My Super Exciting News!!

I’ve been waiting weeks to share this news with you all! No, I’m not pregnant. 🙂 I’m sure that’s why everyone clicked over to see. Ha!

I’m going to be a LulaRoe Consultant!! <—– Link to my Group If It’s Not Clear Below! 

A what? Why? Are You Crazy?

If those thoughts are swirling around in your head, I’m sure you are not the only one. I haven’t gone completely insane. Keep reading to hear my reasons behind joining!!

First off, if you don’t know what LulaRoe is, it’s pretty awesome clothing that I already wear a lot. While a lot of people fall in love with the buttery soft leggings first, the maxi skirt is what has sold me on LulaRoe. It’s the most comfortable maxi skirt I’ve ever worn, and if I’m not wearing a denim skirt I’m normally in one of these LulaRoe skirts!

LulaRoe maxi skirt with a blue shirt and mustard cardigan.

I kept looking around, trying to figure out how I could find a similar type maxi skirt to add to Deborah & Co. I haven’t been able to offer very many maxi skirts there, because I have a hard time finding a skirt that I feel is modest enough.

There is just something special about the LulaRoe maxi skirts, they are flattering while still being modest. They don’t wrinkle, and they are seriously the most comfortable maxi skirt I’ve ever worn!

Then I added the Nicole Dress to my wardrobe, and fell in love with that one as well!

LulaRoe Pink Nicole Dress. It's super bright and cheerful, and is a great knee length dress that is comfortable for everyday wear.It’s a fun dress to wear all year long! I’ve layered it with leggings and boots in the winter months, and this print is my favorite! The longer sleeves on the dress are nice, and hard to find.

They have shirts, more styles of dresses and skirts, and even clothes for girls!

So how am I going to do this? 

I thought about this for months before joining. I obviously have a lot of different things going on, so I can’t take on one more thing without seriously thinking it through. I finally had a long call with a blogging friend of mine who is selling it, and realized this is something that we could do as a family!

It’s been hard, because even though we own family businesses, there have been only so much that our children can help in. They put stickers on Lilla Rose brochures, and sometimes help with shipping. They can’t help me blog, order inventory, or help Sean design new products. But they are really excited about helping with LulaRoe!

This Lace Lola skirt from Lularoe is just beautiful! I love styling it with a cardigan, and fleece tights to stay warm in the winter time!

We will be doing a lot of live shows (plus album sales where we just post pictures to shop from). My oldest son is really excited about doing these live sales with me (actually all of them are wanting to be involved!), and he also wants to help take pictures of the inventory. He is 13 now, and we have been wanting to get him more involved in our businesses and actually be able to pay him to help us, so he can save money for his first car. It blows my mind that we are at this point, but life has gone by quickly and he will be 16 before we know it!

All of our businesses have supported our family (which has been SUCH a blessing!), but we have had a hard time saving back the amount of money we want to be able to buy a house and move. Our family of 8 lives in a 1200 square foot, 3 bedroom 1 bath rental house, and we are majorly bursting the seams here! Add all our business inventory here as well and it gets kind of crazy. 🙂

How Can You Shop LulaRoe With Me? 

You will need to join my private LulaRoe Facebook Group!

Request to join that group and I’ll get you added ASAP. I’m giving away a pair of leggings right now, so make sure you enter! That is the only place I can sell online, and where all the live Facebook videos and album sales will take place. We will have at least one live Facebook sale a week, along with an album sale. It is going to be so much to interact with you all more this way!

2017 is going to be an awesome year! This is the year of Focus for me, and LulaRoe is definitely one of those things I’m going to be focusing on. I can’t wait to offer even more modest clothing for you all!

Let the new adventure begin! 🙂





How A Family Can Earn Money From Amazon!

This post is a little bit different than some of my other posts, because I am interviewing another homeschooling mom on her Amazon business. I’m actually really excited to share this post with you, because I know there are other families out there looking for a way to bring in some extra income from home.

How a family can earn money from Amazon. Start a family business that involves the whole family, and teach your children business skills as you sell on Amazon!

We have actually started selling on Amazon. We have some of our own clothing items and Character Badges program on Amazon, but we also have started doing retail arbitrage. Not sure what that is? Read on for more info. 🙂 The nice thing is this can include the whole family. Your children can help put labels on, or pack boxes, or go shopping with you, looking for products to sell. Your husband can help as well!

I was able to interview Jessica from The Selling Family, as she is an amazing mom who is now homeschooling, and her husband and her have built up an Amazon business that brings in a full time income for them! Even though I’ve been in the online business world for 5-6 years now, I am still so amazed and intrigued over how she does this!

So here you go…my interview with Jessica where I asked her some questions that I thought you readers might ask, and I hope you enjoy reading the answers! This might even be something your teenage child could do with your supervision to start earning an income, and learn business!

1. How much time does this take each week to bring in a part time income?

This one is actually a little tough to answer because the answer varies so much from person to person!

My definition of “part­time income” might be different than yours. And my other disclaimers are that some people “catch on” to the business faster than others and make it happen sooner, plus there are also a lot of different niches you can get involved in.

However, to answer in a very general way, someone could spend about 10 hours or less a week and make a very nice side income in this business. By that I mean anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars a week to a couple of thousand a month or more. It all depends on your focus and the choices you make.

You’d spend some of that time sourcing, or looking for inventory. You could do that in 3­5 hours and find some product; this is an area sellers get better at and more efficient at as they practice. They might strike out at first, then start finding a few deals, then more and more until they realize there’s opportunity everywhere!

Then it takes some time to list, prep and ship your items, maybe another 1­2 hours there. The time spent on this depends on how many products you’re shipping in to Amazon.

And finally, I’d suggest taking time each week to get more educated and really study the business. This will ultimately help you grow faster and use your time better. You might even consider our Amazon Boot Camp, a step­by­step training to selling on Amazon, that you can work through at your own pace.

And of course, if you have more time you could certainly use it! But overall, many successful sellers are putting in what are considered traditional full­time hours. That’s the beauty of it. You can work as much as you want and then in turn make as much as you want.

2. Is this really something a homeschooling family can do together?

This is perfect for a homeschooling family!

One of the best parts of selling Amazon FBA is how flexible it is. You need to send inventory to Amazon’s warehouses, but there’s no set time for that to happen. You can shop whenever it’s convenient for you and ship at anytime.

We started homeschooling this year and adjusted our schedule. So now I homeschool during the first part of the day and then work on our business later. If I had a homeschool lesson I wanted to work on in the afternoon or at night, I could just as easily work my Amazon business in the morning.

And there are lots of opportunities to work lessons into the business! What better place to learn business, than working in the home business, right?

There’s math involved in calculating profit; or, for the really young ones, they can simply count up how many labels you have and match them to products. For older ones, you could even get into accounting.

You could discuss geography when looking at where you ship your items to or where the buyers are from. Or you could take a road trip! This business can be very mobile; all you’d need is your smartphone and the ability to label and ship items, which you could do by finding a place like Staples or staying with friends and family.

For us, our son loves to be involved. He does things like bring items we are scanning into the computer and tells us how many of each item there are. Then he takes the labels back and helps put them onto the products. When we are packing the boxes he jumps in and helps fill them and even tapes up boxes. It’s something the whole family gets involved in and enjoys doing together.

There are so many ways to get creative with the schedule and with the lessons. If someone wants to know more about getting started, we have a Free 7­Day Email Course  that walks them through the basics.

3. How much money do you need to invest in getting this started?

It would be great if someone starting out had $1,000 to invest. They could get away with less and they could probably move faster with more, but $1,000 is a good middle ground.

With that, you could purchase a good amount of inventory, buy the basic tools you’d need to get started, and even invest in some educational materials or a training course like our Amazon Boot Camp.

A course isn’t mandatory, but it would definitely help speed the process. We see new sellers make a lot of avoidable mistakes that cost them time and money and prolong their success.

So the tools you’d need include a smartphone, computer and printer. If you already have those at home, great! You could buy pretty much everything else for about $100 or less; that include things like boxes, packing tape, and labels.

This blog post goes into more detail about the T op 10 Must­Have Tools for Amazon FBA sellers.

After the tools and the training, you’d have about $500 left to spend on inventory. A lot of people start out with things like used books, which are only a few bucks each; and we recommend that new sellers also search around the house for items they’ve never used that could be worth something.

In these ways and others, a new seller can really stretch that $500 inventory investment.

4. Why is this better than selling on Ebay?

I could write a book on all the ways that selling on Amazon is better than selling on eBay!

I do have to say that I got my start selling online on eBay and that we still use it as an alternate selling platform, so I have a lot of respect for the power of eBay. But Amazon has so many benefits.

First, when you sell on Amazon you immediately get to take advantage of its reputation and its reach. The customers are already there! A brand new seller has a nearly equal chance of getting a sale as an established seller; there’s little to no time spent having to boost your profile stats in order to attract buyers.

Second, you can sell a lot more items in a lot less time!

I sold about 10 items a day on eBay when that was my focus, but I had to handle every single order myself. Now, I find a bunch of inventory, ship it all into Amazon’s fulfillment centers, and they take care of the rest. They store it, receive orders, prep and ship, and handle customer service and returns.

I knew that if I wanted to really scale my business, something had to change. Sure, I could sell 50 items in a day, but then how could I possibly ship it all out myself? So I was definitely at a ceiling in the eBay business, so switching to Amazon was the perfect opportunity.

5. What kind of profit do you look for when selling something on Amazon?

We like to get a 100% Return on Investment whenever possible, so we’re always out to double our money. If we spend $10 on an item, we want $10 net profit.

Of course, it doesn’t always happen that way, but that’s the ideal scenario. Our ROI is a lot higher in the Fourth Quarter, or the Christmas season, than other times of year.

Also, we tend to have a higher ROI on items we find in retail stores, while it’s usually lower when we source for inventory online.

The trade­off is that we tend to buy larger quantities with our online purchases, which makes things a bit easier. So we’ll accept a lower ROI in return for having, say, 100 items we can send in and not think about again, and that’ll continue to pay us for awhile.

6. Do I need a lot of space in my house to do this?

This is another way that selling on Amazon, using the FBA program, is better than selling on eBay!

Amazon stores all of your inventory in their warehouses. So we may bring home a bunch of product, but we’re shipping it out as quickly as possible and getting it out of the house.

Some sellers do wind up using garage and basement space or renting storage units, but it all depends on your business model. We prefer to buy product and send it in to Amazon for order fulfillment.

Caroline here again ~ Thanks Jessica for doing this interview for us!

For more information make sure you sign up for Jessica’s 7 day free email course  and The Selling Family website. These are excellent resources!


A Busy Mom’s Honest Opinion on Running Your Own Business

The busiest and yet the most rewarding thing (business wise) has been owning a company that we call our own. Is it possible for a busy mom to run her own business? Yes. Is it a difficult thing to do? Absolutely.

A Busy Mom's Honest Opinion on Running Your Own Business

Sean and I have owned our own businesses for most of our married life. However life did change when I started Deborah & Co. It was very much going to be a part time thing. Then it grew, and the blog grew as well. We never expected that Sean would be able to sell his lawn care company and go back to college full time while I worked from home and homeschooled. It just happened, and we do feel like God really blessed us so that could happen.

However, it has not been without stress. I asked Sean what he would say to another mom thinking of starting a business, and he said “only start one if you have to.”

I personally think there is a big difference between doing a direct sales business versus owning your very own company. There are a lot more decisions and responsibilities, which equals a lot more stress. So…when a mom almost apologizes to me that she isn’t running a business, as well as homeschooling, I always tell them that not everyone is called to do this.

I’m going to assume that I’m writing to a busy homeschooling mama, who wants, or desperately needs to start her own business. Here is the advice I would give.

  1. Consider the cost of getting your business going. I invested in making custom sewn maternity skirts myself (how the business started), but the business didn’t really take off until I invested an initial $1000 in other inventory to sell. You need up front money to start a business, and I’m not sure how far $500 would get you. Plan on at least $1000 in up front costs, but that really depends on what business you are getting into. It could be much, much more than that.
  2. Consider the distraction a business will be. It is crucial that your whole family be involved in this business, as it will take time away from your children and husband. They have to be committed to this just as much as you, otherwise you will have a great deal of extra stress.
  3. Plan on missing outside activities. We have to keep things simple here, and only have music lessons our one consistent activity for the children. Church keeps us busy, and our children have really good friends at church. You have to realize that adding on the responsibility of a business has to take time from a different category in life, and it normally comes from extra curricular activities.
  4. Go into your business with a clear plan on how to market it, your goals for growing it, and how you will fit it into your already busy life.
  5. You have to accept that you are it in the beginning. You will be doing everything. Finding all the product, researching what website to use (I use BigCommerce for Deborah & Co.), designing or hiring a designer for your logo, website and ads,  setting up social media accounts and keeping them active and engaged, doing your books, or hiring an accountant to do them, shipping packages, ordering inventory when you run low. You are the face of the business and the behind the scenes person as well. It can get overwhelming.

If you still feel like starting your very own business is what God has in store for you, then jump in and enjoy the wild ride! It is very possible to do, but you have to be totally committed to your business.

I’d love to hear if you own your own business, and how it works for your family! 

How To Be Successful With Direct Sales

I’m pretty sure that everyone out there has a friend, or knows someone that is in direct sales. And for good reason. Trying to start a business from scratch is hard, hard work. If you can avoid some of the work, and buy into a business where the product is already there for you, and the brand name created, it can make things easier!

How to Be Success at Direct Sales for the Stay at Home mom!

If you are not totally sure what a Direct Sales type business is, here is the quick answer!

Think of a company like Mary Kay. They own the company, but allow consultants to join to sell their products. Consultants pay a fee to join, and earn a certain percentage off each sale they make. It can be a really good thing, or a total flop, depending on what business they join and how hard the person works at making it take off.

The very best business decision Sean and I ever made was for me to join Lilla Rose, which is a direct sales company that offers Flexi hair clips, headbands, bobby pins, etc. This has gone far beyond just bringing in a few hundred dollars a month. It can cover rent, bills, etc. and has been a huge blessing for our family! I’m now a Director with Lilla Rose (there are only a handful of Directors), and have a team of over 450 ladies!

However, my very first paycheck I received from them was less than $30.00. 

People can easily get discouraged with Direct Sales. The enrollment costs are normally pretty reasonable, so it’s easy to join and see what will happen. In order for you to really make a business from a Direct Sales company, you have to be willing to stick with it past the first few months.

How can you succeed in Direct Sales?

Consider what company you are going to join. Once again, it needs to be something you are passionate about doing. There are a lot of different companies out there you could join, so you have a good chance of finding a product that you just love. Keep searching until you find the right company!

Be legal. Start this new adventure from the beginning as a legal business. Research the local laws and figure out your taxes. Set up a separate business checking account, so you can track all of your expenses and income more easily. At the end of the year when tax time comes, it makes things much less complicated!

Consider the Compensation plan. A lot of the companies I see offer consultants the chance to earn 20% up to 50%. Definitely try to find companies that offer the higher compensation if possible. With Lilla Rose you automatically make 30% for each sale you make, but every single month you can earn up to 45% of each sale, depending on the amount of sales you have. It is very possible to reach to that 45% goal each month if you are actively working your business. You will have to work a lot harder to earn a great income with a 20% compensation plan. If you love the product it might work for you, but definitely take it into consideration.

Find a product that people need to purchase more than once. This is really important to some people, not as much to others. You need to decide if it’s a priority to you. If you sell a product like a supplement or makeup, you will get more reorders from customers who want to keep using the product. It makes it nice where you don’t have to find brand new customers constantly. I’ve seen lots of reorders with my Lilla Rose business though, as ladies just want different sizes and styles of clips.

Share the joy, but don’t be a spammer! It’s definitely ok to share on Facebook that you started this company, and are excited about the products. But your personal Facebook page is just that, personal. It’s not the place to promote your business every single day! Create an actual business Facebook page or group, and share your product information there.

Value your friendships! This goes right along with what I just talked about. Friendships can be ruined from one friend getting into a direct sales business, and then putting a lot of pressure on the other friend to host a party, or buy lots of products from her friend! While it is definitely ok to let others know you started a new business, jealously guard that friendship over your business! If your friend shows zero interest, leave it that way, instead of texting, calling, and sending message after message to her inbox. You will have to think outside just your circle of friends to grow your business.

Where to Sell Your Products?

Home Parties – I actually love going to home parties! I think they are a lot of fun, and it’s nice to have a mommy night out and visit with friends. The best home parties are those with low pressure. Have a clean house, some fun games and yummy snacks. Show the products, and let them know you are there if they want to place an order. Don’t push every single person to place an order though, not everyone has the money budgeted and some ladies might just need a night out!

Have a home party with Direct Sales and make it fun!

Shows – Book a show at a convention, outdoor event, a vendor show, etc. Shows can be a lot of hard work, but you can also earn really good money through these shows. Trying to balance the high fees that sometimes comes with these shows is difficult. If it’s your first year, try to ask around and see if you know anyone that has gone to this show before. Make sure it’s well advertised and well attended before spending several hundred dollars to go. If you have zero money left after joining a company, try to only book home parties for awhile.

Grand Opening Party – Have a huge grand opening celebration when you first join! Invite everyone over to your house, host the party yourself (if allowed by your business), and get the interest flowing from that initial party.

Facebook Parties – This has become a really popular way for stay at home moms to earn an income but not leave home! Create a Facebook event, and send out personal messages inviting your friend to that event. Don’t add your entire friend list to that party without asking them!  You can set a live time where everyone comes to the event page and learns about the products and has a chance to purchase, or you can just have an ongoing event (like a week long) where you post new information every single day. If you feel brave, you can even make videos to share in the event!

Catalog Party – If you don’t want to do actual shows, consider giving a friend some catalogs and a few samples that she can show her friends. She will turn the orders back into you in a few weeks. You probably won’t have as successful of a party this way, but it can be less work for the consultant and the hostess.

Blog – This definitely isn’t an option for everyone, but you could consider blogging and then sharing the product you sell on your blog. This is not a fast and easy way to earn income, but if you can’t get out and about easily, this might be a good option.

What to Avoid

Direct sales businesses have sometimes had bad reputations given them, and for good reason. Just like other businesses, some direct sales companies are not set up properly.

Avoid businesses that have high enrollment fees. I would be really cautious about joining a company that required thousands of dollars up front, just to join the company. The only exception would be if you are purchasing actual inventory that you can sell, and the enrollment fee and inventory fee is all packaged together. Make sure you clearly know how much the fees are, and what is inventory.

Avoid businesses that primarily depend on you recruiting others to join under you. The product needs to be able to sell itself and earn you a profit, without being required to enroll others under you. It can be a great blessing to grow a team, but it’s not required.

Avoid businesses where you are required to stock inventory constantly. A friend of mine was in a cosmetic business where they were required to keep inventory. She said sometimes it would expire before she could get it sold, and then she was out that money. I love the fact that Lilla Rose never requires us to purchase inventory! If you sell at shows or parties you will probably want to have things on hand, but definitely make sure that you have control of what inventory you purchase.

So, can you really make this work? Pick a business that feels right to you, be legal, be kind, and be loyal to your friends, and you might discover that you really can do direct sales without the bad reputation! 

If you are interested in joining a Direct Sales company, Lilla Rose is offering a special sale until the end of this month! You can receive free shipping on your enrollment kit, and you can join for as little as $49.99! There are no website fees, no monthly or yearly quotas, no pressure to sell, sell, sell, and you will make some awesome friends through the Facebook group set up for Lilla Rose consultants!

Check out this page where I have a lot more information on becoming a Lilla Rose consultant, and please let me know if you have any questions!

Join Lilla Rose for only $49.95 with free shipping on your enrollment kit!