Source: Detroit Business News 5/31/2006

in Home Sales Boom

It's not your mother's Tupperware party

In-home sales of makeup and intimate products boom

CARLETON -- Leslie Zay always struggled with her finances. She often had trouble making ends meet, and sometimes needed public assistance just to put food on her family's table.

Today, Zay owns her own business and collects more than $8,000 a month selling Pure Romance products such as edible body powders, lotions, videos and adult toys designed to put some extra zing in the romance department.

"My business took off right away," said Zay, a 51-year-old grandmother from Hamburg. "It's been phenomenal. It allows me the flexibility in my life to keep me happy."

Zay is among a growing number of people running their own in-home party businesses. Their motivations range from mothers who want a more flexible schedule to laid-off workers looking to replace lost wages.

And they're not just selling Tupperware and Mary Kay cosmetics anymore. Entrepreneurs are hosting in-home sales parties for everything from jewelry to candles to intimate apparel.

There's even Vantel Pearls in the Oyster Inc., where consultants bring live oysters to home parties; guests open the shells and can have the pearls they find inside appraised and set into gold rings.

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