Friday, April 1, 2011

Tip 1: Make the most of a great resource

 {This is part of the series "Top Ten Tips for Decorating on a Budget"}

If you're reading this post, I hope it means you've stuck with me as we've counted down to this point -- and that you've found some inspiration along the way. I'm going to start this week's tip with a brief apology and clarification: this post could be perceived as shameless self-promotion, as I'm going to direct you to some resources that I do, indeed, profit form. However, its because I'm so enthusiastic about Willow House -- the integrity of the company, the quality and beauty of the products, and the amazing deals available -- that I became a Willow House design consultant and now own my own business. Now, that's out of the way, so let's get down to our last tip!

I remember the excitement I felt when we purchased our last home. The weeks leading up to move-in included selecting a paint color, floor coverings, light fixtures, cabinets, countertops, and even shrubbery! My husband had started a new job, I had a toddler, a preschooler, and was homeschooling my 8th grade son, and either busy or tired (or both) much of the time leading up to the move. Needless to say, there wasn't much time to think about the details of the decor beyond what the builder provided. And after we moved in, I spent my spare time searching for deals on window treatments, odd pieces of furniture, and learning about our new town. After that, there just wasn't much time or money left for decor. I wish I'd had a resource like Willow House back then.

If I had, I could have conveniently browsed through a beautiful design-magazine-style catalog in the comfort of my cozy new home, either in the paper version or online -- no more running all over town buying a piece at a time and hoping it would all work together. I would have also had access to the Willow House e-outlet, with first-quality products at deep discount. I could have stretched my dollars even further if I purchased just $39.95 in regular-priced or e-outlet products, as I would have been able to add one $40 or less item (regular price) to my order for half-price!

I'm afraid that, even with those great deals, I might have wanted more than my budget would allow. But that would've been okay, as I could simply hold a design workshop at my home. My Willow House design consultant would bring beautiful products to show, along with great ideas for decorating, entertaining, and organization for me and my friends to discuss. My friends would have the opportunity for the same great deals I considered above, and I could have a shopping spree for my new home -- I'd pick a high-ticket item to use my 70% discount on, then I'd think through what to get with the hostess dollars I'd earned, as well as the 50% items I could purchase.

However, I think I know myself well enough to realize that once I saw the beautiful products in person, I might want additional products -- and additional income. I'd probably be excited about seeing my friends excited about the products, and about seeing my Willow House design consultant enjoying herself with us that evening. I might ask her how many parties she has to do each month (and learn she sets her own goals), what her commission is (and learn that it's 30% minimum, 5% of which goes directly to pay for business supplies), and how much money it took for her to get started (and learn that she received everything she needed for $200 -- and now she owns her own business). I would be amazed at the different avenues of earning income available through Willow House, as well as all the great incentives the company awards its consultants. I think I'd have to sign up!

Actually, this is very much what happened when we moved into our last home -- except the company was Southern Living at Home, the predecessor of Willow House. The online shopping experience has been added since then, along with even more generous specials. My consultant, Ann Marie, and I have become great friends and she continues to mentor and encourage me along the way. So when Southern Living at Home became Willow House, it was just natural that I would get on board.

If any part of my journey fits where you are right now -- whether you just need a few beautiful and original pieces to fill out some spots in your home, or you would enjoy a design workshop and earning your own shopping spree, or maybe you're intrigued by the idea of owning your own business -- I'd love to be of service to you. I enjoy the opportunity to make some extra cash for our family's budget, but I'm supercharged by helping other women make their home a warm and hospitable place for their families and guests. 

Oh, and here are a couple of other Willow House-related resources to help you on your decorating journey:
  • I offer links to great decorating idea sites, as well as the latest Willow House deals, right on my Willow House Facebook page. Stop by and become a fan.
  • MyStyleShare is a new Willow House community, where we can all share great ideas via photo and video uploads. You'll also see wonderful decorating blogs featured. Join the conversation today!
  • Plate and Pattern is a fun go-to blog for the latest design trends -- and they offer a great giveaway from their prop closet each Tuesday!
If I can answer any questions, feel free to contact me or leave a comment below. Thanks for stopping by!

© Suzanne Jackson 2011.
{I'd love for you to share this post with friends, but please share the full link. Common courtesy dictates that you do not copy the post into your own blog without proper attribution. Thanks!}

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