Monday, November 6, 2017

Montreal in the Fall and Other Things I Love about being a Chloe + Isabel Merchandiser

In truth, it's hard to find the time or motivation to write a blog post anymore so you've got to figure I have something important to say. This week Chloe + Isabel announced our next merchandiser incentive trip and I simply can't keep my mouth shut!

I thought when I got back from Montreal I'd jump right on here and tell you about how magical it was, and it was magical. But then life happened. But here I am with the details of the next trip thinking, can this really be true? How did this happen?


So naturally, to explain my excitement, I have to tell you about my first incentive trip. It was also my first time outside the US, and so many other firsts. I genuinely felt like a VIP, in my boutique hotel room in the heart of this romantic city with invitations to fancy dinner parties.



 

The company covered everything from travel costs to breakfast. I explored the cobble stone lined streets with my CandI sisters.





We bonded over Christmas shopping, architecture, jazz, and food.


Lots and lots of food. And yes, I had my first poutine and smoked meat sandwich!



I remember hearing about this opportunity and thinking, this is completely unattainable, surely they will give us outrageous goals to reach to earn it. Next thing I knew, I was planning baby sitters and packing my bags. I spent 4 days relaxing, building friendships, pampering myself and got my first taste of international travel.



While we were there, they hinted at Paris, France and sure enough we'll be traveling to April in 2018! And when I say "we" I mean, there's no way I'm missing out! This time we are going for 7 days, staying in another fancy hotel, visiting Monet's garden, The Louvre, and having dinner at Moulin Rouge!

So why do I think this is relevant to you? I figure whether you are a customer, friend, fellow Etsy seller, or you found me in your search for work from home income, Paris is always a good idea.

When I joined Chloe + Isabel, one thing that really struck me was this little blurb I read on a gal's website (the gal who invited me to C+I). It was her "why", why she joined C+I. She said she wanted to travel more. This awoke something inside me, wanderlust.



While planning for the trip a friend warned me, once you get a taste you'll just want more. Sitting atop the William Gray Hotel watching one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen, she couldn't be more right.

Of course, it's hard work to get there. But you'll have a big supporter --> me! I've been in your shoes, I asked all those questions, and then I took the leap. I've reached every goal I've set, provided for my family, and grown in ways I wasn't expecting at all.

No doubt you have questions. Of course, I can't post all the secret sauce ingredients to how I got there here, but I'd love to talk with you one on one. Find me on Facebook or email me and let's see if this is something you can do alongside your handmade business or do for fun on the weekends.

One thing I don't mind posting, our amazing kit.


As if that weren't ridiculous enough, the kit currently includes this booster: 


***Update 11/10/17 for this month only, if I send you an invitation via email to join and you accept, both you and I receive an additional $150 in jewelry credit!***

I've created a boomerang so you can see previous merchandiser kits, the costs, fees (none!) and all that jazz. Start here and when you get back, send me a message on Facebook.

What have you got to lose? There's really so much to gain!

Let's wander, together. Meet me in Paris.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

What's in the Kit: The Chloe + Isabel Merchandiser Starter Kit Fall 2017

If you've been following my blog for years, you may know me as an Etsy shop owner and handmade advocate. Let's be honest, few people have the luxury of surviving exclusively on this type of income. I'm also a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel. If you've stumbled upon this post, you may be considering becoming a Chloe + Isabel Merchandiser. Either way, this post is for you.

I can't wait to spill the beans on the must fun job I've had to date. I'll take you through the most commonly asked questions Chloe + Isabel jewelry lovers have when considering this unique opportunity. You may have come across the first article I wrote on the subject before reading this. This post includes updates and special promotions for September 2017. For the latest kit, click here.

Let's begin with the Q&A:

1. What's in the Kit?


There's an easy one, here you go!

You'll noticed it's changed a little since I joined. They still include a carrying case, catalogs, and order forms to get you started. Also, a variety of metals, mix of classic and modern designs, our signature wrap bracelets and plenty of convertible pieces (a feature that is sure to win over new clients).

The overall value of the kit is phenomenal, $800 worth of jewelry for just $175 (plus materials). But wait....there's more! This month only Chloe + Isabel is offering new merchandisers additional perks for joining, 6 pieces from the fall 2017 collection!


With the bonus kit included, the retail value is ~$1200! I wish my kit came with all this goodness!

2. Does Chloe + Isabel have a sales quota?


We most certainly do but you have 6 months to meet it, and it's $600. You'll accomplish this with your first party, I guarantee it. But I'm sure you'll see in time that this number more than reasonable. (This number was $100 in 6 months previously, this post had an update)

At this point you're probably thinking to yourself, it seems to good to be true. I was skeptical. But I assure you, the risk here is minimal. For me personally, I didn't consider it any risk at all, given I love the jewelry. There are absolutely no hidden fees or expectations.



3. What kind of discount do merchandisers receive?

Perhaps you are a kit napper, as they say. You want the goods! We offer a 30% discount to merchandisers at all times. When new items are released and during the first 30 days after you join, merchandisers receive 50% off!


4. Talk to me about commission.


All of our merchandisers start out at 25% commission. This pretty standard across brands. Merchandisers who reach sales goals can earn as much as 40% commission. Commission is paid monthly, or bi-monthly during special promotions, via direct deposit. Merchandisers are responsible for paying income tax as applicable.

In addition to commission, there are incentives for hitting milestones and goals. These vary from cash to free jewelry. Read on to hear about a special incentive I earned.


5. Is the website provided for sales and training easy to manage?


Absolutely. You'll receive your own website for sales with a unique link at no cost to you. The academy online offers a variety of tools to learn and grow your business. Additionally, you'll be assigned to a team where you'll receive support and encouragement. Our Facebook community is my favorite of all of the resources we have. You have someone at your fingertips 24 hours a day to answer questions, give advice and share ideas with.



6. Why C+I?


Since joining C+I, I've learned a lot about what sets our company apart from the rest. Our product is high quality, made to last. It's hypoallergenic and nickel free. Women can shop your boutique confidently, knowing that each piece is thoughtfully and carefully made. Sometimes the unexpected happens and beloved pieces break or arrive flawed. Our lifetime guarantee protects our customers from buyers remorse in any and all circumstances. Our customer service is top notch. Customers also love having a personal shopper, unique styles, a constantly rotating catalog and styling ideas.

Our merchandiser community is buzzing with the phrase "best kept secret" and I've found this to be true. With just 6 years under our belt, our brand is often a pleasant surprise to new clients. Our product is not sold in retail stores or on other websites. Our customers love to parade their exclusive jewelry around the office, on the town and out and about.


At this point the only question you might be asking is, why not? If you are wondering about the investment of time or energy, just know that our community of merchandisers is women from all walks of life. The beauty of this opportunity is that your experience will be as unique as you are.

Ultimately, I decided the opportunity was just that - an opportunity! An opportunity to learn and grow, provide for my family and do something fun! It has done all of those things, and so much more.

About a year ago, a friend of mine in direct sales posted a picture of a car people had earned working for their brand. I thought, that's outrageous, it's just a bunch of smoke in mirrors. Cut to September 2017, I earned a trip to Montreal. That's right, Chloe + Isabel is paying for me to go on vacation and I couldn't be more excited! If you're following me on Pinterest, you may have recently seen an influx of pins with travel ideas for this magical destination.


I'm not suggesting everyone who joins will achieve this, but it's definitely a real possibility. Chloe + Isabel sent me the beautiful leather passport holder in the picture above, underneath the Sunlit Savannah necklace. For the first time in my life, I feel like I'm really going somewhere.

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to comment publicly or anonymously with questions. Even better, let's talk, online or in person (if you are in Orange County, CA) and answer any questions you might have. You can find me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChloeandIsabelInsideScoopVIP/

Last, I'll leave you with this thought. What is life, but one grand adventure? Read on here.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Chloe + Isabel Semi-Annual Sale + Clearance Summer 2017

Eeeekkkk!!!! The Chloe + Isabel semi-annual sale and clearance snuck up on me! I was over here trying to summer and boom, there it was. And in just one day, items are already flying off the shelf. I simply couldn't leave you, my lovely reader, in the dark! These are the best prices of the year.

As always, I have some lovely styled pictures for inspiration, recommendations from my jewelry box (lucky you, getting them at a deep discount!), and a little motivation...read on to the end!

Here are the must haves from this amazing sale:

1. The Hero Collection


I only recently discovered this cool, edgy, versatile collection and am not sure what took me so long! The semi-precious black stone and howlite combination is perfection. I think I was scared of the glass and tassel but they've grown on me. And the top layer of the convertible necklace is the only thing I brought with me camping and it went with every single top I brought.

Clearance is the perfect time to try something out of your comfort zone, if you're on the fence. Reminder: the tassels are removable!

Necklace on the left: Here
Right: Here
Matching bracelet (not shown): Here
Ring (not shown): Here

2. The Golden Lotus Statement Necklace


To me it's crazy to see pieces from the new collection marked down, but there it is. Don't be intimidated by this magnificent collar, it's much lighter and more delicate than you'd imagine. Maybe Golden Lotus isn't your style, but it really is a great time to buy statement pieces, the prices are unreal! But seriously, this one is awesome.

Necklace: Here
Matching wrap bracelet (not shown): Here

3. Anything Aventine


The only explanation I can come up with as to why they'd give away this statement necklace for $37 or it's super popular sister the convertible layered necklace for $35 is that everyone has one because it's stunning.

While I was writing this, the pendant sold out. I'm serious guys, if you see something you need, act fast.

Statement earrings (not shown): Here
Matching ring (not shown):  Here

4. A Convertible Necklace

Our signature style, and on sale! We do the hard work (perfectly match the layers), you wear it with everything! Each layer can be removed for a whole new look, and interchanges with layers from other pieces collections.


Medina Necklace: Here
Minaret (not shown): Here multi-color, Here in blue hues

5. Something Giftable

I gave this gorgeous pendant to my mom for Christmas, she wears it often. Green is something I've only recently discovered to be a neutral. It goes with so much, definitely capsule worthy.


We also have a candle for just $7, charms prices $4-11 (this is my fav), and even a few hair accessories like these, perfectly priced for your gift stash.


I could go on and on, but while I am, the styles are selling out! So I'll end on this note.

Need An Excuse to Shop the Sale?

If you're in my VIP group, you may have already heard about my fundraising efforts to help fund the Anderson's adoption of little Lian from China. This week only, I will donate 30% of purchase made through the Anderson Adoption Fundraiser Pop-Up. You can read more or skip shopping and donate Here.

Not only that, for every $50 spent in July, you'll be entered into a giveaway! Only catch, you have to join my VIP group to enter, but I promise you'll love it there anyway: Join Here.

Occasionally, one might see so many things they "need" that they start thinking about becoming a merchandiser for the discount. If this describes you, shoot me a quick email and let's talk. Find me at moderntypography@aol.com and read more on that subject Here.

Back to the sale, you can find it all Here! But for a very limited time. Be sure and stop back here and share what you love! And go!

Monday, May 22, 2017

My First Year in Direct Sales

Do you think anyone ever said as a kid, "When I grow up I want to work in direct sales!"? Probably not. In fact, even most adults turn their nose at the idea of network marketing. There's still this stigma out there about merchandising. Truly, before I became a stylist with Chloe + Isabel, I believed there must be a catch. I anticipated fees, quotas, team building, awkward social interactions and didn't anticipate real income. I was a typical "kit napper" as we say in the industry. I bought the Chloe + Isabel starter kit just for the jewelry, but not before asking a ton of questions. Ultimately, I decided I had nothing to lose. I'm so glad I took the leap!


While I didn't really intend for this to become an episode of myth busters, I do want to start out by saying SOME of the rumors are true:

We do work in teams. We sell a product we love, and our personal success is a direct result of the time and effort put into selling a well made product, not the dream. Teams are a place of encouragement, inspiration and celebration. I do benefit from inviting others to join, but I seldom do it. The company encourages us to send invitations to women with similar goals and interests, but doesn't every company?



We have quotas...$600 in sales in 6 months! Let's call that a personal order, not a quota.


We have parties! No quotas there. In one year I've had one in home party and participated in 3 vendor events. I didn't care for either format. I happen to love hosting Facebook parties so this has been the avenue for me. Initially I was shooting for 4+ a month but this became overwhelming. Now I'm hosting approximately 2-3 a month and this allows me time to plan and give each party and co-host the attention they deserve. By hosting online, I can avoid spending money on displays, refreshments and transportation. No house cleaning needed. This picture makes me laugh. What's a mom's night out with kids there?!



We have catalogs! This is not your Mamas Avon catalog. It's a big, juicy, modern lookbook in both print and digital/interactive format. Click here to see for yourself.



However, most of the rumors are just that. I think the biggest misconception/fear is that we will invest more than we make. I can attest, real money is to be made here.

But what kind of money you ask? The kind of money that's paid for food for a family of 6 in Orange County, California for a year. Some months the kind of money that pays for that plus gas, utilities, Christmas presents, band booster donations, soccer fees & uniforms, car parts, date nights, shoes, more shoes (I'm talking about kid's shoes by the way), AWANA store donations, and adoption donations. I've paid off a big portion of debt, too.

Best part? This opportunity has allowed me to be home with my kids.


Friday marks my 1 year Candi Anniversary! Come celebrate with me in my Facebook VIP group! I just might be having a giveaway (winky face). I promise, it's a fun and welcoming group with styling ideas, updates about sales & promotions, and many, many laughs.

Be sure and sign up for blog emails, too. I hope to share more about why I chose C+I, how to avoid overspending and focus on a profit if you're in sales, tips & tricks for online parties, and more about direct sales. I also plan to share more about my Etsy shop.

If you're considering taking a leap all your own, you can click here for more info. Won't you message me first? I'd love to get you set up for success and answer any lingering questions you might have: https://www.facebook.com/ChloeandIsabelMelanieRhoades/

Still have questions? Follow this link to a more recent post about what's in the merchandiser kit.


Just feel like shopping? That's welcome, too! Follow my link to shop anytime, day or night.


This blog contains my affiliate link. All opinions are my own. I don't recommend anything I don't love!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Silhouette Cameo 3 Review and Recommendation

In the market for a new cutting machine and wondering which to choose? Or decided on Silhouette but not sure which model is best? While I don't have a Cricut or alternate brand to compare it to, after working with different versions the Silhouette Cameo over the last 3 years I feel confident recommending it and here's why.



The Pros


1. Value
Chances are if you are considering a Silhouette you are either looking for something to replace long, laborous tasks you were doing by hand, a newer tool that works better than what you currently have, or you want to try something new. The Silhouette Cameo has become an affordable option for all.

Let's say in the past you were cutting paper shapes or vinyl stickers with hand tools, tools costing $10 to $20 each. They needed replacing frequently due to dulling? For the same amount of money you once spent on 10-20 paper punches or cutting mats and blades, the Silhouette Cameo 3 has the technology to cut an infinite variety of shapes in any size up to 12 x 12 inches.

Still not convinced? When these machines first came out they were well over $300. With competition raging and so many variations out there, the cost has dropped drastically. They often come with extra tools or add-ons (bundles) like a heat transfer kit, vinyl starter kit or sketch pens, too.

If you don't need all the extras, I recommend this basic bundle on Amazon. Admittedly, I couldn't resist spending a little more to get the heat transfer kit.

Now I know, the earlier versions are cheaper, but you'll see in the next section why paying extra for the latest version is worth it.

2. Upgrades
I've spent countless hours working with early models of the Silhouette Cameo including the first version with button controls and the Silhouette 2 with the touch screen. While I didn't see much difference between the 2, #3 has some pretty significant upgrades:

  • Fully enclosed with cover down
  • Digital touch screen (also present in model 2)
  • Dual cutting tool cartridge 
  • Autoblade
  • Bluetooth capability
  • Compatibility with the latest software updates (glitches with earlier models)


I am in no way knowledgeable about software or technologically savvy, but I have had conversations (in tears) with support over the limitations and problems I've had with the earlier versions of the Silhouette. There's really no way for me to know if those problems were because the earlier machines and the latest software weren't compatible, or there were flaws in the early machinery that they've corrected. All I can say is that I don't have nearly as many problems with registration marks with the latest version. For this reason alone I will pay a little bit more for the most recent model.

Here's just one of many pictures I sent my poor husband when I had trouble with the Silhouette Cameo 2. Shortly after I took this, customer service informed me that registration marks this close to the edge of the page are not read easily by Silhouette Cameo 2. This was about the time I caved and bought the 3.


Regarding the other upgrades, truthfully, I hate the new autoblade. It takes forever to "adjust" before each cut.  I've reverted to using my regular old cutting blade which works perfectly fine with the new machine. I've also never used the bluetooth function or the dual cartridge features. I can see the advantages of having these features though and hope to test them in the near future.

Cons


For me there is just one.

The original Silhouette Cameo did a much better job of "searching" for the registration marks, to the point I could move the paper significantly and they'd still get found. This gave much more life to my mats and allowed me to be lazier with paper placement. This disappeared with the Silhouette 2 and did not return with the Silhouette 3.

You can see in this picture, I've done my best to perfectly align the corner of my page with the corner of the cutting area on the mat.



You can read more on mats here. (as well as some money saving tips).

No matter which machine you choose, you're sure to find some flaws. However, I doubt you'll find a better cutting tool out there. All 3 of mine have endured a good beating from 3 little boys, the shoving of small toys into every crevice, and hours of daily use for my Etsy shop.


Seriously, if you are still cutting paper shapes using squeeze or lever punches, don't wait another minute to make the switch. My hands were numb for months before my husband surprised me with this amazing paper crafting tool for Christmas.

Good luck with your new handy helper, you won't regret it!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. I only blog about things I love.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Chloe + Isabel Friends & Family Semi-Annual Sale & Coupon Code + Spring Collection Reveal

I love it when a Chloe + Isabel sale coincides with a catalog release. Add to the fun, perfect timing for Mother's Day gift shopping (for me)!

If you see something that you can't live without, be sure and use the code FFSPRING17 for 25% off your entire purchase! This offer ends May 1st, don't wait.

I'm not going to waste much time talking. Here's are the lovelies from the new spring line. Click on the pictures to add them to your wish list. First, the apple of my eye, the new Art Deco.


This vintage inspired, eye-catching line was intended to grace the necklines of 2017 brides and bridesmaids. But, like many of our previous wedding minded styles, it's clear this collection will last far beyond that special day.


I'm skipping the wedding part and going straight for happily ever after in this dainty, silver necklace and all the things to match it.

I don't have the full collection, yet. But I simply couldn't resist this unique brooch. It converts into shoe clips!




My Yosi Samra flats (thanks Stitch Fix for the idea!) couldn't be happier.

By the way, these flats come in a ton of colors. Follow this Amazon Affiliate link if you "need" some (size up if between sizes).




These clips stay in place, don't ruin your shoes, and don't hurt your feet. I don't know how they accomplished this but I'm sold.

I love the more comfy ballet flat version, even with a little "something blue" for brides and bridesmaids, but I know most brides will be wearing heels.

How cute are they on the back of these pumps?


I'm delighted to see so many new silver options. The Juliet collection caught my eye immediately. 

While Art Deco satisfies my longing to dress the part of Down Town Abbey or The Great Gatsby, this collection charms my feminine, romantic side.


The Juliet Petite Collar Necklace pairs perfectly with this lacy, cerulean, Mystree top I snagged from Tag Boutique. In the light it gives of slight blush and baby blue hues.

Deeply regretting not picking something from the Rosette collection right now. Next time! Here's a taste.


Chloe + Isabel has so much more than jewelry, as many of you know. I had to splurge on some new Jen Atkin hair accessories. No matter which style I'm wearing around my neck, these stylist clips are a must to keep this hair tame.




This set comes in a gold/rose gold option and silver/hematite.

Clearly I'm going to need this color way, too.


I suppose I do have enough to tide me over, like the Wishbone Pin Set.


And my feather bun cuff, but we all know I'm wearing that everyday as a bracelet cuff.


By the way, last chance on all of those Rebel pieces. Adios Fall 2016 catalog.

Saldy, Summer 2016 is fading fast as well. If you need this wide brimmed straw hat, jump on it. It's limited stock! All these bright, happy Positano inspired pieces are limited, as well.


I wish I'd snapped a picture of my sister wearing this necklace with a mint greenish, light turquoisey tee on Saturday. We almost wore the exact same outfit to my son's soccer game!


All this talk of summer reminded me of this:


"I don't mean to brag but I can still fit in the jewelry I wore last summer."

I don't mind so much that my clothes from last summer don't fit quite the same. This means I get to buy more goodies, like the other Mystree top I grabbed from Tag. Look at how perfectly it goes with my new (though not new to our brand) Lunette Long Pendant Necklace.


There are SO many things I'd love to show you, but the absolute best way to catch the latest styles is in my Facebook VIP group. Don't be shy, we aren't some huge group of force added, faceless people. Just a funny, kind group of women who like to spend our lunch breaks looking at pretty things.

See you there!

This post contains affiliate links. I love Chloe + Isabel so much I became a merchandiser AND blog about it. Feel free to email me with questions about either at moderntypography@aol.com. Read more on the opportunity here.