When it comes to vacuum cleaner brands, there’s a new kid on the carpet.
German brand Vorwerk is taking the UK by storm with its multifunctional, time-saving Kobold VK200 vacuum cleaner and is rapidly expanding its sales force up and down the country.
Having just recruited a dedicated team leader to support its growth across the Kent area, and with the female boss phenomenon more prominent than ever, KWIB caught up with some of the women who are leading the Vorwerk charge.
A native Italian with a background making cakes isn’t the sort of person you’d expect to find selling vacuum cleaners in the UK. But 38 year old Claudia Rigatuso isn’t your average sales woman.
Having moved from Italy to London in 2013, Claudia began her career in the UK working as a personal assistant for an international precious metal company based in the capital. However, she soon realised that being employed wasn’t for her, and decided to make a change.
Claudia says: “I knew I wanted to be my own boss, so I started a business baking and selling homemade Italian cakes. I knew straight away that I had made the right decision, but I needed to find a way of earning some extra money as the business grew, and that’s when I came across Vorwerk. “I already knew the Vorwerk brand really well as it’s the leading vacuum cleaner brand in Italy (where Vorwerk is known as ‘Folletto’), so I applied and received an offer from the company to join as an advisor.” Just over a year later, following a promotion to become a team leader, Claudia now manages a small group of new Vorwerk Advisors in and around London. But what does she love about being her own boss?
“I’d have to say the flexibility that the role brings is what’s really special. I can fit in my product demonstrations to small groups of people around my personal appointments, and there’s no defined ‘start’ and ‘end’ times in my day; I just go with whatever the week brings!
She laughs: “I also genuinely love the Kobold VK200 because, coming from a German brand, it’s so ingenious that it almost sells itself! “If I didn’t believe in the product, I couldn’t sell it. It’s as simple as that.” With the company recently teaming up with TV property guru and former Vorwerk Advisor Sarah Beeny to support its growth – plus product endorsements in the form of Good Housekeeping Institute Accredited status and the coveted Mumsnet Best badge – the brand certainly seems to be heading in the right direction as it expands its team into Kent. But what advice would Claudia offer to anyone who might now be intrigued about what Vorwerk has to offer?
“Working for myself has been the best step I’ve ever taken, and it’s great to see so many modern women choosing to break free from the shackles of being employed and becoming their own boss.
“What’s great about Vorwerk is that I’ve been able to progress at my own pace and choose how much time I want to commit. You need to be outgoing and enjoy hosting small groups of people to make it work for you, but most people enjoy being sociable, right? As long as you can say yes to those two things, I’d encourage anyone, from a sales background or not, to give it a go.”
Interested in finding out more about Vorwerk UK? View the product range at kobold.vorwerk.co.uk/home, or visit yourvorwerk.co.uk/join-us to find out more about joining the team.
Meet some of Vorwerk’s other female bosses
Name & Age: Ceri Goodall, 56
Career history: Administration at Birmingham University, then helped my husband in his kitchen business. I had no previous sales experience.
Why Vorwerk: Flexible hours that I fit around dog walking and school runs! Plus the commission is excellent and relatively easy to earn promoting a great product.
Typical week: It varies, but I try to plan at least three Kobold parties a week, some in the evenings. These are usually close to where I live which is great.
Earnings in typical month: Varies depending on hours, but I aim for between £600 and £1,000. It pays for all sorts of extra things like trips away and treats for the children.
Advice for joining: Act confident! I was very nervous at first as I hadn’t sold anything in my life but the support and help I got was fantastic.
Name & Age: Andrea Porter, 33 Career history: Worked in sales of forecourt consumables and high end car workshop equipment.
Why Vorwerk: Flexible working patterns and the role presented just the type of new challenge I was looking for.
Typical week: I do between three and five Kobold parties a week, all during the school day.
Earnings in typical month: Usually around £800 but I can choose to top this up with additional parties and sales. Advice for joining: Go for it! The product is great, the team is great and the brand is really going.