Home shopping parties are a local shopping alternative

Justine Haaland

Justine Haaland

The holiday season is just around the corner, and some people might consider Brookings to have a rather small selection of stores for Christmas shopping. Instead people can jump in their cars and travel about an hour to Sioux Falls, order things online, paying shipping and handling fees, or try something a little bit different like home shopping parties.

Home shopping parties are get-togethers put on by sales consultants of products such as Mary Kay or Avon Cosmetics, Lia Sophia jewelry, Pampered Chef cookware and many more. As the name suggests, these parties are held in the comfort of a host’s home or residence hall day room if the consultant happens to be an SDSU student.

“The goal of home shopping parties is to create a nice, welcoming environment,” said Katie Jo McGuire, a senior music education and range science major, and Mary Kay Cosmetics consultant. “You want to make your clients feel comfortable and not pressured to buy anything,” she said.

“The seller was very nice, and I did not feel any pressure to buy anything. After all, we’re college students, and we’re not expected to have money,” said Jessica Slama, a freshman psychology and Spanish major, who recently attended a home shopping party.

During Mary Kay and Avon parties, everyone who comes and gets an opportunity to test out certain cosmetic products.

“At parties we do free facials, give away prizes and different things like that,” said Mary Kay consultant Katie Hearnen, a freshman pre-nursing and psychology major. “It’s a really great way to get friends together and have a little fun,” said Hearnen.

McGuire said the parties generally have a theme like facials, a foot spa, lips or eyes.

Parties usually range from four to ten attendees. “Being a consultant is a great way to meet people and expand your social network,” said McGuire.

“I would recommend a home shopping party compared to buying your cosmetics at a department store, because with a home shopping party, you have a personal consultant to help you with your purchases, whereas in a department store, you probably will not,” said Hearnen.

“I throw a party about every other week,” said McGuire, “I get the word out by calling friends and word-of-mouth.”

“I use Facebook, postcards and sometimes just calling people cold-turkey” said Hearnen.

“I love Mary Kay, so I like to introduce the product to people,” said Hearnen.

“It’s a lot of fun, and there is such a wide age range for the products,” said McGuire. “It’s all about feeling good about making other people feel good,” she said.

#1.883036:3264344819.jpg:homeshopping_SF.jpg:Hope Bowden and Kimberli Nebelsick apply their makeup during a Mary Kay party hosted on campus.:Stephanie Fischer