Why I Left Color Street

What you’ll read below is my explanation for why I left Color Street and Facebook.

In the weeks since I resigned, I’ve received messages from Color Street stylists who’ve had similar experiences to mine, which was news to me. At the time I stepped away, I firmly believed that what happened in my case was an isolated incident. I’ve received messages from customers and stylists alike expressing confusion, disappointment, and disillusionment toward the company itself. I’ve received messages from Stylists expressing their intention to quit too, and those have kept me up at night.

I don’t want anyone to make decisions about their business or their future on rumors, theories, and speculation. The only way to put them to rest is to be transparent about what happened.

I have always been on the fence about whether to share what happened. Even while it was going on, and I was writing down my experience, I wasn’t clear on whether telling my side would do more harm than good. I think there are lessons here that could help the current leadership and overall culture of the company. There certainly needs to be a shift in the way home office handles Color Street stylists reporting other stylists. But at the same time, I didn’t want anyone to question their future or their decisions based on my experience alone.

But in the end, it came down to closure and a need to set the record straight. There are two sides to every story. This, is mine.

May 25th 2019

To process what is happening right now, I’m going to start at the beginning and write down everything that has happened up until today. I feel like the writing is on the wall and it makes me sad. After this holiday weekend, Color Street will get back to me with their decision and I must decide what I’m willing to do. I want to write it down before I’m even more bitter and upset. Maybe starting at the beginning will help me see it more clearly.

I joined Color Street January 5th 2018. I joined for the discount. I knew nothing about Direct Sales.  At the time, Color Street was only 6 months old.  They were in the middle of many growing pains. Out of stocks, a slow and glitchy website, and record growth, to name just a few. In short order, I found myself excited about the fact that this opportunity was ground floor. I saw the potential. I love business, marketing, and learning new things. I watched the company closely and was so impressed by the transparency and the way they worked tirelessly to be better and make things better for us. I was so excited about my new future.

My personal network LOVED the product as much as I did. Though I had no previous experience in direct sales, by March I had sales just shy of 4k and was listed in the top 25 in personal sales in the monthly superstar newsletter. In the 2nd quarter of 2018 I had the highest sales in my state. Things were good. Things were so good.

March and April brought me my first teammates. I was nervous to step into leadership, but I found that I really loved it. I loved experimenting with sales techniques and sharing what worked with my girls and watching them find success and grow. I LOVED vendor shows and parties, and I loved my VIP group most of all.

In May I hit the rank of Director and I couldn’t believe what was happening. Through spring and summer corporate was busy planning and executing national conference, launching a brand-new website (THANK GOODNESS!) and hiring staff and new equipment to keep up with production. Plus, we got a new Chief Marketing Officer and he brought us the best fall collection EVER. Color Street was doing all the right things, their priorities were straight in my opinion. The only gap that I observed was that they didn’t have a lot of time for marketing resources, photos, and trainings.

That was okay because the stylists community is full of positive, collaborative, and brilliant women who were willing and excited to share what they knew and create images and marketing graphics from scratch.

Through the fall something clicked for me when it came to product photos, aka nailfies. I learned that nailfies were our most powerful selling tool for online parties and vendor shows.  I took a couple of pictures that were well lit and that I felt showed the colors accurately and I watched as those photos helped my sales. I am always curious about how and why things work so I started paying attention to the relationship between better photos and better sales. It seemed very simple. I needed a nice collection of consistent photos that showed the product on real hands to post in my online parties and to make into a photobook for vendor shows and in-homes. In fall 2018, Color Street didn’t have a collection like that and had no immediate plans to produce them.

So, being the nerd that I am, I became super curious about what makes one photo more effective than another. I did research. I practiced, and practiced, and practiced; taking thousands of terrible photos of my nails. I bought a lightbox and my photos got better. I studied composition, and my photos got better. I perfected my application technique. I changed my nails. A lot.

Around Christmas, one of the members of my upline joked that I should just take a photo of EVERY set in the catalog. Color Street didn’t have photos of every set on real nails. Nobody had a whole collection of photos that showed every current set on real nails because it would be such a huge undertaking. It sounded like a crazy idea. Nuts. Insane.

I said, Ok!

In the next few weeks a couple of members of my upline organized a donation of nail sets for me so that I could photograph all 78 current sets. I received nail mail from teammates who wanted to support me on my quest. Along with the nails, many of them sent me nice notes. On the days that I was feeling burnt out; nailfie #32… nailfie #48… nailfie #60… I read those notes and they kept me going. I spent 6 weeks, all my patience, and a lot of money on props during this time, but it was worth it in the end. I got it done.

The first thing I did with my photos once I’d shared them with all the stylists who’d donated strips was create a photo book for my events and parties.  That book helped my sales. I felt validated; the effort had been worth it.

Around this time, the Presidential team went to NJ to tour the company and have their annual meeting. One of them commented on one of my posts in a CS nailfie group and told me that she’d told Bill, Color Street’s new CMO, about my project and he was impressed. He’d asked for my name. I was flattered. Bill and I became FB friends and on my personal timeline I also shared pics of my journey, my nailfies, and my books. I had read our policies and procedures carefully. I followed the rules to the best of my ability and I didn’t have anything to hide from the members of Color Street’s home office.

It was early in February that I started a group where I could share my photo journey with whoever was interested in taking product photos. The group is called Effective Photo Boot Camp. There were mostly CS stylists there, but there were reps from other companies or small business owners with Etsy shops or Ebay stores as well. It is not a Color Street group, it is amateur photography group.  We talk a lot about nails because that’s what I photograph, but the main topic is always how to take effective photos.  I shared my journey in making my photo books in that group. I always encouraged the stylists in that group to take their own photos, but many of them weren’t confident in their abilities or simply didn’t have time to take their own photos and just wanted to use mine.  I had already printed my first photo book of the fall/winter catalog when I started that group. It was called The Nail Your Look Book. When I talked about taking photos, I showed my book in one of my training videos and explained how it had been effective in helping sell sets at vendor shows and parties.

Many people requested access to my look book so I made the link available to them to order directly from the printer. I did not make a profit from the sales of my book.

I told them about the steps and process I’d gone through. I told them that the book was meant to be a resource for their business so there was no reference to me or my watermark inside. I didn’t even use the names of the colors in order to avoid using any of Color Street’s intellectual property. It was very important to me to stay compliant. I know what it’s like to have my intellectual property stolen. I had no interest in breaking any rules.

In the end the winter book was expensive, as all self-published 80-page books tend to be. The printer charged a lot for the book and added a lot for shipping. Fellow Stylists bought the books anyway.

When the spring sets came out, many people asked me if there would be a spring book and wanted order info. I took photos of the 16 new spring sets. And put together The Nail Your Look Book Volume 2, spring/summer catalog which had a total of 81 nailfies.

The time came to order the spring look book. I decided that this time I would set up a preorder for stylists who wanted the spring version of my book. On the printer website they’d have to pay over $50 after adding in shipping and tax. I thought that was CRAZY. I discovered that if I did a bulk order from the printer, I could get the books for cheaper, so I set up a google form in my boot camp group and let people preorder so that I could place a bulk order from the printer and get that discount.

I placed my order for 120 books at $38 each and it was a little bit scary.

I’d already had to learn to be a nail tech, a photographer, a hand model, and layout designer, learn the publishing software, and now I was going to have to successfully execute a rather large shipping operation for just one person.

Two days later I got this message from Bill (Color Street’s CMO) on FB messenger:

Hi Marissa,

I see on Facebook you have created a look book and I think you do a really nice job! I am writing because we have created one here in the home office. It will be out in 3 weeks (no one knows yet) and we will sell it for $10 because I am printing in large quantities. I don’t want you to be blindsided and especially if you are investing your hard earned money in inventory. I am here if you want to chat!

Let me be clear. I always knew this day was coming. I always knew this resource was desperately overdue and that Color Street would step up and create something magical for us. I knew that being backed by a multi-million-dollar marketing team, they would be able to create something bigger and brighter and more diverse than I ever could. They could include descriptions and amazing layouts and color schemes and all the things that this little amateur photographer and mom of three would never be able to do. My little square 7×7, one photo per page book would be nothing compared to what they would release.

With those as my thoughts, this was my reply:

I think that is wonderful! It is something I received so many requests for. It will be a great resource and everyone will be so thrilled!

On a personal note, I just ordered 120 books yesterday for $38 each for the stylists in my Effective Photo Book Camp who requested one. If they back out I’ll be in big trouble. Any advice on how to handle this situation would be welcome.

I appreciate the heads up. I love that everyone at home office listens to Stylists and fulfills the needs of this community. And I don’t regret the hours and resources I spent to create my photos. I became very familiar with every single set and it has been so beneficial to get up close and personal with each set.

Thank you for taking the time to let me know.

Bill replied:

The home office book will not be announced until I have it ready to go. That will easily be three weeks, so hopefully yours will already be in the works. Honesty is always the best policy and you honestly didn’t know when you were creating this! Have a blessed holiday!

So, that was that. When my big order came, I shipped them all, one by one. A few people didn’t pay up so I ended up with 22 books left over. I posted them on my personal timeline and they were all bought and paid for by the time the newsletter came out that showed home office’s look book.

… A look book that was 7×7, one photo per page, and frankly, painfully familiar. I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

The next day I tried to focus on the big picture. The book would help stylists, which is all I ever wanted. But I couldn’t help it; I felt like I’d been used and I was disappointed. I tried not to think of how stupid and naïve I’d been congratulating Bill on his look book. I tried not to be hurt. I tried not to look at my phone at all. Because messages were coming in. Messages of congratulations for my assumed collaboration with Color Street. I didn’t know how to respond.

Others, who rightly assumed that I’d had no part of it, sent me messages of anger. They were mad on my behalf. They wanted to call Color Street out for “copying” my book. I didn’t know how to respond to them either.

Another person was so upset that they said they wanted to quit. I begged them not to. I couldn’t sleep if I thought anybody quit over this. In that moment, I wasn’t even ready to quit over it myself.

I am not wired to cope with drama. And it was dawning on me that I had a larger following in the stylist community than I’d realized. Many people were watching me and waiting for my reaction and I didn’t want the responsibility of shaping anyone’s opinion.  I tried to be logical, generous, and transparent. I decided I needed to explain the situation in a simple, public way, without saying anything negative about the company or what had or hadn’t happened. Because all I really had at that time were suspicions and hope that they were wrong.

So I posted in my Effective Photo Boot Camp because it is not a Color Street group.

“If imitation is the highest form of flattery then I am SO FLATTERED!”

My Facebook post in my photography group.

I included a pic of my book next to the pic they released of their book. I couldn’t help that they were twinning. Big time. There was a lot of reaction in the post, people finally understood what had happened and the private messages slowed down.

Since I’m trying to be transparent, I’ll also share the next message I sent to Bill. I’m not proud of my attitude. I should have given myself more time to calm down before I contacted him, but I didn’t. I was upset and disillusioned. This was my message:

I feel like a fool. You didn’t make “a” look book, you made my look book. Same format, size, layout… everything. I thought you were going to release something original, something that had been in the works for a while. What on earth.

Last time this happened to me, I walked away without standing up for myself. This time I’m going to speak up so that I can get over it. I’m not okay. This was not okay.

It doesn’t change anything, I know. But now I’ve said something.

My husband cancelled conference; he wants me to quit. I don’t want to quit but it’s going to be hard to work with a company that I’m disappointed in. It’s going to be hard to coach a team with enthusiasm. It’s going to be hard to show my face on team pages. Just like it’s hard to see my stolen graphics walking around on leggings.

I’m a positive person. I will get over it. But, ouch.

It would be days before I’d get a response.

I later received a message from my upline that came down from Glenn at corporate that said I had to delete my one-sentence post in Effective Photo Boot Camp citing it as unprofessional. Somebody in that group had reported it to home office.

The conversation with my upline was long and I’m not going to repeat it here. I believed at the time that they didn’t want me to be deactivated and I get that they were trying, for the most part, to protect me. But I declined to remove my post.

The next message came from Bill, on Friday:

Hi Marissa,

I am truly sorry you feel that way. Leaders have been asking for a look book with photos of all the shades on real hands using different ethnicities. The photography style is what Sam has been using all along. It is a standard size and honestly I don’t know how it could be different. All our images for the internet are square and there is no reason to make it bigger or smaller.

Last point – all these designs are technically Color Street’s intellectual property. Again, I’m sorry this makes you feel bad.

Also on Friday I got a call from a member of the Presidential Circle who urged me to remove my post because otherwise they’d be forced to deactivate me.  Her attitude was bullying and condescending at first. When she finally listened to my explanation, she was kinder but it became clear that didn’t have all the facts. She said I needed to remove my boot camp post AND a “negative post” on my personal timeline that never mentioned the company at all. It was about a dinner conversation my husband and I had with our 11 year old about candy companies. This request crossed a line for me. No, Color Street could not control what I posted about my family life and my experience. Absolutely not. I declined, once again, to delete my posts.

From that phone call I gathered that Glenn didn’t know that Bill had messaged me ahead of their book being released.

The PC member didn’t know that Bill had known about my nailfies and asked for my name months and months ago. She didn’t know that he had, “saw on Facebook that I had created a look book.”

Bill didn’t know that that I had been reported to Glenn.

I emailed the PC member my screenshots and invited her to my Effective Photo Boot Camp with the hope that she would understand my efforts and motivation. I thought that home office needed to regroup, communicate with each other, decide, and get back to me. I said I would not delete my posts and did not feel that they had the right to make those demands given the content and location of the posts in question. She said, “Unfortunately if you don’t delete them, deactivation will have to be the outcome.” I responded that I would get prepared for that, but I wouldn’t delete anything.

That’s what has happened so far. And now I’m just waiting.

May 26th

When you are a creative person, your creations are alive to you. They are like family. You feel protective of them and they belong to you.

The trouble is, intellectual property is difficult to protect. It’s difficult to prove if someone copied you. It’s impossible to know when you’ve inspired something, or when it is just weird timing or coincidence.

There are many graphic designs that I’ve made for shirts and scrapbook paper that bigger companies have used and mass produced without my permission.  I’m not interested in legal battles. I love justice, but I hate drama. Hate it. I just want to create and share.

But, when I see my rocket design walk by on leggings, or I bump into a version of my original graphic tee designs, I understand why people go to great lengths to protect the creations that they’ve poured so much of themselves into.

The thing is, I never said publicly that I believe Color Street copied my book. My post wasn’t negative or disparaging. Was the timing of their book weird? Yes. Were the conversations and reported conversations oddly convenient? Yes. Do they look alike? Yes.

One could believe that, as Bill explained, it’s all coincidental and circumstantial. There are a lot of styles of look book in the fashion world, a lot of layout options, but maybe him and I just have the same taste. Who knows.

To sum up;

It has been insinuated by some, and stated by others, that if I don’t delete my posts I will be deactivated and lose my team, customers, income, and everything I’ve worked so hard to build in the last 18 months of my life.

It is so tempting to comply, but I can’t.

Because I know what it feels like to be bullied; it feels just like this.

My posts will stay. My story is my story. My experience is my experience. It is what it is.

May 30th

Glenn, the Vice President, called from Home Office and we had a productive conversation. He said I was never in any real danger of being deactivated. I was equal parts relieved and infuriated.

I had a chance to clarify many things and give him the whole picture, which he never had. He hadn’t even seen my book and Bill’s book side by side. He said a lot of things that I can’t or won’t repeat. But in the end, I understand what happened. I don’t agree with most of it. I was shocked and saddened by some of it. It should have and could have been handled better.

Effective next week, I will no longer be a Color Street stylist. I have decided to resign. It’s a decision I started when I first saw Bill’s book and I finished after speaking to Glenn. In the end it wasn’t really much of a decision at all. How could I do anything else?

Make no mistake, Color Street, overall, was an amazing and wonderful company with a fantastic product. It was a great way choice for a side-hustle. I loved every minute (up until the last week) of my time there. I’m not one bit sorry that I was part of it.

And what happened to me is very unlikely to happen to anyone else. If it does, I hope and believe that it will be handled differently.

I will still rock my manicures, take nailfies, and post effective photo tips in my FB group. I will still have made great friendships and learned so many new things. I don’t regret my time here.

On the whole, Color Street is amazing.

And I’ll miss it very much.

Reflections of Today

It is hilarious to me, as I’m rereading the above, that I thought what happened to me wouldn’t happen to anyone else. Less than 2 weeks later they went after my friend, Kim Hunt, who created the most amazing graphics group that helped over 19K stylists create content and market the product in compliance with Color Street’s many branding guidelines. Nobody worked harder to protect the brand than Kim did, and what did they do to thank her? They made her shut down her high-resolution file-sharing website that helped so many of us with our parties and vendor booths. A website she didn’t profit from. She too, has resigned.

One of the things that made Color Street so amazing in the beginning was the culture.  The culture of support, excitement, and collaboration. That culture has shifted at its core and I don’t know if it can recover. People are reporting one another to home office over all kinds of things, real and imagined. That’s human I guess and not surprising. What is surprising and disappointing is that Color Street is making the mistake of rewarding those petty troublemakers by acting on the reports without investigating whether they’re valid. It is hurting stylist moral and shifting company culture in an ugly direction. If a compliance department is needed, I hope that is the next development for home office.

I broke no rules. There was no reason to report me. Yet, someone did. Color Street acted on those reports without understanding what they were doing or why they were doing it.

And I learned later that the person who brought home office’s attention to it was a member of my own upline. “Supporting” me with one hand and stabbing me in the back with the other? I am so confused by that.

Leaders, you have got to be leaders. That means taking the bad with the good. That might mean standing up for yourselves or your teammates even when it’s uncomfortable for you. Even when it doesn’t add to your bonus check. Color Street is a ship and you are the crew. If you sit back and do nothing, maybe the ship will whether that storm. And maybe the next one too. But over time, there will be weak spots and frightened passengers. And at some point, the ship will capsize, leak, or sink. If you don’t want to go down with the ship you must be proactive. Sometimes that might mean standing up to home office. Don’t abandon your teammates who are thrown overboard. Don’t throw up your hands and say, “There was nothing I could do.” You could be the life-preserver, or at least try.

The lack of moral and actual support I received from the members in various levels of my upline, was the hardest part of that whole week and experience. The silence hurt my ears. They were happy to connect with me when I was producing content that would help their teams make them money, but the moment they didn’t need me anymore, they disappeared.

I was also initially confused as to why Bill did what he did. Can he deny the similarities, for real?  Then I realized that his whole job is to watch the market for trends that Color Street can duplicate. He gets paid to absorb the creativity of others. I want to have that job when I grow up!

I care very much about what happens to Color Street and the future of its stylists. I hope that the company culture can evolve to something better or shift back to what it once was.

I want everyone to move forward and live happily ever after.

The End.

Farewell Color Street

I’m turning in my badge and my weapon.

Let me say first, I’m not going to get into the details of why I’m resigning. I know that seems kind of not fair since I’ve always been transparent about my journey and the joy that Color Street brought to my life. I took you along for the ride and now I’m just going to leave you hangin’ without all the deets? Not cool.

I do believe that honesty is always the best policy. I hate drama, speculation, and rumors. But I also believe that sharing would not be helpful. What happened to me was an isolated incident. It is not going to happen to anyone else.

Let me make something very clear: I don’t regret a second of my Color Street journey. Given the choice, I’d do all of it all over again exactly the same way. I’m proud of the friendships I made, teammates I mentored, customers I got to know, vendor events I went to, the thousands of product photos I took, the look books I produced, and everything I learned along the way. I’m not sorry about any of it. Not for a second.

Color Street is a wonderful business opportunity. It is a good company with a fantastic product. Anyone currently part of it or thinking about joining is on the right track to a bright future and I’m very excited for you. I don’t want this news to make anyone question anything. I love my teammates and all the awesome people I’ve met who are part of CS and I will still be here for you, cheering you on.

To make a long story short, home office and I had a… let’s call it a miscommunication. One of those deals where things escalated too quickly, communication wasn’t at its best, assumptions were made, and everything got blown way out of proportion. When the dust settled, home office took the time to hear me and acknowledged that I’d done nothing wrong. Everything turned out okay. It was just one of those things.

I’m someone who is not wired to deal with drama. Like, at all. And being forced into the center of it is not something that I’m able to easily get over. Even though the situation turned out fine in the end, I realized that I wasn’t fine. I don’t feel that I’m able to be the same stylist and leader that I was before.

I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. I can’t do anything half-heartedly. Even if I wish I could be different, that’s just the way I am.

This decision was a hard one to make and I’m very sad. But also, weirdly at peace, which is how I know this is the right choice for me.

I also want to say – to the people out there who like to get in the middle of things that they don’t fully understand and stir up drama for someone they don’t even know – the best way to clear up an issue is to go directly to the source, privately. Trying to get someone in trouble is petty. Stop being petty. Blowing out someone else’s candle won’t make yours shine any brighter.

If we were teammates on any level, if we watched each other’s trainings, loved each other’s suggestions, and cheered each other on: Thank you. I love you guys and I’m going to miss you so much. I hope we stay FB friends so I can watch you slay. My Effective Photo Boot Camp will remain open and you better believe I’ll still be learning and sharing about product photos and taking nailfies. I already bought a pineapple. I’m ready. 😉

If you were a customer – aw man, don’t cry Marissa. Deep breath. – you have no idea the impact you had on me and my family or how much your support meant to me. I can’t put into words how much I loved our time together or how much I will miss it. Getting to hang out with a group of women who share a love for a common thing, even if that thing is just nail polish, is so powerful and fun. I appreciate your business and I hope that we can stay connected too.

What’s next for me? I’m going to spend a care-free summer with my best friend/husband and some really funny young humans who call me Mom; and wait for the next adventure.


Fancy Pants Manicures on Pinterest

I was trying to explain to my husband what Pinterest is, and I couldn’t.

It is too magical to put into words.

It is a fantasy world that shows you what your best life can look like, and it gives you tips for how to go for it. It is also a worm-hole that can turn 20 minutes into 2 hours. But you feel so inspired and excited after those 2 hours are up that you ain’t even mad!

Recently I’ve been looking for photos on Pinterest of super fancy and expensive manicures that I can recreate with my product. And they last just as long and look just as pretty.

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to last week’s project!


My favorite part of doing this manicure, (other than not having to wait for it to dry, which is always my favorite) is that I did it live in my Facebook group and got to hang out with my customers and friends and talk about all the steps. It’s so fun to show people how simple and fun this dry polish is! You can watch the video on my YouTube channel!

I’d love to do more Pinterest manis in the future! If you find an irresistible one in the future, let me know! You can follow my boards at NailYourLook. I hope we can connect over there!



The colors I used were, Charleston Blush, Only in Vegas, and Tinseltown. You can see all the shades in the catalog by clicking here!

Simple? yes. Easy? no.

“Oh. So you don’t work?”

Have you been a situation and received this question?

They said, “What do you do?”

You said, “I’m a stay at home mom.”

And then… that.

And then you sit there, feeling small. You laugh because, well, it’s hilarious.


You never STOP working. You never stop moving. You never stop serving. You never get breaks, or days off, or hot meals, or enough sleep. Yes, on paper it’s simple. On paper being a stay at home mom is a simple. But it’s never easy.

Direct Sales is also like that.


J, Q, and G in 2013

It’s the same dismissive response sometimes when you tell people what you do. “Oh. How nice for you to not have to go to work.”

Yes, it is nice for me. It’s super nice for me. It’s a miracle for me!


just because my business is simple, doesn’t mean that I don’t have to go to work.

Like being a SAHM; just because it’s a simple concept, that doesn’t always mean it is easily executed.

My direct sales business is much like raising my babies. It started out small and slow. There was extra downtime because needs were small and the required attention was basic. It was a scary and exciting time, there was a learning curve, but it really was not hard.


Then, as growth occurred, I learned that I need to learn! If I’m going to raise this up into something big and exciting, something helpful and good, I’m going to have to be willing to stretch and grow too.

And I had to show up. Daily. Sometimes I showed up to do simple, automatic tasks and sometimes I show up to do big scary things. But I never leave my business to it’s own devices just like I would never leave my children to their own devices.

I follow a system that is simple and I won’t quit when it’s hard.

I’ll take care of my business.

Because even though it’s hard to grow a business, it’s also incredibly rewarding.

Just like watching these kids growing up.


Goal: Check!

When the UPS guy handed me a package this afternoon, he had no idea he was handing me an accomplished goal. He had no idea that the flat bit of cardboard in his hand held what was once just a pipe dream. A someday, maybe.

He couldn’t know that it wasn’t just a package for me alone. The contents also belong to a huge team of women who cheered me on. Who supported me. Who told me I could, and should, and would. And did.

I’m the girl who can’t ask for help, but they helped me anyway. I’m the girl who thought she couldn’t finish anything that takes longer than 3 days, but they cheered me through 6 weeks. I’m the girl who didn’t know anything about being successful with direct sales and didn’t believe I could be, and over the course of the past year, they empowered me to prove myself wrong.

It’s teamWORK. We all work hard to bring to the table the best of ourselves. To hold one another accountable, have our team’s backs, and cheer each other on. We reach down to our teams to pull them up, because someone is doing the same for us. We, none of us, can do it alone.

She believed she could, so she did. #AdventuresWithMarissa


If you want to snag a copy for events or parties, you totally can: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/8006429/7e103f15452dd56fb07567f6a1354e56868f9899

Picture (not) Perfect

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Did you know that?

That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned this year. I’ve heard that phrase my whole life, but I didn’t take it to heart until recently.

I love Network Marketing. I love my product and I LOVE selling it. I love people. I love my kids and my family and my responsibilities at home too. This business brings me connections, money, extra time at home, extra resources for my family, and it brings me JOY.

What takes away from that joy is comparing myself, my life, and my business to anyone else’s. As humans, it’s natural for us to be competitive. It’s natural to look around and see possibilities and compare what we have to what everyone else has. It’s natural to be jealous.

In the beginning, I wanted to soak up everything I could about running my own business. Part of how I did that was by looking at the successful people in my social circle and comparing my beginning to their middle. That was a mistake. It made me envious of what they had and what I didn’t YET have. When I recognized that I was in danger of losing the JOY in my business, I did the only thing that made sense to me at the time.

I put blinders on.

And when I started to put my head down and stop comparing my business to other people’s businesses, the joy came back.

I tried this method on other things too. I stopped comparing my parenting. My hair. My organization skills. My lashes. My kid’s grades. My cooking. My style. My everything.

I stopped keeping score. And it is making me SO MUCH HAPPIER.

So on Christmas day, as I was getting ready to wish my friends and families a Merry Christmas on social media, I was scrolling along seeing so many picture perfect people, families, foods, and homes, I realized that for anyone feeling down, another “Picture Perfect” family photo wasn’t going to bring them joy.  “High-light” reels are dangerous to people who are prone to comparison, and the ultimate thieves of joy. So I kept it real. This is what I posted:

“I accidentally coordinated our clothes!

Oh – I mean… I totally have it together. I planned these outfits in my spare time between creating amazing holiday cuisine, making my own bows from ribbon I dyed myself to exactly match my wrapping paper, and steam-cleaning my carpets because everything else in the house was already clean and gorgeous cookies were cooling on wire-racks next to a flickering holiday scented candle.

I definitely didn’t run through a messy house with an armful of random clothes yanked from the dryer yelling, “Just put these on! We’re late!”

#sarcasm #merrychristmas”


Behind every perfect coordinated photo is a laundry-basket, or a sink-full of dishes, or too many orders and not enough time to fill them, or kids who will starting fighting in the next 2 seconds, masked behind the happy smiles.


Think of it like this cheesecake that I made for Christmas day. It didn’t turn out well. There is a GIANT crack down the middle that you can’t see. I was too tired to stay up and do a water-bath so I just put it in the fridge, still warm, and went to bed, hoping for the best. I didn’t get the best. I got the grand-canyon of cheesecake cracks right down the middle. So I dumped some apple pie filling on top and decided that should have been the plan all along.

People on social media aren’t showing you the big crack down the middle. They’re only showing you the pretty toppings. Don’t compare your cracks to their pretty toppings. It’s not fair to you. And it certainly isn’t accurate. Don’t let comparison steal your joy. A new year is coming, let’s dust off our blinders, reach for joy, and get to work.

I’m Accidentally a Photographer

I honestly don’t know how it happened, but somehow I became a person who takes photos. I don’t have a fancy camera, or a photography background, or any training whatsoever. One day I decided I wanted to take gorgeous photos of nail polish, so I experimented until I figured out how to do it. That is kind of how I do life. Pick a random goal and face it ’til you make it! Face it, not fake it!

My goal is to photograph everything in the collection by mid-January. Fingers crossed! (Not really though, because that would make a weird pic…)  Here are some of my favorites so far…


Let me know what you think! Which is your favorite?

I Accidentally Started a Business

Look at this lady. Does she look like a Direct Sales success story? Does she look like someone who is going to be an inspiration? Does she even look like someone who has anything at all worth-while to share?

I mean, her hair is falling out of a pony-tail tied with wrapping paper ribbon and there’s… is that a shark in this picture? Not a shark under the sea in some Caribbean wonderland because she earned a fantastic tropical cruise from her company. (Which she did, by the way, but that’s not the point right now.)  20181209_202817No. It’s a shark… wearing a Santa hat.

So, she doesn’t look successful. That’s okay. She’s happy and she doesn’t need anyone to think she’s successful. She’s on her way to an Ugly Sweater Party with her best friends. Some of those friends are also teammates in her direct sales company. She didn’t ask them to join, they asked her if they could join. Not because she looked successful, but because anyone could see that whatever she was up to, it was making her happy. One of those teammates is hosting the party in their newly renovated home that now has the space to host a dinner for 12 couples.

(No kids allowed! Yay! Getting invited to go to a dinner party without kids means you have permission to act like a child until the party is over. It’s the BEST!)

The reason her teammate has room for this kind of gathering is because of a home remodel, which was partially funded by the side-hustle. The one we both signed up for. Oh, this pic is of me, by the way. And when I signed up for my first ever direct sales gig, it was for no other reason than that I really – I mean really – love the product.

Oh, and I wanted the starter kit.

And the 25% off.

I’d love to tell you it was because I recognized the value of a ground-floor opportunity, or that I was recruited due to my impeccable reputation of past success and real-world experience, or that I had a great understanding of the quiet complexities of the comp plan and I recognized its value.

But I can’t tell you that. I had no experience and no idea what I was getting into. Understanding the Jump-start rewards program, which was less than one page long, was too much for this girl. Forget it.

But it looked fun.

It was pretty.

That’s about the extent of my research. Eleven months ago, I straight up bought a business because I wanted a box of goodies and a discount on ordering more. A year ago today, I had never even heard my company’s name.

selective focus photo of sweater christmas tree ornament

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

That is so strange now. Because now I have a business. My own business! At home! I have new skills, a growing team, a savings account, and a purpose outside keeping small children alive. And not only do I have it for myself, I have it for strangers that I meet who become my friends, and friends I’ve had all along who can now realize their dreams of having big dinner-parties in their beautiful homes and inviting their friends to come over wearing whatever makes them smile. Even if it’s a Santa-hat-Shark Christmas sweater. Sorrynotsorry.


Start Sloppy

Let’s be honest, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never written a blog before. And there’s a big part of me that’s saying, “Stop! Stop it right now! Delete! Exit! Shut it down! You can’t write a blog! You are not qualified to write a blog and here’s why:

A) You are not a blogger.

B) Who is going to care what you have to say?

C) You don’t know how to make it pretty, and blogs are supposed to be pretty.

And, most importantly;


But guess what, I’m writing a blog. I have a blog and I am writing it. Right now. So, I AM a blogger.

I’m silencing the voices in my head that are telling me to wait.  Wait until I know exactly what to do. Wait until I can take a course in photography, or writing, or… blogging. Wait until the kids are older so I’ll have more time to make it perfect.

If I wait until the timing is perfect, I’ll never start.

If I wait until my confidence is unstoppable, I’ll never start.

If I wait until I have enough experience, I’ll never start.  And also, that’s impossible? The only way to gain experience is to do the thing.

This is me doing the thing.

Ready or not, here we go. Starting sloppy, but at least starting.

First blog post, in the books.


…or, server? I’m not really sure how these things work.