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August 20, 2014

News in Brief

News in Brief, September 2014

Click here to order the October 2014 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

Mary Kay Sponsors Emmy-Nominated Project Runway

Mary Kay is the official beauty sponsor of season 13 of Lifetime’s Emmy-nominated hit series, Project Runway. The show’s celebrity makeup artists will exclusively use Mary Kay products on the show as aspiring designers compete for fashion’s top spot.

The iconic beauty company will take center stage in front of a weekly, national audience as a new group of up-and-coming designers finish their runway looks in the Mary Kay Color Design Studio in every episode. Fans of the hit show will get a behind-the-scenes look and learn how to achieve runway-inspired looks at home.

The show, which concludes in October, features budding designers going head-to-head during weekly challenges in order to leave a lasting impression on Emmy winners Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, in addition to well-known guest judges. While this is Mary Kay’s first sponsorship of the flagship series, Project Runway, the company also served as the official beauty sponsor of Project Runway All Stars Season 3 in 2013 and will continue the partnership for Project Runway All Stars Season 4 later this year.

Herbalife Announces China Manufacturing Expansion

Global nutrition company Herbalife Ltd. recently announced plans to expand its manufacturing capabilities in China, in preparation for anticipated growth in this strategically important market. Herbalife has existing manufacturing facilities in Suzhou and a botanical extraction plant in Changsha.

Herbalife has selected an existing, newly built facility in Jiangning High-tech Industry Park (JHIP), Nanjing, as the site of its new facility. Herbalife will invest up to US$40 million in a first phase of development, to bring the facility up to the highest operating standards. This first phase is expected to be complete and the facility operational by the end of 2015, with the potential for a second phase of development.

The new facility will ultimately provide up to 65 percent of the company’s total product requirements in China. Herbalife received its first direct-selling license in China in March 2007 and now has licenses for the company to conduct its direct-selling business in 25 provinces, municipalities or autonomous regions.

Stella & Dot Foundation Aligns with Every Mother Counts

Fashion and accessories brand Stella & Dot recently re-launched its foundation in partnership with Every Mother Counts, a campaign dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. The Stella & Dot Foundation was created in 2010 to further the company’s mission of helping women style their own lives.

Every Mother Counts currently operates in Indonesia, Haiti, Uganda, Malawi and the United States. The organization was founded by Christy Turlington Burns, a model, entrepreneur and activist named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2014. Burns directed the documentary No Woman, No Cry to raise awareness of the women dying—287,000 every year—due to largely avoidable complications during pregnancy.

To kick off the new partnership, all net proceeds of the Stella & Dot Foundation’s new Enlighten Bracelet will benefit Every Mother Counts. At Every Mother Counts, 100 percent of every donation goes to programs supporting its mission around the world.

Tomboy Tools Unveils New Name and Products

Tomboy Tools recently unveiled a new name and logo, new products, new categories and new marketing initiatives. The company will now do business under the name Project Home™, with the tag line, “Making your vision real.” 

The company will continue to use the brand name Tomboy Tools for its line of tools designed especially for women. The brand’s revamped product categories include safety and security; beautification (painting, picture hanging, cabinet hardware); organization; outdoor; Tool School™ and home maintenance. 

Tomboy Tools was founded in 2002 with a mission of building confidence and empowering women through education, quality products and an independent business opportunity. Its products are sold by its more than 1,000 Home Consultants in the United States and Canada through home parties, using hands-on education that is fun and practical. The company moved its headquarters from Colorado to Newark, Ohio, last year.

Medifast Awards $100,000 Cancer Research Grant

Medifast Inc., a manufacturer and provider of clinically proven weight-loss products and programs, recently announced a $100,000 grant to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, one of the nation’s leading cancer research funding organizations.

The grant is the product of a multi-faceted partnership between Medifast and The V Foundation, to explore links between obesity and cancer and the impact of healthy living on preventing cancer. Clinical research will be led by Parveen Bhatti, Ph.D., from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Washington.

Founded in 1980 and based in Owings Mills, Maryland, Medifast sells its products and programs via four unique distribution channels: the Web and national call centers, the Take Shape For Life personal coaching division, Medifast Weight Control Centers, and a national network of physicians.

Ahni & Zoe Closes Its Doors

After emerging from its second bankruptcy in five years, Ahni & Zoe—formerly Creative Memories—announced it would close its direct selling business in August. The St. Cloud, Minnesota-based scrapbooking company terminated contracts with its consultants Sept. 3.

Calling the decision “disappointing and disheartening,” CEO Chris Veit informed consultants of the company’s agreement to sell the assets of the Antioch Liquidating Trust (formerly Creative Memories) and Ahni & Zoe to Flowerdale Group Limited of Hong Kong.

Flowerdale Chairman Caleb Hayhoe informed consultants of the group’s plans to relocate to a new manufacturing facility in St. Cloud and invest in a new business that builds and improves upon the existing product line. Under the Creative Memories brand, the company employed as many as 1,100 people and supported 70,000 consultants worldwide.

Ambit Energy Launches Power Payback Program

Retail energy provider Ambit Energy recently introduced its Power Payback program to reward Texas customers who reduce energy use during periods of extreme electricity demand. The program provides users with bill credit if they reduce their consumption during designated time periods.

Under the program, customers in Texas who have Smart Meters will receive advance notification of an impending period of extreme electricity demand. They then have the opportunity to cut back on their electricity use during the specified time. If their electricity usage during this time is lower than their average during that period, they receive a bill credit of $1 for every kilowatt-hour saved.

Based in Dallas, Ambit Energy provides electricity and natural gas services in deregulated markets across the United States, primarily marketed through a direct sales channel of more than 150,000 independent consultants.

ViSalus Sponsors American Youth Football

American Youth Football & Cheer Inc. (AYF) recently selected weight-loss and nutrition company ViSalus as its Official Nutrition and Wellness Sponsor. In this year’s fundraisers, AYF athletes will cash in on personal health goals by selling ViSalus nutrition products.

AYF works within communities to train children in football or cheer, with a strong emphasis on positive traits like self-confidence, teamwork, self-discipline and community involvement. The organization, which often establishes programs where children cannot access them through the school system, serves more than 1 million members nationwide.

ViSalus offers its users an added weight-loss incentive through the PROJECT 10 Kids program. The company’s trademark PROJECT 10 Challenge encourages customers to lose 10 pounds of fat or add 10 pounds of lean muscle. Every time a person meets the challenge, the company donates 30 of its Vi-Shape Nutritional Shake Meals to a child in need.

DSA Canada Announces Industry Honors

The Direct Sellers Association of Canada announced its 2014 award recipients at the association’s 60th Annual Conference held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. DSA Canada represents over 700,000 Canadian independent sales contractors who generate nearly $2 billion per year in sales. The following individuals were honored for their contributions to the direct selling industry:

  • Ivan P. Phelan Award—Joan Lee, DSA Canada
  • Mark of Distinction Award—Yali Ma, Nu Skin
  • Community Spirit Award—Mark Ma and Xueyun Lin, Amway; Kathryn Wall, lia sophia
  • Making a Difference Award—The Arbonne Charitable Foundation
  • Industry Innovation Award—Amway Canada
  • DSEF Circle of Distinction Award—Janice Gerol, The Pampered Chef
  • Distinguished Service Award—Angela Abdallah, Amway Canada; Dahna Sanderson, The Pampered Chef; and Tracie Graham, PartyLite Gifts

DSA Canada also awarded five $1,000 scholarships to either deserving children of active Independent Sales Consultants (ISCs) of DSA member companies, or ISCs who themselves are students. This year, the DSA also awarded one new scholarship in the amount of $1,000 to a deserving child of a DSA member company employee. The six recipients of the 2014 DSA Academic Scholarships are:

  • Madeleine Assiniwe, Mary Kay Cosmetics
  • Joanna Lai, Amway Canada
  • Naomie Levesque Savoie, Scentsy Canada
  • Andrei Purcarus, USANA Health Sciences
  • Jessica Rempel, PartyLite Gifts
  • Alexandra Smith, Mary Kay Cosmetics

Grants for educational initiatives are made possible through support from the Direct Selling Education Foundation of Canada (DSEF). The DSEF is a not-for-profit organization established by the Canadian DSA in 1994. The foundation promotes public awareness of the direct selling industry in Canada and serves the public interest through educational programs and research into direct sales and micro enterprise.