One woman who lives outside Houston is putting the brakes on friends who try to sell her nail art, skincare and kitchen goods or so-called multi-level marketing products.
Rachael Pavlik, 45, is a stay-at-home mom whose viral post on the Scary Mommy blog published Wednesday explained her limited tolerance for social media messages and event invitations to friends who are constantly trying to sell her things.
Called, “3-D Lashes, Jamberry and Other Ways to Lose Facebook Friends,” Pavlik’s post has unleashed a firestorm of cheers from readers who also feel inundated with “momtrepreneurs” — and jeers from sellers who become an advocare distributor earn money from these products.
“If women are happy, successful and fulfilled doing this, that’s great,” Pavlik told ABC News. “I just don’t want to be a part of it. The product is secondary and it’s the selling of the friendship that irks me.”
Pavlik, a mother of two children, said she’s invited to a Facebook group or selling party at an acquaintance’s house nearly every week. Pavlik is a humorist with her own blog RachRiot.com.
“I’m added to the Facebook group automatically, then you have to take yourself out, and then they add you back in,” she said. “And you see someone in your neighborhood and they ask if I can come to their party.”
“I’ve gone to 10 parties in this neighborhood,” she said. “And it’s too much pressure to buy stuff from people you normally don’t even talk to.”
One of the invitations she’s received is for the direct-sales company Jamberry Nails, a D-I-Y nail application product.
“I am a grown woman. I don’t put nail stickers on,” Pavlik added. “That’s something my daughter might be interested in. I don’t have to go to a party for 45 minutes to put on nail stickers.”
Jill Smokler, who started the Scary Mommy website, said, the response to the blog post “blew us away.”
“I’m all for working moms, but there has to be a better way than alienating your friends and family,” Smokler told ABC News. “Besides, didn’t we get stickers out of our system in Kindergarten?”
A spokeswoman for Jamberry declined to comment to ABC News.
“If you go to a party in the neighborhood, and at that party, the sales person recruits the next person to have the next party, guess who will be at that party? The same 30 women,” Pavlik said. “What kind of business model is that? That’s when I started saying ‘no.'”
Pavlik said her friends and acquaintances know about her disdain for these invitations — and they are not angry about her blog post. In cyberspace, most of the comments are positive, she said. But to critics, Pavlik said the post “touched a nerve.”
One of the Facebook critics wrote: “This article sounds VERY insensitive. You don’t know the story behind every woman who is involved in a direct sales company. Maybe she needed extra money to make ends meet. Maybe she needed a hobby other than wiping boogers and butts all day and this ‘sisterhood’ you talk so negative about keeps her sane.”
Pavlik said it’s “awesome” if people find success or fulfillment with these activities. She also recognizes that she promotes her blog and a best-selling book she co-wrote with other moms, called, “I Just Want to Pee Alone.”
Cover art for “I Just Want to Pee Alone.”
“I don’t think I constantly spam people with buy my book. If they want to look and click on it, they can buy it. I don’t just automatically add them to a group,” she said.