Since the first pearlized pink Cadillac hit the streets in 1969, the distinctive luxury car has represented a symbol of achievement to generations of Mary Kay consultants. This month the 50-year-old company unveiled a new look with the latest addition to its Career Car program, a sleek black BMW 320i.

Amid what the Economist Intelligence Unit calls “the rise of the customer-led economy,” many businesses are expanding e-commerce offerings as consumers increasingly turn to online shopping.

During a recent Rodan + Fields Leadership Summit in Nashville, one of the company’s top 10 markets, Chairman Amnon Rodan and President and CEO Lori Bush shared insights on the company’s evolution and business model in a Q&A for The Tennessean.

Despite the challenges direct sellers faced in the past year, the industry’s publicly held companies concluded 2013 on a very optimistic note. Those U.S.-based, public companies which generate revenue solely through direct sales saw share prices rise an average of 188.25 percent over 2012.

German household products manufacturer Vorwerk introduced its original multi-function Thermomix kitchen appliance—the VM 2200—in the 1970s.

Reliv International’s charitable arm, the Reliv Kalogris Foundation (RKF), recently announced the opening of the St. John the Baptist National School, a milestone in its ongoing work with orphans in Petite-Anse, Haiti.

Over half of Britain’s population tried to lose weight last year, according to a recent report by market research firm Mintel. However, the desire to shed excess weight has not equated to strong sales of diet food products, which increased just 7 percent over the last five years.

Though India’s direct selling industry saw about 12 percent growth during the last fiscal year, direct sellers face an uphill slog amid the country’s unfavorable economic conditions and regulatory climate.

In the U.S., women represent about 80 percent of direct sellers. In a new report titled Marketing to the “Likeable” Mom, SheKnows and Harris Interactive provide insight into the online behaviors of that core demographic.

A recent Bloomberg report highlighted Natura’s interest in expanding its business, still largely centered in Brazil, into additional Latin American markets. The cosmetics company is simultaneously refining its digital strategy to equip Natura consultants as social connections increasingly occur online.

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