Direct Sales and Minimalism. It sounds like an oxymoron, right? The Engineer and I started embracing a more minimalist lifestyle about six months ago. For us, minimalism isn’t just about bare rooms and less stuff (although less stuff does mean less stuff to care for)—it’s about living our priorities and being intentional whenever possible. What began with cleaning out a few drawers has progressed to healthier eating habits, better sleep, and deeper conversations about our goals. If minimalism was elementary school, we’ve almost graduated kindergarten. We’re enthusiastic and overly-confident, but we still need help tying our shoes and putting our coat sleeves right-side out.
We’ve both become much more aware of the extent of marketing in today’s world and have taken steps to decrease our exposure. We got rid of cable TV, throw catalogs in the recycling tub unopened, and try to take breaks from social media (The Engineer is much better at that last one). I love to shop, and I wouldn’t be my mother’s daughter if I paid full price for anything—but I’ve learned that just because it’s on sale and sort-of-fits doesn’t mean I need it hanging in my closet with the tags still on for the next six months. At which point I’d try to gift it to my sister or mom or someone so I don’t feel guilty about the wasted $20. I’m trying to shop less, to buy less, to truly use what I have. To step away from the intense marketing and the pressure to buy, buy, buy.
And then, I became a LipSense distributor a couple of weeks ago. Which is kind of like the millennial’s version of a Mary Kay lady (only the cars are blue, not pink). Which sounds like the opposite of something a minimalist should do, given that part of the job as a distributor is to help people buy, buy, buy.
It also seems like an odd choice for someone who launched her first blog two months ago and who daydreams about it becoming something real, something that’s read, something that can change the conversation surrounding postpartum health. These daydreams are jammed between the realities of keeping Little Darcy from climbing on top of the piano and reminding my first graders to PLEASE put their names on their papers.
It makes perfect sense for a woman who would like to contribute more to her family financially. (It’s not a secret that teachers don’t make millions. Especially young-ish ones. At a Catholic school. Unfortunately, loving your job loses some of its weight on the pro-con list once you start having children who need things. Like eight million diapers.) And it’s a good way to learn more about marketing with social media, which a successful blogger needs.
My venture into LipSense started with self-care. A friend had a Facebook party and I was curious—so in the spirit of “look good, feel better” (an amazing service provided by the American Cancer Society) I ordered the starter kit. Most of my favorite photos of myself have me wearing lipstick, which is odd because I almost never wore it. Lipstick is an intimidating thing to buy and to wear, worrying about the right color and where that color is ending up (coffee cups, tooth brushes, your teeth). The lip color system was still a little disconcerting to use at first, but it eliminated the subsequent worrying. Perfect for a lazy lip girl like me.
I had my own party in October and then went a little crazy with my personal order–I wanted to try some of the other products, too. “Quality over quantity” is a great mindset, but it’s expensive if you’re getting started; becoming a member/distributor made sense financially. But did it fit with our family’s priorities? With our desire for a simpler way of life?
We think so. I’m still working on finding a business style that suits me and my values, one that helps me to match girls with products they love and use daily without pestering my friends with an onslaught of Facebook posts (sorry, guys–definitely a work in progress!). It’s a way to supplement our family’s income and a catalyst that pushes me to learn more about online marketing. It’s a new creative outlet and something I’m very excited about.
I introduce: (Minima)Lips