Today, we bring you a special Holiday post! Our special post is about a few friends of mine who have taken a different route to owning a business than the traditional ground start-up. I would like to introduce you readers to 3 strong Indigenous women who have begun their own small businesses through multi-level marketing groups. If you are interested in Arbonne, Empower Cosmetics, or Younique products, read on. [PS – Our Tkaranto travels post mentioned in our last blog will be up later this week!]. You can get great Holiday specials on these lines by contacting the ladies in this post before December 20th!
I met Amy at a conference in 2016 and we stayed in touch since then. Amy Wright is a mother of two and works full-time in banking; she decided to start as an Arbonne consultant as a way to supplement her income, as her family’s needs grew and changed over time.
Amy came over one night, and she demonstrated some of the Arbonne line with me. Arbonne is a health and wellness company with Swiss heritage, they are botanically based and contain no harmful ingredients – the benefits of nature and the safest of science. I had a great time using some of the tools; my personal experience with the products was very nice, my skin felt clean and refreshed!
The service that Amy provides is in-home trials and skin care and health consultations of all Arbonne products free of charge; another service is a sample bag trial for 3 days so that you can have a personal experience to get a sense of how the products may work for you. During our my one on one, Amy was professional and answered all my questions. Having the tutorial in my own home was also a nice touch. Amy can provide this service to people living in Alberta free of charge and since this business is in 6 countries she would be able to provide her services globally. One of the things that I really liked was that anyone is able to and you can also host a girls-night where Amy can provide pampering to everyone and demonstrate some of the Arbonne products for any of your friends who are interested. There are both men’s and women’s products in the line, and products for children and health.
Here is a few snapshots of the spread she completed and me testing out some of the line:
We had a great night and Amy really pampered me by walking me through the use of the line. She also gave me information during our time about the opportunity available. With Arbonne, it is up to you in the end how you want to incorporate Arbonne into your life, either by being a client or an independent consultant. Arbonne provides training through their on-line tools along with a supportive team they will guide you through the process and give you the skills you need and there are many opportunities for personal and professional growth within the organization. Ultimately in the end though, how much time and money you want to invest is your choice.
Through personal one on one’s, group presentations and tradeshows, she has found that the more time she invests into her brand, the greater the results are. This is just like any other business one would start. Having the support of an organization and team behind you can also assist you in growing your individual goals and giving you the flexibility in life.
For more information on Arbonne and to decide if it is a right fit for you, you can contact Amy directly. She can ship across Canada and any one the over 6 countries Arbonne is in, for any of you readers who enjoy the Arbonne line or would like to learn more about it. It was a great time hanging out with Amy and I would really suggest getting in contact with her. You can get products to you before Christmas, by ordering with Amy on her site by December 18th!
Empower is a brand new Canadian company; Alberta based in Calgary and family run, they operate with a vision to empower all people. Through a culture of fun, personal growth, and prosperity, Empower is run with a vision of helping people of the world take control of their lives. Empower is a true relationship marketing opportunity that can help you begin a small business. The primary ingredient in all Empower products is Aloe 51%, along with Natural Ingredients.
Jacklyn North Peigan was born in Piikani, Alberta, and has been residing in Calgary for over 12 years. She has completed various programs including: the Piikani Nation Tourism/Hospitality program (2007), leadership programs at the University of Calgary, a diploma program in Administrative Professional and Bookkeping at Roberston College. She has also attended numerous conferences including the First Nations Youth Entrepreneur Symposium (read our post on this symposium here), the Indigenous Business Builder Series (where she won a certificate of recognition from Community Futures Treaty 7 in 2017). She was also one of five people who was selected to join a group of Indigenous women to sit down with the Parliament Secretary Alaina Lockhart, to discuss Indigenous women in business and the challenges they face when starting a business.
When asked why she decided to begin her small business, Jacklyn said it was “because I wanted to join a company who values their clients. This isn’t the first product line that I’ve purchased with all the good intentions to start taking better care of my skin, but I can tell you this is the first time I’ve seen some great results”. She also said that “these products have helped me because of my sensitive skin, and with the ingredients they use, it is perfect for me or anyone who has been dealing with acne, sensitive skin, scars, fines lines….you name it, it works!”. Jacklyn was also a stay at home mom of 3 children, and was struggling finding meaningful employment. She was also taking care of her mother before her passing in 2013; her passing made Jacklyn want to push herself further out of her comfort zone and become successful in her business to make her mother proud.
With Empower, mentorship is available throughout your journey, with tools and skills to help you establish yourself as a successful business owner. Jacklyn credits her own development to her mentor, Deb Bateman, who is also the co-founder of Empower. Deb continues to provide coaching and mentorship to Jacklyn as she grows her small business. With most multi-level marketing groups, some form of mentorship and skill development is usually available.
Jacklyn faced many challenges trying to get her business off the ground, including gaining support from friends and family; this was especially hard when finances were tight and she was unsure if she would be able to make it in this business. Sometimes it was even difficult to afford tables at events (which is why access is so important for Indigenous entrepreneurs). Learning to use social media and to get out in front of people and speak, were also hard challenges that Jacklyn had to overcome. However, the biggest challenge was likely losing a parent as she wasn’t sure how to cope at that time; she was left depressed and unsure of life, having to rebuild herself back up. Supporting entrepreneurs is so important, especially as you never know what challenges they might be going through in their personal lives. This is especially important when they are from our own communities, or are our relatives. Many of us also have friends who are trying to operate small businesses, so get out there and support them!
Today, Jacklyn has gone back to university, and continues to run her small business selling Empower products. She enjoys making her own hours and wants to change the world while making a difference in people’s lives. After a collection of events, lessons and experiences that took place in Jacklyn’s life, entrepreneurship brought her into finding who she was really meant to be. She wants entrepreneurs to “be all that you can be and even though you may get a NO, just know there is always a YES with someone else”. She also cautions that what you do in the public eye and on social media can affect your business; Jacklyn says to ask questions and learn from other vendors at events. Taking advantage of events around your city can also help to get your name out there and spread awareness for your business. And lastly, having a great support system and accountant never hurts either. You can find Jackyln on Facebook here.
Timara Pace is a Blackfoot woman from the community where I grew up, the Kainai Blood Reserve. Timara is currently looking to get back in to school in 2018 to finish upgrading at Red Crow College – in the meantime, Timara decided to start a small business, which has grown fast. Given the fast growth of her business and progress seen, Timara would like to continue doing this business in the future. Timara currently sells Younique products online at Youniqueproducts.com/PaceTimara, starting only in September but seeing great benefits to owning her own business so far.
It all started when Timara was just scrolling through social media, and came across a post – a friend that she went to school with was advertising an opportunity to make money from home. As extra income is always nice, especially as a young mother, she decided to take the opportunity. Timara wasn’t quite ready to go back to school, and wanted the freedom to be a stay at home mom a little longer, to enjoy spending as much time with her daughter while she is still a baby.
While Timara has been seeing successes with her small business in this short period, when Indigenous Busy-ness asked her if there are challenges she’s faced in operating her business, she responded “That’s a good question because it’s something in this business that is rarely talked about or in any business, is that we all go tend to go through something thing in our life time that makes us want to quit or feel the need to give up! But you just have to remind yourself that you are not alone and someone out there has gone through the same thing, if not worse, and you can get through this”. Timara credits her amazing teammates for her success, as they have helped each other every step of the way. She doesn’t think she would have gotten far in running her small business if not without the support ofher team; Timara believes that it’s true what they say about team work – “team work makes the dream work”. Multi-level marketing operations are often able to provide this network when joining a team.
Timara has already seen bonus pays, and advances in her team standing in this short period; with the support of her network, she has been able to successfully sell these products and turn a profit. When asked about the advice she would like to give to other entrepreneurs or women who are considering a similar operation, Timara said – “The biggest advice I can give from one entrepreneur to another is you have to learn to not care what other people think! It will save you a lot of time and heartache if you just learn to ignore those negative Nancy’s also don’t be afraid to risks and challenge yourself each day – go out and hand out flyers or business cards, make a fun video or poster, anything to get your name and business out there!”. Business is all about taking risks and making relationships; it’s also important that we stay true to ourselves and not allow the No’s to knock us down. Doing what it takes to make an impact is often the difference between failure and success.
Timara’s last piece of advice to entrepreneurs is to never give up, even if you don’t make sales right away or go through a “dry period” with no sales. She notes that most businesses are not successful until after the first year of operations, and it takes time to build a brand. She believes that by not giving up easily, people will notice and want to purchase your products, especially since you’ve shown you believe in them yourself.
She is also set up at the Moses Lake Plaza Craft Fair in Cardston, Alberta until December 23rd for anyone wanting to do some Holiday shopping – get out there and support the community members of the Kainai Blood Reserve. I love to see that people are taking the initiative in my home community to support entrepreneurs from our own backyards. You can also get discounted shipping until December 20th from her website (see link above):
In this post, I have shared 3 stories of 3 Indigenous women running their own businesses through a multi-level marketing operation. During my research on the companies these ladies support, there was good and bad press and sometimes multi-level marketing can seem like ‘pyramid schemes’; however, these companies do not press aggressive sales tactics on people, and discourage it within their organizations. Always reach out to an ethical sales person who seems to have your best interests in mind.
I know with the ladies above, they will never pressure you into any products you don’t want or need, but will work with you to find one you love. If you use any of the lines mentioned above, reach out to these ladies to purchase products and support another Indigenous woman in her endeavour to better her family’s future. If you are also interested in learning more about starting your own business through these lines, contact them, and they’d be happy to walk you through the process of joining their teams or starting your own. This is just one-way people can do business, but we note that these types of companies have also helped many women of all races see personal freedoms and benefits for generations.