George and Mary-Lynn

Teacher Turns $3,000 into a $700 Million Business

By Bigg Success Staff
05-06-08

Success Stories

Doris Christopher is the quintessential successful career mom. This former home economics teacher started The Pampered Chef in 1980 with $3,000 borrowed from a life insurance policy. At the time, she was a 34-year old wife and mother of two who had no business experience.

Her goals were simple:
 - to help families struggling to make meals at home special
 - to spend as much as possible with her children, while working
 - to make enough money to put her kids through college

Her plan worked – bigg time!

Starting from the basement of her home, she decided that the best way to display her wares was through in-home parties. However, on the way to her first party, she got so nervous that she almost gave up before she started! She talked herself into pressing on.

As friends, and friends of friends, hosted parties, Doris received requests from people wanting to join her in the business. That wasn’t necessarily part of her plan, but she figured out how to make it work. Today, the Pampered Chef has over 60,000 in-home consultants, mostly women who work from their homes.

That growth hasn’t always been easy. At one time, The Pampered Chef had grown so fast that Doris decided to stop taking on new consultants so she could make sure the company could fully support them. That commitment to quality is one thing that attracted the attention of a famous investor.

The Pampered Chef became part of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway in 2002. His endorsement is considered to be the ultimate stamp of approval in the business world.

By then, Doris Christopher’s little business was doing over $700 million in sales. She started in her basement and built the largest branded kitchenware company and largest direct seller of housewares in the world!

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Sources 

The Pampered Chef: The Story of One of America’s Most Beloved Companies, by Doris Christopher  

The Pampered Chef web site 

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