Friday, January 29, 2010
Taking care of business
3:27 p.m. Today's project was to go to both of our banks, to make a deposit into our account and order copies of bank statements, and then put some money for books into Steven's account. Boy, am I glad that we have only one child left in college--at one point, in 2006, we had 4! Kriss still had a year to go at Long Beach State, Heidi was wrapping up at Redlands, Heather was at Brooks Institute of Photography, and Steven was at Cal State San Marcos! Sean has just about completed business courses to go with his automotive repair certificate at RCC thanks to the GI Bill; anyway, he's been on his own since he joined the Marine Reserves in 1993. So I guess we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel! If Steven decides to seek the Masters in Kinesiology required for physical therapy, grad school is on him!
When I gave the cash deposit to the young guy at Altura, he looked at me a bit funny, probably because I'm not a regular, having only just discovered the branch on University, or could be because my name isn't on my son's account. I would assume anyone can put money into another person's account! If he thought I seemed fishy, he could have asked for ID. You'd think a credit union would be glad just to get deposits these days! Was a notation made? Did I get reported to higher-ups sitting watching the camera up above the lobby? Oh well!
I loaded up my Jeep with Mary Kay products, actually most of my inventory, and boxes of samples for my next stop, the Upper Echelon hair salon in MoVal. I had put my personal labels on each packet and tube of skin care, mineral powder foundation, lipstick and lotion last week. The salon has been great for sales, because the owner, Chris, has allowed me to give facials to the patrons and set up seasonal display baskets. Several of the hairdressers are clients of mine, buying the on the spot as well as hosting a parties and keeping catalogs to share with their clients. I hand out samples each time, and also take my compact or compact "pro" (the extra large version) and put on my makeup right there during my blow dry. We regulars are just part of the group!
Even if I don't sell anything, I try to add an element of fun and glamour in a place where those things count. Plus, if your hairdresser uses a product line, you are going to be curious as to why she likes it. Marriages, births, deaths, Steve's and others' illnesses, tough economic times--we help each other through. It's a little community there, a place where all comers can seek support. I am also quite free and open to share my faith. In fact, one hairdresser and client of mine, the hilarious Sue, was telling her client how she gets though her boyfriend's cancer crisis: "I believe," she declared. "I'm a born againer!" Amen to that!
When Irene was finished with my color and style, I went next door to the nail salon for a pedicure. Talk about a contrast! Whereas Upper Echelon was hopping, American Nail has been s-l-o-w. Lisa recently bought the business from April, the manicurist I had witnessed to last year, and to whom I'd given a Vietnamese Bible. (April is now doing nails at WalMart, I discovered last fall). In exchange for free product, April would allow me to use her facial room for patrons for several hours. I brought in business to them with the flyers I handed out to the neighboring businesses in surrounding strip malls.
Today, I met Nancy, Lisa'a assistant, who really had a sweet spirit. When I asked her, "Do you believe in Jesus?" she spoke very passionately about God answering her prayers, and the way he was bringing her family through, and how grateful she is for each day she wakes up! That was so refreshing, an unexpected treat for my day.
Once again, I brought out a full array of lipstick color samples for both of them to choose from, along with hand cream samples. The owner began to share her oily skin issues, and while my toenails were drying, I went out to my car and gave her a full set of "combination/oily" skincare samples and a catalog. More opportunity awaits for women to get help with their skin care needs!
Samples are an expense that doesn't necessarily translate to sales--that's the chance an entrepreneur takes. But the Lord has used them to make an opening for new friendships and future sales. I'm reminded of the verse, "By your patience, possess your souls." (Luke 21:19). Sometimes we just have to wait through dry periods in various areas of life, but when there is comfort, peace, or even an eventual breakthrough, how well we realize that the Lord has not forgotten us--or our hopes!
Today my daughter Heidi called to tell me that a gal who runs a shop we patronize, MG Tires downtown, wants some Mary Kay samples and a catalog. Heidi was scheduling a Monday brake job as follow-up to the tires she bought on referral from us because of the tire we'd bought for our RV. Bingo! A chain of mutual benefit that the Lord organized, because I certainly had forgotten to follow up on the handcream I'd left months ago! Hopefully, when I go over to MG, a sale will be in the offing. And to put the icing on the cake, the owner is a believer, too!
Ecclesiastes 11:1 says, "Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days." Thank you, Lord!!
"Cast your bread