Companies like The Pampered Chef, Lia Sophia and Avon give individuals a flexible job and the opportunity to earn extra money or make a living.

When Shawn Myer attended her first Pampered Chef show 13 years ago, she was mainly interested in the product. She enjoyed cooking and wanted the items that the company offered.

She soon found out that The Pampered Chef offered more. She joined the company in May 1994 as a consultant at the age of 24. She got started in the business with a minimal investment.

“I recognized that there were opportunities besides just getting the product,” the Morgantown resident said.

She became a director for the company in April 1995. That year, she also quit her job at the time and started selling The Pampered Chef full-time. Consultants for The Pampered Chef use in-home cooking demonstrations to “sell high quality, professional kitchen tools” and teach consumers about entertaining and creating meals.

Since July 1997, Myer has been an independent advanced director for The Pampered Chef. As an independent advanced director, she has a downline of consultants, and two of them are directors. She said The Pampered Chef has two aspects: selling the products and inviting others to join the company or start a home-based business.

Part of Myer’s job is training new consultants. The Pampered Chef has many training programs available, such as in-person and online training and teleclasses. Myer has a teaching degree, and The Pampered Chef fulfilled her desire to teach others.

“What I focus on is teaching and educating people about our products and how to make recipes,” she said.

She said the 3-2-1 approach — three contacts a day, two shows a week, and one recruit a month — is the key to being successful with The Pampered Chef at the full-time level.

Myer, now 37, lives in Morgantown with her husband Phil and two daughters.

“I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, however I always wanted to have a job too,” she said.

The Pampered Chef was a good outlet for her to stay at home with the kids while also working, she said. After her children were born, she moved to part-time. Now that her daughters, ages 6 and 7, are in school, she’s working her way back up to full-time. She currently does approximately six to eight shows a month.

“The flexibility has been the major factor in this job,” Myer said.

She said The Pampered Chef has a quality product, and that draws people to the company.

“Everybody eats, everybody cooks, so you might as well have the best product,” she said. “Everybody’s always looking for a new recipe, a new dish.”

Myer has earned rewards by working for The Pampered Chef. For example, she and her family have been on an Alaskan cruise and Caribbean cruise and have gone on trips to Spain, France, Germany and Italy.

“It’s awesome,” she said of her job.

As a Lia Sophia sales advisor, 23-year-old Cara Slider is earning money to help pay for graduate school at West Virginia University. Slider, who lives in Morgantown, began graduate school in the fall to earn her master’s degree in journalism.

She got started with Lia Sophia about a year and a half ago as an undergraduate student at WVU. Slider, originally from Middlebourne in Tyler County, became interested in Lia Sophia after her mom attended a show and brought a catalog home. Slider went through the pages to see what jewelry she liked and wanted, and she ended up marking about every other page.

So her mom put her in contact with a Lia Sophia advisor to help her get started.

“I absolutely loved the products,” Slider said. “I really couldn’t pass it up after I learned about the products.”

Lia Sophia is a fashion jewelry company that invites customers to “share the love of jewelry.” All the products come with a lifetime guarantee, and advisors get a certain percentage of what they sell. Also, there are many opportunities to earn rewards and free jewelry.

It wasn’t difficult for Slider to begin selling products for Lia Sophia. She took relationships she already had with people and developed them into customer relationships. She does home parties, and customers who host these events can get free jewelry.

At Slider’s starter show that she hosted, she got $600 of free jewelry, which allowed her to start her jewelry collection for the business. She takes all of her jewelry to shows, which she said are interactive and “basically like dress up for everybody.”

As a full-time graduate student, Slider is busy during the week with classes and doing homework and reading. But she is able to plan jewelry shows to fit her needs.

“I basically schedule shows whenever it works out for me,” she said. “It’s really nice.”

Since she got involved in Lia Sophia, she has especially seen her business grow in the Fairmont area and in her hometown of Middlebourne. She also has another advisor who works under her.

To be successful, an advisor should love the products and be outgoing and comfortable talking to people, Slider said.

She said she would like to continue selling Lia Sophia into the future. Slider knows that wherever she goes in life — whether she moves or gets a job far away — she can take her Lia Sophia business with her.

“It’s something I can definitely see myself doing for the next 10 years or so,” she said. “It’s something I can carry with me no matter what I’m doing.”

Beverly Miller’s mother, family and friends always used a lot of Avon products. She decided to became an Avon representative to supply items for herself, earn some extra cash and have fun.

“The fact that it’s a well-known name sells itself,” the Fairmont resident said. “Avon has a large variety. It’s not restricted to one certain item.”

Avon offers products for women, men and children, she said. Items include cosmetics, skin care, fragrance, clothing, household products and more.

Miller got started with Avon at a low cost. Twenty-one years later, she’s still selling Avon.

She said Avon representatives get a percentage of their sales, and the company provides incentives for individuals who join.

A sales representative should enjoy interacting with the public, be personable and “take the good with the bad,” she said. Miller focuses on customers who are family, friends and co-workers.

With a full-time job at the Times West Virginian, Miller knew she couldn’t handle selling Avon products door-to-door. She is a classified clerk at the Times and has been with the company for 26 years.

With Avon, a representative has the opportunity to work hard and earn a lot of money or take a more laid-back approach. Avon gives Miller the flexibility to sell products around her full-time schedule and complete orders over the computer.

“It’s low pressure. It’s kind of at your own pace,” she said. “You can have your own business and make it what you want.”

E-mail Jessica Legge at jlegge@timeswv.com.

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