KEEPing True - Tales of a reluctant business owner

Five Unexpected Ways Becoming a KEEP Collective Designer Changed My Life

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I am an introvert and I am not ashamed to admit it. As such, I tend to be a bit stuck in my ways. I find comfort in the familiar and avoid change as much as possible. But along with that personality quirk, I also tend to be a worrier. So of course, when my husband and I decided to look for a new house in few years, I instantly began to fret over finances.

I never would have sought out an opportunity in direct sales. The stars just happened to align in the right way. Like so many people, I initially had a bad taste in my mouth regarding the concept of an MLM. (You can read about that in my article Demolishing the Direct Sales Stigma.) As it was, I had the need, and I found a product I loved. I didn’t really believe I would be good at it, but I decided to give it a chance. I had no idea that the small cost of buying in to KEEP Collective would change my life.

1. KEEP Collective has increased my collection of meaningful jewelry

Okay, so perhaps this one is not unexpected and isn’t exactly life-changing, but it certainly is something I love about being a designer. KEEP Collective offers three different starter kits, so you can choose whatever works for you financially. For as little as $99, you can purchase a kit that includes over $300 worth of KEEP Collective jewelry and marketing materials. Check out the specifics about each starter kit here.

Designers also get 50% off retail price in their first month of being a designer. Designers don’t carry inventory to sell outright, so this enables you to increase your collection. You get to then showcase everything KEEP has to offer when you do in-home design sessions or vendor events. After that, the everyday discount is 25% off…still pretty amazing!

Every time a new line is launched, designers have the opportunity to “sample” the new inventory at a 50% discount. To qualify, you just need to sell at least $300 in a three month period.

One of my favorite perks, however, is the “Season Pass.” If you qualify all three months in a quarter, you get to purchase $250 in credits for just $50! I have purchased most of my KEEP Collective collection thanks to earning the Season Pass

KEEP Collective rewards their designers well. In addition to these regular perks, there are other incentives! I also was able to earn an additional $100 in product credit through a promotion they did over the holidays. I love seeing what additional goodies the company will offer as the year unfolds. It is so nice to be rewarded for your dedication.

2. KEEP Collective has given me a community

I have always had a tight circle of close friends, but it’s not a big group. As we get older, it becomes more difficult to get together. My boys are my world, but sometimes I do miss female companionship. KEEP Collective has helped to extend my circle of female friends.

It’s so cliche to say that I’ve “found my tribe,” but it’s true. Every woman that I have encountered in this company has been so encouraging and supportive. It’s not a competition or a race to the finish, but truly a team. I never feel silly asking a question, or embarrassed by my lack of sales experience. I signed on to this company with a woman that I have never met in person. In fact, I have never met a single member of my team in person. But that does not make me feel any less close to them. They offer support when I need it, cheer for my successes, and talk me through my disappointments. We even did a Secret Santa gift exchange this year!

My KEEP Sister’s Secret Santa gift

Because many teams are spread across the country, KEEP Collective hosts two events to bring people together. Hoopla is the annual conference held in different locations each year. Last year it was held in Nashville, TN, and it will be hosted in Denver, CO in 2019. My ultimate dream is to earn a Glam getaway vacation. This year my KEEP sisters will be cruising to the Bahamas, all expenses paid. Earn enough points, you can even cruise with a guest! Next year, I hope to join them and actually meet in person the women that have become my friends.

3. KEEP Collective lets me contribute more to my family without taking time away from them

As working women, we are all very aware of the Domestic Burden. I work hard to provide for my family, as does my husband. But the nature of my job does not allow me to work overtime if we want more income. Even if it did, how would I have time?

KEEP Collective gives me the opportunity to provide extra income for my family without leaving my couch. While I have done in-home design sessions, most of my parties are done online. Clearly there is a benefit to the face-to-face design session. Guests can admire the jewelry in person, and everyone has the opportunity to chat and socialize. The convenience of online parties, however, is huge! They provide not only me, but the hostess and party-goers the same opportunities, but without the inconveniences. No one needs to arrange a babysitter or feel guilty that they are taking time away from their family. Everything can be done from the comfort of your own home.

Designers earn a generous 25% sales commission. Your commission goes up the more you sell. You have the opportunity to earn as much as 35% commission! KEEP also offers many bonuses for sponsoring other designers.

I work only as hard as I want to or time permits. During the end of the semester when I was overloaded with papers to grade, KEEP took a backseat. This summer when I have time off, I will work hard to get us closer to our financial goals. This is a freedom I would never find from a brick and mortar business.

4. KEEP Collective has renewed my sense of self-worth

I did not realize until I started this journey just how many childhood insecurities I still have. I spend all day preaching to my students that they have a voice worth listening to. This experience made me realize that I didn’t listen to that advice myself. I was embarrassed to post about starting this new adventure. Then, I was embarrassed to ask people if they wanted to check out what KEEP has to offer. Of course, if I didn’t do those things, I certainly couldn’t be successful! And while I don’t like to open myself up to criticism, I hate to fail even more. So I did it. Did my posts about my new adventure annoy some people? Perhaps. Did I get a lot more support than outward criticism? Absolutely.

Through this journey, I’ve realized a couple of important things. The people that find my new adventures “annoying” are probably not the ones I need in my life anyway. Your true friends will support your journey even if they don’t need or want what you are selling. What’s more, there will be people that come out to cheer for you that you never even expected.

The idea that you are not selling a product so much as you are selling yourself is a powerful one. My unwillingness to accept failure has forced me to see myself as someone worth buying into. Does it still sting when I ask someone if they’d like to host a party and they say no? Oh, yes. Do I want to hide in embarrassment when they ignore me completely? Without a doubt. But I’ve realized that for every no, there is a yes waiting around the corner.

5. KEEP Collective helps me share the stories of others

KEEP Collective isn’t a product that I sell just for me. The only reason that I even bought into this company is because I loved the message behind the product. Every woman has a story worth telling, and this jewelry gives you a format for sharing it. I sell KEEP Collective because of what it represents. I ask people to host a party, not just because I want to make a sale. It’s because I want to share my love of KEEP with others. I truly want to help them earn hostess credits so that they can fill their jewelry box with meaningful pieces that they earned. The “no” that I occasionally receive is not a rejection of me, but instead a missed opportunity for them. I will come back and ask them again, because I want them to honor the story they have to tell.

The Truth? Joining KEEP was the best impulsive decision I’ve ever made

Impulsive decisions are not things that I usually do, but joining KEEP was one. I found a product I loved while I was worrying about finances…it was as simple as that. However, it truly was one of the best decisions I ever made. The title for this article might be attention grabbing in the cheesiest of ways, but it is true. I cannot promise that I will be with KEEP Collective forever. Life happens and journeys take us to unexpected places. But I do know that I am thrilled that I made this impulsive leap, and I love the path that I am on and excited to see where it will take me.

Are you interested in joining me on this journey?  Comment below, email me at rachelehollingsworth@booksandbangles.com, or join my VIP group to stay in touch or get more information on this amazing opportunity.

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