Throughout its 60-year history, Princess House has been known for breaking down barriers. Originally geared towards offering business opportunities to women in the 1960s, the company has grown and evolved along with women’s rapidly changing roles in society in the decades since. And when a global pandemic presented unexpected changes to every part of the economy in the spring of 2020, Princess House continued to roll with the punches. The company not only survived the COVID-19 pandemic, it also experienced such tremendous year-over-year growth that it earned the Bravo Growth Award for product-based companies.
“It’s the ultimate award,” said Lynne Coté, the Princess House CEO who took the helm of the company in January 2020, just weeks before the U.S. began quarantine measures against the spread of COVID-19. “Ultimately, growth is our goal, so the Growth Award is just icing on the cake.”
Princess House, a market leader in kitchenware and home goods, grew 114% between 2019 and 2022.
Ready for Change
Coté attributes much of this growth to the company’s structure and vision. “We’ve created a strategic plan that we call a journey vision. We like to keep all arrows going in one direction. Even through all of the chaos of the day to day, we kept that laser focus on our strategic plan. I think that’s why we’ve been successful and why we continue to be successful.”
Pre-pandemic, the Princess House field still embraced a traditional way of working a direct selling, kitchen-product business: in-person demonstrations. Although this model worked well for years, it had become limiting over time. For example, focusing on in-person sales prevented the Princess House business from expanding geographically. Before the pandemic, the company mainly did business in California and Texas.
When pandemic safety measures brought in- person selling to an abrupt end, Princess House knew that to survive, the field would have to adopt a new strategy. For most consultants, this meant venturing into the unknown and perhaps the uncomfortable.
“We like to say out of chaos comes opportunity, and we had an attentive audience who were ready to learn,” Coté said. “They opened their attitude toward ‘we’re going to try.’”
Positive Attitude. Positive Results.
The right attitude can move mountains, and that’s what happened as Princess House consultants began moving their businesses from in-person to online. While the pandemic presented situations that could have hindered the growth of home-based business, the company figured out ways to turn those potential obstacles into solutions.
Because consultants’ children were at home during the pandemic, the company encouraged consultants to get their kids in on the action. Promoting business on social media requires dependence on technology, so tech-savvy kids and teens helped their consultant-parents make videos.
Before long, Princess House consultants working their businesses through social media realized they were making more money in less time. And the geographical boundaries in both selling and recruiting were eliminated.
“That really resonated with them,” Coté said. “They saw that they were working smarter and not harder, and that they could do business anywhere.”
As the world began to open up and quarantine measures were relaxed, Princess House consultants realized they could then balance their newly acquired social media marketing skills with a return to in-person strategies—growing their businesses even more.
Primed for the Future
Stefani Shea, Vice President of Marketing, said this “both-and” strategy creates an effective balance of the efficiency of social media with the personal touch of in-person interaction. She also said the growth at Princess House doesn’t have the company resting on its laurels.
“During the pandemic, the hotels weren’t full, so they renovated,” Shea shared. “It’s the same with Princess House. We were working on growth projects in the background. We were continuing to follow that strategic road map. We built technologies, and now those are coming online. Now we can leverage the momentum and continue that growth into the future.”
Princess House has been building on this momentum to open in Mexico, where Coté said the company is growing and thriving. “Through this process, we became a very dynamic organization. We look at data every day, and if we need to shift, we shift. Now we have a clear vision of what’s going to happen with cookware, for example, over the next two years. We are in the process of launching four journey visions in different departments. The momentum keeps moving us forward. It’s a process that works.”
Congratulations to the Princess House team on this prestigious award!
From the June 2023 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.