When all you’ve known is the peak, the way you handle the inevitable valley reveals just how dedicated you are to the journey. Direct selling veterans Jason Camper and Paul Gravette share the hard-earned lessons they learned from decades in the industry with their record-shattering team at Le-Vel, with eyes on establishing a legacy organization.
Le-Vel exploded into the direct selling arena in 2012, paying little heed to the industry’s already crowded health and wellness space. Co-founders Jason Camper and Paul Gravette launched Le-Vel as an exclusively cloud-based business—no physical headquarters, enviably low expenses. But with deep experience in health and wellness, the pair set out to offer more than an innovative business model—they created an opportunity that would attract a new kind of direct seller—one who had never considered the industry before. And they succeeded. Today, Le-Vel has a field of Promoters, the vast majority brand new to direct sales. These “THRIVERS” hit sales goal after sales goal, consistently expanding at a click of $100 million each year before exceeding a billion dollars in less than five years, and hitting more than two billion dollars less than 2 years later.
However, with decades of industry experience, Camper and Gravette are more concerned with building a business that lasts than shattering more sales goals. They understand that while explosive growth is terrific for a season, legacy companies are built from consistency, maturity and stability. In the last few years, the company has slowed slightly from breakneck speed to life in the fast lane—still accelerating but settling into a more consistent momentum.
“In the last couple years, we’ve seen the company mature more than anything,” says Camper. “We came out of crazy hyper-growth when the company was growing by a hundred million dollars a year, which was just unprecedented at that time. So, we’re seeing the field mature, seeing the brand mature, seeing the brand take on a life of its own instead of what we designed it to be. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen the company really grow up.”
A New Season
For the direct selling newcomers at Le-Vel, the company’s intense launch and the rapid pattern of growth that followed kept them engaged, selling and building teams. As those years of frenzied growth came to a close, the THRIVERS in the field had to adjust to a new pace and a new season.
“A couple of years ago, all anyone knew was just this crazy, crazy growth,” explains Camper. “The field was thrown off like, ‘whoa, whoa, hold on a minute.’ All we’re used to seeing is numbers doubling every month. It required them to become more mature and understand that business and life have up cycles and down cycles. That’s what I really mean when I say we’ve seen the company mature over the last couple of years. It was really the field. It was really the culture. It was all of the business dynamics as we settle into a company that’s going to be a household brand for many, many, many years to come.”
According to Camper and Gravette, their field not only adjusted but THRIVED, learning how to build profitable and sustainable businesses in seasons of both crazy and quiet. Le-Vel’s focus on rewards, promotions and nonstop support for new THRIVERS has been a constant, keeping the field engaged and excited regardless of the season.
“As our years progress, we work hard to make sure the newest THRIVERS are always surprised with a new reward promotion and, to me, this is what keeps us in the trenches and focused on a legacy company,” says Gravette. “Our growth is predominantly new customers, but we’re also constantly introducing new and bigger rewards for the field.”
Le-Vel’s field of unlikely direct sellers is “a different caliber of people,” according to Camper—competitive, 75 percent female and passionate about the product they’re sharing.
“Our culture is one of caring for people and their health—and it always has been,” says Gravette. “That includes both our corporate and field organizations. It begins with THRIVE as the product line for health, as well as our business model for our THRIVERS in the field. They’re out there helping others live a life they deserve—that’s been a belief we’ve held onto from the very first online orders. Our promoters truly believe in the THRIVE Experience and continue to share it and our incredible culture with passion.”
The THRIVE Experience is Le-Vel’s flagship product line and consists of three steps: Premium Lifestyle Capsules, Ultra Micronized Shake Mix and Lifestyle DFT (Derma Fusion Technology). Since Le-Vel’s launch, the product line has expanded significantly to include THRIVE PLUS products for hydration, weight loss, antioxidant support, sleep, nutrition, digestion and more, as well as specialized DFT products. In mid-2019, the company also launched a CBD based skincare line.
Those interested in Le-Vel can access products by signing up as either a Customer or Promoter—both options are free. Newly enrolled Customers can order discounted products through the company’s autoship program and also have the option of sharing THRIVE with two friends to earn free product credits. Promoters don’t pay to join, incur monthly membership or website fees or need to buy a kit. Since the business is cloud-based, new THRIVERS can access all training and resources from their phone or computer.
While the company finds a new sustainable pace, Camper and Gravette refuse to settle. New products, new technologies and fresh field promotions are all on deck for 2021, in addition to new philanthropic partnerships and a live, in-person promoter event in late spring.
“Our focus on better health for everyone is more important today than at any time in our history,” says Gravette. “Our THRIVE Experience helps boost the immune system with natural ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, plant-based extracts, antioxidants, enzymes, probiotics and amino acids. Our customers are very savvy when it comes to their health and the latest methods for staying healthy, so we take great pride in the fact that they continue to trust our products to improve their health and wellness.”
With over 30 patents and counting, there’s no slowing down Le-Vel’s product development. This February saw the release of a new ultra pre and probiotic formula designed to target gut health, as well as a new DFT formulation exclusively available through the company’s newly launched Thrive Against Cancer Program. Each month, the program will spotlight a different form of cancer, partnering with nonprofit organizations to support research efforts through the sale of specially designed DFT products.
“The toughest thing has been, where do we go from here?” asks Camper. “When you have this incredible rocket ship, incredible product line, you’re the fastest-growing company from zero to a billion dollars, you’re this and you’re that, and you’ve done this and done that—where do you go? It’s very challenging to wake up the next day, go to the drawing board and put something revolutionary yet again in play. It’s challenging, but it’s possible. We’re very hard to beat.”
With more products and promotions up its sleeve for this year and beyond, Le-Vel may be maturing, but the company hasn’t lost its fresh approach to innovation.