was just so much fun. I got all kinds of cool gadgets that I've never used. I don't know who I was kidding to think that I would use a crinkle slicer. So that I would have ruffle edges to my carrots. Or cucumbers. That I don't eat anyway. Or my Chillazine bowl. That is still lovingly packed away in my cabinet. In its original cardboard container.

But...one thing I got then. That I still use. Is my stoneware. I use it for anything and everything that goes into my oven. You can see some form of stoneware in every cooking post I've done. I love it. And there are so many other Pampered Chef things that I use daily. From my mini spatulas to my prep bowls to my big glass measuring bowls. I do love my Pampered Chef - crinkle cutter and chillazine aside.

Cindy was also the one that turned me onto Creative Memories. I tried to have my own show for that. But no one would come. I ended up going to the consultants house for a private lesson so that I could get started. And a year later when I started my own business - it was with much hesitation. But, I had a great 9 year run. And preached my message to the fullest.

Now that I think about it...Cindy turned me onto another home party: Usborne books. And she was even a consultant for them for a bit. On my first visit to see her in San Antonio 8 years ago...she had her first Usborne book show. And I was there to witness it. Even though I had food poisoning and spent much of the evening elsewhere. I love Usborne books, too. My kids love them. And I even bought some last week at the Homeschool Expo. I've had several successful book shows. And a couple that never happened.

In January, I had a Southern Living Party. And I had 15 people that came to my house. I was so surprised! And you should have seen all the boxes UPS delivered to me. That I then had to separate. And deliver.And hey...when I visited Cindy last month...we went to a Southern Living Party. Hmmm...why has it taken me this long to see the pattern of corruption?

So...tonight I am hosting a Pampered Chef party. Wish me luck. And hope that I am not a loser!

What about you? Do you like to host home parties? Do you like to go to them? What has been your favorite or most successful? What about least favorite - when you get the invite for a party for this company you think "yuck!" and there is no way you'd buy their stuff anyway?

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50 comments:

GBK Gwyneth said...

First, god luck!

Now, I love house parties, but not ones where something is for sale. Just not my thing :)

Kat said...

Gwyneth--Hence my use of the song "Money, money, money" for today's theme :-) Sometimes I feel so mercenary for having them. But I like free. And I do like the products. I go back to that love/hate thing.

Insane Mama said...

How in the world do you say: chillazine

That is my question, second question is your kitchen really that clean?
I like to hav eBBQ but I feel bad inviting people over and expecting then to buy something.. So I don;t do those parties or go to them. Because as much as I like them, I will spend too much money out of guilt.

Kat said...

IM--It's pronounced - I think - just like you would think: chill - a - zine (like magazine...but chill-a). My friend Kim (Future Buterfly) is a consultant - is that right, Kim?

Ummm...yes, my kitchen is usually that clean. (whispers...we have a housekeeper. She keeps us on the straight and narrow)

And that is one I've never heard of. What is eBBQ?

Jennifer P. said...

No one ever shows up to my parties--or if they do, it's just for my appetizers :)! I have not learned to love stoneware, but I will go just to by another batter bowl or spatula. Those are great! Love Usborne books too! I think Southern Living is overpriced, but that's just the decorator that gets a discount everywhere talking! Right now, a candle company called Scentsy is BIG here, and I can not, not, not go to another Scentsy party. I always come away with a headache. I do go to parties to support my buddies, but I'd really rather be going over to play Scrabble or something.....

SKELLER said...

good luck, good luck, GOOD LUCK!!! I hope your party went well. At the very least you got yummy food prepared for you ;-) Can I just say that PC cookbooks CRACK ME UP. Each recipe takes twice+ the time to describe once they include all their instructions with all their necessary gadgets.

Can I also just say, I LOVE my PC stoneware. I use it all the time. And my mini spatulas. But not so much my apple peeler/corer/slicer thingy. It just sits in the box.

Debbie said...

I too love my one piece of stoneware and my mixing pitcher bowl thingy from PC. I had a Southern Living party when it was first hot, and it was very successful. However, I refuse to do any in home parties anymore and won't attend them either. I have been to countless, I mean countless, different in-home parties to show support of my friends, but I end up buying overpriced things I don't really need or want. And like Jennifer P. said, I would rather get together for Scrabble or a glass of wine.
Let us know how yours went?

John Deere Mom said...

I have never hosted a house party, just gone to many of them out of guilt. Hate them. Sorry.

Rhea said...

I did Discovery Toys for a while (as a consultant, selling toys, hosting parties) but I'm just not much of a salesperson. Once my entire family and a ton of friends had bought everything, I was done. lol

I've never been to a Pampered Chef party or an Usborne party (books, really, cool?) or a Southern Living Party. Those sound cool!

Good luck tonight with yours! I wish I could be there. :o)

Lula! said...

Ok, Kat...
You know what kind of party I hosted that was super successful. And I'm not outing myself here, for fear of people knowing once and for all that I am a true freakazoid. But this is why you dig me, huh? (Ladies, it wasn't Pampered Chef...or Creative Memories...but it was creative and pampering. Ahem.)

FOR REAL...I need some PC stuff. I could order off the net, but then if I order off your party you get more free stuff. See how I take care of my bloggy friends? Lemme know...

And what are you making to eat tonight? I want to live vicariously.

Teri said...

Hey Kat, did you get my Pampered Chef order for your party tonight?

I used to host all kinds of home party things, but I grew weary of them. (weary?) Anyway, I don't have them anymore. I think my favorites were CM (plug, plug) and Princess House.

Angie said...

Oh Kat, you are talking to the queen of direct sales here! I've sold for 7 different companies over the last 12 years and was a national sales leader with one of them (for a short time). I LOVE to go to parties, but I HATE hosting them. I've stopped attending since the girls were born, due to financial constraints, but I'm slowly working my way back in.

My most successful ever was a Longaberger basket party several years ago. My favorite was a Body Shop at Home party that I hosted a few years ago. Least favorite to get an invite for is Southern Living. I'm decorating challenged and that company just makes me feel bad about it.

Anonymous said...

Katrina,
We are trying to post from Mom's computer.

Kim and Kathy

One Wired Woman said...

I've given a million of these parties... I've retired for awhile. I always love going to them... just not hosting them. It is so much work. Aarrrgggg!! ~Jill :)

Dancing Queen said...

i had a pampered chef party years ago in my itty bitty apartment & it did great because it was mainly my husband's huge family attending & all my friends, myself included, didn't have kids yet...it was so cutting edge back then! now, i just feel everyone's been there done that...i think having a catalog party is fun though!

when did you get back from the beach? also, been wanting to ask you about two atlanta spots i heard on one of my favorite food network shows, road tasted...i have to look up the names, but one is known for their sweet potato cheesecake...any ideas?

Brandy said...

I've been to numerous PC, Princess House and Mary Kay parties. I used to be a consultant for PH, which meant I got a lot of stuff for cheap. I use items from both lines daily...mainly PC, but I have a lot of roasters and baking pans from PH so they get used to.

MK - eh, not so much anymore.

I've been to one jewelry party but I didn't care for anything they had. (I'm a gold girl, so I wear very little silver.)

And last but not least, I've been to the ~parties~ that Lula speaks of...and I won't say anymore about that! LOL!

Good luck!

texcindy said...

Gee whiz, Katrina--I think you've indeed been to all the parties I have ever had! How funny is that!?!I enjoyed my years with Usborne, and am currently addicted to SLAH. once i get evrything i conceivably need then I'll give that up as well. I think direct sales is priced moderately when you compare quality, and I'd rather see the money go to my friends (indirectly) than to pay the rent and employees and overhead in a store. I'm very pro-direct sales!
Have fun tonight--I set my order last week:)
cindysue

Kat said...

Jennifer P--Have you tried the stoneware? I must have 15 pieces. Some I have two of. But it's all that I use. There is nothing metal here - except an extra muffin tin. Because two stoneware muffin pans won't fit in my oven together.

And I am with you on the candle thing. I haven't heard of that company...but we have one - Party Lite I think - and I just can't do the smells. I am not a candle person at all.

Susan--I agree about the PC cook books. I don't know why they do that! I have two of those mini spatulas...and they are usually both in the dishwasher. I might get another one tonight :-)

I did somehow manage to refrain from getting the apple slicer thing. Even though I could have easily convinced myself that I would make tons of apple pies. That I really don't like. :-)

Debbie--Do you keep getting invited? Do your friends know how you feel? My thing...is that I have a few friends that I know would never come. But I still feel compelled to invite them. I wouldn't want to assume that they wouldn't come - and have their feelings hurt for not being included. Its hard to figure out what to do sometimes...

JDM--Only out of guilt? You don't like any of them? Have you ever been to a purse party? I have been to one of those - a lady here that started her own business. And they are really cute. And you get to pick your fabric and other decorations. Hmmm...I have a few of them...maybe I can do a give away with them. But I don't have matching wallets!

Rhea--You know, I think that Discoery Toys is one of the few home parties that I have never been to. Having two children, I'm not sure how we missed that bandwagon. I've heard of them...and seen thier stuff...but I have not heard of anyone having a party around here. And Usborne books are great. Especially for homeschoolers. You can look them up online: ubah.com

Kat said...

Lula--I'll out you. I've been to a sex party, too. But the crowd was not really receptive. And I didn't want to order much that would be delivered to me at church :-)

Thanks so much for offering to put an order in my show! I sent you a link.

We are making warm caramel nutty brownies. I might just post pictures and the recipe. If I get my act together.

Teri--I did get your order - thank you thank you! Princess House is another home party that I've never been to. Isn't it crystal? If it's what I am thinking of...I am not sure that I would be interested...

Angie--which company were you a leader for? And which companies did you work for? Why did you switch? Favorite? Least favorite? I am thinking you have a blog post in your answer!

I have had one longaberger catalog show that was pretty successful. And I have been a few times. But I have a friend that used to be a rep for them...when I did CM. And we'd trade product. That's how I got my canisters. I have baskets all over the place...

Kim--Keep trying. Why is she posting as anon?!

Jill--I love hosting them. Because I like the idea of getting free things. And it's fun to get my friends together. But...my friends I think feel more like Debbie. And then I just feel like a loser when they avoid me :-)

DQ--I was being invited to PC shows all the time a few years ago...but now...I can't recall the last time I went to one (except a few months ago when I booked this one). So...hopefully it'll be "fresh" for my friends, too.

We've been back from the beach for about a week. Trying to catch up and clean up. I am not sure about what place is known for the cheesecake...

Brandy--Thanks! I hope it goes well. Jewelry parties. I had forgotten about those. I've been to premier designs a few times. I like the pieces I have - but you are right...they are more for us silver gals...

CindySue--I'm with you. I love to help my friends get free stuff. And of course, hope they'll reciprocate. When are you having your Southern Living party? And I can't believe it's taken me this long to realize that you have introduced me to almost every home party business...

texcindy said...

My SLAH party is either Aug 21 or 22, depending on the school openhouse schedule. I've got it planned, sort of, and I think it will be good eatin's for anyone who comes over. are ya busy? the cocolate fondue oesn't ship all that well...

scargosun said...

I do like them and try to go to them when I am invited b/c it's usually a friend having it and I want them to get free stuff. :)

I was so excited when i got my free stuff at my Silpada party.

Finding Normal said...

I've never hosted. Just don't love them that much. I've been to 2 girlie (i.e. toys) parties. Those were uncomfortable but a little fun. Pampered Chef is okay, but I find it overpriced. I went to my neighbor's Lia Sophia party last year. Pretty stuff, but again...overpriced. One of my friend's sisters makes glass beads, so she's had a few parties, and those I like because there really is no pressure to buy, and the stuff is homemade and beautiful and I buy lots!
What is Southern Living? And how is it different from Northern Living?

Jennifer P. said...

Kat--
I do have a piece of the stoneware--a 9x13 pan. I like it fine--just not better than my metal stuff. And sometimes it takes 5 minutes longer for my bar cookies to bake in it. I know that it's suppose to bake more evenly, but we tend to fight over the slightly more done corners around here :)!

Swirl Girl said...

I don't do parties or go to them. I feel guilty and wind up buying something I don't want or need, so the hostess can get her stuff.


I did go to a Silpada Jewelry party once and I loved the jewelry! That one was good, but the 'rep' bugged me forever.

Joye said...

I always go to these parties but never have them. Making food, cleaning up..nerves. No I am a better participant.
The Southern Living (there is another that was branched off from this) that are my fav. Ice cream scoop, fruit bowl, metal hanging flower basket thing...all great finds that I use! Normally, I am the cheap girl, getting the sales or clearance stuff.

Jaci said...

I used to sell ParyLite candles, so I know all about the home parties. But I never knew about Southern Living! All those boxes must have made for one happy Southern Living lady, huh?

I still think about getting back into it again.

Angie said...

Kat,

Thank you for inspiring my blog entry for Thursday. :-) All of your questions will be answered!

Kelly said...

I do love PC products, but hate going to any home parties. I end of feeling guilty and spending money out of obligation not necessity.
My favorite (and most successful) lately is Tastefully Simple. Which are easy to make food products...Nana's applecake w/ caramel is to DIE for!!
Sorry Jaci, I will not go to a partylite party ever again; I think it was an overkill for me.

Shannon said...

I was a consultant for PartyLite for about six months... before I signed up with them I think I'd had three home shows and all were fairly successful.

I've also had home shows for Cookie Lee jewelry, The Body Shop @ Home, Thirty-One Gifts (just had one in April), a Mary Kay spa party (it was last month)... and I will be having a Jewels by Park Lane show next week!!! I pretty much go to all the home parties I get invited to. And then I usually will book a show from that one... I don't mind doing so 'cause I know it helps out the hostess. Plus I get free stuff, and who doesn't like free??

I've never had a PC show, but I have been to a few.

Kat said...

CindySue--I keep waiting for that phone call from you and the girls to let me know you've arrived at the airport for my party tonight. Is coming in November still a possibility? And can you believe I couldn't find anyone having a SL party for July so I could get that vase? My SL person is coming to the party tonight...I'll see if she has any parties closing.

Scargosun--Yay...another partier! And another product I have never heard of. What do they sell?

FN--Southern Living (at home) sells things inspired by their magazine. Which has all kinds of cool decorating, travel, food, and gardening things about the south. Can you not get it there? If you email me your address...I'll send you a copy!

Jennifer--What I like about the stoneware is that if you take it out...it still cooks a little more even out of the oven. But it doesn't burn. Or stick to the bottom. My chicken bakes better - it still stays juicy. I love re-warming pizza on the stoneware. Things get crispier. And cookies are the best made on the stoneware. When we were at the beach I was really missing my stones.

SwirlGirl (and I keep thinking about you being "unfurled!")- Oh, I so do not like the pushy consultant. When I did CM, there was another consultant in our group...and I just did not understand how she got into a leadership position - or how she kept her customers cause she annoyed me so much. And seemed so pushy. I never liked making those phone calls. I'd send emails. And even with having this party. I don't want to call people I haven't heard from to see if they are going to come. Nor will I ask them about it when I see them. I just can't do it!

Joye--And that's what I like about them! I love making the appetizers. Making sure the house is picked up. Unlike now. When it's almost 3:30 and I am sitting in the kitchen in my jammies.

Jaci--all those boxes made my SL lady happy...and me, too. That was in January when they had double hostess points month. I got over $600 in free stuff. And had so many half price items...I gave a bunch to my friend Cindy.

Angie--So glad to be inspiring! And I have been inspired enough this week to already have my blog posts done through Friday. Wild, huh?! Especially for me...queen of procrastination.

Kelly--Oh, I haven't gone to a Tastefully Simple party in forever. I love their soup mixes. And I heard that my favorite - the wild rice one - was discontinued. Yummy stuff.

Shannon--More party plans that I have never heard of! Except for Mary Kay. But I am not much of a makeup person (Lula...it's okay...it's more for you)...and I am horrible about taking care of my skin. Let me ask you this...with that many parties...do you worry your friends will abandon you?! This is my second party this year (but the first time I've hosted anything in a few years)...and I noticed that no one that came in January is coming to this one. I already wonder if I have burned them out...

angie said...

I actually really used to enjoy home parties. Now I can rarely attend because of the shifts my husband works, plus I don't have the disposable income anymore. However, I've been wanting to be invited to a PC party I need to buy a steamer as a gift.

Shannon said...

Kat,
Prior to the Thirty-One Gifts show I had in April, I think its been about a year since my last home show. No one has said to me that they're burned out... but maybe they just aren't saying it to my face!



BTW, I just noticed I've (finally!) gotten a vote! Yay for me! And thanks to whoever it was that voted for me :)

Shannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kat said...

Angie--Cause I'm tacky like that...but I'll take whatever morsel you are putting out there. I've sent you the link to the show. Hope you don't regret putting your email on your profile page :-)

Shannon--What is 31 gifts? Have you been invited to a party where you really didn't like the product?

And congrats on getting that first vote! I keep telling ya'll...make a post about it. Tell everyone to vote for you. I think Teri and Joye are the only ones to have done that and look at their votes. OH...and you must go and read Teri's post today about why you should vote for her. It's pretty funny...

Brian and Staci said...

I enjoy going to most any party..just not big on hosting. I like to entertain...but don't want people to feel obligated to buy anything...does that make any sense at all!!?? Here in OK it's ALLLLL about Arbonne! I'm soooo tired of being asked to host a party I could scream! (But I do love their products dang it!) Least favorite is, oh, now I can't remember the name darn it! Oh yes, it's Premier Jewelry. It's a little too froo froo for me. I've heard that Faith jewelry is a pretty cool party though :) Good luck my friend and let us know how it turns out! Your housekeeper is somethin' else! I'd eat off your floors!

Heather said...

I like going to home parties and seeing all the cool gadgets and pretty decor, but I usually can't afford to buy anything and end up feeling guilty about leaving without ordering.

ann said...

I don't get invited anymore. Ever.

texcindy said...

i wish you'd told me last week about needing the vase-I would have put it on my order for Darlene's party--which was a blast, btw. missed you!
don't think we're coming in Nov. sorry:(

Karen said...

I used to go to and jost a few in NZ. mainly Avon, Tuppaware, Candles. Parties were just getting started when I left.

Oh, and I hosted one of them parties that Lulu was aluding too. We had wine and cheese and more wine and a hysterically funny time :-)

Haven't been to any home parties here. they don't seem to be all that popular round here...

Karen said...

Oh ... good luck with your party!!!!

Kat said...

Staci--Too bad you are a bazillion miles away - would have loved for you to join us tonight! And what is Arbonne? I have never heard of that one. Our housekeeper is somethin' else. She IS my sanity. That and this blog. :-)

Heather--I know what you mean. Especially with Longaberger. You really can't walk out of there for less than $100. But that is one of the reasons why I love Pampered Chef. One of my fav things - that mini spatula is only $4. And my avacado knife - $6. You can actually spend very little and get some cool stuff.

Ann--Ummm...why not?

CindySue--Darn! Dawn came to the party tonight...I'll have to ask her if she has any shows closing. And I am sad about November! Next year?!

Karen--Thanks! I am a smidge under $500 right now. So...I need to find someone (or several someones) to order about $30 and I more than double my hostess rewards.

Shannon said...

Kat,
Glad to hear your PC party went well :)

Thirty-One Gifts offers "unique" items... they have purses, stationary, some jewelry, candles... the best thing about them is that most of their items can be personalized/embroidered. Check out their webstite
thirtyonegifts.com


Oh, and I am writing my post now in a shameless plea to get more votes :)

Sissy said...

I love PC, but some of there stuff just isn't necessary. I mean, I love my chef's knife and stoneware that I bought. And I use my microcooker pot all the time. And those little paring knives....but learn how to chop garlic, why don't cha and save yourself $18 on a garlic masher?

The party I don't like is Arbonne. Now, I think the makeup is ok, but I can't afford it! Paying $25 for 6 months worth of makeup and skincare is not my thing.

Firefly mom said...

Good luck! May you have many guests who spend lots of money so that you can rack up the hostess points ;D

I have never hosted a party, but was wrangled into co-hosting one once - for Pampered Chef, as a matter of fact. Hubby wanted one of their square stoneware pans like his cousin had, and she decided to throw a party, put me as co-hostess, and we'd share the goodies. I ended up coming home with the square pan PLUS the rectangular pan, cake pan, loaf pan, roaster bowl thing (I have no idea what it's really called), and large measuring bowl. Love them all!

Lauren Horsley said...

I think the enjoyment of the party is totally based on the personality of the seller. I'll buy just about anything from someone who isn't cramming it down my throat! (Except smelly candles. I just can't buy any more freaking smelly candles!)

But I always try to go and support my friends at parties and think it's nice to buy a little something to help out fellow SAHM's. Good luck - I loved the PS party I attended a few months back! And still love the stuff I bought.

texcindy said...

Next November is a possiblity-but so far away! sorry about the aquarium...

jennifersusan said...

I don't think I've been to a home party in years! I do love Pampered Chef, though. When we lived in St.Louis I went to a lot of Stampin'Up! parties, and now I'm the proud owner of a ton of stamps. I do use them though, and the I know that when my little girl is bigger then she'll get my Stampin'Up! stamps to play with and not my new ones. ;p Then there's Discovery Toys. A long time ago, before I was married and worked as a director for a preschool, I actually had a gig as a consultant for them. I love the toys, and I could endorse them all day, but when it comes to hosting parties I suck. I don't know people. I went the preschool show route (where you set it up at a school, leave it up and then do a demo and take orders). I hope you had a great turn out for your party! I know you did!!!!

Sydney said...

I've had tupperware and pampered chef parties. I loved both of them. I did end up with a few things from each that i rarely use, but for the most part, I use it all.
I do use my crinkle cutter, and I use my simple additions stuff a lot! That's really all I wanted when I had my PC party... the entertaining set and the food chopper!

Nissa said...

I heart my pampered chef stonewear, too!

I spent a stint selling Mary Kay, and those parties just don't appeal to me anymore after finding Bare Minerals.

I also sold Southern Living at Home. That one was fun & I still like going to the parties. Such cute stuff!

I like the jewelry parties, and anything I haven't really done a million times before is cool.

How'd your party go??

Tam said...

I love Pampered Chef, Creative Memories, southern Living. Here in Savannah they are huge and get used as a girls nite out excuse. What could be better food, wine and shopping. I think it depends on the area you live also. I am from VA and everyone has home parties and I was glad when I moved to GA that I came to an area that was like HOME.