Saturday, March 28, 2015

The New Side Gig

I couldn't stay away from business long.

Almost exactly four years ago is how long it has been since I quit my job as the head of one of the most successful retail locations (with my old company) in the Midwest. It's been almost exactly SIX years since my job before that was dissolved due to a liquidation I am STILL in mourning over that one).

What I loved about both jobs was the sales plans and the challenge of working towards a goal. I loved motivating a team, making sales plans, earning trips, recognition and other incentives. It was fun! I very rarely did not make my monthly sales plans and was well known to hit my sales regularly. I had a plan, I worked the plan and somehow always made it happen.

Probably because I was having fun.

I love teaching now. I know without a doubt that I made the right decision in my career. Despite my post last week about not wanting to go back to work after spring break, I do love going in to school everyday. I love seeing my "kids". I love building relationships with parents. I love teaching and learning - because I learn so much everyday.  In fact, I don't even call it work - I call it "school"! Haha!

However, something has been missing. I did not realize it was missing until recently when I signed up to be a Stylist with Stella & Dot.
Top necklace: the Sanibel. Bottom necklace: Devon layering necklace
During the month of January there was a fantastic deal. A deal where you could earn back the investment you made if you sold so much in the first 30 days. I thought about it literally all of January.

Talked it over with Bill a lot.

With every conversation, he encouraged me to do it. I still hemmed and hawed over it though. How can I possibly squeeze one more thing on my plate? I have summers off, so I can do this in the summer, but what if I don't do well? What if nobody comes to my trunk shows? What if people start avoiding me because, "here comes Amber and all she's gonna do is talk about jewelry?!"
Pave arrow cuff and Interlock Cross bracelet
I bit the bullet though and did it.

I hit my initial goal within a couple weeks and I was having fun. Lots of fun!
From left: Renegade bracelet, Enlighten bracelet and the Inspiration bangle
My friends were coming over and we were having "trunk shows", drinking wine and trying on jewelry. I have made friends and added two people to my "team". Yep, I have a "team" again! The best part is ... I do not have a district manager breathing down my neck. I am not required to work Friday nights, Saturdays or Sundays (if I don't want to) and when I do work those days, I can easily make over $250 in a couple hours. Yep, that's not a typo. Plus, it is enjoyable. So enjoyable! See more information below)

Besides something "missing" from my career right now that was sales driven, my why for signing up was also driven by some hefty long-term goals that Bill and I want to achieve in the next 5-10 years. Goals like pay off our home and build a "dream" home in the country right outside of Des Moines. We've always known that to do something like that, we would need to supplement our income somehow.

I truly believe that Stella & Dot is the answer to those tough questions we have been praying about.

So, that's my new side gig! I am loving it and cannot believe I've only been doing it a couple months. In a very good way, it feels like I have been doing it much longer!

If you could do any side gig, what would it be?

Top: Somervell in white and gold. Bottom: Engraveable charm with  my wedding date engraved on it and Elephant charm. 

If you are interested in learning more about Stella & Dot, I would love to touch base with you. Email me at with stylist questions, questions about how to hold a live or online trunk show, or about updating your jewelry collection. I would love to help!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

What NOT to tell 9-10 year olds...

Well, you all were right. Getting back into the swing of things was nice and I always realize how much I missed my kids once we are all back!

However I learned the hard way that you do not EVER tell fourth graders that you can't hear.

Explanation ...

My kids asked if I was feeling better because I was really sick the week before Spring Break. I told them about my two trips to the doctor's office and how it turned into a double ear infection by the second trip to the doctor and that it felt like I was under water. It is really hard to hear sometimes!! They definitely took it upon themselves to talk a tad more ... oops!

During math they were playing math games and I was walking around making sure everyone was playing correctly and I was about 10 feet away from a group of three playing and one of the kids goes, "Here comes Mrs. Kuehler!" in slightly above a whisper. I giggled a little to myself and when I got to them, said, "Ya know ... my hearing is not THAT bad, now why weren't you three playing the game?!"

Oh, kids. Gotta love 'em!

Have you ever told kids something and then thought to yourself, "well, that was dumb!"

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday, bloody, Sunday.

It's the Sunday before going back to work after a week long vacation. You feel depressed. You try to pump yourself up for structure again. Then you tell yourself not to think about it. Just enjoy the rest of the time off you have. Enjoy the evening with your husband/family.

You've had this before, am I right?

I have it bad. The Sunday Night Blues. Except it's The-Sunday-Night-After-Vacation-Blues, which is worse.

I so enjoy my free time. Especially lately now that I have another business venture to focus some time on.

Then again, I love what I do. I love teaching. I love my kids. So, why do I dread going back to work so much? I know once I get there I will feel happy to be back. Happy to see my kids.

Ugh. Oh, Sundays. You're not my favorite day of the week.

Do you get the Sunday Night Blues?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Looking Forward

Happy Friday!

Well, it's not so happy for me. I'm being a baby, but it's the last day of spring break. Yes, of course I have the weekend, but still ... this week went by SO FAST! Time off always does, right?

It's been awhile since I've been in this space updating you all (I'm pretty sure all my readers are IRL friends now... if not, come out of the woodwork!). Since it has been awhile, I figured I would do a looking forward post as a way of updating you on the goings on in my life!

This weekend ... tonight we are celebrating a dear friends birthday with a girls night out! We are getting mani/pedis together and then heading out for dinner. I am excited to see all the girls! As we get older, it gets harder and harder ... Also this weekend, I have TWO trunk shows scheduled for Sunday! What's a trunk show, you ask? Well, in January I signed up to be a Stella & Dot Stylist due to this amazing promotion and I am so shocked by how much fun I am having with it! It is completely my own business and I can do as little or as much with it as I want, which is PERFECT for me. Anyway, this is all for another post! I will explain everything! :)

This week ...  I am taking a class for work (where we get graduate credit for FREE. Love my district!) that I am really excited for. That's about it ... pretty slow week ahead!

This month ... This month is about over! I enjoyed March though. We got a taste of some spring weather and I am very excited for more in April!

Next month ... April is going to be busy! We've got quite a bit going on ... We are going to a Murder Mystery Dinner in a small town about two hours away with a couple friend of ours that I am really excited about! We are heading to Minneapolis for a weekend to visit friends. Also that weekend Jodi Picoult is doing a lecture about the research that goes into her books, I am really looking forward to that, however I am worried that since I have seen her so many times she will be repeating everything I have already heard. Since the ticket cost $40 I am really hoping that is not the case ... Also that weekend I am attending a furniture refinishing party called Women, Wine and Wood Workshop. I need to find a piece of furniture to refinish, but I am really looking forward to learning this new skill!

This summer .... There is already a lot going on this summer! July is packed with Ragbrai, a trip to Vegas for Stella & Dot, and some curriculum training in Ames. I am so excited for this summer because I'm not planning a wedding and I will have a true summer off and to myself. Possibly my last summer "alone"?? Who knows...

What are you looking forward to these days??