read / From the Editor
The monthly editor's letter offers insights and reflections of what is in each issue and what is happening within the direct selling space.
This month’s cover story is, once again, a pleasure to bring to you! One year ago we took on this project for the first time and the result was quite revealing, educational and informative. We ranked the markets that were responsible for $1 billion or more in annual revenues. The stats and facts, as always, are important, but the bigger story is the fact that each market is contributing in excess of $1 billion per year as a result of the direct selling channel. This means so much more than the revenues of the individual companies doing business in a market.
Happy New Year! It is always exhilarating to close a year and start anew. For those who celebrated closing 2010 with growth and positive momentum, we salute you! You are an inspiration for all! To all of you who are part of the direct selling way of doing business, we know that there are more than 16 million independent business owners, and millions of prospective business owners, who will be looking to you and your companies as their vehicles for renewal in 2011.
Exactly two years ago, the top stories were the election and the economy. As we now reflect on the close of another year, the stories that are still at the forefront in our minds are whether the leadership of this country is moving us toward recovery from the recession or whether we are still very deep into a recessionary economy.
With less than two months left in another year, many are already offering their assessments as to which companies were truly able to adapt to and benefit from recession in the United States. We know the direct selling business model is well suited—if not an ideal solution—to challenging times, when job eliminations have become the norm along with a high anxiety index… if there is such a thing. We also know the direct selling business model cannot sell itself; therefore, the messaging companies use to gain the attention of their sales organizations will always be critical to the performance of those companies. It is always what a company does with the model that makes the difference between survival and the ability to maintain or grow during the challenging period.
This past month, our industry lost a passionate advocate. Harry Hersey Jr., DSA Hall of Famer and former company owner, leader and longtime consultant for many, left us in an unfortunate accident. Those of us who knew Harry will always remember him, not just for his sincere friendship but for what he believed direct selling means to the people who choose it as a way to build a business on their terms. Harry will be missed!
The big news within the industry over the past 30 days has been the Avon acquisition of Silpada! When we saw the first release come through we could only think: “WOW! What a story!” Having been around the direct selling industry for many years it was not difficult for me to remember the beginnings of Silpada, for it was only about 13 years ago that they started. If you don’t know the story, it is definitely worth a trip to their website to browse this company and review its beginnings and its mission. Talk about dreams coming true, this is quite a story, but there are many stories within this story.