In 1994 we moved from St. Petersburg, FL to NC and brought our Herbalife business with us. I had no idea if I could make a living with this business in our new location, but the only way I knew to get the word out was to advertise. We put ads in major newspapers all over the area: Asheville, Brevard, Waynesville, Franklin, Hayesville, Charlotte, Greenville, Columbia and Raleigh. It worked; we got responses and it looked like we were in business again.
In 1998, I got a call from BBE asking me if I would like to join the company because they had a client who liked to purchase Herbalife and they were looking for a dealer. I was excited to find out that my ad in Raleigh was working. I signed up with BBE and my amazing journey was just beginning. I had no idea what to do with my BBE bank account, but initially used it to “buy” more advertising. Then my son was moving into a new house and needed bookcases, so I ordered several custom-made bookcases – all different sizes and shapes – all on barter. That would have been a challenge because the furniture store was in Raleigh except that BBE also had a shipping company that accepted barter… so that job went smoothly and all the new furniture was delivered all the way from Raleigh to Brevard.
Then I discovered BBE Travel and the rest of my story is history. First event was when my daughter planned a surprise birthday party in Myrtle Beach for her brother in September 2000 and we rented a beautiful 2-bedroom suite on the beach for the different family members who came for the party from Florida. The next major event was when my daughter planned her wedding on Pawley’s Island, SC and we rented a beautiful three-story beach “cottage” for a week – all on barter!
We were on a roll. In 2003 we made our first trip to Alaska and to my surprise, BBE was in Anchorage, too. We spent a week in Anchorage and all on BBE. We stayed at an amazing B&B in the woods, with our own suite, outstanding breakfast every day, access to their hot tub and their gift shop…all on barter. As if that wasn’t enough the rest of our expenses were covered also: restaurants in town, car rental, souvenirs at the local BBE office, and pack& ship to send everything home!
With the BBE in Atlanta, GA we have had a hotel available several trips to Stone Mountain and for a week for my son’s honeymoon. Then we took a train trip up the east coast in 2006 and had a unique B&B in Cape Cod with little cabins, 20 cats, a Jaguar museum – all the cars were red, and every breakfast for our stay was a banquet! Next stop was Boston where we had a large suite – quite a change from our little, tiny cabin in Cape Cod, then we drove up to Lincoln, NH and stayed at a traditional motel there, but all on barter. Later that summer we spent several days at a beautiful place in Charleston, SC.
In November 2011 I arranged my first barter trip with my best girl friends. We had errands to do in Raleigh and needed to deliver a new piece of furniture to my friend’s daughter in DC. This trip included a suite at a hotel in Raleigh and dinners at two different restaurants. The girls had so much fun. After we delivered the furniture in DC the next day, we enjoyed the rest of our visit at the Smithsonian, zipping in and out from building to building. Well, not exactly, the youngest of the three of us was doing the zipping. We got silly and started calling her “Jack Rabbit,” JR for short. Her real name is Jacolyn so the name really fit. She took one look at us and chimed LC and BB. “Lamb Chop” because she was looking in all the shops for a plush toy of a lamb for a church program. My name was “BB” for Barter Bride because of my trip arrangements. The three of us have been friends for years and now when we send notes to each other, we are: JR, LC, and BB.
They really liked this barter stuff so the following summer I invited them to drive down to Myrtle Beach with me to visit my daughter and, you guessed it, BBE had an awesome beach condo for the week for us and we had a blast!
Thank you, BBE for all the work that you’ve done to gather such a wonderful organization of barter friends!
-Elain Raynolds, BBE member