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Starting Over

By Jenna Lunger
On October 16, 2013

 

Marketing and public relations teacher Kara Cunningham never would have dreamed two years ago she would be where she is today.

 

After going through a divorce in 2011, Cunning- ham was a single mom of three children, down one income, living paycheck to paycheck and charging all expenses to her credit card. Cunningham started looking for a way to make some extra money. One of her close friends tried persuading her to start selling a health and wellness product called Xyngular. It wasn’t until Thanksgiving of 2011 when Cunningham took her up on the offer.

 

“It was a bad Thanksgiving that year, I was broke and depressed; I called my friend up and told her if she could meet me at my house that night with the products I would start selling them,” Cunningham said. “I charged the start up cost to my already in debt credit card and went from there.”

 

With Cunningham’s background in marketing and communications, she was able to start making double her pay check as a teacher.

 

“I have about 30 people actively trying to make income under me in which I get a percentage of their sales,” Cunningham said. “There are only so many people I can sell to, so I really have to focus on my team.”

 

Cunningham said she enjoys being able to use what she teaches in the classroom towards her business.

 

“I believe having this health and wellness business has made me a stronger teacher because I get to use my knowledge in marketing to help make my business successful,” Cunningham said. “What I teach in the classroom works.”

 

Sophomore Taylor Broers worked under Cunningham this summer. Broers’ said it was inspiring seeing her teacher use the skills she talks about in the classroom during her everyday life.

 

“I always hear her talking about how to publicize yourself or business, so it was really cool to see her doing it in action,” Broers said.

 

Broers was Cunningham’s personal secretary. She was in charge of organizing Cunningham’s business and helping her with anything she needed.

 

“The coolest thing I got to do was go on a retreat with Kara and her team,” Broers said. “Kara is definitely a good leader and I am excited to see where she takes her business.”

Since starting Xyngular, Kara has not only made enough money to pay off all her debt, she has also been fortunate enough to pay off her car, buy a house on the golf course and go on many trips.

 

“I never thought two years ago I would take my kids to Italy for a sum- mer vacation,” Cunningham said. “This business has opened so many opportunities for me and I am happy I took the risk.”

 

Former Ottawa University journalism teacher Jenalea Myers followed Cunningham’s progress on Facebook and thought the brand was something worthwhile.

 

“I was interested in losing weight, but overall health was my main goal,” Myers said.

 

Myers was concerned about her health after losing her mom and brother to heart attacks.

 

“I was 26 when I was introduced to these products and company,” Myers said. “I knew that if I didn’t make some serous life changes, I was heading down the road to a premature death, just like those in my family.”12

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