Marilyn Lewis has seen a few recessions in her lifetime, but the Thousand Oaks resident has always had a back-up plan. Like almost 15 million other women in the U.S., Lewis is a direct seller â€” she sells cosmetics to other women from her home.
Although it may conjure up images of â€™50s Tupperware parties, direct selling isnâ€™t just for housewives with too much time on their hands anymore â€“ anything but. When the going gets tough, women are often called upon to supplement their household incomes, and direct selling â€” whether it be cosmetics or kitchenware â€” lends itself as a practical way for many to do that.
The number of direct sellers in the U.S. first jumped to more than 5 million in the recession of the early â€™90s. Then, when the dot-com bust and the subsequent recession of the early 2000s rolled around, that number jumped to more than 12 million.
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