While her husband was searching for full time work, Jennifer Grissom of Birmingham decided to make a little money on the side on top of her full-time job. "I had to find some way to get an extra line of income that worked in the hours I had available to me," she said.
Since November, Jennifer's been selling skin care products for a network marketing company.
The company relies on a network of sales consultants who recruit other people to sell the product as well.
The more people a sales consultant recruits, the bigger her potential earnings are.
It might sound like a pyramid scheme to some, but marketing experts say it's not.
"These are legitimate businesses, though you want to make sure you're working for a good business, always," Dr. Betsy Holloway of Samford University's Brock School of Business said.
It's called "network marketing" or "multi-level marketing" and it's been around for decades.
Doctor Holloway said direct retail like this has been growing for a decade, and there's potential for it to get even bigger.
"I think in today's economy with the layoffs that we have and people desperate to find work, there's going to be increased demand in these sorts of opportunities."
Jennifer Grissom said she had to overcome a preconceived stigma of network marketing and the fear of rejection.
"It's not easy, but it is simple," Grissom said. "You just have to be able to understand it, and be enthusiastic, without being annoying."
She's exceeding her expectations just three months after starting.
Experts advise if someone wants you to join a network marketing opportunity, take time to research the company.