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The Pampered Chef

Provide professional and would-be gourmets with gadgets that make cooking easier.

When Becky Ishee left teaching to be a stay-at-home mom, she was happy with her decision. But while she enjoyed the time home with her daughter, and the arrival of a second child, Ishee began missing other things her job as a high school teacher provided, such as having adult conversations and making a difference with her students.

Ishee started tutoring but didn't find it fulfilling enough. As she was searching for something more, a friend invited her to a Pampered Chef home party. Ishee reluctantly attended, enjoyed herself and ended up attended two more shows and hosting one herself, inviting friends and neighbors to buy restaurant quality kitchen tools like slicers and choppers.

"When I hosted, several of my friends wanted to have shows. I figured it was time for me to go ahead and try it, " the 40-year-old says of her decision to join The Pampered Chef. "It was only $100 to get started, but for me it was more the decision of putting myself out there to do a business, where all I had done before was teach."

A what-have-you-got-to-lose pep talk from her husband encouraged Ishee to take the chance, and in 1991 she joined the business opportunity. In the past 11 years, the West Chester, Ohio, resident has risen through the ranks of the kitchen product retailer to become a national senior executive director, assisting new and existing demonstrators with their Pampered Chef businesses.

The opportunity to train has been an attractive one for the former teacher. "Teaching has been my life. It's what I always wanted to be. When I was a child, I would play endless hours of school," she says. "Now it's so much fun to help [the demonstrators] achieve something. Some people have not worked in years, and their self-esteem isn't great. Just to help in those areas is gratifying."

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