Preface: I am not a Jamberry consultant, nor do I plan to become one, nor am I promoting any specific Jamberry consultant in this article or even linking to a Jamberry site (you can Google it). I am not getting compensated in any way for this article.
So, read on. No sales-pitching here.

There has been a rash of articles moaning about the presence of MLM/direct sales in our lives social media. Most notably, Scary Mommy blogged quite a tirade about the constant stream of Facebook friend requests, posts, group memberships, and party invitations related to direct sales products. At first I saw a twist of humor in it; satire should usually not be taken personally. But the article quickly crossed the line from a humorous rant into mean-spirited and insulting. Hundreds of commenters seem to agree.

Bonbon Break countered with an article that urged readers to consider both sides of the story, that a large number of the women working as sales/consultants for these products are doing it for extra money. Do they tend to get a little over-zealous in their promoting and recruiting and hashtagging? Sure. After all, the majority of these women haven’t been trained in sales and marketing, so they’re learning as they go. Of course they’re going to go a little overboard. Who doesn’t?

People in general need to stop being so mean. These women are still people with feelings, and last I knew it was good social behavior to treat others civilly. The point is, you don’t have to buy these products. You don’t have to read the posts. You don’t have to accept the friend requests of non-friends. You don’t have to participate in the groups or attend the parties. You don’t have to rant and rave and deride them to thousands of people on a public forum. You don’t even have to be on Facebook in the first place if all it does is annoy you.

I have a lot of friends who dabble in direct sales. Some just do it for fun, some actually are able to do it as a full-time job. I have gone to a couple online parties and quite a few “in-person” ones. I don’t go to them because I’m dying to try out the latest fad product. I go because these people are my family and friends, and I love and support them. I go because if the roles were reversed, I would hope the same would be done for me. Sometimes I buy something (Jamberry! Mary Kay!) and sometimes I don’t (Lia Sophia, Thirty-One). But I never ridicule or roll my eyes or bash them to the whole online world. I am happy to lend my time and support, even if I’m not personally interested in the product.

Which brings me to…Jamberry.

It’s been around for a while now. I’ve always kind of dismissed it as “meh, cute”, but I never really considered buying any. I’m a nail biter, so I don’t have much in the way of fingernails. I’ve never really had manicures and a do-it-yourself nail décor product didn’t really call out to me.

Then my best friend had a Jamberry party last night.

As I sat there in her living room flipping through the little catalog, all of a sudden I saw why women love these.

This is fun. It is meant to be fun.

Jamberry seems to be finding its niche amongst young to middle-aged women. Busy women. Moms. Career women. Single women. Married women. Women going back to college. What do all these women have in common?

They are busy, stressed, overwhelmed. Life is serious; everything seems to be urgent and/or important. Money, kids, education, bills, housekeeping, sickness … most of these things are on a woman’s mind all.the.time.

Enter a product that provides a brief respite from the drudgery of the real world.

Jamberry is a product that is simple in concept (it’s just little wraps for your fingernails), moderately priced ($15 per sheet), and they last long enough that you don’t feel you’ve wasted the time/energy/money to decorate your nails (rumor has it they last around 2 weeks).

And the choices … !! So many choices!

Maybe I buy a subtle floral pattern and use it as an accent nail with coordinating polish. Maybe I cover my toenails with teeny-tiny sheet music. Maybe I alternate every other nail with stripes and paisley. The possibilities are endless!

My Jamberry sample nail done in "Cheetah Illusions"  Ignore the other two nails that desperately need attention!

My Jamberry sample nail done in “Cheetah Illusions” Ignore the other two nails that desperately need attention!

Will decorating my toes with cheerful yellow daisies fix any of the stressors in my life? Of course not. But it’s one little thing that I can do to make me smile. When I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed, I glance at my little cheetah-print fingernail (free sample!) and it does have the effect of a teeny ray of sunshine.

I freely admit that I am counting the days until my shipment arrives. My daughter is too. My husband laughed at me and just shook his head, declaring it silly.

I shrugged. Yes, technically Jamberry is silly. It’s charmingly frivolous.

But who cares?

It’s a small drop of “little girl” in the big sea of “boring grownup”.

So yes, I spent $88 on Jamberry last night. I’m not ashamed.


Author’s Note:  For the record, that $88 included four sets of Jamberry nail wraps ($15 each – buy 3, get 1 free!), an application kit for $12.50 (because I don’t want to bother tracking down all the stuff separately at the store) , and a little heater for $19 (because it’s cute and small and not as loud as a blow dryer).
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