Every Monday and Thursday night, Paulette Pelley and Janice Peyton grab a cup of tea and some oysters, and sit down with a few dozen of their closest friends.
They talk about their dinners, share recipes, and catch up — their friends in their own homes, and the two women in front of a webcam, laptop, and makeshift studio in Pelley’s basement in Northern Arm, near Botwood.
‘It’s just me and Janice hanging out, with all these other people.’
– Paulette Pelley
Peyton and Pelley make up the two parts of Two Friends Shuckin’, one of hundreds of oyster-opening live-stream businesses that have caught fire on Facebook this year.
Their live streams run longer than three hours each, and rack up hundreds of comments, but they say the best part is spending time with their friends.
“We have viewers that don’t miss. If they miss, we’re wondering where they are and what’s wrong,” Peyton said.
“We don’t ask for anything, just come on and watch us, and buy if you want, if you don’t it’s OK! Just hang around and hang out with us and have a laugh.”
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On Two Friends Shuckin’, customers don’t buy pearls, they buy oysters, which Pelley will then open up while live on Facebook revealing the pearl — or maybe even two — inside.
Peyton and Pelley order the oysters from farms in Japan every couple of weeks.
The women are up against tough competition in the pearl-selling online business. There are hundreds of other streamers like them — including some in Newfoundland — but they say their humour and charm make them stand out.
“We’re told we’re hilarious,” Peyton says. “We’re always being told, ‘you crack me up.'”
The women fill the downtime in their hours-long videos with jokes, impressions, accents and cross talk with their Facebook live commenters. Inside the videos, dollars are “doll hairs,” and the Dollarama is the “Dalai Lama.”
Peyton and Pelley have known each other for 28 years. Two Friends Shuckin’ isn’t their first business venture; they also worked together making and selling seal-skin purses and accessories.
‘Sometimes we’re like an old married…