• 46°

Purses and parties: Owners of local direct-sales companies say business is booming

By Susan Shinn
sshinn@salisburypost.com
CHINA GROVE ó No matter the state of the economy, a girl’s gotta have a new purse, right?
Or a new lipstick.
Or a pair of earrings.
That may be one reason direct sales businesses are doing so well right now, despite the economic doom and gloom.
The purses that Jennifer Carracio sells are anything but gloomy.
Cheerful polka-dots and eye-catching prints and bright stripes.
Jennifer signed on to sell purses last May after going to a show at a neighbor’s house.
She’s now a top salesperson, and purses with her name embroidered on them ó Carracio! ó are in the company’s spring and summer catalog.
Jennifer typically didn’t attend home shows, but saw the catalog and thought it all looked pretty cute.
“The company is family-friendly and the merchandise is reasonably priced,” says Jennifer, 36, a stay-at-home mom of four.
The company is also faith-based. The name Thirty-One is based on Proverbs 31, about the virtuous woman.
“I really was praying about something to come along part-time,” says Jennifer, who was a Title I reading specialist in Rowan-Salisbury Schools.
“I’ve made it a full-time job that fits around everybody’s schedules,” Jennifer says. She was recently promoted to director and has 10 other women on her team. Seven have signed on since January.
“There’s still that social aspect of home shows,” Jennifer says. “People are still wanting to buy gifts, but are more inclined to buy a lower-priced gift that’s useful.”
Not only does Thirty-One offer purses, there are lunch bags, gym bags, cosmetic bags, totes, stationery and more. There are even “skirt purses” ó skirts with interchangeable covers.
“Women are still gonna buy a purse every season,” Jennifer says. “Women who have previously bought name brands are able to look at Thirty-One as an affordable option.”
Fabric bags average around $45, and may or may not be personalized, Jennifer says, although most women choose that option.
Thirty-One is a debt-free company, Jennifer notes, and is adding two divisions this year: 31 kids and Direction for teens.
Because the company is faith-based, Jennifer says, “I get to share a little bit about my faith.
“I really felt that God had opened this door for a reason. This is where God is wanting me to be. It’s just been a neat, neat opportunity.”
Jennifer is partnering with friends Jeff and Kathy Padgett in Concord, who buy jewelry. So you can bring any gold jewelry you’d like to sell, and pocket some cash or buy a new purse at one of Jennifer’s shows.
Jennifer says that her own direct-sales business “is going gangbusters.”
“It’s a niche that’s not been touched by the economy,” she says. “Last month, I made more than I did as a teacher.”
Jennifer typically does two shows a week, usually on Tuesday and Thursday.
“It’s all flexible if I can get babysitting worked out ahead of time,” she says.
She’s also willing to do fundraisers. She typically gives 20 percent of proceeds to an organization.
“Then I get the hostess freebies, which helps me build my display,” she says.
Jennifer’s husband Frank owns his own business as well, Not Just Franks, at Carolina Mall in Concord. He’s looking to expand the business.
Jennifer constantly strives to do it all.
“Because I love Thirty-One so much, it’s hard to find a balance ó juggling all I want to be as a mommy and as a wife, and all I need to be for the business. That’s the challenge.”

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Bell Tower Green renamed to honor Stanbacks; Nancy Stanback receives key to city

Business

Commissioners green light additional houses at Cherry Treesort in China Grove

Education

A.L. Brown will hold in-person, outdoor graduation

Local

Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park

Local

City to vote on apartment developments, final phases of Grants Creek Greenway project

High School

High school football: North receiver McArthur a rising star

Columnists

Carl Blankenship: Pollen and prejudice make their return

News

Harris pitches $2.3T spending plan on trip to North Carolina

Nation/World

Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Man takes deputies on chase with stolen moped

Coronavirus

Afternoon, evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic planned Thursday

Crime

Concord man charged with woman’s murder in drive-by shooting

Ask Us

Ask Us: Have city, county elected officials received COVID-19 vaccine?

Local

City gives away nearly 100 trees during ‘We Dig Salisbury’ event

Local

Political Notebook: Bitzer expects most ‘Trump-like’ candidate to be favorite in state’s Senate race

Crime

Blotter: Concord man arrested in Rowan for indecent liberties with children

Coronavirus

Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

Nation/World

Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting

News

Hester Ford, oldest living American, dies at 115 … or 116?

Local

Size of pipeline spill again underestimated in North Carolina

BREAKING NEWS

Kannapolis Police searching for suspect who fled scene of homicide

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County

College

Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park