Shortly after she began selling Scentsy frargrance products, Michelle Praught decided to start a QC Moms in Business group to give women business owners a place to network. |
First she organized a vendor's fair, and most of the 16 vendors who attended joined QC Moms in Business when it formed in October 2009. The group now has 45 members.
"When I started the group, it was with the intention of helping grow businesses," but it didn't take long before they were holding events to raise money for nonprofits, Ms. Praught said.
Twice a year, the group holds a "quarter" auction followed by a vendor fair a week later, with the proceeds from both going to a nonprofit. The fall event always benefits Toys for Tots, but the recipient of the spring event varies.
This past spring, they raised about $3,500 for Niabi Zoo.
In a quarter auction, people pay $3 for a paddle, or $5 for two, and then can bid on items donated by QC Moms in Business members and outside businesses in increments of one to four quarters.
Then the paddle number of one of the bidders is drawn to decide who wins the item, with the quarters bid by everyone donated to the chosen charity.
On July 13, QC Moms in Business will hold a quarter auction benefit for Family Resources at 6 p.m. at the American Legion, 1623 15th St., Moline.
Ms. Praught said the auctions are popular. "The one we had in March was standing room only."
The mother of three, Ms. Praught sells Scentsy from her Eldridge home, overseeing 115 men and women who also sell Scentsy.
Although a lot of QC Moms in Business members work from home, Ms. Praught said some do have storefronts, including a chiropractor and a hair stylist.
Despite the name QC Moms in Business, Ms. Praught said members don't have to be moms to join, but do have to live within 30 miles of the Bettendorf Community Center, where monthly meetings are held.
She said the group limits the number of members offering the same item to two vendors. For example, only two Scentsy sellers can be members at the same time. "We have a waiting list on some companies."
Membership dues are $15 four times a year.
Ms. Praught said she'd like the group to "keep doing what we're doing, but grow the charity aspect of it."
QC Cupcakes co-owners Angie Ray, of Bettendorf, and Jessica Pitzer, of Davenport, are members of QC Moms in Business.
Ms. Ray said she likes networking with other women and that members "help each other out, and help the community."
Eddie Flynn, of East Moline, an independent representative for Miche handbags, said she joined two years ago to connect with other women with home-based businesses, and it's been good for her personally and professionally.
"I've made a lot of great friendships, and helping the community is a big thing for me," said Ms. Flynn, who also works full time in a medical office.
QC Moms in Business
On Facebook: facebook.com/qcmib.
Contact: Michelle Praught, (563) 676-4736 or email@example.com
Moline, IL Details
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