You’ve all read my #Poonique tale by now, I’m sure. For those who haven’t, get caught up. 😉
When my tale had finally reached its conclusion, I felt compelled to reach out to my former upline, “Scarlett” (aka Jade Pow MUA) – she kindly agreed to give her side of the story in an interview. Now, comes the opportunity for Kerri to speak out.
To recap on Kerri’s role in my #Poonique story, she was a fellow downline – both of us had signed up under Jade. She was really dedicated to making a go of things, and did everything that was asked of her – at-home parties, stalls, craft fairs, inspirational posts, everything. Yet, despite her best efforts, it seems that being a Younique rep didn’t pay off for Kerri either.
Whilst writing my story, I took great efforts to protect everyone’s identities – I didn’t want to cause them any hurt. Although Jade said she was happy for people to know who she really was, Kerri would prefer to retain her anonymity (and no, its not because of the Younique tracksuit).
As with Jade, I asked my Facebook Followers to submit their burning questions for Kerri, as well as a few of my own.
Before reading my interview with Kerri (in our Younique aftermath), please remind yourself of my mission statement here. In a nutshell, all views presented in this blog are ours, and ours only. Your own personal experiences with MLM companies may differ, negatively or positively. All names and identifying features have been changed to protect the individuals concerned, except for Jade of course, who has previously stated she doesn’t want her identity hidden.
[Elle:] Kerri, thank you so much for agreeing to answer people’s questions. Here is the first one for you.
Q:What did your friends and family think of you signing up to sell Younique?
[Kerri:] Now you’re really asking me to cast my mind back here! My family didn’t really have much of an opinion on MLMs at the time, we simply didn’t know much about them at all. I mainly discussed it with my then-partner, as it was gonna involve me leaving my previous job. He thought it would be better for me, with my long-term health problems…
[Elle:] That was a similar thought process that my partner James had. He thought it would be the sensible option, with my chronic illness and difficulties finding suitable employment. How little did we know!
Q: How long did it take for you to start questioning everything, and was there a particular event that triggered it?
[Kerri:] Erm, it was a few months into it I think, when I realised how much effort I was putting in for fuck-all return. Everyone was doing and saying the same things, and I especially hated how horrible they were to each other, yet claiming to be “Y-sisters” and “trying to uplift, empower and validate others“. Bull.
[Elle:] I’m really sorry to hear that – out of all the “Butterfly Babes” you put in so much effort. You were always seen as a shining example in our team, when really it must have been so soul-crushing.
Q: Did you have to conceal how much money you spent on Younique from your family members?
[Kerri:] No, I didn’t feel the need to conceal anything – but that was because nobody ever actually asked about how much I spent! It was a lot, mind you. 😦
[Elle:] I don’t think you’re alone there. As Bot Watch will attest, I believe around 99.7% of people are doomed to “fail” MLMs – the odds were already against us.
Q:Did you ever consider quitting after all the events you did, and what made you keep going despite the evidence that we were being set up to fail?
[Kerri:] There was this one local event I attended, that the worst – I was stuck in this little corner out the way and totally ignored, haha! But I’m a very determined person:
It was more about the fact I didn’t want to admit I’d failed more than anything.
[Elle:] That seems to be the reason why many MLM reps play the “fake it til you make it” card – they don’t want to admit that things aren’t as rosy as they seem. We all fell into that trap.
Q: What did you do with all the Younique “swag” you bought?
[Kerri:] Ugh, don’t remind me – it went to a local charity shop, hopefully for textile recycling, as I wouldn’t want to inflict that crap on anyone else. Spending money on that stuff was just daft.
[Elle:] Hey, don’t be too hard on yourself. You were trying to make a go of things, nothing more, nothing less. I must remind readers though, none of the “swag” was official merchandise. Look back at Chapter 7 – I can advise that all these hoodies, bags, mugs etc were sold nationwide by another presenter in a closed-privacy Facebook group. Last I heard, she got in trouble with Younique corporate for unauthorised use of their logo, so she had to change her design strategy!
Q:What are your thoughts of Elle and Jade (Scarlett) – pre and post-Younique?
[Kerri:] My opinion hasn’t changed. Obviously I knew Elle and Jade both before Younique, and I still appreciate the friendship we have – I think you’re both gorgeous lasses.
[Elle:] Right back at you!
Q: What did you REALLY think of the makeup? What are your favourite brands, now that you can buy good makeup again?
[Kerri:] Here’s the confession – I didn’t really stop wearing other brands! Haha, I honestly hated most of it. I couldn’t wear any of the foundations as they made my skin oily and break out in spots so badly. The one thing I’d say I actually liked (although I’d never pay for it again) was the pencil eyeliner.
[Elle:] The strange thing is, both Jade and I agreed on the eye pencils! Younique managed to get something right, I guess! I’d never pay for it again either, not at that over-inflated price.
Q:Do you have any regrets – besides joining Younique in the first place, of course?
[Kerri:] Spending all that money on shitty make up! 😥
Q: Did you get any positives from your time in Younique? Did you develop any useful skills whilst selling it?
[Kerri:] This is going to sound terrible, but no positives that I can think of! The only useful skill is learning how to bullshit well…if you can even consider that a good thing!
[Elle:] I share your pain here. The only good experience I have is the fact I got to truly see inside the fuckery, and be able to share that with others today. Other than that – MLM did nothing good for me.
Q: Did you ever feel ashamed, during and after your time as a presenter?
[Kerri:] I wouldn’t say ashamed, more uncomfortable? I guess I was kinda just doing the stuff I got told to rather than trying to recruit, as lame as it sounds.
Q: Did it make you cringe having to continually post “uplifting” quotes, and the misleading “huge orders have arrived” stuff?
[Kerri:] Yeah, I honestly tried to stay away from the more cringe-inducing “I’m so blessed for my little business” posts, as everyone I knew would think something was up with me! I do remember poor Bethany saying she didn’t like posting that shite either, and apparently other presenters in our extended “team” had messaged her – they were having a go at her about not doing it! So harsh.
[Elle:] For goodness sake, I had no idea – as if that poor girl didn’t get enough grief from her time as a presenter! Next question for you – the focus is back to the financial side of things:
Q:How much money did you lose overall? Did you keep a record of your incomings/outgoings like Elle did?
[Kerri:] I’m going to be honest, Elle, I wish I had kept a more detailed record like you did. For various reasons, this is a hard question to answer, but I think it was pretty close to around £800…
[Elle:] Oh heck, Kerri! Again, I’m so sorry to know this. How do you think it got to that kind of figure?
[Kerri:] The main issue was buying-in stock for the parties and stalls I attended, as most people want to take home a product there and then, they don’t want to wait for the post. Plus, there was that bloody merchandise, the less mention of that the better…it all got out of hand. You got so hooked on the “getting paid every 3 hours” shit, you never stop to think about the money that you as a presenter are actually pumping into it.
[Elle:] Again, another sad but true aspect of MLM. A lot of presenters don’t realise that they are actually the customer – they are the ones shelling out their own money to buy-in stock like you did, or even just to keep their presenter status active. Another follower question for you:
Q: I’m curious as to what specific sales tactics were pushed by the uplines? What can you remember?
[Kerri:] Besides all the stuff you mentioned in your story? Now you’re asking! It may take me some time, but I’d like to have a dig around when I have some free time (famous last words), and see if I can find some of the crap we were told. Can I come back to you on that?
[Elle:] Of course! Another one of my followers really wants to know:
Q: I’m always curious about the aftermath; how one handles their social circle. Do you just close up shop and try to function as before, while hoping that nobody mentions your stint in MLM? How long does it take before people start accepting your friendship at face value again?
[Kerri:] Thankfully I don’t think it changed dramatically for me, as most of my (attempts) at selling were done to people I wasn’t overly acquainted with, at parties and stalls etc. I pretty much just told customers that I wasn’t selling anymore, although most of them were my Mum’s friends anyway, who don’t spend a lot of time on social media. That helped with saving face.
Q: What’s your overall feelings about MLM now? Are you indifferent, or would you ever try one again in the future (I hope not!!)
[Kerri:] Noooo! I can’t stand them. They are so manipulative, and really could destroy people’s lives. Yes, I lost about £800, but what about those who are so desperate to make it work they will give up everything they have? People could be so down on their luck, that they would give their last penny to make their ‘business’ work!
So nah, it’s all a crock of shit to me, lass:
The sooner MLMs are stopped, the better.
[Elle:] Kerri, you’re free to go – thank you so much for taking the time out to answer all of these questions! Also, hope to hear from you again, if you manage to find a record of the shite we were given in our training groups!
What’s next for Elle Beau?
On reflection, I do feel that I would like to rewrite my Poonique story into a proper novella – whether its an ebook, or if I find someone who would put me in print. The main reason being, I missed out “the smaller stuff” for the purpose of keeping the reader interested and driving the tale forward. When I wrote this blog, I wanted to mainly focus on the dodgy tactics I experienced, but on reflection I would like to talk more in-depth about everything I can remember.
I would like to rewrite my tale with the spreadsheet as more of a prominent reference point – it will also help me recall things in chronological order (i.e. when certain monthly kudos were released, little paltry orders etc). Mia is still lurking in some of the training groups, and is finding me screenshots to illustrate certain chapters. So, as well as writing anti-MLM articles, I will be working on producing a full, comprehensive story in the interim. I hope to set up a Kickstarter for this once I have an idea of costings.
If you like the anti-MLM aims I am working towards, please consider supporting me via Patreon. Anything is gratefully received.
Stay subscribed for upcoming anti-MLM news and articles, and of course the ever-popular #ShitHunsSay screenshots.
Don’t forget to join the MLM fight on social media – if you’re on Twitter, please give @ElleBeauBlog a follow (and help me get the #Poonique hashtag trending again!). Alternatively, join in the discussion with Elle Beau, the Anti-Blogger on Facebook. I am also on Instagram now – look for @ellebeaublog!
Please, also check out the good work of the people of Bot Watch, Juice Plus/MLM Lies Exposed and Timeless Vie. They work tirelessly to expose the truth and lies of the MLM industry, so anyone considering this line of work can make a fair, informed decision . In fact, I now have a Recommended Reading page for Anti-MLM writers and interesting lifestyle bloggers I think you will enjoy, such as Chammy in Real Life and my first Patreon, @yourolly.
For something a little different to pyramid schemes, I would also recommend a look at what Bad Psychics are up to. Award-winning and seen-on-TV, they have worked to expose false claims made by psychics, mediums and the paranormal since 2003.