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October 01, 2011

Cover Story

The Pink Economy


A Rosy Future

by Amy Bell

As an increasing number of professionals seek out creative new ways to earn income, the Pink Economy continues to expand and strengthen—and new direct selling companies are emerging across the globe. Here are a few of the most recently successful direct selling entrants:

  • Gigi Hill: Gigi Hill produces high-quality, fashionable and functional handbags for on-the-go women, which are sold by stylists at in-home parties. This fast-growing company was founded by Gabrielle DeSantis-Cummings and Monica Hillman.
  • J. Hilburn: Offering exclusive Italian shirting and trouser fabrics, luxury performance knits, and a top-shelf accessories line, J. Hilburn was founded by Hil Davis and Veeral Rathod—two former Wall Street professionals with a passion for custom-made dress clothes. The company’s style consultants build strong relationships with their clients, serving as the critical link between the customer and J. Hilburn.
  • bamboopink: Founded by Frances Gadbois, Debbie Millar and Jude Steele, bamboopink produces beautifully designed, affordable jewelry, sold by company consultants at in-home trunk shows.
  • Exercise Party®: This new, out-of-the-box direct selling company is all about women teaching women how to eat better and move more. Offering a wide variety of exercise and nutrition products, Exercise Party directors organize in-home parties designed to help women make positive changes for a healthier lifestyle.
  • Thirty-One Gifts: Thirty-One Gifts was founded by Cindy Monroe, who began sewing purses with one machine in the basement of her Chattanooga, Tenn. home eight years ago. Today, with more than 40,000 consultants nationwide, the blossoming direct sales company offers a full range of stylish, affordable products, from signature purses and totes to storage solutions.
  • Votre Vu: Launched in 2008 by American entrepreneur Harold Zimmerman, Votre Vu offers an array of luxurious French-inspired, botanically infused skincare and hair products. The company’s “brand ambassadors” sell everything from face crèmes and serums to shampoos and beauty beverages.
  • Azuli Skye: Founded by Deborah McNaughton, Azuli Skye produces high-quality, affordable jewelry handcrafted by artisans at the company’s headquarters in North Carolina. The company’s consultants sell jewelry made of fine materials, including sterling silver, Swarovski crystal, semiprecious gems and custom handmade beads.
  • Chartreuse: Chartreuse offers an array of green-friendly products, from chic shopping bags and cleaning solutions to organic personal care, baby products and Reusable Essentials—all sold through a network of consultants at home parties. This up-and-coming direct sales company was founded by Laurie Walter.
  • Team Beachbody: For more than 10 years, Team Beachbody has been producing the nation’s most popular in-home fitness programs. However, when the company realized that the best means of promotion was not TV ads but Beachbody customers themselves, they launched the Team Beachbody Coaching Network. Within one year, the program grew from 17,000 in-home coaches to more than 50,000.