Photo above: Origami Owl Co-Founders Bella and Chrissy Weems celebrate the company’s second annual conference, highlighted by record attendance, exciting new product launches and recognition of charitable giving.
One of the fastest-growing companies in direct sales, 4-year-old jewelry company Origami Owl, held its second national conference July 24-26.
O2 Grow Experience pulled 4,400 designers to the Phoenix Convention Center, near the company’s Chandler, Arizona headquarters. A year ago, the conference had approximately 2,200 attendees. With a large portion of out-of-town delegates, the convention center estimates the 2014 event generated more than $4.3 million in direct spending for the area.
Origami Owl Founder and Co-President Chrissy Weems said the growth in attendees felt unfathomable.
“It really speaks to our mission and who we are as a company and our genuine intention to make a difference in the world,” she told Direct Selling News. “…More than anything, we’re just unbelievably blessed.”
Origami Owl had $233 million in revenue in 2013, earning it the No. 50 spot on the DSN Global 100 list of the world’s largest direct selling companies. That was an 870-percent increase—the largest gain of any company on the list—from $22 million in 2012, its first year using the distribution channel. This financial feat also secured the company this year’s DSN Bravo Growth Award Based on Percentage.
During the convention—between a schedule packed with inspiration, new product announcements and learning—Chief Operating Officer Kevin Raulston shared from the stage some of the improvements the company has made in managing its supply chain and customer service. Since last year, Origami Owl has seen an 84 percent increase in orders and a 128 percent increase in call volume. Yet, it has improved order accuracy from 85 percent in June 2013 to more than 97 percent in June 2014, decreased backorders from 30,000 to zero and reduced the speed of answer in its call center from an average of 62 minutes to just 41 seconds.
“Managing growth has been a challenge all along the way,” Weems said. “We really have been guided to the right people. Finding the right talent, with the right cultural fit, to really help our organization and bring in expertise. We might not have certain knowledge, but there is someone out there who does, and for some reason they always find their way to us.”
Among the newest hires is Chief Sales Officer Sandy Spielmaker, who brings with her nearly seven years of experience in direct selling as well as marketing, sales and management experience with other consumer product companies. She introduced herself to the Origami Owl designers from the convention stage just three days into her new role. Another recent hire is Vice President of Information Technology Mike Green, who brings more than 13 years experience in IT for direct selling companies. And Tricia Chiodo, who joined the company in January, has taken on the role of Co-President while she remains acting CFO.
“As we’ve grown, we meet the critical needs when they come about,” Weems said. “With Sandy in particular, we needed a chief sales officer. We’ve grown to that point where we need her expertise, but more than that, we need someone who can lead us into the future. She has global experience, and so it’s a game-changer for us.”
As the company grows, so too does the array of benefits available to its independent salesforce. Origami Owl announced a partnership with Plano, Texas-based benefits company Agentra to give designers access to health insurance plans. And the company also unveiled an online education platform built with help from San Francisco, California-based 6connect and leadership consultant Casey Reason. Dubbed O2 Academy, the program includes professional and personal development modules as well as access to college credit through a partnership with Grand Canyon University.
Don’t expect to see Origami Owl slow down anytime soon, Weems said.
“I really, truly believe Origami Owl is in the infancy of our growth,” she said. “We’re just barely getting started, and we’ve done exceptionally well, but we have a much more grand vision than where we are now—and that is to be a global force for good.”
Photo Above: At this year’s conference, Founder Chrissy Weems introduces Origami Owl’s newly launched collection of elegant crystal embellished jewelry, made by the world-renowned crystal brand, Swarovski.