As you know, I am a yoga teacher and naturopath specializing in Ayurveda. You may not know that since Dec. 2013 I am also an Independent Consultant and now Area Manager with Arbonne International, a health and wellness company that offers botanically based, vegan personal care and beauty products that are free from gluten, phthalates, parabens, mineral oil and other harmful toxins.
I have an amazing yoga career and I know it’s because the practices and disciplines I’ve learnt from yoga directly have influenced my life and my life success. I have been a yoga teacher for 15 years, taught around world, owned a yoga studio, have five yoga DVDs in circulation across Canada and hold the Guinness World Record for the Longest yoga marathon. I also lead a successful teacher training program, have a dedicated private yoga cliental and live and work in an amazing loft in Old Montreal. I LOVE what I do. It fulfills me in so many ways and I always excited to start my day. Given my success, one may wonder I would need anything else. For a long time, I didn’t think I did.
At 22, teaching 20-25 yoga classes was no issue. That’s what it takes to pay the bills as a full-time yoga teacher and I was happy to do it. I have good stamina and a fast metabolism. I am now 32. I still lots of passion and energy for teaching, but have come to realize that trading time for money in the service industry is limited. I only get paid when I’m physically in front of a class or client. This means that if I’m sick, injured, tired or need a break, I need to make up the lost time and income by taking on other classes and overworking before and after every vacation or time off. Plus, like many other small business entrepreneurs, I have no benefits and not much of a retirement plan.
Moreover, after 15 years, my experience and knowledge as a teacher and naturopath is vast. I have a lot more to offer now than a simple asana practice. Deep in my soul, I believe I can be of most benefit to the world by making yoga available to greater populations, particularly those who currently can’t access it, but need it the most. I would like to work with street youth, military personnel, victims of war and people who suffer with post traumatic stress disorder. Personally, I also would like to have a family of my own in the next few years. This said, I need to create more time freedom and financial stability in order to pursue these big projects. Short of charging $1000 per yoga workshop, last autumn, I decided I needed a side income, but one that wouldn’t take me off course from my yoga path.
Ask and you shall receive, right? Enter Arbonne, a company that has changed my life and many of the lives of the people I work with. I now make a healthy side income off part-time work. This allows me to be more selective of the classes I teach and focus my energy towards bigger goals, like the ones mentioned above.
Arbonne, as mentioned, manufactures and sells high quality hair, skin and nutrition products through word of mouth. Yup, it’s a network marketing company and it’s genius. I am a natural networker and relationship builder, so it’s like I was made for this type of business. (Network Marketing is actually the fastest growing industry in Canada and is a 167 billion dollar industry, more than the music, movie & gaming industries combined. As an industry, it has comes leaps and bounds in the past few decades and is in fact being taught in business schools & universities as the next wave of doing business.)
Actually, Arbonne is a a hybrid of direct selling and network marketing so you get to benefit from both. You make a commission when clients purchase products and if you build a team, you leverage your time, because (like any franchise) you are paid on the total volume that goes through your business–both through you personally and through your network’s volume. Super interesting.
But I didn’t understand network marketing or how it worked when I was first introduced to Arbonne. I scoffed at the idea of ‘selling’ cosmetics. I was not interested in being a ‘sales-lady’ and I felt it was beneath me. Other than yoga classes, I had never sold anything in my life. My jobs had consisted of babysitter, lifeguard, swimming coach, yoga teacher and naturopath. I never worked in a store or in restaurant. But then my friend Nayri, a make up artist, spa owner and Arbonne Consultant, said something that made me pause and reflect:
“You recommend products you like all the time. Why wouldn’t you want to get paid to do that?” She asked. She was right. I had been an ambassador for several healthy living brands and have indirectly sold thousands of dollars in product for them, but never once got a pay check. Nonetheless, my integrity and reputation is more important to me, than money (sometimes to a fault). I could never recommend something that I didn’t believe in and that didn’t align with my values. So I researched the company and what they stand for.
Here’s what impressed me the most about Arbonne:
- Arbonne was started in 1980, so they’ve been around for a long time, and have survived the highs and lows of the economy. Plus, health and wellness has always been their focus. They didn’t jump on the green, organic band wagon, because it’s trendy. Arbonne is a trailblazer, and in some ways, so am I.
- Their products adhere to the Swiss and EU safety standards which are much stricter than the North American standards, i.e. no mineral oil or harmful petroleum by-products, or known carcinogens like parabens, phthaltes, sodium laurel sulphates, etc. As well, they have never tested on animals and their products contain no animal by-products. Good, because my lifestyle is plant-based too.
- They have strong leadership :
CEO Kay Napier was formerly head of Women’s Health & Vitality at Proctor & Gamble (the company’s number one division) and later served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing at McDonald’s, where she spearheaded the launch of the healthy lifestyles campaign (the salad, wraps, apples, etc)—an important part of McDonald’s legendary corporate turnaround after the “Supersize Me” documentary.
Dr. Peter Matravers, Senior VP of Research and Development at Arbonne, has over 25 years experience cosmetics industry and has a background in Ayurveda! Before Arbonne, he was instrumental in the success of Neutrogena and Aveda. (Before Aveda was sold to Estee Lauder and their formulations changed, I was an Aveda fan since age 14. I would save my babysitting money, take the bus downtown and buy Aveda shampoo.) Dr Matravers is one of the top botanical scientists in the world and holds over 20 U.S. and international patents in these areas chemistry and botany. He exclusively works with Arbonne.
- Arbonne is only in four countries (US, Canada, UK and Australia), but they are expanding into more, which is cool, because consultants can start businesses in any country Arbonne distributes. Next month, Arbonne moves into Poland! (Great for me, because I’m Polish and would love to build a business there with my friends and family.) Next year, Taiwan. Lot’s of potential!
- Arbonne is an internet based business. I don’t stock product and go door to door. Never. I simply recommend the products I like and show people how to order them online. I can do this business from anywhere: at home or when travelling. Perfect for my nomadic lifestyle.
- The Arbonne Charitable Foundation supports grass roots projects in all the countries Arbonne is distributed. CEO Kay Napier’s goal is to make Arbonne the number one network marketing company to give back. Plus, all the admin fees for running their charitable fund are paid by Arbonne corporate as opposed to coming out of the donations raised.
- Arbonne has a carbon neutral certification and they are always seeking ways to become greener and safer.
- They have 460+ consumable products including six different skin care lines ranging from baby to anti-aging. (My skin has never looked and felt so good!)
- On the business side, Arbonne has a very fair, generous and award winning compensation plan that allows consultants like me to make a full time salary off part-time work. Plus, you don’t get paid to ‘recruit’ or train new consultants. You are only successful if you help others be successful. And I like mentoring and helping people, so this is rewarding on many levels.
- Lastly, this business is ideal for busy people like me. Like in other franchise like businesses, everything is ready to go — products, website, marketing tool, distribution system and customer service department. I didn’t have to do anything but try the products, love them, learn why both the products and company are special, and then share this information with others. There is a simple system to follow and so much support available both from Arbonne corporate and from the consultants themselves.
I am super proud to represent Arbonne. Their prestige level products stand for themselves, as does the company. I have met some incredible Arbonne Consultants of all ages and from all walks of life — doctors, teachers, hairdressers, students, corporate people; anyone can do this business. On my Arbonne team, there currently about 30 people ranging in age from 20 to 72. It’s amazing to watch them grow each and every month. It fills me with joy and wonder to think of where will be in a year, two years and even ten years.
If you would like to know more about Arbonne and how to get involved either as a customer or maybe even a consultant, contact me. I’d be happy to connect with you.