Tag Archives: L’Occitane

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.

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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.

Shopgirl dream

I have had so many ideas for what I want to write about on this blog, but the time or energy hasn’t been quite there. I’ve been working on a rather large writing project for teen girls and there is that darn master thesis I have to somehow get done…. Yawn.
I have written all of, hmmmmm, some of my planned analysis for today? So I deserve to take a break and write something a little more fun. I think.
Over the summer, I have realized my great love for two things. L’Occitane and Bodyshop. I love them both because their products are both good and natural and my skin feels pleased when it gets shower gels and bodylotionns from either brand all over it. L’Occitane is actually especially great because someone with a brilliant mind decided that all their products need to be brailled. It’s not all parts of the products. For example, sometimes, only the boxes are brailled and not the bottles inside, but I am still excited when I can walk around a L’Occitane retailer, pick something up at random and find out what it is without having to ask anyone.
The first time I was in such a shop was in London. And I’m sure the lady working there must have thought I was crazy running around squealing “Oh my goodness, it’s Braille! I can read in here!” I really wish Bodyshop and other International brands would do the same.
I have never wanted to make a career working in a shop, but I do love the idea of working, at least part time, with something that has to do with lovely beauty products, be it selling it in a shop, or as a beautician, administering nice face and body treatments. For the latter, I’d have to train, unless I found someone who would let me have a go one or two days a week, which is the break I need from sitting all by myself writing great novels, or sweating over a wonderful live, adrenalin kicking news broadcast. I’d need an education for becoming a beautician, so that’s out, for now. Unless someone lets me try some simple treatments and I fall in love with it and retrain.
I do not need an education to sell products over the counter. I’d perhaps need to test them so that I could give the customers my very informed opinions, but as you’ve probably figured out from this post, I really wouldn’t mind doing that. I would therefore love to at least try working in a store like Bodyshop, or L’Occitane where I could even read the product names. However, it may not be that easy to do. I have yet to walk around the shops asking if they’d let me try, but I can imagine all the objections.
“You are blind, how will you know where everything is?”
“The customers make a mess sometimes, so even if you have a system, you’ll often find that things are put in different places. How will you cope with that”
“What about make-up? How would you assist with that?”
And these are all very fair objections that not even big mouthed me have answers for. How would I cope? I guess, no, I know that’s why I haven’t tried. But it’s a pity. Because apart from my love of good smelling products, working in a shop would be a great way to further develop communication and people skills, working under pressure and pick up gossip. All of which are essential for a journalist.
I wish there were some ways blind people could work in shops. And not just shops. Cafes. And to be even more demanding, not shops and cafes made easy for blind to work in by being “special” but just normal ones. Surely it could work with smaller businesses and the right mindset?
Maybe I should try work a market stall with somebody. It would give a taste of what working in a shop would be like and it would be a much smaller space to manage. Now that’s perhaps an idea.