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It's Your Party

Home parties are all the rage. Here's how to get in on the fun.

This story appears in the May 2007 issue of Start Up.

When Tupperware parties first became popular decades ago, not many people could have predicted the longevity of the plastic containers--or the company itself, for that matter. Nor could anyone have predicted the groundswell of interest in today's breed of home parties, in virtually every industry imaginable--from power tools to beauty products to apparel. Home parties now account for about 29 percent of the more than $30 billion in U.S. direct sales, and there are 14.1 million direct-sellers in the U.S. Even big companies like The Body Shop and Crayola are getting in on the action and adding direct-selling arms to their existing operations.

The numbers are only expected to grow, according to Amy Robinson of the Direct Selling Association. "The majority of companies [joining the] DSA are party plan companies," says Robinson. "They are smaller, newer companies started by entrepreneurs from their basements in a lot of cases." These entrepreneurs are passing on their passion for entrepreneurship to people who want to start businesses of their own but don't want to start from scratch. The opportunities are there for the taking if you are prepared to research the one that's right for you--and if you're prepared for the hard work that accompanies any startup.

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