A 1985 Hauser High graduate goes from in-home babysitter, secretary, bank teller, and cashier to owning an over $1 million dollars in sales business earning the titles of Elite Seller and Independent Sales Director.

Lisa Mayes Bailey and her husband, Gary, were high school sweethearts and married in July 1985. Gary’s dream was to own a machine shop; Lisa’s was to raise a family. Although Lisa was born at a Navy base hospital in Texas, her parents came back to Hope when she was a baby. “My parents still live in the same house I grew up, and I have never had any desire to leave Hope. This is where I wanted to raise my family.”

In July 1999, they purchased a machine shop, Fourman Enterprises, where Lisa was a self-taught office manager.

Recounting some of her previous work experiences, “I worked at Major’s True Value (with Gary), Hauser High School, and Hope Food Mart. Growing up in a small town, it was nice to know the people who I got to help on a daily basis. A lot of them would confide in me and tell me about their day. I loved the employee/customer interaction.”

While easing into retirement she is able to reflect on the town that helped shape and form her and her family. “It is a little town that reaches out and supports their own. It does surprise me how giving people are.” And while she may deny it, she is one of those people. She recently hosted a Pampered Chef party donating all of the commissions and contributing gorgeous baskets to an auction to help offset medical costs for a local family.

Whitney Budd, Student Fund of Hope founder, has seen Bailey’s generosity firsthand.

“Lisa tends to always get behind anything we do that would benefit someone in need," Budd said. "She makes herself available to help in whatever capacity she can. One thing that I love about Lisa is she helps consistently without looking for praise. She has done things for us behind the scenes that required a lot of time like taking photos and writing descriptions for over 80 auction items. She is a genuine blessing to so many in our community, and she does it all with a smile on her face and a Pampered Chef mixing bowl and spoon in hand!”

When Bailey signed on to begin her Pampered Chef career seventeen years ago, it would have almost been impossible to envision her business as it looks today. She set lofty, yet attainable goals at different stages in her business, each one contributing to her current status and success. The appeal of Pampered Chef came from each person being a possible customer. “Everyone eats!” she asserts. Even those that solely use a microwave can benefit from the product line that fits their comfort level.

When speaking to the success of her business she talked about how she started out.

“In my head I went down every street in Hope and made a list of people and called everyone,” she said. 

She didn’t sign the dotted line for Pampered Chef until she had eleven bookings for in-home parties. From there she was on her way, but did acknowledge that it wasn’t effortless.

“There were some months where I had to dig for parties,” she said.

Ironically, talking in front of people was one of her biggest fears, but she didn’t let that fear stop her.

“Do it scared. If you don’t do it scared you won’t do it.” S

he also offered up that being able to laugh at her mistakes is another key to success.

“I’m not perfect and don’t claim to be.”

This positive mindset for any small business owner allows for growth and mistakes, while having fun doing both.

Chuckling, she recounted the times she inadvertently slung garlic at someone and spilled chocolate on another while demonstrating product.

“I like to say ‘I’m not perfect; I’m just pampered.’ ”

Pampered Chef is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year. While there are many Pampered Chef classic products that have helped establish a loyal, return customer base, Bailey was excited to talk about the new products that Pampered Chef has a hard time keeping in stock due to demand.

“The Air Fryer. Everyone wants it.”

One appeal of the air fryer is that it has the ability to replace multiple appliances in your kitchen with function options to bake, rotisserie, dehydrate, roast, and air fry.

As would happen with any business, Pampered Chef evolves with the times. But, the current COVID pandemic brought changes that she wasn’t quite prepared for. Currently, Bailey’s business is operating 100% online, and she has quite the online presence. She operates a Facebook page “From Lisa Bailey’s Kitchen to Yours” complete with showcasing new products and cooking demonstrations.

“I go live [on Facebook] two to three times a week” and she has over one thousand followers.

“Even kids love to cook,” discussing how she has “fan kids” that tune in with their parents and grandparents.

“When the virus happened in March, they told us we had to go 100% virtual. All of my in-home parties were now gone. I actually told Gary I might as well 'hang up my apron,'" she said. "But I decided to hang in there just a little longer and for the next three months and my sales more than doubled! I actually had the time now to invest in my virtual parties and it was showing. It gave me the confidence I needed to continue on. I now offer online 'block parties' where I run 4-8 parties together each week right from my computer. The online parties have eliminated some of the time consuming parts of my business such as packing up products and driving to parties. I think I might be getting a little lazy.”

While she started her Pampered Chef business for financial reasons—to help pay some bills, Bailey’s business success has secured something more important than a paycheck and a respectable title. The perks are plenty: trips every year, monthly cash, and product incentives.

As she decided fresh out of high school, Bailey’s number one motive is unwavering: her family. While Pampered Chef allows for the financial freedom and flexibility to enjoy time with her family, she sees herself maintaining her current status rather than trying to continue to move up the Pampered Chef ladder.

“At one point I was doing up to 24 parties a month.”

She does not see her Pampered Chef business going away anytime soon, and is proud to admit that she is at the point in her life where she can start slowing down a bit. She has plenty to keep her busy. She and her husband enjoy taking their camper to Florida, sharing time between camping and Disney World. Helping to free up her time, Bailey’s oldest daughter, Sarah, stepped up to the role of Office Manager at their shop. Lisa’s younger daughter, Emily and husband Eric, have two young boys that rarely go a couple of days without seeing their grandmother.

Lisa offers this bit of advice to others that are wanting to start their own business:

“If you want it to be successful, you have to work your business every day. Even if that means just making a simple phone call or sending a single message or securing a booking.”

Little steps one at a time can lead to big success over time.