Julie Ronan knows how to make the best out of any situation.
In January 2009, the 35-year-old Saginaw resident was laid off from her job as a hearing specialist. She was six months pregnant with her third child.
But Ronan, who already was dabbling in independent sales consulting and home product party hosting, turned what could have been a less-than-ideal situation into a full-fledged business venture and an opportunity to spend more time with her husband and children.
“I gave myself until Jan. 1,” Ronan said. “I told myself, ‘If I don’t have a job by then, then I’ll just have to make this work.’ ”
So, when Jan. 1 rolled around and she was still without a job, Ronan forged ahead with opening Maximum Consulting, a mix of at-home product party hosting, in-office ordering and on-site demonstrations.
Named after and inspired in part by her son, Max, who will celebrate his first birthday Wednesday, Maximum Consulting undoes the idea of a one-trick pony home product party by providing hostesses the options of seven brands – Avon, Miche Bag, Silpada Jewelry, Tupperware, Intimate Expressions, Tastefully Simple and Partylite.
“Someone has a Tupperware party or a Partylite party and you go, because they’re your friend, but maybe you don’t like Tupperware or candles,” she said. “A lot of hostesses want to do multibrand parties because when people are offered more than one option, then everybody’s happy.”
Parties can be held in a host’s home or in Ronan’s office – a hidden treasure downtown with exposed brick, copper-colored tin ceiling tiles, art on the walls and cushy sofas – at no extra cost. She even will throw in snacks and drinks for up to 25 people.
“It’s all open-house style. People can come anytime during the party, mingle, look around, have snacks,” Ronan said. “People don’t have to show up right at 6 p.m. to listen to me talk.”
Photo by Juliana Coutinho