After 20 years and 5 relocations, my husband was about to be laid off.
I went into panic mode, reinstated my teacher certification, looked for work options that would allow me to be home for my children.
And then it came.
She told me she was a distributor for an innovative personal electronics company “Quorum”.
I left with her business card and an invitation to a weekly training meeting at a Marriott hotel.
Their signature product was PAAL, a personal attack alarm that was affordable, providing an introduction to other products, which all dealt with safety and security.
Home and auto security systems, pool safety, childproofing home products, bicycle and luggage locks, a Christmas tree heat sensor; products that made sense to me.
I was hooked.
When she found out I had a teaching background, the partnership was formed. We developed seminars that dealt with safety issues, going to schools, PTA meetings, civic and social groups, industry shows.
My husband built display boards, my kids designed a child-friendly coloring book; it became a family affair. It was fun, but not yet profitable.
Months later, his layoff came, but lasted one week. We were to be transferred to Pennsylvania.
At about the same time, there were signs of trouble with Quorum. Cheap copies of the personal alarm were showing up at discount retailers. There were mechanical complications with the auto security system. The home system was very pricey.
I took what remained of my inventory to our new home.
Less than one year later, Quorum filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The toll free phone number that was stamped on all of my brochures had been sold to a porn site, a fact I discovered a few years later.
The folks who invested early became millionaires, feeding off the initial success of their sales recruits in a classic pyramid structure, one which they called MLM, Multi-level marketing.
My timing did not match my enthusiasm. I was left with product. And a major life lesson.
** This was a follow up to the post “Scam”, the story I left for another day.
*** Note…Please ignore the Special Olympics ad featured on the Reader with this post. I deleted it when I found out it was still being used on a current e bay ad. Not sure how a deleted image ended up on this post. Sorry. There is no Quorum, no charity matching funds.