Mother bags success with her home business
TRINITY - Guys can retreat to their man caves, so Kim Washington thinks it's only fair women have their own space. "It's my woman cave," Washington says with a chuckle as she points around the room dedicated to her home-based business in her house in the Longleaf community. She supervises thousands of representatives as an independent senior executive director for Thirty-One Gifts. She earned about $325,000 in 2011. "If you can dream it, you can do it," a desktop sign reads. It's her favorite quote from Walt Disney.Many people have heard of Avon, Tupperware and other firms that sell directly to residents or through parties at homes. Washington intends to raise even more awareness of Thirty-One Gifts, which offers purses, totes and other accessories — "things to simplify your life." The name refers to a passage in Proverbs 31 about a virtuous woman. A free seminar, "Success, It's in the Bag," will be held 4 p.m. Saturday at Toast, 7121 State Road 52, New Port Richey, in the Bealls shopping center. To reserve a spot, email Washington at email@example.com or call Diane Jones at (727) 992-6928. A mother of two, Washington started her own direct sales business about six years ago as a consultant with the direct-sales company, Jones said. Today, Washington has more than 3,100 consultants on her team. She made quite a comfortable living last year — well into six figures. Washington doesn't miss her old job punching a clock as a human resources recruiting manager in Clearwater. "It was a call-center atmosphere" and the commute wasn't much fun either, she said. She wanted to stay home for her children, Kaylie, 9, and Dean, 7. The Thirty-One Gifts consultant work unleashed her from the grind of her old job and commute. Washington began her Thirty-One career for the same reasons many other women do — because her family was hurting financially and the idea of making a little bit of extra money was too good to pass up, Jones said. During her first year, Washington earned $12,000 selling Thirty-One products. During her second year as a consultant, her husband, Dave, was laid off from his job, and her Thirty-One business helped her pay their mortgage and other living expenses. Fast forward to today, when she makes a six-figure salary, based on her own sales and those of her "Team Washington" consultant force. "I know that it is difficult for people to believe that you can have the kind of success I've had by selling purses and tote bags, but it is possible," Washington said.
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