Before she became a mom, she was focused on a career that didn’t involve arts and crafts. You had no idea she made jewelry or knitted hats or took photos or believed in multilevel marketing schemes. You didn’t know any of this until she became a stay-at-home mom. Now, she’s labeled herself an entrepreneur and floods her social media with photos of her wares and links to buy. She instant messages everyone she knows and rattles off her sales pitch. She sends out invites for sales parties no one wants to attend. You want to help her, you really do, but she’s grossly over-valued her crafts and now you own a ridiculously overpriced, slightly misshapen scarf, that you’d never actually wear.
I don’t mean to sound so harsh. These are the words of a woman who hates being sold to and has a difficult time saying no. These are the words of a woman who misses hanging out, unwinding, lying to ourselves about how much wine we drank, and recharging with some nice girl time. This is a woman who hates being bamboozled into a sales meeting. My heart sinks as soon as the sales pitch begins and I realize my friend had no intention of catching up. I’m left feeling used.
I’ve gradually drifted away from friendships, because I was tired of being pressured to buy their crap. One such friend sold jewelry. She had never designed jewelry before. My rather harsh assessment is she was trying to find an easy niche. The jewelry she made was simple, beeds strung onto wire. Still, I attended her trunk show. Over time, I bought about four pairs of earrings, at $20 a pop, during a financially difficult time for me, to help her. Two pairs of earrings broke within a a month. The final straw occurred when she began to contact me only when she wanted to make a sale. She’s had a few different businesses since then and we’re no longer friends.
Even worse are the women who get involved in multilevel marketing schemes, women I had once respected. They are constantly bragging on social media about their “business” in order to lure in new recruits. Better yet, they are constantly posting completely bullshit before and after photos, with the majority of the before photos consistenting of onbviously pregnant women, to sell their miracle drugs. I once looked into buying a miracle product to help a friend, but all her products were stupidly expensive and I was directed to a “Loyalty Program.” I found the courage to say no.
I realize that there are many legitimate artists selling their unique wares on Etsy and other such services. There are actual professional photographers out there who honed their craft and make their living taking photos. Some of them happen to be moms. I’m not referring to these people. These people have training. These people have real skills. These people didn’t start selling products or services they knew nothing about so they could have their very own business, but they are being undercut by people who did.
I’ve heard photographers complain about “moms with cameras” undercutting professional photographers so much, that they make it hard for the professionals to compete. Apparently, you can become a photographer by simply having kids, buying an expensive camera and taking photos of your kids with newly purchased camera. Suddenly, you’re a photographer. Those photographers with years of training and making a living from photography are silly. Mom with camera just needs to take some cute photos and earn some pocket money.
And so, for all the reasons listed herein, I will not buy the crap you’re selling on Etsy, or become a part of your multilevel marketing scheme or hire you to take photos of my kids. I’m not going to indulge you by investing my time or money on businesses you’ve formed as a means to flatter yourself and/or keep yourself busy and/or avoid finding work that’d require you to work outside the home. Try a hobby instead.