Cutco helps students make some cash

FREMONT, CA

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In hard times like these, is it too much of a stretch to suggest that what the world really needs is a college girl who is good with knives?

"I could defend myself, I guess?" said Christine Hanks.

Although when Christine Hanks comes calling, it's the residents who may be defenseless, but in a good way.

Cutco is a New York-based, knife company that has used college students as independent sales people since 1949.

The company trains them, and even in a recession, the staff of 15,000 kids has done fairly well $209,000 in sales, last year alone.

In 15 months of the worst economy since the Depression, Christine has developed her own contacts, learned to make about 100 calls a week and made close to $40,000 part time.

"There is always a sale to be made. You sell them or they sell you," said Hanks.

A /*Cutco*/ visit is kind of like having an infomercial sit down at your kitchen table, an act of selling as performance art.

As Carla Mills and her kids watched, Christine sliced and diced. Then she took a penny and cut through it with a pair of sheers. After a show like this, who wouldn't pay in $60 for a do-it-all cheese knife?

Wayne Freedman: "You could buy a machine to dice like that?"

Christine Hanks: "Yes, but you would have to clean the machine and that takes a lot more time."

Wayne Freedman: You have answer for everything?"

Christine Hanks: "I do. It's my job."

And as we said, she's good with knives.

So, if wondered what ever happened to Willie Loman, here's the reincarnation in female form.

Carla got her knife and the kids a mangled a penny as a keepsake. A good sale leaves everyone happy.

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