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Richard Darrah with Self Made Beauty

Avon Independent Sales Representative

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Campaign 9
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Friday, March 29, 2013

AVON CEO Vows To Turn Company Around

The Forbes Article on February 27, 2013, focused on an interview with Avon's new CEO Sheri McCoy.  Within that article Ms. McCoy states that she does have a plan to restore the 126 year old beauty company to its former glory.  However, she doesn't really go into specifics on how she's going to do it.

To give her credit she did state that she needs to turn the focus on the representatives and ensure that they are successful.  I say great!  However, this entire new year in 2013 seems to be focused on recruiting new representatives and advertising for that instead of making the brand of Avon "hot" again.

When is Avon going to figure out that in order to make a profit the representatives have to have customers willing to buy the product? Creating more competition for the sale isn't going to help that.  Yes, the traditional way representatives and the company have been successful is by door-to-door sales.  However, since the 1970's that door-to-door market has been declining and ever to hard for a representative.  Besides, who has time for it?  Certainly not most potential customers.   This is an instant and I want it now society....They also want what works and with the economy they need it at a good price.  Our culture in the United States has changed.  We're either too busy to be bothered with door to door sales persons or we find it an intrusion of our private households.  Most Americans that I know don't like sales people at their doors anymore and see it as a bother and an intrusion.

Avon would actually benefit and so would the current representatives if they focused their advertising actually on the product and the economical side of choosing that product. Why pay so much on products when Avon actually has the equivalent or even a better product for so much less?

When Avon starts promoting their products as a great product with economical benefits the representatives will have more customers which will lead to more sales.  Those sales will benefit the representatives and the company.  Avon will become more popular and more people will want to become representatives.  It will create a domino or snowball effect.  It's not rocket science people.

Avon execs need to get out of their bubble and actually see the world for what it is.  It's changing faster than most companies can keep up and Avon just may be left behind. 

Avon would actually learn a lot from the company called Costco in regards to many things.  One issue in particular is their lines that are external products or as products known to reps as fixed-earnings products.  A few of those Avon products are just plain cheap and crappy.  As a representative I have been embarrassed sometimes because something falls apart after just a few uses. Even worse is when I get it and it's so tacky and made so poorly I don't even want to give it too my customers. I have no issue in taking those items back at all and actually recommend that they return it.  I have a reputation to uphold and my customers certainly appreciate it. 

Anyways, back on point...Costco has a great system in place to ensure that their customers get good quality products as an economical price.  The products have to meet their standards or they don't make the cut.  The process that Costco uses just to choose their toys that they sell is amazing and very stringent in itself.  CNBC had a report on The Costco Craze that is amazing to watch.  I learned a lot about customer service just by watching those reports.  Great ethics and customer service basics that my parents always talked about.  Customer Service has to go beyond lip service and just taking returns.  Customer service has to be about the quality of the product and what the customers expect out of it at a reasonable price. Avon could learn a lot from the Costco model.

The same issues are true for the quality of products that Avon provides to it representatives as sales tools. One example of Avon lowering it's standards recently was in my last order.  I ordered 1 packet of call-back forms.  These are basically order forms I can give to my customers to write down their orders on.  Many reps just tear out the forms out of the free and traditional order form books.  I went a step beyond in regards to good quality to purchase these nicer looking forms with that extra personal touch.  Well, Avon changed them without notifying us and they went to crap.  Good thing I only ordered one pad of them and had several in my inventory. The photo of the lipstick on them look cheesy and the form on the back was changed.  They made the lines smaller which is really inconveinent to my older customers to write on.  My traditional local customers are mostly older and are not comfortable with internet ordering.  Avon didn't even line the form up correctly so there is no room to write in the customer's information on them.  Avon basically changed them to the free order booklet forms.  Well, I won't be buying them again until they tell me that they changed them back!  At least on the free order booklet forms there is a little room for the customer's information.

What is up with Avon only having customer service for their representatives now Monday through Friday during business hours also?  Avon promotes their earning opportunity to work your own hours when you want and yet they do away with the Avon support lines for the reps when most reps are working?  Ugh!?!  Really?  Then Avon turns around and outsources the reps customer service line to another country where they have no clue how our culture and society works?  BOO!  AVON, BOO!  That was a bad decision and unpatriotic as you can get.  Not only that but its hard to understand them!  That was a decision purely to benefit the bottom line and NOT the representatives.  That was a bad customer service decision to enact towards their reps.  If the reps aren't happy then the company isn't going to do well.

Yes, Avon has a long road ahead as CEO McCoy indicated in her Forbes interview.  However, the road would be less bumpy and easier to traverse if they actually asked their representatives what they think would make them more successful instead of assuming that they know best.  Evidently, they don't or they wouldn't be in the situation that they're in.

*The author of this post is an actual Avon Independent Sales Representative.  I love Avon and have been very successful at it.  I have been with Avon for only six months but my sales exceeded $2300 during the last campaign and have been increasing every campaign.  Most of my sales are from direct delivery through my Avon provided internet store (Personalized Page). I plan on retiring from federal service in 7 years and conducting my Avon business full-time with my husband until we are no longer able to do so.*

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mark's Class Act Bag

I love this bag!  I bought it as a demo a couple of campaigns back and it's great!  It has a good strong material quality to it without it being too heavy.  My iPad fits in either zippered pocket easily even with the bulky cover and keyboard I have for it.  This bag is worth every cent!  It's by far the best quality of bag that I've purchased from Avon so far.  It definitely gives the higher priced named brand bags a run for their money!

This is the description that Avon gives:

CLASS ACT BAG  (<---click on link to order site)
With a luxe faux crocodile texture and a super-cool vintage-inspired shape, it's a bag you'll want to sink your chops into! 3 interior compartments: 2 zippered; middle compartment features 2 slip pockets at front, 1 zippered pocket at back and snap closure. Functional front flap pocket with hidden snap closure. Faux crocodile with goldtone hardware. 13 1/3" W x 6 1/4" D x 11" H (8 1/2" handle drop)
Item#: 568-450
Price: $45.00

06/03/13 UPDATE:  I'm still loving this bag!  It's holding up great!  I can't believe that it hasn't worn out since I travel all the time for my government job.  My iPad and its bulky case/keyboard fit great in one of the zippered pockets.  This is a very good quality bag.  I wish I had ordered two for myself!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Avon Bonus Earnings Statement from Leadership

C06 2013
This our earnings statement from Campaign 6 2013.  This is our first one that we are actually getting paid for.  However, I'm not sure that they'll actually send such a small check.  Keep in mind this is just our bonus earnings from leadership.  This doesn't include any other earnings including those from our sales or Believe bonuses checks.

I'm posting these every campaign so that you can see our progression as our leadership side of our business grows.  As of Campaign 06 we had 11 first generation.  Nine of those made orders and 4 of them were brand new so a few ordered early.

If you're interested in becoming a representative you can sign up under us using the reference code: donnadarrah at www.start.avon.com.  We're here to mentor you to help you be successful at Avon!  If you're interested in leadership let us know and we'll help you get started today too!

Women in Policing

First Female Police Officer in the USA or the World on record.

When you read this article link imagine the women of today.  Not much is really that different.  The EEO Act only just started forcing agencies in the United States to hire women in the 1970's.  Their acceptance today in some agencies among their peers is still a struggle.  Many times the agency overlooks women when (especially if that agency has so few) when it comes to special protective gear in the line of work and even training.

Shoot, my agency still has issued men's 511 pants for me even though I pointed out to them years ago that they do come in women's sizes.  Do the men's pants fit?  Hell no! So, instead of them ordering them in women's I had to go out and pay $50 so that I wouldn't be out of uniform if and when I had to wear them.  When they issued everyone boots years ago I requested a size 6 in women's clearly on the form.  They gave me a 6 in men's. They told me when I pointed that out that the boots they ordered only came in men's that they didn't have the small enough size equivalent to a women's size 6.  So, I gave them to Goodwill and just used my own that I paid over $100 for.

I'm not here to gripe about all the harassment and discrimination I've received over the years.  Lord knows that I had lots of it including being forced to take leave without pay for having children.  All the times I pumped breast milk in bathrooms and airplanes to see it trashed just to keep my milk up and breast from exploding.  The vanity mirrors being smashed in patrol vehicles and stating the "Donna was here."  "Blanca was here".  Many more countless situations that I'd rather just not go into.....

I am proud of what I've accomplished.  I had to have two degrees to break into my field unlike my H.S. Diploma male counterparts and go through the same standards years ago in a federal academy as them.  However, women deserve the recognition of the struggles that they endure for the love of the field and the patriotism they have.

I love my job and what it means when I come home and know that I kept people safe that day.  I also love the fact that I did come home (or to a hotel) safe that day.  I also love my supportive husband and two beautiful little girls who just don't understand why mommy is gone for days at a time every week.  That is what hurts me the most. The guilt is killing me but I go on because I know that I'll be done in 7 years when I'm eligible for retirement.  I'll be home with my family and lord have mercy on my daughter's boyfriends!  I plan on being the stalking mom from hell!

I have the most loving and understanding husband around.  Maybe that's because he was in the Navy Seabees his entire adult life.  He's a great guy.  I really couldn't imagine being a single parent in my line of work.  I'm not the typical cop.  Every day my hours are different and every week my days off are different.  I don't come home everyday and I'd say that is really tough on our marriage.  My husband says it's like he is a single parent.  However, we love each other tremendously and are both very stubborn people.  So, we make it work!

Poor guy, he's usually the only male spouse at most of my work social gatherings.  However, there are more male spouses showing up with the handful of women there are in my agency's local field office.  He's lead the way for them and I only hope and pray the others have as much patience, loyalty and understanding as my own.

For more information on women in policing go to the links below:
Women In Policing
Women In Law Enforcement
National Center for Women & Policing
Myth & Facts About Women in Policing
Women In Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE)
Women In Policing by Danielle Flanagan, West Texas A&M University
If you have any experiences you'd like to share as a female in the law enforcement field or as a supportive male spouse please comment below.  I'd love to hear about you!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cell Phone RINGS! hahahaha, What?!

Check out this latest technology!  OMG!  I thought it was a joke at first...nope....It's REAL!


Is that not cool?  Wow...it's still funny though!  Could you imagine answering a call like this?  People around you will think you're absolutely nuts!  I don't know about you guys but enough people think I should be admitted to the loony bin already!  Plus, I'd probably loose the rings.  However, if I was 20 years younger I'd be already waiting for the delivery man on these!  Have fun with them if you ever get them because they're still in the design phase.  Click on the above link to get to the designbuzz website!  ENJOY!  LOL!

Tiny Tillia's Treasuring Photo Tote Bag

Available at my official Avon store.  Tiny Tillia's Treasuring Photo Tote Bag. Show off your little pride and joy with this 15 1/2" L x 4 1/2" D x 12" H brag bag. With 3 exterior 2 1/2" diameter photo inserts and an inside pocket. Zips to close. Polyester. Imported. Item#: 515-880 Price: $14.99 MOTHER'S DAY IS MAY 12!

You can order online with free shipping offers on my home page at the above link.  You pay Avon directly and they ship it directly to you!  Make sure you choose direct delivery only!

I love this tote bag! I can't believe it's only $14.99 on sale right now!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ball brings back some old jars!

This is the description Ball gives us...Longer vegetables such as asparagus, cucumbers, & long beans now have a jar that’s made just for them! This 24oz jar is an excellent choice for portioning soups and sauces. Perfect when pints are too small & quarts are too big.

1 1/2 Pint Jar
This is what Ball says about the new Heritage Collection below....2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the first series of jars designed by Ball brothers, each jar intended to be better than the one before. 1913 saw the launch of the launch of the first true"Perfect Mason" jar. These limited edition jars are a celebration of the heritage featuring period-correct blue color and embossed logos on the front and back. These vintage-inspired jars maintain all of our modern standards for quality and reliability. Perfect for all of your home canning needs... or as a collectible item

Ball Heritage Collection Pint Jars

LED Stick up lighting

We love the LED Stick up lighting.  We found some online at Amazon.com.  The LED battery operated stick on tap lights I found are only $6.77 for Prime members with free two day shipping.  Yes, we are Prime members and actually love it!  But that's another post all together.  LOL.

You can use them under cabinets, in closets, coolers, etc...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Storage Geek

Storage Geek  Shared from the Storage Geek site.

This made me laugh....go check it out at their site!  It's actually glass!  found on Amazon:  Glass Bowl at Amazon

This is a great storage idea too!  DIY handbag Storage: Lucky Magazine

Monday, March 11, 2013

Avon Believe Advancement Check!

I had posted earlier in the blog that Richard and I made Unit Leader status in our Avon business during Campaign 5. We mentor, train and recruit other Independent Sales Representatives for Avon. We received a $150 check from Avon today for just making the title of Unit Leader! Woohoo! We needed that, lol.

Here's a photo of the check!

To join my team use reference code: donnadarrah and sign up at www.start.avon.com or click on Say Yes To Avon to view to video link.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Say Yes To Avon

Say Yes To Avon: No Sales Pitch Necessary...Just be you! With your personality and our tools, you can earn money on your own time.