Jules Price took a huge risk four years ago.
After 13 years in New York City, Price and her husband left their 650-square-foot brownstone in Brooklyn, N.Y., and began house hunting in Sarasota, where they knew no one and had no jobs.
They toured 50 houses in eight days, before selecting a spacious home in University Park with vaulted ceilings and an in-ground pool — exactly what they were craving after years of apartment-dwelling.
Price, 38, admits she was a little shell-shocked.
A professional singer for 15 years, she had lived the quintessential lifestyle of a New York City musical-theater performer.
She toured with national and international musicals, including “The Sound of Music,” for which she played Maria, and serving as understudy to Marie Osmond in Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
A well-known soprano, Price was frequently tapped by up-and-coming New York City composers to record new musicals. One of these connections led Price to a gig she still has to this day — principal singer for the New York City Ballet’s “West Side Story Suites.”
“I love, love New York,” Price says. “I never saw myself leaving.”
And then she did.
She spent her first year in Florida working from her East County home as a transcriber for news networks.
As a performer with an unpredictable schedule, transcribing had always provided consistent and flexible work. Yet, without the romance of performing, transcribing had become drudgery.
Price’s husband, Jeremy Hammond-Chambers, a chef and founder of Innovative Dining, was working long, exhausting shifts at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, and Price was getting cabin fever.
In the midst of trying to make new friends, the singer came in contact with a woman on the Internet who asked if she was interested in joining her book club in Clearwater.
Price politely said no, explaining that the drive from Clearwater to Sarasota would be too far, to which the woman responded with what seemed like an odd question: “What day is your birthday?”
Price shared the date — Sept. 4 — and was blown away when on her 35th birthday she received not only a birthday card from the woman, but also a $5 Starbucks gift card.
“It just hit my desk at the right time,” Price says. “Right when I needed to know what I needed to do with my life.”
The birthday card fascinated Price. The back flap was stamped with the logo for SendOutCards, an Internet greeting-card company that allows you to send greeting cards through the mail.
Price, who was already a greeting-card junkie and enthusiastic communicator, immediately signed up for a commission account, introducing just one person a day to the tool in between transcribing.
Within a year, Price had placed among the top 20 income-earners out of 100,000 SendOutCard reps.
Now an executive and corporate trainer for the company, Price travels the world giving speeches to companies that might want to integrate the tool into their business.
“In an amazing way I’ve become a role model for all these people who want to model their businesses after mine,” Price says. “It’s been such a rewarding journey. It’s hard to even describe what these last three years have been like — overwhelming to say the least.”
Price’s SendOutCards success story has been of such interest to other home-business entrepreneurs that
Price published a book this fall sharing the secrets to her meteoric rise.
“Secrets from the SOC Drawer” sold out in two days at a pre-launch book event last month at SendOutCards’ national conference in Salt Lake City.
“It’s insane,” Price says. “I thought I’d be famous for singing, and instead I’m famous for this.”
She motions toward a pile of cards in her office.
“Look at these,” she says, rifling through the heap. “I got 450 cards this year for my birthday.”
Contact Heidi Kurpiela at [email protected].