Tag Archives: Braille

Why I left Forever Living

I’m not afraid to change my mind and admit when I’ve made a mistake.


Six months ago, I started my side business as a distributor of Forever Living Products (FLP). I had several reasons for doing so. One of them was to try and make some extra cash on the side. Another was because whatever I did to try and get a job on the side to finance my music I just couldn’t get anywhere. So although I’ve said previously that it was the ethics of the company and the products, it was just because I felt I was hitting my head against a brick wall. However, I did really believe that then.


Before I go on, everything I said about my C9 experience on my blog is true. It was positive and I learned some new good habits. I also don’t hate the products, or my uplines. I left because of a few things.


Firstly, I felt increasingly unwilling to put in any work. I didn’t like seeing everybody as either potential customers or recruiters. So I wasn’t talking to people enough that my business had the potential to expand.


Secondly, I felt the stress of having to buy in some stock every month to stay active. I never bought more than I could use or sell to my few customers, but this also meant my monthly bonuses were too small to make a difference.


Thirdly, it was the products. They are not bad and I’ve had some good results with many of them, but, remember the post I wrote about L’Occitane? I’d rather spend money on a company that make their products accessible to me by Brailling them and who does so many things I stand for, like the projects in Africa and perfume school for blind teenagers. I know it’s kind of ridiculous to be so in love with a skin care company, but apart from producing excellent good smelling products, the accessibility factor means so much to me. Ok, I can never really make money out of using L’Occitane products, but my money goes to a worthy cause.


Finally, and this is the most important reason of them all, I am getting some new opportunities with both my music and my writing. I won’t say too much before I have some big news, but I have good things in the works. And those things take up enough time that I don’t feel like making time for selling products where the tubes look all the same, not so easy when you can’t see, to people who’re not really interested. Also, the projects I’m working on will bring a more regular monthly income which is what I need.


I’m glad I tried being an FLP distributor though, because every life experience teaches you somethings about yourself that you can bring forward. I’ve had some great sales experiences and met some lovely people and those are positive things. I’ll probably stay away from network marketing for the rest of my life. Not just because it’s not my preferred way of working, but because of the cult like vibes to those companies and I’m not big on cults.

Why I love and identify with L’Occitane en Provence

Disclaimer: L’Occitane is not paying me to write this post. I do it out of love and gratitude.

L’Occitane en Provence is a French personal care, beauty and cosmetics brand founded in 1976 by Olivier Baussan. However, in those days it was a far cry from the International stores which are so popular today. In fact, Olivier Baussan started his business selling essential oils in an open air market in Provence. The first actual store opened in 1978 in Provence and in the 1990s L’Occitane saw International expansion. Today L’occitane shops can be found in over 90 countries in North and South America, Africa, Asia and Europe.

The products are organic, not animal tested and plant based except for beehive products that are used in the manufacturing process. L’Occitane is also practicing traditional ways of cultivating and harvesting ingredients and in the making of the products themselves.

Most ingredients are sourced directly from Provence though the popular shea butter series containing shea butter is purchased directly from women groups in Burkina Faso as Fair Trade.

I love L’Occitane for several reasons. First of all, the products are nice and my skin loves them. And using them makes me feel beautiful and refreshed.

Secondly, L’Occitane makes their products accessible to blind people. I remember the first time I was in a L’Occitane store in London getting quite emotional because picking up a product and being able to read what was inside it was a completely foreign and beautiful experience to me.

Thirdly, I support what the L’Occitane foundation (La fondation D’Enterprise L’Occitane) is doing. Namely to support visually impaired people and the economic emancipation of women.

L’Occitane works with NGOs to reduce avoidable blindness, particularly, but not exclusively in Burkina Faso. But they also do other things to empower visually impaired teens, such as running perfume schools every year for visually impaired teens from all over the world in Provence. If only I had known when I was a teenager…..

I have always loved the brand because of their accessibility efforts, but I’ve only recently started using it for almost every part of my beauty routine. I wasn’t aware of just how good all the products where, how much the company supported causes I have passion for and I thought it the price tag was high. However, having recently been to an L’Occitane members evening at the L’Occitane store in Oslo, I found out that it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Plus I really don’t mind my money going to this company.

I also like the friendly treatment I received from the L’Occitane staff at this member’s night. They advised me on what my skin needed Rather than telling me I needed a million products because they needed to sell. I came away with a lot of shea butter products.

As an artist who works in Africa, is blind and working on setting up a foundation to help blind people in Nigeria with education tools, L’Occitane is the kind of company I dream to one day be one of the faces of.

a tiny little revench

The door phone rang. I had just got up and managed to throw some clothes on. It was 9 AM and in just over an hour, I was going to meet my sister and we were going to this beauty clinic for a couple of treatments. I was feeling terrible. For the past three days, I’d been sitting at home writing a take home exam and yesterday; I’d gone out celebrating with the girls because it was over. I hadn’t been drinking anything except one glass of wine. The evening had been perfect. We’d gone to this Thai place which has authentic interior. Bamboo on the walls, plastic tables, chairs and even plastic plates. Your dining experience was enhanced by the sound of tropical birds and the visuals which also made it look like we were eating at a beach resort in Thailand. Once every hour, there was a fake tropical rainstorm. We had ended the evening with cheese and wine at an Italian restaurant my best friend works at. So my headache I confirmed must be a beginning migraine.

“It’s the electrician. I’m coming to do a routine check up of your fuse box.” I knew he was going to come and I was happy he’d come this early since I had to go out anyway. I let him in and quickly tried to make sure I didn’t look as half dead as I felt. I wanted my bed! Then, the doorbell rang. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where my story stops being similar to the classic porn story. Somehow, I’d preferred it to turn out like that rather than how it did turn out. Not that I found the electrician desirable, but wait, and you may agree that some rough morning sex probably would have been the better option.

“Are you tired?” he asked as soon as I opened the dorm I lifted my hand up to my face. Was I really looking that horrible? I didn’t know what to say, so I did the blind equivalent of a blank stare which technically is nothing except probably in my case, was a very confused expression. “Tired?” he repeated and made no move to come in. “Excuse me, who is this,” I said feeling awkward. “Oh, man, you’re blind!” he shouted and took a couple of steps towards the door. “Come in,” I said, wanting this to be over so I could drink my coffee before going. “What a shame,” he said as the door to my apartment closed behind him. “What is a shame?” I said, feeling the headache increasing. He walked through to my kitchen were the fuse box was. “All the things you miss.” “I miss nothing,” I said. I was getting a little angry. Wasn’t it kind of rude of a stranger who had come to do a job to start saying invasive things to his customer? “I’m sure you don’t but, I’d rather lose my hearing,” he said flicking the various switches to make sure they worked. “Strange,” I said contemptuously. “But I guess, each to their own. If you like having communication problems, I guess being deaf would be your cup of tea.” I didn’t add that he wouldn’t have to work on his bad communication skills because he already had them. Why is it that you think of these things afterwards? Of course I don’t think all deaf people are bad communicators, but the “would you be deaf or blind” debate is one I am so sick of, that any deaf reader must have me excused. I’m sure deaf people get it too and that they must be tired of hearing that if they at least could hear and be blind, they’d be able to enjoy music and easier communication. “all my friends would choose blind.” I added. “Because they see how great my life is, just like theirs.” “You must have some special friends then, he said. “Well,” I snapped. I don’t know if you have a girlfriend, but imagine you don’t. Imagine that you’ll meet her next week and that she’ll change your life to the better. You don’t know it’s going to happen, you haven’t met her, and so you don’t miss her now. Imagine also that tomorrow; you’ll see the film that will become your favourite film. You are not sad about missing that film today, because you haven’t seen it yet.” He had moved to my bathroom now and had only two rooms left. “I get your point, but it’s not the same. Oh, and by the way, are you from up north?” “Huh?” That really shocked me. I am a born and bread Oslo girl and my family roots are from the west of Norway. Northern Norwegians are known to be quite big mouthed and snappy, but so are the people from the west, although northerners swear a lot more as a natural part of their language, something I don’t really do. “Your dialect is really northern.” This is when I should have said that if he wanted to be deaf, he really didn’t have far to go, but again, I thought of that later. “I’m getting everything wrong today, aren’t I?” he laughed and but his shoes back on to leave. “Well I’m done and it’s all looking good. I’ll give you a pamflet about electric safety. Could you get someone to read that for you?” He went through the main, pretty obvious points with me anyway. “Who knows, I said relieved that he’d be out soon.

The rest of that day, I lay flat out with a migraine, but not before I’d had a great morning with my sister and godmother, who happened to travel through Oslo just then and wanted to meet us for coffee. Great accept the headache of course. And we laughed at the rude electrician.

So what do you say? Wouldn’t a passionate encounter have been far more exciting? Today, I did something that made me feel a little rebellious, in a sweet way. I was going out to make a radio report on a marching band and I needed to Braille down my questions. The pamphlet paper made for perfect Braille paper, so I tore out a page since I didn’t have anything else. “Take that”, I thought whilst hammering down the keys of my last century brailler. And I thought that sometimes revench tastes sweet, sometimes bitter and sometimes it felt like Braille dots on a pamphlet given to me by a rude electrician who’d rather be deaf.