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My part-time business is my ‘me’ time

By Rosemary Bargwanna

I’m a daughter, wife, mother, sister/in-law and aunt. For 15 years I have been an independent consultant for The Body Shop At Home. I’m usually consulting customers via parties at people’s houses, but more recently due to COVID-19, it’s via Zoom. I love it!

Some people come into this business to save money for themselves because they like the products and can get good discounts. Others go into it wanting to smash it out and make it their full-time business and main income. I’m somewhere in between. I enjoy getting out and meeting people and sharing the Body Shop love. For me, this is my ‘me’ time. It’s my outlet. I live in a household full of boys. I love them to death, but this is my time away from the boys. I am not a girly girl, trust me – and I say that to my customers all the time. But this is my time: where I get out of the house, where I’m not going to soccer, or having to be there for someone else. This is just about me and I get to enjoy it.

It’s a huge confidence-booster and it energises me. It’s great for my mental health. I am not someone who is like ‘look at me, look at me’. I’ve never enjoyed getting up and speaking in front of people, but I can do that confidently now. There might be five people or 30, but I know I can do it. It helps me in my main job where I might need to talk to a room full of people. I’m no longer phased by public speaking because this job has given me the confidence to be able to handle it.

Some positives due to COVID-19

Due to COVID-19, I’ve been consulting and running parties via Zoom. By holding parties online, people have invited friends and relatives they haven’t seen in ages so now I have customers in Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne! The parties have become great social connections for people during this tough time. They’re a great excuse to bring people together.

It’s often a real party for people, they’ll have the champers in one hand, and we laugh and giggle. You can see the connection they have with each other. Plus, the products are about pampering so there’s a sense of indulging oneself, which is important when people might be feeling anxious or cooped up.

I will keep doing Zoom parties once COVID-19 is all over, but I look forward to seeing people face-to-face in the same room.

Showing our appreciation for frontline workers

A lot of my customers are teachers and nurses. They needed looking after because while everyone else got to stop, they didn’t get to. They were in the absolute thick of it. So, I put a call out for donations for workers at our local hospital. We got about 60 hand creams and soaps donated. My husband, who works at the hospital, had the lovely job of handing them out.

I also thought it would be a good idea to show our appreciation to our local pharmacy. My eldest son, who works at the pharmacy, took in some donated goodies to his work colleagues.

To keep the ball rolling, we put together about 70 gifts for high school teachers at my youngest son’s school. One of the teachers emailed me and thanked me personally. She said that the gifts were distributed based on staff anonymously nominating their colleagues. It was a great morale booster in tough times.

Continue being you

My advice to other business owners is simple. Continue being you, because that’s why people come to you and your business in the first place. There has to be a light at the end of the tunnel. There has to be. Try and keep that positive mindset – that’ll get you through. We all have bad days, so shake it off. Vent, swear, go for a run, lift your weights, kick a soccer ball or soak your feet in a bubble bath – whatever you need to do. Take five minutes for yourself. Take care of yourself and keep being you.

This blog piece was contributed by our partners from the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, as part of their work with Everymind and on their Wellbeing in Rural Small Business project.

About Rosemary Bargwanna

Rosemary Bargwanna has been an independent consultant for The Body Shop At Home for over 15 years, and runs this small business part-time alongside her substantive role as a Finance Officer at Live Better in Orange. Rosemary was born and raised in Orange and still lives in the town, raising her two boys with her husband, Jason. To add to her busy schedule, Rosemary is also currently the President of the Orange Waratah Junior Football Club.

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