In a recent Los Angeles magazine piece, Joan Renner shares how a flea market find gave her a new appreciation for the era of the “Avon Lady.” The writer, lecturer and social historian contrasts today’s online shopping carts with the personal, relational direct sales experience.
“Internet shopping has replaced door-to-door salespeople, and we have traded the opportunity to bond with a friend over a cup of coffee and the perfect red lipstick for a convenient point-and-click purchase from a laptop,” Renner writes.
The door-to-door saleswoman may be a thing of a bygone era, but the opportunity to sample and purchase product from friends or acquaintances, in an intimate setting, remains as appealing as ever. Globally, the direct selling industry includes more than 90 million independent salespeople who sell nearly $154 billion of goods and services per year.
The Washington Post explored the current iteration of the “Avon Lady” model at a recent Stella & Dot trunk show in Washington, D.C. Partygoers spanning several generations and a range of occupations expressed their enthusiasm for the relaxed, social setting—away from stores with an up-close look at the product.