My History With Network Marketing (MLM)

Tracy - 8-24-2017

All Makeup by AVON

I remember first hearing about home-based businesses when I was a child…probably around age 8 or 10. I baby sat for someone who was a Jafra rep…though I didn’t know what that meant. Just that she had some special skincare products in he bathroom with royal bee honey in them…that part really stuck with me. Because I thought it was strange that there would be face cream with special jelly that apparently came from queen bees and it was supposed to make your skin look amazing.

Likewise, I remember hearing about Shaklee when I was about the same age. I was tall for my age and always thought it would be glamorous to become a fashion model. So, when there was a weekly evening class on modeling being offered at my grade school by a former model and “miss” something or other I signed right up. I remember one class was held in her home and she used some skincare products on us that were from that company. Again, the concept stuck in my head that these were products that couldn’t be purchased at a store. You had to get them from someone who was a representative. I also recall hearing about Herbalife and saw television programs featuring people who had earned piles of money selling their vitamins and supplements. But I never did try the products or know anyone personally who was a distributor.

But the seed had been planted in my brain early on about becoming an entrepreneur.

Then when I started dating the boy who would become my first husband I really got a taste of what multi-level marketing was all about. His parents were very active Amway distributors and over the course of our courtship and first few years of marriage they became quite successful, attaining Gold Distributorship status. I watched as they moved from their small, older home into a large, brand-new home and purchased two new cars…all funded by their Amway business. After attending several home meetings conducted by them we decided to sign up and give it a go ourselves.

But shortly after we were married my new husband joined the Army and we moved away to another state, far from home and family. We tried to build the business ourselves but just didn’t have the local connections or support system that we would have had back in our home town.

Yet, I believed in the power of Word of Mouth marketing. It just made sense to me to that a manufacturer should skip paying all of the advertising and marketing dollars spent in traditional product promotion, and instead reward each person with a commission for any sale that resulted because they told a friend about a particular product. Duh. That’s a real WIN-WIN!

And that was my initial introduction to network marketing. I fell in love with the concept. So much so that, with the help of my current husband, I started my own mail-order gourmet coffee, tea, hot cocoa, biscotti and treats mlm company. We called it Brown Paper Coffee Company (BPCC for short) and we ran that business for more than three years, with consultants I recruited in five different states.

But that’s a story for another time 😉

Below is a list of the TWENTY FOUR (24) network marketing companies I have joined over the years. I’ll give a brief description of each below but will write a detailed overview of my thoughts and opinions on each one at a later date. Some I can recommend and I’ll tell you why. Others I don’t feel so good about…and I’ll tell you about that, too.

MLM Businesses I Have Joined –

Amway – As I mentioned above, Amway was my first experience with multi-level marketing. They offer a very wide range of products from health and nutritional supplements to skincare, hair care, cosmetics, fragrances, household cleaners, laundry supplies, jewelry, clothing, car care, and more.

 

 

Tupperware – Offers a wide variety of food storage, cookware, and other useful plastic items.

 

Mary Kay – Higher-end cosmetics and skincare company.

 

Avon – They offer a very wide variety of products from skincare, cosmetics, bath and body, fragrances, hair care and jewelry, to clothing, children’s products, home decor, and recently have even added a line of health and nutritional supplements. (Feel free to visit my AVON store here: http://www.youravon.com/TracyJohnsonPDX )

 

Rexall Showcase International – Out of Business. They offered primarily weight-loss, nutritional, and health and wellness products.

 

 

 

 

 

House of Lloyd/Christmas Around The World – Out of Business. They specialized in home decor and Christmas decoration items.

 

 

 

 

 

NuSkin – I joined as a distributor then later actually worked as an employee at their facility in Provo, Utah for four years. They offer a comprehensive line of higher-end health and wellness products.

 

 

bpcc_logo**BROWN PAPER COFFEE COMPANY** – My Own Gourmet Coffee Network Marketing Company. I’ll write a separate post about this at a later date.

 

 

 

Party Lite – Offering a wide range of fragranced candles, other home scents, candle holders and associated decorative items.

 

At Home America – Out of Business. They offered a wonderful selection of contemporary country-style home decor items.

 

 

 

 

 

Isagenix – Primarily weight-loss and other health and wellness products.

 

 

Xocai – Healthy Chocolate!

 

 

 

 

Pampered Chef – Offering a wonderful selection of cooking utensils and other chef-oriented products.

 

 

AmeriPlan – Affordable discount health-care coverage for the entire household on a subscription basis. Offering access to a vast network of healthcare professionals who offer their services at a discount when the patient pays cash at time of service. Not insurance coverage.

 

 

 

Park Lane Jewelry – Distinctive jewelry and accessories.

 

 

Scent-Sations – Offering a delicious selection of premium natural wax candles and melts.

 

 

Younique – Higher-end, all-natural cosmetics.

 

 

 

 

 

Jamberry – An amazing variety of beautiful and adorable heat-applied nail stickers. An alternative to nail polish. Styles available for both adults and children. Even designs with licensed Disney and NFL art/logos.

 

 

Purium – Primarily weight-loss and other health and wellness products.

 

Asirvia – High-tech, “proximity marketing” devices.

 

 

It Works! – Primarily weight-loss and other health and wellness products. Their “flagship” product is the “Wrap” that is impregnated with a botanical mixture that helps to release water and weight when applied regularly.

 

 

Senegence – Long-lasting, higher-end cosmetics. Their “flagship” product is “LipSense” – a lip _stain_ that will not come off on beverage glasses, clothing, or others. It mostly only comes off with their signature remover.

 

Magnabilities – A line of inter-changable magnetic jewelry and accessories.

 

 

Melaleuca – They offer a wide range of products from health and nutritional supplements to skincare, hair care, cosmetics, fragrances, household cleaners, laundry supplies and more. Most, if not all their products, contain their signature ingredient, Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca oil).

 

 

New U Life – The only FDA registered, topically-applied HGH (Human Growth Hormone) gel available on the market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playing with the Laser Engraver

They said it was just like using a printer. And it kind of is…

Epilog Helix

A REALLY COMPLICATED PRINTER ON STEROIDS!

A printer with lots of diverse settings that have to be adjusted for power and speed and resolution and dithering effect, and, and, and… Not just that…those things (and more) have to be re-calibrated for each different type of material you are “printing” onto. For example; the settings you might use to achieve the perfect depth of burn of a logo on birch might be entirely different from the settings you would choose for that same image on say, walnut or bass wood. Much less leather or cardboard! Additionally, the settings you might use to achieve the desired shade and intensity in a plaque expressing a sentiment in words using a specific font would be entirely WRONG for the correct pixelation needed in a photograph where white space around each pixel is not only desirable but required in order to see the depth of detail in photo reproduction.

So, ya…this machine is industrial-grade and takes quite a bit of training and experimentation in order to come up to speed so that we can comfortably add laser-engraving services to my current offering.

Below are a couple of images of recent test projects…

I wanted to try out various settings to see what kind of results I could get with a photograph. I kind of wish I had taken pictures of the earlier renditions of this, lol! But I think we’re getting it nailed…slowly but surely!

I burned the smaller version onto a piece of thick leather first. And I’ve got to say that I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.

So, I thought I’d try it in a larger size and this time on a 12″x12″ square of birch…which is quite a bit harder material than the leather.

Trust me when I tell you that this one took SEVERAL ATTEMPTS to finally achieve this output. But…I _am_ pleased with the final result.

We have also been practicing on ceramic tile and have some acrylic sheeting on order so that we can learn on those, too.

We haven’t even tried cutting shapes out with the laser engraver, yet. That’s coming next!

I’ll keep you posted.

This is kind of fun…but tricky, too!

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Best,

Tracy