Welcome to BookSight, a weekly podcast dedicated to accounting, bookkeeping and small business tasks. In this bonus special episode, host Taylor Arndt interviews her grandmother, Mary Arndt, who runs her own business. Mary shares her story of how she got started in the world of entrepreneurship and how her business, an Aloette skincare and makeup line, grew from a hobby to a full-time job.
Mary explains that she was introduced to Aloette by a friend, who gave her a sample of the products and she was immediately drawn to the organic and animal-free nature of the skincare line. She decided to start her own Aloette business and with the help of her husband, she grew her business and was eventually promoted to manager.
Throughout the interview, Mary emphasizes the many benefits of being self-employed, including the freedom to make your own schedule and the ability to take vacation when you want. However, she also stresses the importance of understanding the responsibilities that come with being your own boss, such as having to make sure you are making enough money.
Mary also shares her successful moments in her business, including being promoted to manager and earning trips and cruises through the company's rewards program. She also mentions that she was able to combine her love for travel with her business, as she was a tour guide for 23 years and enjoyed sharing the Aloette opportunity with many people while on tour.
The conversation highlights the importance of believing in your product, and how having a great company to work with can make all the difference in being an entrepreneur.
Links mentioned in this episode

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INTRO: Welcome to BookSight, a weekly podcast dedicated to accounting, bookkeeping and small business tasks. Here’s your host, Taylor Arndt.

TAYLOR: Hello everyone. Welcome to BookSight podcast episode 5. This is a bonus special episode. So we’re going to be doing an interview and we’re going to be talking to my grandmother, Mary Arndt, who runs a business and she’s really one of the people in my family who’s really motivated me to be on this entrepreneur track. So, can you tell me a little bit about yourself, just introduce yourself to my listeners?

MARY: I am from Michigan. I’m 73 years old. We have two sons, eight grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. And this was started out as a hobby and it grew into my business. And along with help from my husband, we started and enjoyed the fun and part time job, and then I went to full time and I liked my own schedule. I can work when I want, depends on if I want to make money or not.

TAYLOR: Right. Yeah, that’s always very important in being self-employed is that you can make your own schedule. You have your own freedom, but with your own freedom comes your own responsibility. You are the one that has to make sure that you’re making the money because you don’t have employer pay, PTO and all that kind of benefits. So that’s very important to understand that with a full time job comes some benefits, but also being an entrepreneur you have a lot more where you can take vacation when you want. And you kind of wanted that travel flexibility, right?

MARY: Right.

TAYLOR: I just want to ask you about how you got started and why you decided to start a business.

MARRY: I got started when a friend of mine gave me a sample of the Aloette products and I liked it so well. I contacted her that I wanted to know more about it and we got together. And after she talked, we decided that I was going to start my own Aloette business.

TAYLOR: Can you explain to my listeners what Aloette is because a lot of them probably don’t know.

MARY: Aloette is a skincare and we also have a makeup line, but it is organic. It’s not tested on animals. The alevera is the main ingredient in a lot of our products of the skincare line, and there’s just so many benefits and there’s no parabens in it. And it is a great product for all types of skin, men and women.

TAYLOR: Yeah, that’s really nice. And it’s really nice that you learned about it from a friend. And that’s kind of how things start happening. Right? Because I learned about how to do bookkeeping from different people that I met, and then it just exploded from there. So it’s really great that your friend introduced you to the world of Aloette. Now, can you tell me about some of the most successful moments in your business?

MARY: There are so many. I was promoted to manager after I got some consultants underneath me, and there are so many benefits. There’s free gifts, there’s trips that you earned. I’ve got into so many places, Alaska, Italy, Curacao and many cruises and just so many benefits that they offer to us through the company.

TAYLOR: That’s really important. Having a great company that you believe in is definitely a really great and really essential thing in my opinion. Because if you don’t believe in the product, then why are you doing it? So I’m very happy that you believe in the product and that they give you so many free benefits because that’s awesome, not all companies do that. Now, have you always done your own business or have you ever worked for someone else?

MARY: I was a tour guide for 23 years and I started Aloette as I was a tour guide. And I enjoyed sharing the Aloette opportunity with so many people, and sharing the product, and passing on the product to as many people as I could.

TAYLOR: That’s awesome. That’s really great. It seems like you’ve loved to travel.

MARY: Yes I do. I love to travel.

TAYLOR: Yeah, because like right now y’all, we are in a room. We're at the Valentine’s Lakeside Resort in Kingsland, Texas. And I’m here for the Christmas holiday, and so it’s really awesome that I’m able to ask these questions and to travel and we’re talking about different things. That’s the beauty of this, right? You get to go wherever you want because you’re not held down by an employer.

MARY: Correct.

TAYLOR: That’s super important. So we talk about the successes, but have there been any challenges about your business? What’s been kind of, the, I guess, the most challenging aspect?

Mary: Now that’s a hard question. I guess the biggest challenge, like a lot of people, the biggest challenge was during COVID time.


MARY: I was still able to do my business. That’s one of the benefits. Stay at home, contact people and continue your business even though you can’t have your individual parties and gatherings.

TAYLOR: How did COVID affect Aloette and your business?

MARY: People were a little leery about purchasing things. They didn’t know what was going to happen with everything that was going on in the country. So they was just was cutting back on their orders.

TAYLOR: Okay. So what did you do to circumvent that challenge?

MARY: I researched for new people, I put it on Facebook, promoting the product and doing my special virtual open house, and sales without having an open house.

TAYLOR: Yeah, because I know the open house historically for you has been a really great sales driver. Can you explain to my listeners what your open houses look like?

MARY: My open houses were usually a couple days in November, and I had lots of super sales. And lots of times, It was the buy one, get one free sale. So that was the time that they could come and get extra specials that were at the open house. But if they were not able to attend, I took phone calls and they emailed me their orders and I could ship them out of state to them.

TAYLOR: And that’s the thing is that just because she’s in Michigan does not mean that she can’t ship products to you, right?

MARY: Correct. I have customers in several states.

TAYLOR: Yeah. So don’t make that a discouraging factor if you really want to check out the products. I just wanted to kind of throw that out there. And how have you marketed your business?

MARY: I have marketed it through Facebook and I have a special VIP page to customers that can get extra specials. But I send out emails and a lot of it is done on Facebook, the media part.

TAYLOR: Yeah, it seems like these days Facebook is a really great way to get clients. I know that for me with my business, I use Facebook all the time. I post in a lot of different groups and that’s how I have my highest paying client right now. So if you’re not using Facebook for your business, you are missing out. So what other aspects about running a business did you really not expect? If there’s anything that you’re kind of like, oh, I got to do this now, or any surprises?

MARY: I can’t think of any really big surprise. I mean, it does take time. You have to promote it. I ask everybody because if you don’t ask, you’ve already got to know. But if you ask them and they say yes, it’s a bonus.

TAYLOR: Yeah, and that’s the really most important thing is that you need to be able to promote. Because I mean, it’s not just going to come overnight. And that’s something that you’re going to have to realize if you really want to start a business. So what kind of plans do you have for the future?

MARY: I’m not quite as active as I was, but I have quite a large customer base. And I service my customers, I take new customers. In the age I am, I like to service my customers, and someday, I might do a virtual Facebook party.

TAYLOR: Yeah, that could be interesting.

MARY: But at my age and technology, I have to learn a little bit more before I do that.

TAYLOR: Well, and that’s so understandable, right? We always have to learn and evolve. And I think that’s going to be the really most important thing is also like the younger generation. I mean, a lot of them are on Facebook, but a lot of them are going to other social media platforms like TikTok and other things. So do you plan to market to the younger generation?

MARY: Yes.

TAYLOR: And how are you doing that?

MARY: Through the Facebook. And I may have to look into another form, maybe TikTok to get the younger group.

TAYLOR: TikTok would be a great option. I know a lot of people are on there. I am working on being on there. So hopefully I’ll have some videos coming up. But TikTok is a great option because you could show your products and get comments and things. I think that could be a real option. And then you can connect it to your Facebook too. So it could be a double-edged sword. But the younger generation really prefers TikTok and Instagram and those kind of things. I mean, a lot of us are on Facebook too, but it's always another great option. What would you say like your demographic of your customers are?

MARY: I think most of them are 40+. The younger age group, A lot of them like to change out their lipstick quite often. And they just want a lower-price lipstick so they don't invest as much. But with Aloette, you are investing in yourself for a better look and taking care of your skin.

TAYLOR: Yeah. So it's not just those cheap products you find in some store, right? It's very professional products. I think that's really what differentiates you between others. Am I understanding that correctly?

MARY: You're correct.

TAYLOR: What kind of software or tools do you use to run your business? You have a website, right? You have that.

MARY: Right, I have a website. Yep.

TAYLOR: And then how do you normally take payments from customers?

MARY: I have credit cards, I use credit cards, I use checks, I use PayPal, And I have added Venmo.

TAYLOR: So it's very wide-ranging and that's super important because a lot of customers these days want to pay through different mediums. So it's always great to have more payment options that really help for sales. And what other things, I know you use like emails, So do you just have a newsletter?

MARY: Yes. And my franchise president, she sends out weekly promotions to my customers that I have your email address for and that comes directly from my franchise president.

TAYLOR: Right. Because you're part of a franchise, right?

MARY: Correct.

TAYLOR: So if someone wanted to start with Aloette and they're listening to this podcast and they're thinking, oh, this could be interesting, what are the steps? Right? What if they want to follow your footsteps? What do you have to do?

MARY: First of all, you can get some product from me and see what it's all about. Or there are some simple little starter kits to start out. The small one is $20. And if you want a big percentage of our products, it can be as much as $300 for a kit and you're getting between $600 and $800 worth of products. And as soon as you sign up, you are off making money. And that's how easy it is. It sounds easy, but it to be too good to be true. That's the way it starts out.

TAYLOR: And this is not just one of those get rich quick schemes, right?

MARY: Correct.

TAYLOR: And then a lot of these gurus on YouTube try to promote these things. This is not one of those. This is actually a legitimate business opportunity that if interested people are wanting to do that they can and it's not just a spam. Because a lot of these things are spams, a lot of these things. So this is obviously legit. Because I mean, you made your livelihood on this.

MARY: Yes, and I've seen many things in my travels.

TAYLOR: Yeah. And I think that's very important. What are other qualifications that you have to do in order to be a Alowette seller?

Mary: There's not really a qualification. You introduce it to your family and friends and the product sells itself. There's no set requirement that you have to sell. But it comes easy so automatically, you are right in line to get promotions. And the more you sign up people, you can make more percentage. You can work up to 35% commission and that's off the retail price. It's not off in a discounted price. So it's an easy way to make money. A lot of young girls in college do it as a part-time job as they go to college.

TAYLOR: Yeah, that's actually a really good opportunity. So if you're a part-time college student or full-time and you want some other way to make money, consider something like this. Now, does Aloette take any fees off of what you make or how does that work?

MARY: No, they do not.

TAYLOR: Okay. So if you sold me a product for $100, would you get $100? Or how much would you get of that?

MARY: 35%. If I have a sales $100, my commission is 35%.

TAYLOR: And then Aloette gets the rest.

MARY: Correct.

TAYLOR: Makes sense. Yeah, and that's a pretty good rate. You know, that's a pretty good commission. Does Eloat provide annual training and things to try to make sure that you're selling an up-to-date?

MARY: We have a constant training on what we call our back office and you can go into training, and you can look on the computer and you can watch it over and over and over. There's training for every product to tell you everything in the product, what you would use for and all the ingredients. And there's just so much in our back office of training for all of the products.

TAYLOR: That's really helpful because I know that if you're a new seller, you're like, how am I going to learn about all this stuff? And I think that's super important to have annual training. Do they ever send you like conferences?

MARY: Yes. There's a conference once a year. And this year, it was in Nashville.

TAYLOR: Nice. So you went to go enjoy some Nashville?

MARY: Yes.

TAYLOR: Yeah, that's awesome. And I'm sure it moves you around the country over here?

MARY: Yes.

TAYLOR: Do they send you free or do you have to pay for that?

MARY: You have to pay. What you pay for the registration fee, you get more than that in free product at the conference.

TAYLOR: Oh, so you can get more free product at the conference?


TAYLOR: You might pay like, I don't know, a hundred dollar registration and get now 300 of this product, for example, or...

MARY: Yes.

TAYLOR: that's great. Because that's always, you know, like what are the benefits, right? And it just seems like Aloette has a lot of great benefits. So that's super important. And we're almost done. Is there any other things that you would like my listeners to know before we wrap up today?

MARY: Well, if they're interested in checking it out, you can look at And then you can go ahead and check that out. And you can contact me if you would more information.

TAYLOR: Yep. And I will put a link in the show notes for her website as well as, is your Facebook page public?

MARY: Yes.

TAYLOR: And that way, y'all can find her and support, try to have her sales and more products. So everyone, I hope that you guys have liked this episode and Merry Christmas everyone and we will talk soon.

OUTRO: Thank you for tuning in to the bookside podcast. You can find show notes, transcripts and ways to support the show at Let's get social followers on Twitter at bookside pod and like us on Facebook at bookside pod podcast. You can also connect with us on mastodon at accounting dot social. Our host Taylor aren't is on Twitter at tayont and her website is at If you enjoyed the show, please leave us a review and let us know what you thought. We'll be back next week with more tips and insights on accounting, bookkeeping and small business tasks. This was a pay on media production.