Many women I talk to like the concept of the direct sales model, but they don’t want to recruit others into the business. So, today I’m talking with Gina Lukas, a Chloe + Isabel Merchandiser. Not only is she earning great money selling jewelry from home, but she’s found an opportunity that doesn’t require recruiting team building or sales quotas.
Read on to see what the Chloe + Isabel Merchandiser opportunity is all about.
Tell us how you got involved with Chloe + Isabel.
I found Chloe + Isabel when a gorgeous statement necklace was featured in Glamour magazine. When I came across the company, I really wanted to switch careers. I always loved the idea of being in the fashion industry and have a really strong interest in entrepreneurs. I wanted to be my own boss, and Chloe + Isabel was the perfect opportunity for me to reinvent my life.
How much do you earn annually or per show?
The average pop-up (show) is about $1,000. Because of Chloe + Isabel’s generous commission structure for those that achieve business milestones, I earn 40% commission, so $400 a pop-up. I also manage one of the larger teams at Chloe + Isabel through our leadership team, so annually, I earn about $50,000.
What did you do before joining Chloe + Isabel?
Before Chloe + Isabel, I worked in the mental health field as a behavior specialist. For 13.5 years, I specialized in autism and related disorders. I loved my work, and it’s still part of my life, just in different ways.
What makes Chloe + Isabel different from other direct sales companies?
So many things make it different! When I get asked this question, three big things stand out to me.
First, our training program. I always giggle when I say this, but I feel like I got my MBA at Chloe + Isabel. When you truly throw yourself into building this business and get involved with the company, you become the CEO, and every department there is like running a business. You learn about marketing, branding, sales, buying trends, customer service, budgeting, and so much more. You can learn as little or as much as you want to elevate your business and grow as a business owner.
Second is our structure. We aren’t the typical MLM company, where you have to “grow” a team to increase your earning potential. Instead, we have lifetime milestones that reward you as your business grows. As your business grows, your commissions increase. Our top Merchandisers with established businesses earn 40% commission forever!
We are very mindful about who we invite to this opportunity. We have an interview process, and our Merchandisers have a limited number of invites for the opportunity. Our goal is to find quality Merchandisers, not just to have an oversized army of Merchandisers out there. We want Merchandisers that truly need and want this opportunity for growth at Chloe + Isabel or people who want this opportunity as a stepping stone to another destination. Our goal is for it to be a quality experience for the individual Merchandiser. Also, we are selective about who leads teams. There is an interview process and qualifiers to become part of our leadership team as a Merchandise Manager or divisional merchandise manager that is so much more than just sales. We look for leaders that are invested in mentoring and helping their team members reach their potential. We also have a mentor matching program to individualize the experience for our Merchandisers.
Last it is our community, I know it sounds very cliche, but it is true. Everyone comes for the jewelry but stays for our community! There are very few opportunities in life where inspired and motivated women gather to for a common goal. Here at Chloe + Isabel, that common goal is empowerment. We all work together to help each of us take the next step forward. It is a unique and special experience. Where else are you going to get a crowd cheering for you because you were brave enough to take a step out of your comfort zone?
How many hours do you work a week, and how much time is spent in your home office?
This is one of the harder questions for me to answer. If you’ve heard that saying, “Love what you do and do what you love,” that is me. I often don’t realize I am working because I am doing what I want to do. I’m wearing jewelry I would have worn to any other job, and my family is a big part of what I do. So this line is very blurred for me. In my home office sitting at a desk, sending emails, looking at reports, etc., I probably spend about 10-15 hours a week. The rest all happens on the go as part of everyday life.
What do you love about the direct sales model?
The flexibility. You can work as much as you want or as little. You are your own boss, and you don’t have to ask for time off. I also love the ease of having the entire “system” set up for you. Your e-boutique, your emails, marketing material, product, and shipping. It is all in place; you just have to build your client base. I’m not sure what other business you can start with such little capital investment. It’s a no-brainer if you want to find out what starting a business is all about.
What are the startup costs to get started?
My starter kit cost $175—that covered lookbooks, jewelry, order forms, and basically everything I needed to get started.
What advice would you give to a new Chloe + Isabel Merchandiser?
Don’t overthink it and kill your momentum. No one likes running uphill. Don’t let the details stop you from launching your business. You don’t need to know everything; you don’t even need business cards. You just need your enthusiasm, passion, and dreams to get those first sales. Enthusiasm and passion are far more effective than a fancy business card and display.
Because of Chloe + Isabel, I’ve been able to …
I’m able to be the woman I want to be because:
- I have the time and flexibility to be a “present” mother and a role model to my kids of what is possible when you create your own path.
- I’m a woman that financially contributes to my family in an impactful way so that my husband and I can be the parents we strive to be.
- I’m a friend to my community of merchandisers. My work is to help lift the veil for fellow entrepreneurs to see what their full potential is.
- I have a dream job and a platform to share my thoughts and insights on what it is like be creative, confident, and simply you.
Update on Chloe + Isabel
Since this interview, Chloe + Isabel has gone out of business (July 2019). For another great at-home jewelry business, check out Stella & Dot.