For DSEF, the difference between what we would like to do and what we can do is this: your support.
Scentsy co-owners Orville and Heidi Thompson know this. That’s why they, like so many other industry leaders, are committed to helping the Foundation reach its vision of creating a global marketplace that respects and appreciates direct selling.
In the coming months, we’ll profile those donors who have helped us execute our programs through their corporate and personal financial contributions. You’ll learn why they believe DSEF is important to the success of the industry and, ultimately, your business.
This month we speak to the Thompsons, who in addition to running a growing international party-plan company also serve on the DSEF Board of Directors.
DSEF: How do DSEF programs help Scentsy, its salesforce, and the industry?
Orville: The great benefit of DSEF is the credibility it helps build for all direct selling companies, including Scentsy. Direct selling is ideal for people who want flexible work hours, to control their financial destiny, or to replace income from a job loss. By partnering with organizations like the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the FTC, DSEF not only increases understanding and awareness of direct selling, but it also promotes the industry’s strong commitment to consumer protection and business integrity—and that helps everyone in the industry, Scentsy, and especially our Consultants.
DSEF: What specific programs are you most excited about?
Heidi: We’re especially excited to see the launch of the Direct Selling Entrepreneur Program with community colleges this fall. We know a lot of people enter the direct selling industry with no prior business experience, and it can be very intimidating. This new, 30-hour community college course helps new and even experienced direct sellers gain more confidence, learn better strategies for their business, and experience greater success. Having access to this kind of a class at the community college level will open doors for many people to launch a successful small business, while reinforcing that direct selling is not only legitimate, but a preferred way of doing it.
DSEF: What is most rewarding about your Board involvement?
Orville: I believe direct selling solves the business conundrum of our day. Traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores can’t store inventory like online retailers, but online stores can’t build brands effectively. So there’s a challenge that needs to be met. Traditional retail is not efficient, and online retail can’t build brands. Direct selling companies like Scentsy are creating businesses that distribute product as efficiently as online giants like Amazon, yet build brand loyalty through personalized shopping experiences as well or better than any traditional retailer. As a member of the DSEF Board, it’s gratifying to help people see the enormous possibilities of our sales model.
Heidi: By serving on the Board, I know I’m creating awareness of the direct selling opportunity and giving hope to people to reach their personal and financial goals. As just one example, at the Direct Selling Association’s Annual Meeting in June, we were proud to support the walkathon which benefited the Dallas chapter of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. We met some great young people who are learning how to be successful entrepreneurs, and there’s no limit to what they can achieve. That’s the best part for me—giving people hope and then watching them achieve their dreams.
DSEF: Why is DSEF support so important?
Orville: For years, direct selling has endured unfair press, prejudice, and misunderstanding—keeping it from the level of acceptance and support it deserves. How else would so many people start their own business and achieve their financial goals without extreme risk and heavy investment? The Direct Selling Education Foundation helps build a strong reputation for our business model by promoting ethical business practices, overcoming misperceptions, and establishing the value of direct selling among traditional thought leaders.
Heidi: I support the Direct Selling Education Foundation because I’ve seen so many examples of the difference direct selling can make in people’s lives. It certainly transformed our lives as entrepreneurs, and we’ve seen it transform our Consultants’ lives as well. The Foundation creates awareness that direct selling can be a great source of income and even a full-time career for many people.
To join the Thompsons in supporting DSEF, donate now.