I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Once I fell into the world of direct sales, I was hooked. I knew it was the industry for me, but I knew that there was a way for me to impact the local direct sales industry by doing more than hosting parties. This is my story of how I started a business in vendor event planning.
Organizing vendor events on my own started as a dare. I was new to direct sales and struggling to get my warm market to host a party for me, so I needed to get myself out of my social circle to meet new people. Let me tell you, as an introvert, this can be incredibly difficult, but I kept trying because I knew that I loved this industry and my gut told me that I was meant to build a career within it.
I discovered some local craft shows and applied, waiting every day for the letter to come in the mail that I was approved (yes, actual snail mail…..) for the show. What I got was a lot of rejections because of my “mass produced crap” and being told “You direct sales people are the Devil. You people are ruining the crafting industry.” (actual quotes) Let’s just say, these were the pre-Etsy and pre-Pinterest days. Heck, I am not even sure Facebook was a thing at that point. Anywho…..I started making contacts with local reps….thanks, Yahoo Groups!
Then it happened. I was accepted into my first event! I went, excited to show off my products and meet a bunch of new customers, hostesses and team mates. I sold 1 item for $3 and met a bunch of people. That three-dollar sale and new connections were the sign I needed to know that I loved events. I started applying to more events and booking more dates. This became fun!
After some great shows, disaster hit. Worst show ever. Nobody showed up because we were in a hotel basement with multiple rooms. I was crammed in a room with bad lighting and four other vendors who brought all of their inventory with them and we were all jockeying for space.
I was telling a friend how bad it was and her response was “Well, if you think you can do better, go and do it!” Thanks Cindi! I will always be grateful for your straightforward advice!
That was the beginning of what is now Events by Stacy. In 2003, I organized my first vendor event. I was terrified, but soon discovered that organizing them was even more fun than being a vendor! I have learned so much over the past 13 year as well as gained an amazing amount of knowledge about the industry, developed new skills and made some lifelong friends – including ones I haven’t met in person yet! It has become so much more than a hobby. Earlier this year, I turned it into an actual business and have plans for expanding into some awesome areas of direct sales, MLM and vendor events and I cannot wait to share it with you!