Letter from John Fleming, June 2014

We are always proud to announce the DSN Global 100! Those companies that participate reveal not only a level of performance, but a very transparent look at who they are and what they do. The ranking allows for a compilation of stats, facts and profiles that serve to identify the impact these companies are having on lives and economies around the world. We now know that the ranking is often used by companies and observers as somewhat of a benchmark. Every company in every slot participated by sharing their basic information for the greater benefit of showing the impact the direct selling channel of distribution has on the lives of people. Behind the numbers are the many stories of people from all walks of life who are benefiting from the products and services sold by independent business owners. There are so many stories to tell, and in this issue we will tell a few about the companies and individuals who were recognized for special achievement due to performance and their individual work. 

John FlemingOn April 23 at our annual celebration, we presented our 2013 Bravo Awards in three categories, Growth (both percentage increase over prior year and revenue increase over prior year), Leadership and Humanitarian effort. We think you will enjoy reading the highlights of everything that happened and more about the honorees who received those awards. Most importantly, we extend our appreciation and gratitude to all who joined us on the evening of April 23 and all of the companies who sponsored tables, which enabled a most enjoyable event.

For us, each year of hosting the DSN Global 100 Celebration has certainly resulted in a feeling of “this was truly the best ever or best to date.” Our keynote speakers have delivered messages that have served to inform and inspire, captivate and motivate the audience of attendees to realize the long-term effect of what the direct selling industry does in offering an opportunity for people to be primary players in the free enterprise system. Our performance as an industry is always based upon the combined efforts of all of the cast members; for the Global 100, it is the many different companies that comprise what we refer to as the direct selling industry.

Direct Selling may not be the two words every company uses to describe itself, but in all cases, the companies that are using this channel are about the people—about community—and we have been about these things since the formation of the direct selling business model. At the DSN Global 100 banquet, we celebrated all of the preceding. Truman Hunt, President and CEO of Nu Skin and keynote speaker for the evening, shared beyond expectations as did every keynote speaker we have ever invited.

Our first award was historic, going to Origami Owl. It was our Bravo Growth Award Based on Percentage. I mention this award in the limited space of this note because of the extraordinary accomplishment, but also because of the founding story. This company started as a result of a 14-year-old, a goal and a parent’s insistence upon the teenager earning the privilege of enjoying what she may have thought to be an ordinary request for a 16th birthday celebration. This particular teen’s request was denied and turned into a challenge that required her to earn the prize versus being gifted it. The result: An enterprising mind-set was formed that led the teen from one idea and experience to another and finally, the founding of a big idea—Origami Owl, the company that walked away from stage with the honor of being the company with the greatest percentage increase over the prior year (870 percent), also landing in the No. 50 slot of the DSN Global 100. Bella Weems and her mother, Chrissy, accepted the award with the grace and humility of seasoned entrepreneurs, and yet their story has just begun.

Enjoy this issue and keep it for reference. Every story we tell is a reflection of the many stories you create each and every day as you lead the efforts of your companies to change lives for the better through an entrepreneurial opportunity.

The opportunity to engage in a growing and preferred channel of distribution allows the ordinary to become the extraordinary! It serves consumers the way they most enjoy—in a personal manner. The recent Harris Poll that DSN engaged tells us over two-thirds of Americans have purchased from a direct seller! The direct selling industry is leading the way in creating the New Main Street! The New Main Street is not where you find the bricks and mortar of traditional retail but where you find what you need through the personal and social interaction with another person who represents what you need, want, or want to know more about. On June 10, another DSN insert will be distributed in The Wall Street Journal, a subscriber-only edition, to define the New Main Street and what direct selling is really all about. We will offer reprints through our DSN Store—you won’t want to miss this!

Until next month… enjoy the issue!

John Fleming
Publisher and Editor in Chief

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