Plexus Opens New Corporate Headquarters in Arizona

Fast-growing Plexus Worldwide has officially opened its new 70,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The weight-loss and nutrition company elected to build the facility alongside its existing 30,000-square-foot warehouse and fulfillment center in Scottsdale’s Pima Center. The new headquarters consolidates Plexus’ 200-plus employees, formerly dispersed across multiple offices, with ample space for future growth.

“Building our new headquarters adjacent to our warehouse facility allowed us to create a functional campus where we can truly get the most out of each building design while increasing the coordination between our talented employee teams, which previously worked in various locations around Scottsdale,” Plexus CEO Tarl Robinson said in a statement.

Robinson and the company’s International President, Alfred Pettersen, took over Plexus Worldwide in 2008. At the time, the 2-year-old company sold just one product, a Breast Chek Kit to help women screen themselves for breast cancer. Plexus now sells a range of weight-loss, detoxification, pain-relief and nutrition products through more than 275,000 independent Ambassadors.

Annual revenue climbed from less than $1 million in 2010 to more than $300 million in 2014, an accomplishment that earned Plexus the No. 8 rank on the 2014 Inc. 5000, a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. Plexus remained in the top 4 percent in 2015, earning the No. 132 spot. The DSN North America 50 named Plexus the No. 30 direct selling company in the region, based on 2014 revenue.

Scottsdale officials and dignitaries from the local Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community joined Plexus employees and Ambassadors at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Thursday, Jan. 21, at the company’s new headquarters. Attendees had an opportunity to tour the facility, which features workspaces offset by oversized breakrooms and casual meeting spaces, as well as a large multimedia studio.


Jeunesse Reports Annual Sales of $1 Billion in 2015

Jeunesse has set a new benchmark for direct selling companies looking to achieve billion-dollar revenue. The skincare and nutrition company reports that annual sales surpassed $1 billion in 2015, its sixth year of business.

The husband-and-wife team of Randy Ray and Wendy Lewis, CEO and COO, respectively, founded Jeunesse in 2009. In 2015 the company acquired a 130,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in Heathrow, Florida, and opened a “Jeunesse West” facility in Draper, Utah, with 150 staff. Thanks to an early emphasis on building an international infrastructure, Jeunesse sells its anti-aging products—collectively dubbed the Youth Enhancement System (Y.E.S.)—through independent distributors in more than 100 countries.

“Our success is the direct result of the hard work, professionalism and dedication of our amazing network of Jeunesse Distributors around the world,” Lewis said in a statement. “I congratulate each and every one of them for helping Jeunesse reach this important milestone.”

Jeunesse is one of several young companies powering through the ranks of the DSN Global 100, an annual list of the top revenue-generating direct selling companies in the world. On the 2015 list, Jeunesse shared the No. 38 spot with home fragrance brand Scentsy, both companies having posted revenue of $419 million in 2014. The list includes just 16 companies with revenue exceeding $1 billion, half of them U.S. firms.

The Inc. 5000/500, which ranks America’s fastest-growing private companies, also served as an early indicator of remarkable growth at Jeunesse. The company made its debut on the list in 2014, breaking into the top 10 percent, known as the Inc. 500, at No. 258. In 2015, Jeunesse ranked No. 564 with three-year growth of 811 percent.

Management regularly points to the company’s technology prowess as a primary driver of growth. In the creation of Jeunesse, Ray and Lewis brought to bear their own expertise in the technology sector, including the fields of medical software and computer hardware. The company’s tailor-made technology includes the “J-World” marketing system, comprised of back office, social and mobile components to help distributors build their businesses.

“Investing in the right technological infrastructure from the beginning while expanding globally has allowed us to reach this level and positions us to continue to grow from $1 billion and beyond,” said Ray.

Heather Chastain Named President of Shaklee U.S. and Canada

Nutrition and personal-care products seller Shaklee has brought on Heather Chastain as President of Shaklee U.S. and Canada, a role supporting the growth and success of Independent Distributors in the company’s key North American markets.

Shaklee’s new President brings 20 years of experience in direct selling, most recently as Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer at another personal-care and wellness brand within the industry. In a statement, Shaklee describes Chastain as an executive with a “strong, collaborative and relational style of management and leadership.” Her previous roles have included responsibilities in sales, marketing, manufacturing and operations.

“We are very fortunate to have Heather join our Shaklee family. She is a superb executive with a proven track record of generating growth in the direct selling industry,” Chairman and CEO Roger Barnett said in a statement. “In addition, she is truly a delightful person and will be an outstanding partner to me and our entire Shaklee family.”

Over and above her corporate roles, Chastain has provided leadership to the wider industry by serving on the board of the U.S. Direct Selling Association (DSA) and as Chair of the DSA Ethics Committee.

“Shaklee is an iconic brand in our channel with outstanding products and a strong track record of integrity and innovation,” said Chastain. “It’s exciting and such a privilege to be working with this group of professionals to help create the next chapter of growth for this legendary company.”

Pleasanton, California-based Shaklee reported revenue of $844 million in 2014, earning the No. 21 spot on this year’s DSN Global 100. The century-old company operates in eight markets through a network of 1.25 million Independent Distributors.

Le-Vel Announces December Initiative Supporting Toys for Tots

Following an October promotion benefitting the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Le-Vel is partnering with Marine Toys for Tots Foundation in December to provide toys for children this holiday season.

The nutrition and weight-management company has introduced a Holiday Edition DFT product, with $5 of each purchase benefitting Toys for Tots. The company’s patent-pending DFT patch is worn directly on the skin to support the body’s metabolism process. A similar promotion during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October raised $250,000 to fund cancer research and prevention programs.

Toys for Tots, a program of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, distributes new, unwrapped toys to less fortunate children throughout the U.S. Leading up to the holiday season each year, the program collects toy donations at more than 700 sites across the country. All net proceeds donated by Le-Vel will be used by the program to purchase toys.

In addition to its product promotion, Dallas-based Le-Vel is encouraging its network of independent Promoters—who number about 90,000—to hold regional toy drives or “Locals” during the month of December.

“We are thrilled to have Le-Vel on board this holiday season,” Bill Grein, Toys for Tots Foundation Vice President of Marketing and a retired Marine, said in a statement. “Their monetary donation along with the numerous toy drives hosted by Promoters will guarantee that many additional disadvantaged children across the country will have a memorable Christmas.”

Women’s Tennis Association Donates Additional $25K to USANA Foundation

Photo: USANA Executive Vice President of South Asia Ng Keng Hean, USANA President of Asia and Greater China Deborah Woo, WTA President Micky Lawler, and WTA players Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. (Getty Images) (PRNewsFoto/USANA Health Sciences)

Through its 2015 Aces for Humanity initiative, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has raised $25,000 in support of the USANA True Health Foundation. The longtime partner of USANA has donated more than $115,000 to the foundation in the past five years, providing critical necessities to those in need.

The WTA’s relationship with USANA Health Sciences extends back to 2006, when the nutrition company became the Official Health Supplement Supplier of the WTA. The two organizations also have partnered in charitable work, even before the launch of the USANA True Health Foundation in 2012. The charity focuses on meeting the basic needs of suffering populations such as those who survived the Nepal earthquake earlier this year. In the wake of the disaster, the USANA True Health Foundation donated $50,000 to relief efforts supplying nutrition, clothing, shelter and medical assistance.

USANA and the WTA launched Aces for Humanity in 2014, after signing a deal to extend their partnership through 2016. The initiative guarantees a $5 donation for every ace served at Premier-level WTA events throughout the season. Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark), Sam Stosur (Australia), Madison Keys (U.S.) and five other WTA players currently represent USANA as Brand Ambassadors. Each time one of them served an ace, the WTA upped its donation to $10.

“The WTA is proud to contribute $25,000 toward the USANA True Health Foundation,” WTA CEO Steve Simon said in a statement. “Our entrusted partnership with USANA spans nearly 10 years, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to provide support to this deserving foundation, which helps those in need.”

Mannatech Million Dollar Club Tops 200 Associates

Dallas-based Mannatech is marking a growth milestone with the latest addition to its Million Dollar Club, made up of associates whose earnings have topped $1 million. The social entrepreneurship brand said Thursday that its Million Dollar Club has now reached 200 members.

Though North America accounts for nearly half of Mannatech’s revenue, some of the company’s newest million-dollar achievers reflect its growth in international markets, where total revenue increased nearly 4 percent in 2014. The skincare and nutrition brand, which ties its business to fighting childhood malnutrition through the Mission 5 Million (M5M) program, said that recent additions to the Million Dollar Club hail from Australia, Japan and Korea, as well as the U.S.

“Very few companies in our industry have ever generated 200 millionaires,” Mannatech President Al Bala said in a statement. “We have a commitment to providing the best products and support to help our Associates build businesses that last.”

The company’s current power products include the Generation Uth Skin Care System and the detoxifying Refresh and Rejuvenate Purification Program, which unite multiple products in a targeted regimen. Mannatech also reported the successful introduction of its MannaBOOM Slimsticks immune supplement into the brand’s emerging markets.

Youngevity Acquires 2-Year-Old Jewelry Brand Mialisia

Youngevity Intl. is venturing further into fashion with the acquisition of direct selling jewelry brand Mialisia. Through an ongoing acquisition strategy, the California-based conglomerate has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 nutrition, lifestyle and telecommunications products.

Mialisia Founder Annelise Brown sold more than $1 million in inventory from her basement in the three years before she and her husband, Sean, officially launched Mialisia in July 2013. The Utah-based brand markets VersaStyle jewelry, a patent-pending design that can convert into a variety of styles. Mialisia brought former lia sophia President Tom Lang on board as COO in January.

The line is a complement to Youngevity’s couture apparel and jewelry brand, MK Collaborative, as well as its cosmetics and skincare products, CFO Dave Briskie said in the company’s statement.

“I am thrilled to see Youngevity leveraging its investment in the MK Collab by bringing other exciting companies and opportunities into the apparel and jewelry product category,” said Marisa Kenson, the celebrity fashion designer behind MK Collab. “The synergies that will come from product integration and cross-merchandising opportunities should provide for an exciting growth platform.”

The Mialisia deal gives Youngevity distributors and customers access to the brand’s offerings, and vice versa. Youngevity did not provide further details of the transaction.

In the first quarter of 2015, Youngevity acquired wide-ranging home and personal-care brand JD Premium and health and wellness brand Sta-Natural. The company also added energy services through a partnership with Energy Professionals.

Youngevity Closes out 2014 with Record Revenue

Photo: Youngevity distributors kick off the year with an incentive cruise.

Youngevity International (OTCQX: YGYI) continued its double-digit growth streak in 2014 by more than doubling revenue, the company reported this week. The San Diego-area firm is setting its sights on international markets as it continues to expand its portfolio of nutrition and lifestyle products.

Youngevity reported 2014 revenue of $134.0 million, a 56.5 percent increase versus 2013. Revenue derived from acquisitions was $14.5 million. Net income increased to $5.4 million, up from $2.7 million in the prior year, largely due to a $4.7 million tax benefit from adjustments to deferred taxes.

“If I had to put a label on 2014, I would call it the year of refinement because we successfully refined nearly every key component of the company,” President Bill Andreoli told investors during the company’s earnings call. Throughout the year, Youngevity made improvements to its product warehousing and logistics system, website and online shopping experience, field training and recognition systems, and both its acquisition and organic growth strategies.

The company’s ongoing acquisition strategy has positioned it across the Health and Wellness, Beauty and Care, Food and Beverage, and Home and Family categories. This year Youngevity added energy services, including renewable energy options, through a partnership with Energy Professionals. In addition to its direct sales segment, Youngevity operates CLR Roasters, a vertically integrated gourmet coffee business.

Youngevity’s direct selling revenue grew 51 percent for the year, totaling $161.3 million, while the commercial coffee business grew 101 percent to $17.7 million. At year-end, total assets were $55.7 million, compared to $34.9 million at the close of 2013.

The company’s leadership says that in 2015 and beyond it will focus on establishing the brand across international markets, which accounted for just 8 percent of 2014 sales. Youngevity reports significant growth in Canada, its largest international market, as well as Australia and New Zealand, where it recently obtained a facility three times the size of the existing one to support demand in the region.

Recent expansions include Russia, where Youngevity has opened a Moscow office, and Singapore, where it hopes to build distribution within the Asian marketplace. Youngevity is also building a presence in Mexico with an eye toward additional Latin American countries.

Nu Skin to Launch Essential Oils Line

Nutrition and skincare company Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. has announced plans to introduce a new line of essential oils in its U.S., Canada and Latin America markets next month. The Utah-based brand will launch Epoch Essential Oils through a sales promotion available to qualifying distributors on Thursday, April 9.

The initial Epoch offering will consist of three single oils and five oil blends, which the company plans to introduce as a package, along with a diffuser, a mini diffuser and topical blending oil. Nu Skin says it will begin selling individual products in July and, later in 2015, introduce the line in China and Europe.

Essential oils, used topically or aromatically, are gaining popularity as natural alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs and antibiotics. In the past five years essential oil manufacturing in the U.S. has grown 3.5 percent annually to $1 billion in revenue, according to a report by IBISWorld. Nu Skin CEO Truman Hunt said the brand is looking to differentiate itself from competitors by “applying Nu Skin scientific rigor” to the category.

“Indigenous cultures have long known the value of botanical substances and have used them for their healthful benefits,” Chief Scientific Officer Joseph Chang, Ph.D., said in the company’s release. “Nu Skin has partnered with one of the world’s leading ethnobotanists to bring this knowledge to our modern lifestyle.”

Epoch product sales will contribute to improving the lives of children through the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation, which supports humanitarian projects in more than 50 countries. The company has pledged to donate 25 cents from each sale to the foundation’s efforts to alleviate disease, illiteracy, and poverty.