Forces Under 40 2017

by DSN Staff

Click here to order the March 2017 issue in which this article appeared.


DSN is thrilled to showcase the most outstanding young professionals working in direct selling companies today. These honorees represent all aspects of the business—from technology and marketing to finance and field services—and represent the fine talent of tomorrow. We know it is imperative to nurture and encourage the young leaders in our channel in order to secure the brightest future possible for all.

These dynamic young leaders are broadening the scope of the companies they work for as well as our entire channel of distribution. Based upon the enthusiastic nominations of the honorees presented here, the future is bright indeed. The program was open to all full-time professionals working in active direct selling companies who turned 40 years old on or after Jan. 1, 2017. The honorees are presented in alphabetical order with each profile including the thoughts and words of the honoree’s respective company.

We also want to thank our generous sponsors, Avalara and Fossil.


PROFILES:

…. Continue to the Honoree’s profiles.

 

 

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Thibaudeau Takes on Top Job at Jamberry

by Emily Reagan

Click here to order the December 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


A new CEO is taking the helm at Jamberry, which has built a salesforce of more than 100,000 Independent Consultants since its nail products began appearing in social media feeds a few years ago.

In October, the family-owned enterprise named Elizabeth Thibaudeau as its new chief executive. Thibaudeau has considerable experience in direct sales, having spent the past 20 years with one of the channel’s leading skincare and nutrition companies. Most recently, she held the title of Vice President, Global Marketing, overseeing all brand and marketing functions. There she also helped to develop a strategic product platform and umbrella category brand that has generated billions in revenue over the past decade.

At Jamberry, Thibaudeau succeeds Adam Hepworth, who has led the company from its inception and will remain a board member and major shareholder. His wife, Christy, co-founded Jamberry in 2010 with her two sisters, Lyndsey Ekstrom and Keri Evans. The brand is known for its do-it-yourself nail wraps, which are applied using a heat and pressure technique. In addition to a wide range of original designs, Jamberry has worked with the likes of Disney and the NFL to introduce special themed collections.

The Utah company has experienced rapid growth, propelled by early adoption of social media and online parties, which allow Consultants to reach an exponentially larger audience than traditional home parties. As it looks to the future, Jamberry will draw upon Thibaudeau’s “expertise, leadership, and experience building direct sales,” Hepworth said in the company’s announcement. DSN recently spoke to Thibaudeau about her new role and what’s in store for this up-and-coming direct seller.

DSN: As someone with considerable experience in the direct sales channel, what made you want to join this particular company?

ET: I was initially intrigued by the extremely innovative nail wrap product; I’d never seen anything like it and genuinely believe it appeals to a broad and diverse audience. During the interview process I was gifted a basket of products and accessories. I took these home and it felt like Christmas morning as my daughters and I circled around the Jamberry goodies and began doing our nails. My 15-year-old daughter was an instant application pro, and she was able to coach me while I applied the nail wrap for the first time. It was at that moment I could see why and how our decorative nail wraps are perfect for the party model.

I was also enamored with the passion of the field leaders. I immediately felt a strong affinity towards our consultants. Perhaps it’s an innate connection, because it’s women connecting with women and we relate to each other in a powerful way. We are all CEOs making positive impacts in our respective worlds, and then collectively in the Jamberry world, globally. I know we will do amazing things together.

DSN: Thus far, what is your favorite aspect of the job?

ET: I’m actually more of an introvert, but as I stepped into this new role I soon realized how important developing meaningful connections with the entire team will be to accomplishing our goals. I love interacting with the employees and the consultants. I derive so much energy from their enthusiasm and passion it literally fuels me. It’s humbling to think that I’m responsible for creating the culture of the company. I’m a sponge right now, trying to study best practices from industry icons.

DSN: What objectives are top of mind as you take on the role of CEO?

ET: Consultant success is my priority No. 1. Over the past month, I have had the opportunity to travel to different events in both the United States and Australia, to meet with our consultants. Each person I met with, regardless of the country, shared a common passion and enthusiasm for helping women make life beautiful. This reaffirmed my reason for coming to Jamberry. Our internal strategic filter is “does this contribute to the success of our consultants?” If the answer to that is “no,” then we need to rethink and refocus our work. Key objectives are to strengthen our foothold in existing markets; dominate the nail, hand and foot care categories; exponentially scale the reach of our consultants; and modernize the home party.

Elizabeth ThibaudeauElizabeth Thibaudeau

DSN: As you think about the next couple of years, what does it mean to “modernize the home party”? 

ET: I can’t give away all of our secrets…

DSN: In recent years Jamberry has experienced rapid growth, and the pains that come with it. What steps are you taking to prepare for the next stage of growth?

ET: We are solidifying technical systems architecture and global operations capabilities to support our ability to double and even triple our business over the next few years.

DSN: In light of that growth, is Jamberry looking to upsize manufacturing facilities or corporate offices?

Click here to read the rest of the interview…

Direct Selling News Announces the 2016 Best Places to Work in Direct Selling

For the first time ever, Direct Selling News has partnered with the employee engagement experts at Quantum Workplace to identify the Best Places to Work in Direct Selling. The contest was open to all direct selling companies headquartered in North America and having at least 50 employees.

The 2016 honorees for the Best Places to Work in Direct Selling are listed below in alphabetical order. All of these companies are equal honorees and are recognized collectively as the Best Places to Work within the direct selling channel.

Click here to see the list of honorees.

The Future of Direct Selling in the U.S.

by Andrea Tortora

Click here to order the October 2015 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Direct selling in the United States is undergoing a transformation fueled by innovative approaches rooted in classic business practices. The power generators leading the way for direct selling as a channel of distribution can be found in what Direct Selling News has identified as the upper middle market: those companies with annual sales roughly between $300 million and $1 billion.

Because most direct selling companies are privately held and many decline to disclose their financial results, it is difficult to create a definitive list. Our research honed in on a group of more than 30 U.S.-based companies, most of which are experiencing significant growth. Some of them are on the cusp of reaching $300 million, and some likely have recently passed the $1 billion mark. But together they are critical to direct selling’s competitiveness and future. They tend to be among the fastest growing when it comes to revenue, and they account for a large slice of the job creation pie.

An in-depth analysis of this group reveals a high level of consistency when it comes to executing on key common strengths. The ability of these companies to focus in on products, customers, serving their salesforce and creating a culture that reinforces a sense of family put them on track to shape the future of direct selling in the U.S.

Companies emphasize each area in different ways, but in general these leaders:

  • Harness data. The upper middle market knows how to mine the data it has to gain insights that lead to more and better sales. Executives train leaders and consultants to use data to open doors that might otherwise remain closed.
  • Stay true to classic business practices. Technology and social media do not replace person-to-person interactions, they complement them. Upper mid-market firms build relationships with customers that maintain the consultant-client affiliation but also allow the customer to have a connection with the company itself.
  • Use compensation plans that span all levels of engagement. To cultivate trust and long-term relationships, comp plans are created to appeal to new customers, product enthusiasts, fierce advocates and influencers—all the way up to the entrepreneur who is all in. Payments also follow a more modern schedule.
  • Foster an entrepreneurial spirit. Consultants are allowed and encouraged to go far with personal marketing (think YouTube videos) while maintaining brand identity. Companies deliver superior and frequent training and messaging to make this happen.
  • Maintain a laser-focus on selling. The sale of a product, a group experience or an opportunity all lead to more sales, which generate positive results.

No matter the specific approach, one thing all upper middle market companies excel at is …

Click here to read the full article at Direct Selling News.

 

 

Party Plans on Fire

by Andrea Tortora

Click here to order the December 2014 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Ignited by emotional connections forged with customers, access to products once only available at expensive salons and an embrace of social media, a handful of party plan companies are seeing their business boom—with no signs of a slowdown.

Nail wrap creator Jamberry, beauty products firm Younique, personalized jewelry maker Origami Owl and two newcomers—jewelry boutique Chelsea Row and nontoxic cosmetics maker Beautycounter—are experiencing significant advances in profits and popularity at a time when overall growth for the party plan model is stuck in a plateau.

Data from the U.S. Direct Selling Association’s 2014 growth and outlook report reveals that between 2008 and 2013, party plans dropped from 26 percent to 23 percent of market share as a direct selling platform.

“Home parties in terms of their success are fairly cyclical,” says DSA President Joe Mariano. “When we think it is hitting a low point that is when we see a rebirth.”


While 40 million business-related fan pages exist on Facebook, only 17 percent are equipped to sell directly through the social media channel. This is where direct selling has an edge.


Top-Ranked Companies

These five standout companies are evidence of that resurgence. Two of them—Jamberry and Younique—are in the Top 10 six-month trend rankings at HomePartyRankings.com and MLMRankings.com, which track public interest and Internet popularity of most party plan direct sellers.

Jamberry reports revenue is more than $10 million a year. Younique’s distributors have said the company sold more than $25 million in September, up from $1 million in December 2013.

Origami Owl is consistently listed in the Top 5 for overall rankings at both sites. It posted 2013 revenue of $233 million and grew by 870 percent for the year. As a reflection of this growth it was ranked at No. 50 on the 2014 DSN Global 100 and received the DSN Bravo Growth Award Based on Percentage this year.

Chelsea Row, launched in September 2014, is too new to have its own rankings. A spinoff of e-commerce selling platform company Kitsy Lane, Chelsea Row is turning the traditional home party on its head with vParty—a truly immersive, real-time virtual party that lets guests shop together online while being connected on audio and video.

Beautycounter launched in March 2013 and offers a safe and nontoxic line of skincare products that work. The company now counts 4,000 consultants in more than 44 states, with 23 percent average monthly revenue growth. Between January and October 2014, Beautycounter posted 424 percent sales growth.


Beautycounter’s “Never List” is “a robust roundup of ingredients that you will never find in Beautycounter products,” as many are known or believed to cause irritation, allergic reactions or cancer.


Embracing Social Media

The founding philosophies of these companies are rooted in a desire to better the lives of women by empowering them with products that aid self-expression and by providing the flexibility, resources and training needed to build a career. Each utilizes social media such as Facebook to drive sales, although the strategy is different for each business.

To maintain growth, diving deep into social media selling is likely to yield even larger dividends. Here’s why: An analysis by marketing firm Vocus projects that by 2015, half of all web transactions will occur through social media, accounting for an estimated $30 billion in sales. While 40 million business-related fan pages exist on Facebook, only 17 percent are equipped to sell directly through the social media channel. This is where direct selling has an edge.

The Power of Virtual Parties

Jamberry, Younique and Origami Owl use the Facebook event model to host virtual parties.

Younique sells almost exclusively on social media. Jamberry and Origami Owl independent consultants use Facebook events to supplement the home party experience. Origami Owl Chief Sales Officer Sandy Spielmaker says the technology “extends the reach of the home party.”

Best known for its 3D fiber lashes, Younique built its selling model on virtual parties for two reasons, Co-Founder Melanie Huscroft says. “The overall feeling among women was they are so over the traditional home party and having to clean the house, make the food and send their husband and kids away,” she says. “The virtual platform allows the invite list to be limitless, and location doesn’t matter.”

Virtual parties typically run for seven to 10 days, with independent consultants making frequent posts to encourage interest and spotlight products. Consultants do not carry inventory. They sell through their own branded e-commerce websites.

Many consultants also create videos or use those provided by Younique, Jamberry or Origami Owl to explain how to use the products and suggest ways to mix them up to create new styles. Guests link to these videos through the Facebook event page for their specific party.

The model is working for Younique. In the near future, its virtual party model will also work on other social media platforms, such as Twitter and Pinterest. At 2 years old, Younique now counts 121,285 presenters in five markets. When it entered the U.K. on Oct. 1, 999 presenters signed up within 26 minutes.

Huscroft says people want to sell Younique because of its “simple and generous” compensation plan. Younique pays presenters within three hours of making a sale. Each presenter receives a bank account and a Younique debit card.

“It doesn’t matter what the compensation plan is from a corporate perspective. Everyone pays out … Click here to read the full article