There aren’t many jobs that not only allow — but require ― you to give people something for free. But that’s what I do, and I couldn’t be happier doing it.
As a part-time brand ambassador working for Interactions, an Advantage Solutions experiential marketing agency, I represent the makers of great food and beverage products. My job is to enhance shoppers’ experiences, encourage them to try something new and, if they like it, add it to their shopping cart.
On any given day, you may find me in a store in the New York Metro area chatting up customers as I offer them cups of a new beverage or cook up a new product so that they can see, smell and taste it before they buy it.
I’m a semi-retired entertainer living on a fixed income and being a brand ambassador for Interactions allows me to earn some “fun money” while doing what I love to do ― bring a smile to people’s faces. I enjoy interacting with customers, no pun intended! I seem to be a magnet for children, who want to see what’s on my cart. I’ll wave to them and the next thing I know, their parents will come by to try a sample.
I also enjoy the relationships I’ve built with each store’s management and staff. In most cases, we’re on a first-name basis. Throughout my years as a brand ambassador, I’ve had store managers tell me I’m “the best vendor we have.” One told me they like my style. Shoppers have told me I’m a good salesman. My supervisor, too, has been very encouraging and supportive. It’s very rewarding to get that kind of feedback.
This job is perfect for me because the schedule is very flexible so I’m still able to do what I love to do, which is visit schools, convalescent homes and assisted living facilities to play my accordion during Oktoberfest, the holiday season and other times of the year. This job lets me be myself. I call it my “ministry” — if I see someone without a smile, I give them one of mine.