Cindy Monroe Inducted into Enterprising Women Hall of Fame

Enterprising Women magazine has recognized Cindy Monroe, President and CEO of Thirty-One Gifts, with induction into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame, an honor extended to one woman entrepreneur each year.

“We are honored to induct Cindy Monroe into our Hall of Fame for the important work she is doing to advance women’s entrepreneurship and create a lasting legacy in the women’s business community,” said Monica Smiley, Publisher and CEO of Enterprising Women, a women-owned publication that focuses on the growing political, economic and social influence of women in business.

Monroe founded Thirty-One Gifts in 2003, aiming to create a business opportunity for women with families. Today, about 85,000 Consultants across the U.S. and Canada sell Thirty-One bags, jewelry and home organization products, supported by a corporate staff of more than 1,000. The Columbus, Ohio-based company generated revenue of $643 million in 2014, earning the No. 28 spot on the DSN Global 100, a list of the top direct selling companies in the world.

In addition to building a thriving business, Monroe founded Thirty-One Gives, a philanthropic initiative dedicated to empowering girls, women and families. Since its launch four years ago, Thirty-One Gives has donated more than $80 million in cash and products to nonprofit partners, including Girl Talk and Ronald McDonald House Charities, the fund’s two national mission partners.

Direct Selling Companies Donate Millions in Gifts to TODAY Toy Drive

This holiday season direct selling companies have donated more than $15.4 million in cash and products to the TODAY Show Holiday Toy and Gift Drive, which supplies gifts to underprivileged children across the U.S.

The partnership with TODAY has been an initiative of the Direct Selling Assocation (DSA) for more than a decade. On Dec. 22, DSA Senior Vice President Melissa Brunton will appear on the show to thank the companies that participated and acknowledge the work direct selling entrepreneurs do for their communities throughout the year.

This month a handful of company executives have visited the TODAY set to present donations on behalf of their employees and salespeople. On Dec. 1, Thirty-One Gifts President and CEO Cindy Monroe delivered an assortment of products worth $5.5 million—one of the largest donations in this year’s toy drive. To date, the seller of functional bags, home organization products and accessories has contributed more than $36.4 million in products to the program.

“We are excited and honored to be part of the DSA’s toy drive support,” Monroe said in a statement. “Our charitable mission, through our philanthropic outreach Thirty-One Gives, is to assist organizations that empower girls and women, and strengthen families. The TODAY show makes it easy for us to enable our many sales consultants across the country to be involved with the donation too by selecting local charities where they can deliver the products.”

The following direct selling companies donated cash or products in this year’s toy drive:

•    Amway
•    Arbonne
•    Good Will Publishers
•    Initials Inc.
•    Jordan Essentials
•    Living Fresh Collection
•    Lulu Avenue
•    Mary Kay
•    Origami Owl
•    PartyLite
•    Shaklee
•    SpenserNation
•    Stampin’ Up!
•    Stella & Dot
•    Thirty-One Gifts
•    USANA Health Sciences
•    Vantel Pearls

Thirty-One Gifts to Premiere New Collection at Hundreds of Theaters

Thirty-One Gifts is coming soon to theaters across North America. The Columbus, Ohio-based company is unveiling its latest collection during special showings to be held Saturday in 275 cities.

The unique format is a means to promote the company’s spring/summer 2016 offerings and train independent sales consultants to sell the products. The 12-year-old company specializes in trendy and functional bags, home organization solutions and, following last year’s acquisition of Jewel Kade, artisan jewelry.

“This is the best, most exciting way to give our sales field the tools they need to find solutions for their customers’ personal, family and home organization and fashion needs, and more,” Cindy Monroe, Thirty-One Gifts Founder, President and CEO, said in a statement. “Our product premiere allows thousands to see the reveal of our new products and patterns at once, and to be able to share that information with their customers at home parties in 2016.”

Through its network of 85,000-plus consultants, Thirty-One Gifts generated revenue of $643 million in 2014. The company expects approximately 45,000 of those consultants to attend its mass product premiere at select theaters across the U.S. and Canada.

Thirty-One to Match #GivingTuesday Donations to World Vision

Photo: A volunteer health educator in Burundi makes her rounds with a Thirty-One Gifts utility tote. (PRNewsFoto/World Vision,Thirty-One Gifts)


Thirty-One Gifts has announced plans to partner with humanitarian organization World Vision once again this #GivingTuesday. The company will match every donation made to World Vision on Tuesday, Dec. 1, with up to $1 million in product donations.

Following retail events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday shifts the focus to charitable giving. The global movement, launched in 2012, harnesses social media to encourage individuals and businesses to give back to their communities.

This marks the second consecutive year Thirty-One has selected Christian aid organization World Vision as one of its #GivingDay recipients. In 2014, the Columbus, Ohio-based company provided totes filled with hygiene supplies to women in impoverished communities across the U.S.  This year, Thirty-One is contributing blankets and utility totes from its range of functional bags and home organization products.

“We’re a company with a mission to empower and support women and families,” Cindy Monroe, Founder and CEO of Thirty-One, said in a statement. “This partnership is a great opportunity to share our hearts and mission to give women the opportunity for a better life, to impact families in need, and further the reach of World Vision.”

In a statement, World Vision’s Director of Community Engagement, Deborah Johns, said the organization will distribute the blankets to new mothers in Somalia and the tote bags to refugees in Armenia who have fled the Syrian conflict.

Thirty-One made a similar donation earlier this year, providing blankets as well as totes for volunteer health educators in Burundi. The local volunteers, who pay follow-up calls to malnourished children discharged from feeding centers, use the totes to transport their educational materials and equipment.

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.

 

 

Forbes: Rodan and Fields among America’s Richest Self-Made Women

Two direct selling entrepreneurs are among the top women in the country blazing their own—very lucrative—trails, according to a new list by Forbes.

A feature on America’s Richest Self-Made Women, appearing in the June issue of Forbes magazine, includes Rodan + Fields Founders Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields. The dermatologist duo tied at No. 42, with respective net worths of $320 million, trailed by the likes of pop mogul Beyoncé Knowles and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. Before launching their eponymous skincare brand, the business partners created acne treatment Proactiv, currently licensed to direct marketer Guthy-Renker. They have also co-authored two lifestyle books focused on skincare solutions.

Topping the list of successful, self-made women is Elizabeth Holmes, Founder and CEO of blood testing firm Theranos and the world’s youngest female billionaire, with a net worth of $4.5 billion. Twenty-two of the top 50 hail from the Technology or Fashion & Retail sectors.

An accompanying feature highlights eight businesswomen to watch, including Thirty-One Gifts Founder and CEO Cindy Monroe. Monroe’s net worth is a reported $200 million, matching that of Hollywood leading lady Sandra Bullock and genre-defying music artist Taylor Swift.

“When she was 28 and a young working mother, Monroe had an idea to help women earn extra money by hosting parties selling gifts and accessories,” the piece states. “She held the first in 2003. Since then over 300,000 consultants have held more than 4.5 million parties for her company, Thirty-One Gifts.”

2015 DSN North America 50 List


The DSN North America 50DSN Announces the 2015 North America 50!

This marks the sixth year for the Global 100 list of top direct selling companies in the world, and we would not be Direct Selling News if we did not continually strive to raise the bar.

That is why we are pleased to share with you a new component of the project this year: The North America 50. As a subset of the Global 100, this list draws attention to the most significant players in one of the world’s largest direct selling markets.

As DSN embarks on the annual research for the Global 100, we continue to refine the process as we identify the largest companies and acknowledge their achievements while bringing attention to the magnitude of the direct selling industry as a whole. Within that context, the impact that North American companies have on the global marketplace as well as on those that buy and sell through this channel cannot be overstated.

The following contains the North America 50 ranking for the 2015 DSN Global 100 (based on 2014 revenues). Both lists will be published in the June issue of Direct Selling News.


2015 Rank

Company Name

2014 Revenue

1 Amway $10.80B
2 Avon $8.9B
3 Herbalife $5.0B
4 Mary Kay $4.0B
5 Tupperware $2.60B
6 Nu Skin $2.57B
7 Ambit Energy $1.50B
8 Primerica $1.34B
9 Stream Energy $918M
10 Shaklee $844M

Click here to see the rest of the DSN North America 50 List.

Thirty-One Hits the Gas on Two-Year Expansion into Canada

Following its February 2015 expansion into Alberta, Canada, Thirty-One Gifts has announced plans to launch its business in seven additional Canadian provinces next month.

Columbus, Ohio-based Thirty-One has operated in Canada since 2012, when the company launched in Ontario. The forthcoming expansion, scheduled for April 7, will bring Thirty-One’s line of totes and accessories—including its recently acquired Jewell and JK by Thirty-One brands—to customers in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

“We’re expanding further into Canada thanks to the amazing growth and success we’ve experienced so far in Ontario and Alberta,” Thirty-One Founder, President and CEO Cindy Monroe said in a statement. The company has signed on 3,050 independent consultants in the country, currently its only market outside the U.S., where Thirty-One operates through a network of 99,509 consultants.

In its statement, the company said it has taken a “cautious” approach to expansion, initially setting up shop in Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, to gauge interest in the products and business opportunity. Thirty-One is looking to draw from its existing leadership and relationships in the country as it moves into nine of Canada’s 10 provinces.

Thirty-One Brings its Totes and Accessories to Alberta, Canada

On the heels of its success in Ontario, Thirty-One Gifts’ first Canadian province, the company is expanding the sale of its products into Alberta. Beginning Feb. 10, Thirty-One will make available its entire line of personalized home organization products and totes as well as its new Jewell by Thirty-One line of faux leather purses and accessories.

The Columbus, Ohio-based company has worked to establish itself in Ontario over the past two years, and Alberta, with a strong economy and interest in Thirty-One products, served as a welcomed opportunity for the company’s movement into new markets.

“We were purposeful about keeping to a single Canadian province for a period of time in order to thoughtfully introduce our brand and values to a new country,” said Thirty-One Founder, President and CEO Cindy Monroe. “Our business is about relationships and we’ve spent time focusing on building those relationships in Ontario, creating a strong foundation for growth and success as we expand into Alberta.”

Christina Snyder, Vice President of New Market Development, said she already sees a strong leadership base in Alberta, and looks forward to holding two upcoming opportunity events in Calgary, Alberta, for potential consultants.

“We’re going to show them we truly are a relationship company and we care about women having a fulfilling, enjoyable way to earn extra income,” Snyder said.

Thirty-One to Offer Artisan Jewelry Following Jewel Kade Acquisition

Photo above: Jewel Kade Founder Janet Kinkade (left) and Thirty-One Gifts Founder Cindy Monroe.


Thirty-One Gifts is ringing in the new year with a new addition to its family of brands. The Columbus, Ohio-based company has announced the acquisition of Utah-based direct seller Jewel Kade, an artisan jewelry brand founded in 2009. Beginning in spring 2015, Thirty-One will offer JK by Thirty-One jewelry in addition to its handbags, totes and home organization products.

Similar vision and values make the two companies a great fit, said Thirty-One Director of Communications Kate Hannum-Rose. Like Thirty-One Founder Cindy Monroe, Janet Kinkade launched Jewel Kade from her basement with the hope of equipping and empowering women to succeed on their own terms. Both brands also bring a personal touch with the option to customize various products. Jewel Kade now partners with a network of 1,500 stylists nationwide and has been featured on The Today Show, Ellen and American Idol.

JK by Thirty-One is not the only fresh offering coming to Thirty-One customers in 2015. The company has also acquired upscale accessories brand Jewell, a direct selling startup co-founded in 2013 by Monroe and her sister, Christie Jewell Woodfin. These strategic acquisitions bring new growth opportunities to a company that has achieved annual net sales of $763 million in its first decade.

“Years ago, Thirty-One offered gifting categories like jewelry and purses, and these acquisitions are great opportunities to bring some of these successful products back in our product offering, along with the other amazing bags, totes and home organization products in our spring catalog,” said Hannum-Rose.

With the acquisition, Thirty-One is offering Jewel Kade stylists the opportunity to join its family of consultants. Kinkade will also carry on her role as the principal jewelry designer for JK by Thirty-One.