Flexible working: part 3
If you have been inspired by the stories of Emma and Erin in our flexible working series, but neither cooking nor jewllery are your thing, you may be interested in Jenny’s story. She too is a Mum who looked for something different to fit around family life. We met Jenny when we did a review of me&i products earlier in the year. Unlike that post however, this one is not sponsored. Jenny’s story gives us another perspective on working in the homeselling business and another company which you might like to consider if you are thinking about this type of work.
1) What is your career background originally?
I went to university for 4,5 years and have an exam as language teacher (Swedish/English/French). I worked for 3 years at a secondary school, but then changed career and started working for Volvo IT as project assistant and later project manager.
I started working for me&i in April 2011, after being at home with my girls for 5 ½ years.
I have loved being at home with my girls, but they are getting older and I thought it’s time that I do something for me. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I didn’t want to go back a job where I have to work full time. Home selling is perfect since working hours are flexible, and you pretty much choose when you want to work. I can still do school runs and be with my girls as much as possible. I also get a long summer break and time off over Christmas and other school holidays.
I’m Swedish and knew of the company from my friends back home. My daughters inherited clothes and I absolutely loved them. me&i clothes are different to what you normally find on the High Street – very colourful, comfortable and of high quality. With two girls it’s great when you can hand down clothes that look more or less like new even after the second child.
me&i also has a strong focus on ethical trading and environmental responsibility – something I find important. I couldn’t sell a product I don’t totally believe in and feel passionate
It’s so flexible – I have no set working hours and I can book the parties in round my family timings. I get a lot of nice clothes for myself and the family at a reduced price.
I’ve never seen myself as a sales person before and I’m not the pushy kind. I would like people to come to me because they are genuinely interested in what I have to offer. I have to rely on the fact that my customers like the clothes and are willing to share that with their friends by hosting parties. Since me&i is a small company, there is no big marketing machine behind us and therefore we’re still quite unheard of in the UK, which makes it harder to extend outside your own social circles.
I get out and about more and get to meet lots of new interesting people, so it doesn’t really fell like working. But it’s a nice feeling to be able to contribute a bit towards the household expenses. I’ve always been very independent and never really liked not earning any money.
This depends on how well it goes. Theoretically me&i has great potential and I’m hoping it will really take off once enough people have had the opportunity to experience me&i for themselves. In Scandinavia it’s one of the most popular brands and there are people that sell me&i earning just as much as if they were doing a full time job. In the meanwhile it’s a great experience and will be good to have on the CV if I ever want to go back to a “normal” job.
You can find out more about Jenny, working for me&i or book her for a party you can find her here and here is the link if you want to find out more about me&i. Next week we are going to explore how an interest in Twitter can be turned into a flexible working opportunity.
Other posts in the series