Posted by Guest Blogger on 05.28.2021
I was introduced to Tastefully Simple years ago when the wife of one of my husband's coworkers invited me to a party. Because it was food, I thought, “Why not?” I loved everything I sampled and decided if I were ever to be part of a direct selling company, this would be the one. Fast forward four years. We had moved across the country and I was now a stay-at-home mom with a toddler and one on the way. A neighbor invited me to a taste-testing party … and I was hooked!
I LOVED being a stay-at-home mom, and my husband and I agreed that we would live in a tent, if necessary, for me to stay home with the kids. That said, I missed using the other side of my brain, so that day I agreed to start my Tastefully Simple journey. I set a goal to do four parties in a month and see where it led. Well, after the first party I was in awe of how much I enjoyed it, how much money I made AND how much of a service it was to my friends and family. It has only grown from there.
Recently I started something new with my business: Kids in the Kitchen. It takes a ton of pressure to create a diamond, and in the same way this new program was created out of the necessity of finding a way to work my business during a pandemic while home schooling my now 5th and 8th graders this year. My daughters LOVE to cook, and I was looking for avenues for them to interact with other kids in a fun environment.
I kicked off Kids in the Kitchen with a five-week series, offering classes for 5-11-year-olds and for aged 12 and up. Each class is exactly an hour at dinner time. The kids are in their own kitchens, with me on a device LIVE over Zoom. The students pre-purchase our awesome products for the five weeks.
Each week before class I distribute a grocery list and prep sheet for the night, plus all the steps we will be taking during the class. I also provide a list of all the items they will need from their kitchen (pots, pans, measuring spoons, etc.) so it is at their finger tips! At the end of each class, the kids have proudly cooked their family dinner for up to six adults.
The pride in the kids faces is overwhelming! The feedback has not stopped from the kids and the parents. Many of the families have rebooked every Kids in the Kitchen series I have offered, and they wait on pins and needles to hear what the next set of meals will be. The kids are growing in confidence in their palate, their knife skills and taking on new recipes and making suggestions. These life skills are so important, and many times I am teaching the parents right alongside the kids.
Not only has this been amazing for my business, but also for my children. As much as they love to cook, it was rare for me to ask them to cook a dinner for us all by themselves. But now, both of my kids have their own “recipe binder” of Tastefully Simple recipes they know they could cook without any problem. The meals have ranged from Tater Tot Tacos, Stromboli, Breakfast for Dinner Quiches, On The Go Breakfast Muffins, Biscuits and Gravy, Pork Saltimbocca, Green Mexican Chili and Shepherd’s Pie.
The main result has been a passion for me to train up the next generation of cooks in their own homes. Even after the pandemic is under control, and we can be back to a new normal. I’ll still continue this format, because the kids are learning in their own kitchen, with their own utensils and tools, and get to serve their family at such young ages with confidence. It has been more of a blessing in my life then I can even put words to.
My passion with Tastefully Simple is to help families eat around the table with ease, and my focus of my business pre-COVID was offering Freezer Meal Workshops to help answer the question, “What’s for dinner?” Since restrictions prevented people from getting together for most of the last 15 months, I have had to be creative and offer virtual workshops! This has been a fun new twist, allowing me to serve clients near and far over the Internet. The Freezer Meal Workshops were a hit to both stock freezers and create a community and outlet for talking about how we were all managing this “new normal.”
Just like everyone else, restrictions also prevented many restaurants and alternative food options to be closed. So eating at home for those who love to cook − and hate to cook − became a reality. The demand for Freezer Meal Workshops, Kids in the Kitchen classes, and virtual happy hours was off the chart.
Balancing my “new norm” of never having a minute alone in my house anymore (my husband has been teleworking and I now home-school the kids) forced me to truly work with intention and use every moment productively! I can surely say that our family and my business have both thrived during the last 15 months, even considering all the obstacles. I made my business fit into my schedule, to work in a way that served me and my family. So 2-3 nights a week I am cooking LIVE, because I am working in front of clients.
I have also been so blessed to be the proud leader of an amazing Rock Solid team that has also harnessed that same focus this year of intention. The ability to see growth in people you have helped to lead in a small or great way is so rewarding, and this year has not been short on victories.
Members of my team are using their Tastefully Simple business to make up for other avenues of money loss. I'm impressed by their innovative ways to bring joy to clients through porch drop-offs, drive-by pick-ups, Facebook parties and so much more. The creativity of my team never ceases to amaze me. Our “new norm” is something that we are not just putting put up with, but have created new business practices that will last far after this pandemic.
For anyone considering this business opportunity, my advice is to be YOU! Create your own box, live outside the box, do what you enjoy! Tastefully Simple is an amazing platform for so many to make money in a flexible schedule, yet it is so much more! Use your business to do your passions and get paid for it. Thinking outside the box doesn’t require a pandemic to be a catalyst, but if you haven’t thought outside the box yet − START!
I am beyond blessed by the joy this business gives me, and the freedom I have to mix my LOVE of teaching kids, helping families eat with ease, and leading others all into one amazing job! I can’t wait to hear how you are thinking outside the box. Look me up and share!
Elisha Symanski (AE)
If you would like to learn more about starting your own Tastefully Simple business, click here »