I love featuring women entrepreneurs on the site, but I get especially excited when it's someone who is local and who went to the same college as I did. AnaLiza Alba not only has a super cool business concept, but she also offers a really fun business opportunity in the fashion industry that is absolutely free to join!
Keeping reading to find out more.
Tell us a little bit about your direct sales company, fibi & clo, and how you got started.
It truly started out as a fun hobby, and it was a great way to get me home to Texas more often so I could see the family I miss so much. But then as I got more and more positive feedback and encouragement from my customers, I decided to really pursue it as a serious business. In four years we were doing millions in annual sales and had 1,500 agents nationwide. We discovered a truly great business idea, but we realized there were some ingredients missing. Our explosive hyper-growth was making it hard for us to scale, and we stumbled a bit.
We took an eighteen-month hiatus to raise capital, find experienced partners, and to focus the mission and strategy of fibi & clo. The designs and products will still be in the same vein as the original fibi & clo, but everything else is brand new. We have expanded our logistical and technical infrastructure, and our product offering will be much wider. We have also made our compensation plan the best in the industry. Since letting the world know about the re-launch, we’ve had over 500 ladies sign up, many from the old company. Our plan is to re-launch March of 2017 (so close!).
The truly exciting thing is that the first time we launched, it took us over a year to get to 100 agents. This time it took less than an hour after we made our first announcement, and now we have the inventory, infrastructure and know how to support what lies ahead.
Do you have any previous experience in sales or the direct sales industry?
My background is in advertising, and I’ve worked with some of the largest beauty, fashion and consumer packaged goods brands in the world, such as L’Oreal, Nexxus, Pepsi, and Hershey. In my spare time, I do interior design for luxury properties in NYC. All of this has helped me to create and execute the creative vision for fibi & clo.
What has been your biggest struggle as an entrepreneur?
This is going to sound like a problem that any entrepreneur would die for, but growing too quickly was a real struggle for us. Women around the world covet our sandals, and we just couldn’t keep up with demand. To be a world-class fashion house you need world-class resources, and it was hard to supply those resources when you rely on existing cash flows. You really do need outside investment and capital. With our new partners, this will no longer be a problem.
fibi & clo offers a work-at-home business opportunity for women – tell us more about this.
Our mission is to give every woman the opportunity to determine her own destiny and walk her own path to success. We accomplish this by designing fabulous sandals and products and cultivating an environment of teamwork and encouragement. We stand for nothing less.
The opportunity is simple. We make sure that women can start their own fashion business with zero upfront investment and access to some of the best resources in the industry. If you have a passion for fashion and you are also social media savvy, this is the opportunity for you.
What are the startup costs for becoming a fibi & clo consultant, and what does the startup kit include?
Zero. This is a big departure from the rest of direct sales industry. We’ve seen how hard women work to build their businesses, and to ask aspiring recruits to pay to be included in this opportunity seemed like a ridiculous idea. If anything, we need to demonstrate to recruits that we are willing to invest in THEM.
Once we have demonstrated our value to our Fashion Ambassadors (that is what our first level is called), we do allow higher levels to build out a table display and invest in and earn their samples. We only encourage our Agents to do this once they are familiar with how we do business, and once they share our vision and values. We also require higher levels to undergo training to become great at what they do, and to be great mentors to their teams.
What advice would you give to a new consultant on how to build a successful direct sales business?
Find a mentor who is willing to invest their time into your success. In direct sales, this can appear easy, as most uplines will want to become your mentor. However, not all uplines are good mentors, and you should be selective about who you choose to learn from. A good way to find out is to ask members of that person’s team how they’ve grown since joining. Also, never stop reading!
Realistically, how much can a consultant earn selling fibi & clo products?
We have some of the most experienced industry veterans on our team, and we have worked hard to offer an opportunity that can easily make a woman working part-time $500 a month, or a full time dedicated professional to earn over six figures. We offer something for every time commitment.
How flexible is this opportunity, and how much time should you invest in the business to be successful?
Our first level is called a Fashion Ambassador, and if all you want is some fun money for the weekend, you could put in as little as 2-3 hours a month into your business. However, if you want to progress and earn real money, we ask that you be willing to put in at least 10 hours a month. The opportunity is flexible, but this shouldn’t be viewed as a hobby (unless you want to stay an Ambassador). Fibi & clo has been extremely fun and rewarding for hundreds of past agents, but they knew how to work, and weren’t afraid to commit to their passion.
What else would you like to share about the new company?
Giving back is an integral part of fibi & clo. We don’t want charity to simply be another thing we do, we want charity to be the foundation on which we build our new company. For this reason, we’ve launched our “Her Cause” foundation. Her Cause uses sandals to help women who find themselves in unfortunate situations. We’ve recently forged relationships with ten organizations in the state of Texas that deal with women’s issues ranging from domestic abuse to job training. For victims of domestic abuse, shelters use our sandals to bring a smile to their resident’s faces. It may seem small, but the first thing to rebuild after victims escape their abusers is their self-esteem. You’d be amazed at how a new pair of designer shoes can help with that. For women entering the job market, agencies use our sandals to help outfit women so that they look professional at their interviews. To date, we’ve donated over 2,000 sandals to this cause – all of this before we’ve even relaunched. This foundation is something all of us at fibi & clo care deeply about.
Thanks to AnaLiza Alba for sharing her story!
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