Seller Stories: Jane Beer-Jones
9th May 2019
Having run her own successful headhunting firm, Jane decided she wanted greater flexibility and more creativity in life and set up her direct selling business as a #sidehustle alongside her work as a marketing and sponsorship executive for Sevenoaks Rugby Club.
“One day I woke up and didn’t want to get out of bed. I crawled out to do the school run and looked in the mirror; I looked bloated, exhausted, old. This happened to me only a couple of years ago and so began a low period in my life as I headed towards 50, and what I thought was the end rather than the beginning.
“Realising I wasn’t happy, I slowly and mindfully worked my way through the fog – talking things through with my friends, walking the dog and doing a lot of yoga. I came to realise I needed to make changes in my life. Over a period of months, and with an open mind, I embraced change slowly. I owe a lot of thanks to my wonderful yoga teacher David, who suggested I take a trip to Purple Valley in Goa for a week of rigorous Ashtanga yoga, and it was whilst there that my anxiety melted away. The noise and chatter that was constantly in my head stopped and I made friends with a wide variety of new people from all walks of life and all ages.”
A New Start
“It dawned on me that I had totally typecast myself and in fact I could make myself happy quite easily by embracing the things that bring me joy in life.
“At the time I was running my own headhunting firm, and my business partner had quite unexpectedly told me he wanted to retire for personal reasons. Little did I realise that what I had thought was my ‘dream’ of running my own company was actually the reason behind my discontent.
“As my business slowly wound down, I started to get time to do the things I had been putting off for years. I had time to get on to of life admin, de-clutter the house, go and meet friends or family during the day, and get some time back for me. It felt as if a weight had been lifted.
“But one thing was at the back of my mind: ‘What am I going to do next?’ I knew I didn’t want to be at home full-time and I felt that, having running my own business, I had some valuable skills that I could apply to something else.”
“That’s when I started following the hashtag #sidehustle on social media. I soon realised many fabulous women were doing a number of these #sidehustles to fill their time and to fill their bank accounts. 50-something women in particular who were used to earning money and didn’t want to – and couldn’t afford to – stop working.
“My Captain Tortue #sidehustle came about one day whilst out driving with my daughter Anna, 16. Pondering what I would do next (and now with an empty wardrobe after all of my de-cluttering efforts at home!), she suggested I go back to work for Captain Tortue, a fashion / clothing company that I had worked with for five years when my children were very small. I remembered this period had been a happy and highly sociable time in my life.”
“A few days later, at the end of January, I decided to join Captain Tortue again as a Consultant. Luckily I still knew the ropes and had kept a strong network of female friends who soon came forward to support me in my new venture. I also went to Lyon in France with the wider team I work with to watch the launch of the SS19 collection and was truly inspired by all the women who make up this company and their success.
“Shortly after the trip, my first capsule collection of around 25 items of clothing arrived, which I use to showcase the products to customers, whether here at my home, or by hosting a pop-up fashion event at someone else’s house. I also showcase the collection via social media, posting pictures of me, my friends and customers wearing my products, and I find that people respond well to these real-life examples of how looks can be styled.
“Just four weeks after joining, I had held two parties, which were such a success that I hit my target for the season. I earn commission on each item that I sell, and by hosting between around two to four parties a month, I make upwards of £600 per month, which nicely supplements my main income at the Rugby Club. Plus, I love the fact that the potential is uncapped; if I put a bit of extra effort in, I really see the results in what I earn that month.
“I feel like I have been freed from corporate chains and I’m happier than I have been in years. As well as giving me satisfaction from earning additional income by using my business skills, it’s also sociable and enjoyable.
“My longer-term aim with the company is to develop a team of Consultants of my own, but for now I’m enjoying running the business and seeing where my #sidehustle might go. Which, as I enter my fifties, is pretty exciting!”