…and rockin’ it proudly too!  You know, it never occurred to me that a major perk of being a Silpada Designs independent rep was that I get to wear my inventory!  Well duh already! 

And I’m learning how to change my typical responses to questions or compliments about what I’m wearing.  Trust me, I eat up compliments with a spoon – a warm, genuine smile and ‘thank you’ is all you need!  Work it!  I’m not shy if you haven’t picked up on that.  Now, I’m starting to say things like, “Thank you! It’s Silpada…have you heard of it?”  And see where the conversation takes us. 

I love talking about what I love – don’t we all?  And I’m having a blast sharing my passion for this jewelry – I bought my first piece about 3 years ago at a neighbor’s party.  A bracelet with beautiful, flat square, warm-toned stones framed in sterling silver with a toggle closure.  I’ve worn that bracelet at least twice a week since and always get compliments.  It looks great with casual workwear, a t-shirt and shorts or a dress!  I probably paid around $170 for it and it was worth every penny.

The hot UPS man delivered my Silpada start up kit on the Monday of Thanksgiving week – two large boxes full of binders, training CDs and DVDs, order forms, catalogues, and…of course…my first jewelry!  And a few of you who tune in here regularly might recall that was when I was still waiting for my furnace to be fixed so it was damn cold in here! [My furnace died on 11/19 and did not get fixed until 11/23.  Trust me, that’s a longggg time to go without heat – not to mention the snow and record cold temperatures].  It was funny trying to try on necklaces, rings and earrings – brrrr that silver was cold against my skin!

So check out the picture here – and pardon the weird hand positioning.  This is an attempt to hide my desperate need of a manicure as I snapped this with my phone, ha ha.  The ring is sterling silver with beautiful scrollwork and the stone is a chalcedony.  A WHAT?  That’s ‘kal SED nee.’  Yep, it fooled me too.  It’s a semi-precious stone in the quartz family.  And it’s stunning.  And as I like to describe this jewelry… ‘heft but not heavy.’  Meaning, it feels solid, not chintzy, but isn’t uncomfortable and heavy.  THAT’S the perfect balance.  If jewelry is too heavy it’s going to weigh down my hands as I work. Heavy earrings pull my earlobes down too far.  No thanks.  And gross.

And that incredible bangle?  Gorgeous, hand-hammered sterling silver.  It’s absolutely fantastic and I could probably wear it daily.  It’s fun pairing it up with other bracelets too.

What am I learning?  Never ever EVER go anywhere without a catalogue or at minimum a few business cards (I got business cards and a rubber stamp as part of my start up kit!).  Case in point:  I walked over to a cafeteria in a building across the street from mine at work yesterday (nice change of pace and it wasn’t raining.  Plus I needed an ATM as I was out of cash).  I got a nice cup of corn chowder to go and the cashier simply gushed over that bangle – “OMG!  I LOVE silver jewelry!!”  I said oh thanks, it’s Silpada, have you heard of it?  Probably not the best time to start up a conversation during the lunch rush. I was totally surprised and caught off guard.  And a little tongue tied.

So what did I do?  I walked back to my building, got a business card, walked back across the street to that cafeteria, stood in the (long) line again, and when it was my turn I said, “Hey it’s me again, I’m {fivenineteen} – here’s my card.  It has a link to my website and our catalogue.  I do individual orders and home shopping parties.  Please contact me anytime if you have questions or would like more info!”  She smiled and thanked me.  Who knows what if anything will come of it.  BUT.  I’m glad I spotted an opportunity.  Because you never, never know.  I keep a couple catalogues in my laptop briefcase too.  I’ve already had a few questions from co-workers – the two women I share an office with, to chit chat at the ladies room sink!  Love it.

Know who else admired the jewelry?  The furnace repair guy.  He spotted my pieces all displayed proudly on my dining room table and said oh gosh, my wife makes jewelry!  We’ll see where this leads to.  And even my 7 year old nephew over Thanksgiving weekend hugged me as he was leaving and said “Auntie, I like your jewelry.”  His Mom (my sister-in-law) bought me a beautiful Silpada stretch bracelet set with copper and silver beads for my birthday a couple years ago, so I guess he’s had good training! 

So between the furnace repair guy, my nephew and the cafeteria cashier, I got a good healthy dose of boomboomboom real life learning – you never know who will ask…and ya gotta be prepared to respond!

I’m also getting used to hearing NO.  I do home shopping parties – well, I will be, but I have to start asking people I know if they’d be interested in hosting a show of their own.  The idea is to get parties booked and from there follow up with guests to see if they’d be interested in having their own show to keep your sales going.  And whomever hosts the show gets a portion of her party’s total retail sales as credit toward her own free jewelry.  How cool is this? 

One of the speakers at the Founders Tour downtown a couple weeks ago said something that really resonated with me.  “If you’re not hearing ‘no,’ you’re not asking enough.”  Meaning, get used to hearing no!  All you need to do is ASK…you don’t own the response!  And find out if a no means ‘not now’ or ‘never.’  No is no problem!

So, I keep my trusty spreadsheet updated – who I’ve called or emailed and the responses.  I’m really excited to get this business off the ground and am learning it takes at least 10 no’s before you find a yes. 

Enthusiastically sowing the seeds here.  I can’t wait!