Success Stories: Clare Kinsella

Clare had built up two successful hairdressing salons in her hometown of Widnes, employing 12 people across two sites. But the long hours combined with having young children were taking their toll and when she became pregnant with her third child, she knew she wanted a change, and to be able to work more flexibly. Direct selling has allowed her to do just that, and she now earns around £2,000 – £3,000 a month as an independent sales representative for Swedish beauty and cosmetics brand Oriflame.

“I suppose you could say that I’ve always been fairly driven!

I’ve worked for myself since I was 26, when I set up my first hairdressing salon, in my hometown of Widnes. Three years later, I went on to set up my second salon, which I ran in partnership with a friend. In total across the two salons, we had a team of 12 people, offering a range of hair and beauty services.

At the time I had two young children, and it was certainly full on! I really enjoyed the work, but I putting in a lot of late evenings and weekends – which is when people want their hair cut! I was regularly working more than 60 hours a week, and it was exhausting.

I was prepared to work hard but I was sick of not having enough time with my family, and not having time to enjoy the money I was earning.

Time For A Change

I was 31 when I found out I was pregnant with my third child, Louis, and I knew something had to give. I just couldn’t imagine looking after three children and still juggling what I was doing work-wise. I also wanted to enjoy my pregnancy and time with my new baby – something I’d not really been able to do with my eldest two as I’d been much younger, with no maternity pay and had to rush back to work.

I took the decision to sell one of my shops and take two full days off a week, and it was great.

I was able to spend plenty more time with my new baby and family, but after a while, I felt ready to be a bit more ambitious, and it was then that I decided to explore direct selling.

Starting Out In Direct Selling

It was my husband that first suggested direct selling could be a good option for me. He had worked as a direct seller alongside his job in a leisure centre. At first I wasn’t that interested as I didn’t think I’d be able to earn very much, but he took me along to a meeting one evening, and it was there that I realised that there was real potential if you were willing to put the time and effort in. Several people I met were making more than I had been making in my salon business.

Initially we worked together as direct sellers for a company that sold cleaning products, and I found that direct selling worked really well for me and suited my skillset – so much so that I sold my second salon.

In 2018 my husband decided to focus on his full-time career and I moved to start working with Oriflame. I had seen their products and knew they were high quality – I particularly loved the cosmetics and skincare ranges, and I knew I could sell them to other people.”

It costs £19 to get started with Oriflame, and for this, Consultants receive all they need including the Personal Beauty Store, discount on ALL products, plus an optional Starter Kit for £20 to demonstrate to customers.

“Fairly early on, it seemed that the business felt I had leadership potential, and alongside my own product sales, I gradually started to mentor and support other independent representatives.

Over a period of several years, my sales group has grown to around 300 people, working flexibly from home throughout the UK, and collectively we make around £50,000 worth of product sales per month. The product areas that I tend to focus on selling are skincare and fragrance. Many of the people I work alongside are, like me, are women who want to earn flexibly, and from home. We do not have any targets or minimum sales.

Reaping The Rewards

I would estimate that today I work around 20-30 hours per week on my direct selling business. I conduct a lot of business online – Facebook and Instagram – but a few of my customers like to have a catalogue and order the old fashioned way!

I do have dedicated time that I spend on my direct selling work, but it also lends itself well to those ‘pockets’ of time that so many parents will be familiar with – 30 minutes sat in the car waiting for my son to do an activity, or 5 minutes here and there in the evenings whilst I’m watching TV with my husband. It all adds up.

My earnings vary, but I typically earn between £2,000 – £3,000 commission per month, which is now the majority of my income. I still do some (mobile) hairdressing, and probably earn around £1,000 from that per month.

The money I earn through my Oriflame work makes a huge difference to us as a family. We were able to move to a bigger house and we’ve also managed to renovate it: In 2020 alone, my direct selling earnings paid for a new kitchen, a new bathroom and new windows. I’ve also been able to travel the world through achieving the holidays that Oriflame offers as sales incentives – Monaco, Madrid, Tunisia, Sweden, Greece, Ibiza and Los Angeles to name a few!

A Bright Future

Earning like this and in this way has really given me the opportunity to dream about again – things that were out of reach before now seem within my grasp. Direct selling has also helped me grow as a person by encouraging me to speak at events in Finland, Ireland and Monaco. My old school friends don’t recognise me – they can’t believe how much confidence I’ve gained.

I loved hairdressing – and still do – but I didn’t like being a boss. Nowadays I teach, support and mentor highly motivated people, alongside selling high-quality products, and making a good income in the process. It’s an entrepreneurial journey that I both enjoy and seem to be flourishing at!”