Monday, March 16, 2009

Party Time...and Chance to Win Free Book!

It must be a female-only ritual, because I can’t think of any parallel in the male world…any parallel to the shopping party experience. Did it start with Tupperware? I remember my mom hosting and attending Tupperware parties and I went to a couple many years ago…still have a lot of Tupperware in my cupboards.

I’ve been to candle parties, home décor parties, jewelry, bath products, make-up, and cookware/food. Invitations come often, and guess what? I never say “no.” Why is that? Because I’m the consummate consumer? Some of it is that I do enjoy shopping, but it’s the communal experience, shopping with a roomful of “sisters” that really makes an evening of “stuff” fun. While I have been known to comment to strangers in the dressing room (“That looks great on you!”) I rarely solicit opinions when I’m shopping alone. At a shopping party, no one is a stranger, and everyone feels free to weigh in on your potential choices.

Last week I attended a new kind of party for me…clothes. Specifically CAbi clothes. The event was hosted by my hair stylist (which added some pressure…hair had to look good!) and I went with two friends who are also her clients. I was coming down with this crummy flu-y thing, though, so was sure I wasn’t going to try anything on…but that lasted about twenty minutes. Energized by the other women and the whole experience of admiring colors and textures, I managed to try on several items and make a few purchases.

I keep going back to thinking of something men do that’s similar…attending a ball game? But that’s all about “watching” something, not examining, debating, admiring (and purchasing) together. As a matter of fact, we women want to rush the presentation part of the evening, eager to get our hands on the clothes (or candles or whatever) so we can talk about them and talk to each other. Maybe it’s because I live in a houseful of men that I appreciate the inherently social nature of we women.

We turn just about anything into a sharing experience. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve signed on to do something that seemed like a chore at the onset (decorating for a school party, manning a table at a fundraiser) that turned into a delightful gabfest with a few new friends. Yep. We women are darn good drawing lines of connection between us. Again, as a woman living with guys, as a girl who grew up with only a brother, I treasure this aspect of our gender.

I honor this ability of women to create bonds in my current Malibu & Ewe trilogy, which centers around a knitting shop in Malibu, and three women who come to create a family. The last book of three, Dirty Sexy Knitting, is out in June, but I have an Advanced Reader’s Copy to send to one lucky commenter! Leave a comment telling us what kind of shopping parties you’ve attended or hosted. Is there anyone who hasn’t been invited to one of these kinds of events?

60 comments:

Katy said...

The only kind of party I've been to is a jewelry party which is odd because I don't wear much jewelry (although I seem to have a lot of it!). It was hosted by a friend of mine, and I don't remember any of the jewelry except the piece I bought, but I do remember seeing friends there whom I hadn't seen in years and catching up with them and just having a great day - it really didn't matter what we were there for!

jamie said...

I have been to a few parties..
Stampin up, jewlery, passion (but thats been forever ago), food, home and garden parties, I think that maybe just a little too many..
My favorite of all of them would have to be the food party. Who dosent appreciate trying out new food and yummy deserts, and of course the faces some people make when they put something in their mouth they don't like.

Michele Hauf said...

Me! I've never been invited to a single party. I used to bemoan this fact. But seriously, I think I lucked out because no pressure to spend money or do stupid party tricks is a good day for me. :-)

I do recall my mom having Tupperware parties at least once a year. And Home Decorating was huge; our entire house was Home Decorating. She used to do cake decorating parties too, which was cool.

I'd love to attend some kind of eco party. Is there anything like that?

Keri Ford said...

Been to a couple of parties. The most memorable one was a wedding shower. The theme was...uh, toys for the bedroom. I forget the offical name of it. Very interesting games, cakes, and drinking straws. :O)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Ah, those parties, Christie. They were really big back when I was starting out as newlywed/teacher/mom in a very small town. I even did about a year as a Mary Kay lady, which convinced me that I'm not much of a sales person. Not that the parties didn't go over well in a small town--they did--but I was always apologizing for the prices. Back then we did Tupperware, home decorator, Princess (?) glassware, all kinds of stuff.

The only kind I've been to in recent years is CAbi. You always feel like you should book a party "to help the hostess out" and get some deals yourself, so I went to two or three and hosted one. I really like the clothes, and the parties are loads of fun! You know who booked from my party? Michelle Buonfiglio--who looked gorgeous in everything she tried, of course. And, of course, I enjoyed going to her party. I miss Michelle!

lois greiman said...

I'm not much of a partier. I've never hosted one, and rarely been to them, but I'm soooo with you on the whole women's social network thing, Christie. I think we really need time to hash things out with other women...especially as writers since we spend so much time alone.

Christie Ridgway said...

Michele: Can't believe you haven't been to one of these parties! I used to feel more pressure to buy than I do now...except I do always buy. ::sigh::

Heather said...

I've been to too many differnt types of home parties, including a Tupperware party during a stay in Norway, various home decor parties, and a DK book party (that one would have been okay if I'd had money to spend at it).

In general, I don't care much for them because I'm not into big, gaudy jewelry and have scent allergies that make candle/home decor parties a nightmare. And, while I love Dove Chocolate and the Tastefully Sinful mixes, I balk at paying $5 for a brownie mix when I could get one just as good from Betty Crocker for $1.25.

The type of party that is my weakness, however, are craft parties such as Making Memories or (even worse for my bank account) Stampin' Up. I own so many SU stamp sets I should own stock in the company! *grin*

Emma Clair said...

I've been to a few of these parties (Pampered Chef, Creative Memories, some kind of candle thing ages ago) but I often feel awkward at them. There's often a big sense of obligation for me and that takes some of the fun out it.

I much prefer the impromptu connections you mentioned (e.g., decorating for a school event) - I think the unexpectedness of them makes them more special.

Christie Ridgway said...

Kathleen: The CAbi clothes do fit so nicely. People kept telling me that and I saw it for myself once I tried them on.

Christie Ridgway said...

Jamie: Sounds like you've been to as many kinds of parties as me! I loved the food one too. You and Heather have been to Stampin' Up. Heather, I know no Stampin' Up. Stamps, I assume?

Keri got to go to a, uh, personal toys party? I've heard of those, but no one has ever invited me to one. Not sure how I'd feel about that!

GunDiva said...

You've never quite bonded with a roomful of women until you've been to a Passion or Slumber Party (as my friend calls them F***erware Parties). There's nothing like sitting in a room full of aquaintances, and sometimes complete strangers, and getting their entire sexual life story. It's definitely not for the faint of heart!

Kathleen, I'm with you on the not-a-salesperson thing. I did lia sophia jewelry for about a year and lost my shorts doing it because I just couldn't bring myself to push someone who I knew was on a budget to blow it on something as frivolous as jewelry.

Ginny said...

I love home parties. Longaberger is a favorite of mine. I have hosted a few and attended many - baskets and ceramics - what fun! But the best shopping "party" I attended was last spring when 2 of the women I work with and myself took a day off and hit the newest outlet mall near us. What a great time we had - lots of opinions to be had and all helpful!

Maureen said...

I have never hosted any but I mostly go to kitchenware type parties. I don't think I would like a clothes party but I like the kitchen gadgets since they usually have things I haven't seen anywhere else.

Lois said...

Another one here who hasn't gone to those parties either. . . but maybe I can sort of say I kind of have. Ages ago when I was in the Girl Scouts, a not so very good troop in high school, but still, a troop nonetheless. . . and they brought in a Mary Kay rep. It was for a badge we never actually went for. Oh well. . . but like I said, wasn't a very good troop, I mean, they wanted to go to the Hard Rock Cafe. I thought they were supposed to go to DC or the Statue of Liberty of something! LOL

Lois

Heather said...

Christie - Stampin' Up (www.stampinup.com) sells rubber ink stamps, quality cardstock (not the flimsy stuff) and coordinating ink, decorative paper, and an assortment of accessories. I usually order from them a couple times a year, and have also hosted a few parties - both actual workshops where you get to use some of their products, and book sales only.

Christie Ridgway said...

GunDiva: So you talk about your sex lives at those sex toys parties? Eeek!

Confession time by me (no, not about =that=!): I have never hosted one of these parties. I just attend. And I forget about the ceramic stuff and baskets...I went to one, but not Longaberger. Something else...

Lois: I'm so laughing at the girl scout troop going to the Hard Rock Cafe instead of the Statue of Liberty.

Christie Ridgway said...

Heather: I think I'd like the Stampin' Up stuff. I like to stencil and that kind of thing.

Emma Clair: Yes, it's those impromptu events that can turn out really fun too. One year I had a hilarious afternoon constructing a maze out of cardboard boxes with two other moms for the Halloween Carnival (and I had not been looking forward to it). We took lots of pictures of ourselves because we had so much fun. We still talk about it.

amy*skf said...

Christie, it seems as if I'm the exact opposite of Michele--I've been invited to every party, probably I'm such a push-over. If you host it I will come...and spend.

GunDiva--Hah! F***erware. Tell your friend she's a genius.

I love CAbi clothes, and I was at Michelle Buonfiglio's party too Kathleen--

Lois, that is the main thing--just hanging with other women, right?

Christie Ridgway said...

Amy*skf: So you have CAbi clothes too? I was one of the few at the party who'd never attended another CAbi event. Don't know where I've been.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Amy! I remember how great those clothes looked on you, too.

Diva, I was able to earn back my expenses and enough for dining table and 5 chairs before I retired my MK biz. I did it for about 9 months--I was pregnant with Elizabeth.

Back in those teeny tiny town days I belonged to a women's group called Justa Club, whose sole purpose was socializing. We'd do one or two couples' parties a year--progressive dinner, wine tasting, that kind of thing--and have monthly planning and gabbing fests. The men had Lions, but Clyde never joined. He was invited, but he's not very clubby. When we moved to Bismarck--a city by ND standards--there was more to do with the church, and we got involved with the Y. Not too many selling parties at that point. When we moved to the Cities, the local RWA chapter became my women's network. I haven't been as active lately as I really want to be, but with the grandkids I seem to be going around the circle again. Life is a journey, and it's so good to travel with our women friends.

Liza said...

I've been to several Pampered Chef parties and Kelly's Kids parties but never hosted one. I did host an Arbonne party for a friend of mine that was selling it and some type of basket party forever ago(can't remember the names of the baskets), but I don't even do that anymore.

CrystalGB said...

I have been to Mary Kay, Tupperware, Home Interiors and jewelry parties.

Playground Monitor said...

I'd never heard of CAbi until we went to RWA in Dallas in 07 and the CAbi folks were there. I've never been invited to a party though. I've been to Tupperware, Stanley, Avon, Mary Kay, Beauticontrol, Home Interiors, Longaberger and Pampered Chef. I've even hosted a few myself and I sold Tupperware for a year back in the late 80's. The husband and I were in Amway too. I still have a real bad taste in my mouth about that one.

I'm making quick blog rounds and then I'm putting my head down and getting back to edits so I can mail this book to Silhouette by April 1st.

Marilyn

Anonymous said...

I've been to all of those kinds of parties and usually fall victim to the salesperson and purchase something. But the most unusual one I attended a Cactus Party here in Arizona. It was to tell people about all kinds of cactus and especially the small ones for ornamental gardens or cactus pots which are very popular here. Also, we women told of our most "prickling" situations. The item most purchased was of a small statue of an Indian taking a leak and you guessed it-his member was a huge catus. We had so much fun.
JOYE
JWIsleyATaol.com

Gram said...

Hi all,
I been to Tupperware, clothes - can't remember the brand, jewelery - still have it after all these years, and my daughter used to do lingerie parties so I have been to those. You are right - they are fun!

amy*skf said...

Liza, what's Kelly's Kids?

Kathleen, I wanted everything I tried on. And we miss you.

Christie Ridgway said...

Marilyn: That's when I first learned of CAbi too...I was on the airport shuttle with a CAbi person. But never invited to a party until now.

Liza: I've never heard of the Kelly's Kids parties (and you wonder if some stuff is regional, like Anon's cactus party...).

I've never been to a lingerie party either, though Surfer Guy was quite disappointed when I came home from the CAbi party...when I said clothes, I guess he'd been hoping it was =those= kind of clothes. Men.

Sarah M. Anderson said...

I go when invited, but never, ever buy - I'm too frugal! I eat the snacks and make small talk, but I've never seen anything at a party I can't live without!

Virginia said...

Your books sounds great! I have been to Tuperware parties, Home and Garden parties, Mary Kay parties, you names it I have been to them. Most of the stuff is over my budget though.

robynl said...

I have hosted numerous Tupperware parties and have been to the following:
Tupperware, Avon, clothing parties, Crystal parties, Partylite, Pampered Chef, makeup.
I, too, love going to these parties; it is a lovely time out with friends and potential new friends.

Christie Ridgway said...

Sarah: You're stronger than I am! I see sparkly and pretty and out comes my wallet. I try to keep my spending in line, though.

PJ said...

I've been to oodles of parties over the years and have hosted many as well. I've never been to a "personal toys" party but some of my friends (in other states) have and had a great time. (vgb)

Parties I've been to (and some I've hosted) include Tupperware, candles, jewelry, clothing, Longaberger, Mary Kay, food, Pampered Chef, children's toys, home decorating and Southern Living at Home (where I've been known to do some major damage to the bank account). My next door neighbor and I co-hosted a Tupperware party about 5 years ago and made a killing. I couldn't believe all the really good free stuff we ended up with. I had to have walked away with at least $300 worth of free bonus items.

I've never heard of CAbi.

Can't wait to read Cassandra and Gabe's story!

catslady said...

I've been to tons it seems - Tupperware was a really big one many years ago because there was nothing comparable at the time. I hosted only one and that was for clothes - can't remember the name but mostly bedroom wear. I've been to candle, jewelry, homeware parties - I'm sure there's more lol.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, Joye, an Indian with a cactus penis? Uh...as much a I love cactus...and Indians...

People actually bought that? Female people? I wonder what they did with it.

Playground Monitor said...

I'm frugal sorta like Sarah. I'll buy an item if it will make my life better or easier. I bought a marvelous silicone basting brush from Pampered Chef and it's awesome. Also got their food chopper that's great for chopping nuts, onions, whatever. And Tupperware will last forever. I have bowls that were wedding gifts almost 36 years ago. There's a joke about two things surviving nuclear holocaust: cockroaches and Tupperware.

Marilyn

Playground Monitor said...

Have y'all never seen the elementary school project?

Cactus Planters

A class of elementary students started a class project to make a planter to take home and wanted to have a plant in it that was easy to take care of,so it was decided to use cactus plants. The students were given greenware pottery of a clown planter and they painted them with glaze and had them professionally fired at a class outing so they could see the process. It was great fun.

They planted the cactus seeds in the finished planters and they grew nicely but unfortunately were not allowed to take them home.

The cactus plants were removed and a small ivy replaced them and the children were then allowed to take them home.

The teacher said cactus seemed like a good idea at the time...

Click here for planters

Christie Ridgway said...

PJ: So glad you're looking forward to Cassandra and Gabe's story. I just re-read the ending a few days ago and made myself cry.

Marilyn: OMG! Those planters are so funny. I can see this kind of thing happening. Will share with my s-i-l the elementary school teacher.

BTW, keep us posted on your submission to Silhouette! I'm so thrilled for you.

herblady said...

I've been to Tupperware and glassware parties and only once to a clothing party. I usually buy something to help the hostess out but at the clothing one, the clothes were way overpriced and didn't appeal to me at all so I bought nothing!
I haven't been to one in many years because I don't get out much.
Thank you for the chance to win!

Estella said...

Pampered Chef, tupperware,and a lingerie party.
The lingerie party was the best by far!

Christie Ridgway said...

herblady: What a cute dog! Yeah, the clothing ones can be expensive. There was not a "small" purchase to make at the party I attended.

Estella: Do people try the lingerie on at the party?

georganna said...

Oh that cactus story is too funny!
As for the home parties, I've been to so many - baskets, candles, jewelry, scrapbooking, housewears, but my favorite are the food ones like Pampered Chef and Tastefully Simple. It's fun to 'hang out' with friends and sample some new foods.
I was recently invited to a party where you bring your old gold and silver jewelry and receive cash for it. Huh? That's a new one for me.

Stacy S said...

I've been to several Home Interior parties and Pampered Chef. I always book a party for my friends too. Just went to my first tupperware party this week.

Jane said...

I've never attended a shopping party. I've heard a lot about the Tupperware parties. I had no idea Tupperware was so pricey. I would love to attend a shoe party where we could salivate over the newest collections of sandals and strappy heels.

amy*skf said...

I almost choked when I saw the planters--even though I could kinda guess which way the wind was a blowin'--still, the fact they were clownn planters. Made it kind of worse. But FUNNY.

Christie Ridgway said...

georganna: Oh, I think I saw that on a news show...about told parties. We should all start a trend where we bring our unused "party" items and swamp 'em. No money changes hands, we just eat and chat and swap!

Arkansas Cyndi said...

I haven't been to a shopping party in 30 years and it was Tupperware back then. These aren't really popular in my area.

And I can't wait to read the next in the knitting series. What a terrific series. For anyone who hasn't gone and bought the first two, why not? Go! Now! Buy! Be ready for June!

I'd LOVE the ARC for Dirty, Sexy Knitting!

Christie Ridgway said...

Arkansas Cyndi: Yeah! Love the enthusiasm. Thanks so much.

flchen1 said...

I haven't been to many shopping parties--I've been invited to but couldn't attend a jewelry one, and a CAbi one. I have been to a Stamping Up party and a couple of Creative Memories events. I really need to avoid parties like this because I tend to get easily carried away and before you know it, I've signed away our savings for a truckful of stuff we don't need ;) But it's true that shopping with friends is more fun ;p

Sarah M. Anderson said...

Christie,
If you weren't raised by frugal Germans (and I'm talking old-school, survived the Depression frugal!) then yeah, I can see where the parties would be too much to withstand. It takes decades of training!

P.S. It would be nice to not have to wait until June . . . but I did already pre-order through my locally-owned bookstore. Just so you know!

Katy said...

Michelle, an eco party would be so cool! We have a bunch of cool eco stores in my area - mostly home goods, and one of the best items is Ellie Pooh paper which is made from Elephant... um... leavings. It doesn't smell and them make it in great colors. I bought a scrap book made from that for an author signing event I went to and everyone got a kick out it.

As for those Passion parties, I have a friend who does those, but she couldn't drag me to one for the life of me! I'd be red the whole time.

I've never heard of CAbi and now I'm going to have to google it to see what I'm missing!

Christie, I too am looking forward to DSK! I love the Malibu & Ewe women and will hate for the series to end!

Angela said...

What a coincidence! I'm going to a CAbi party at a friends house next Tuesday! Glad to see this post since I'd never heard of this before!

Kammie said...

The only party I've been to is tupperware, a long time ago, and a jewelry party. I do get invited, butthe are mostly on work nights and I'm just way too tired. Plus, I tend to spend way too much. lol

Kathleen said...

I have been and hosted everything from Tupperwear to Sexy Underwear. I cannot resist when someone says they are having a "Party" and a lot of times it is at friends house and they know I am sucker for the party about host a party and the current hostess gets extra credits. What I do for a friend. But then I have recived a boat load of free stuff too.

I remember the first party I hosted was Jewlery Party. It was Sarah Coventry Jewlery and I recived about $500.00 in free jewlery, some of which I stil own today.
You mentioned a Cabi clothes, but I don't think they have reached us here in Canada or I would be sure to have been invited to one already.

Anonymous said...

purse party and spa and lotionparty

kh

Caffey said...

Hi Christie!!
I've used to go to alot of these parties, especially Tupperware, but really hasn't been much lately! I miss them, mostly for the socializing and food too! LOL.
Besides Tupperware, here's some others I went to:
Scrapbooking - It was neat! I ended up getting something for my daughter as a starting kit that end ended up doing a scrap book for her HS/Graduation years.
Mary Kay Cosmetics - I been to quite a few of them! Only thing I like from there was their body moose that was a light cologne but as a moose to rub in like lotion. I was hooked on two scents from there!

I love to crochet! I wished they had some home parties for that! I do doilies and afghans. I'd love to be able to find from others what they do and whats new out there! So I miss anything to do with crocheting. Most I gotten is from an older sister that crochets but only see her a couple times a year.

Great post! I'd love to be in the contest for your book!

Laurie said...

The Republic of Ireland's flag is made of three equal-sized rectangles of orange, white, and green. This flag was first used in 1848.
The green color on the flag represents the native people of Ireland (most of whom are Roman Catholic). The orange color represents the British supporters of William of Orange who settled in Northern Ireland in the 17th century (most of whom are Protestant). The white in the center of the flag represents peace between these two groups of people.

St Patrick's real name was Maewyn Succat. Pope Celestine gave him the name Patricus -St Patrick.

Down here (FL) they had a parade on sat and another one scheduled for tuesday!

Laurie said...

Never been to any home parties!!

Marie Burton said...

My mom used to have Tupperware parties, I've never been though. My neighbor invited me to a Mary Kay 'party' where I spend A LOT of $$, she then asked if I wanted to do a Pampered Chef one, and I said no way.. I am hanging on to my wallet!! But I work with a bunch of construction guys, so I don't get any other offers..
MarieBurton2004(at)yahoo

Meljprincess said...

I've been to Tupperware parties, Mary Kay parties, and lingerie parties. I didn't buy from the first two but I got some cute stuff at the latter. I love ARCs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meljprincess AT aol DOT com