Saturday, March 29, 2014

Shameless Commerce, pt 2

Okay, so the next thing I want to shill--I mean, tell you about, is this really cool, online personal stylist service called StitchFix.  R happened upon it and thought I would like it.

Here's the deal, you go to their site, fill out the personal profile where you tell them your size(s), your personal style, how much you would spend on certain items, and if you are looking for work clothes or casual or something for an upcoming event, etc.  Then you pay them $20 and wait a month.  A box full of clothes, and sometimes accessories, comes to your door.  You jump up and down and squeal  like a little girl, then try the clothes on.  You keep what you like, pay for it on the website, and return the things you don't like.  The $20 styling fee is deducted from your bill.  If you send everything back, then they keep the $20.  You can schedule regular shipments monthly, quarterly, whatever.  If you want to halt a shipment, you go to the website and halt it or reschedule.

They request links to your blogs, Pinterest account, Twitter, etc., so they can see what you like.  You can also send them photos, I think.  And if there's something you don't like, you can tell them on the website why you didn't like it.  It helps them refine their search for you.

I love, love, love this service.  My first box came last week.  It contained:  dark-wash skinny jeans; a tulip-patterned blouse; a long-sleeved tee with lace embellishment; a grey cascade sweater; and a black shirtdress.

I bought:

The jeans, because they fit great and were exactly what I wanted.
The tulip blouse.  This one gave me pause, because it's not something I would have ever purchased for myself.  However, I thought that it was something I probably should have.  I wore it the same night to a birthday party, and got lots of compliments, so it was a good move to keep it.

This is the untucked version.

I ended up tucking the blouse in and not wearing the necklace.  On Sunday, I wore it with a grey pinstriped skirt and a camel-colored cardigan, accessorized with my Young Women's medallion.  

I sent back:

The tee, because it was pretty boxy.  I have a rectangular shape from side to side, so things like that just make me look boxier.

The sweater, because I already have something quite similar (so it's a win for StitchFix that they chose it for me).

The dress, because I thought it was so beastly that I wouldn't even try it on.  It was a simple, black shirtdress, but it had a very 80's shape to it, with gold buttons down the front, kind of epaulet shoulders, and a skinny self-belt.  I knew it would look terrible on my shape, for one, and for another thing, I thought that I would have to have big, boofy Dynasty hair, too much blush and some gold hoop earrings to wear with it.

Maybe someone could style this and look really good, but I doubt I could.  Yuck!  It just reminds me of too many bad fashion choices in the 80's.  Note the always-stylish Mr. Oliver Hammond.  He did not give any opinion about the dress, except to sniff at it.

So, if you count the sweater, 3/5 things is a pretty good result, better than I usually do when I shop for myself.

If you want to try StitchFix, just click on this link:

Multi-level Marketing--Some Thoughts

Nerium, Shakeology, DoTerra, MaryKay, Thirty-One, Scentsy, Pampered Chef...these are a few of the multi-level marketing businesses friends of mine are involved with.  Personally, I have never been that interested in joining any of these businesses.  Sure, there are people who do really well, but I suspect that for every person that makes the "multi-six-figure income" the top sellers talk about, there are twenty or more people who never really make much on it and have a ton of product in their closets.  That's not to say that any of these products are bad.  In fact, I am a big fan of Nerium and DoTerra products (more on that later) in particular.  But I've always thought of these businesses as targeting the lower-earners and the stay-at-home moms trying to supplement their family income that are really, really hoping that they will be able to ride the MLM gravy train.  (And I really do hope that my friends that are selling stuff do just that, because they are wonderful people and I wish them every success.)

Recently, a friend of mine who is an aesthetician asked me to try Nerium.  It's an anti-aging cream.  I was really skeptical, for one, because I have very sensitive skin; for two, because really, how many anti-aging things have I tried and not been able to keep up with and not had results with?  And the MLM aspect was part of it, too.  Like, I have a kajillion Scentsy things in my linen closet that I bought from a friend and never use or give away as gifts like I thought I would.

But, the friend is a licensed aesthetician, and another friend of mine who is also a licensed aesthetician was the person who got her into Nerium.  So I finally said, "Sure, come on over and let's try this."  Sheila took "before" pictures with her phone, and I used the product for a week.  I wasn't sure that I was seeing results, but she retook the pictures in the exact same light, no filters or photoshopping, and there was a noticeable difference.  I signed up as a "preferred customer", and have been using the product for three weeks.  Here's the results so far:

Pretty amazing, right?  My pores are smaller and my skin tone is more even, plus my skin just looks finer, not as coarse as usual. So, I'm sold on the stuff.  And I have to admit that I'm considering becoming a brand partner, because so many of my friends are interested in trying Nerium.  They currently just have the day cream and night cream, but they will be coming out with an acne treatment that someone in the biz I talked to said is going to be "bigger than Proactiv".

Now some people just haaaaate Nerium.  My aesthetician, Theresa, went bananas when I told her I was going to try it, sent me a link to an anti-Nerium site, and all that.  She tried it a couple of years ago and didn't like it.  So, I'm not going to tell her right away what I've been doing when I go see her for my personal grooming needs on Tuesday.  I'll see if she says anything, and then I'll probably tell her.  She'll tell me I'm putting poison on my face or something like that, but whatevs.

Frankly, R and I don't need the extra income, but it could be something that could make us breathe easier when we take six months off and live in Norway.  Maybe it's a business that my daughter-in-law-to-be could do, being the go-getter that she is.  Maybe other family and friends can do it, and it will help them out financially.  You never know, but I will keep using Nerium and expect that I will continue to have good results.

Okay, and about DoTerra--I was skeptical about the whole essential oil thing, but in desperation I contacted my friend, Amberly, when I was having PMS/early perimenopausal symptoms.  I bought some Solace blend from her, and I find that it really works to ease my mood swings, bloating and stress levels.  It kinda also helps cramps, but it's not a cure for them.  Maybe it's just the scent that works as a reminder to just relax and breathe through it, but it does work for me.

I have another item of shameless commerce, not a MLM thing, but I will do another post for that.
My Rad Life!