Hi, I am Brandi’ Starbuck. Wife of Bryan, mom of Mackenzie and Marshall. Lover of SHOES, online shopping, wine, and great conversation. I am also a Senegence Distributor.
This is that awkward part of the conversation that no one knows what to say. The thoughts start reeling. “You’re in one of THOSE pyramid things?”, “You sell make up?”, “So you make money off of your friends and family?”, “How do you actually make any money doing that?” or the famous “Oh, yeah, I had a friend get into that and it didn’t work for her.”
Direct Sales have an odd reputation – depending on who you talk to. If they are new to direct sales and are excited by an opportunity to get discounts on products they love and use along with a chance to make some additional income for their household, chances are you will find a positive perspective. If they have had a negative experience of any kind, chances are likely that you will get the complete opposite opinion.
I have always loved direct sales. I think I’ve participated in most of them. Mostly for the discounts and bundles that consultants or distributors receive, but if it was something that I felt was a game changer for my loved ones that was a bonus!
My second baby was 7 months old and I had been back to work for about 3 months as a full-time property manager for an apartment community. I had only gained about 25 pounds with my second pregnancy, but I was still clinging to about 20 of them. I was still nursing/pumping which limited my wardrobe options and my hair had fallen out right at the temples – it was a “slumpy” time in my life. I was I had been invited to a Facebook party by a mom friend for a beauty product I had never heard of.
The product was LipSense, an 4-18 hour lasting lip color that wouldn’t smudge or kiss off – but that wouldn’t dry out the lips at the same time. I was intrigued. I also wanted my friend to get some rewards, so of course I ordered a few colors. I also won a free gloss so I was instantly excited. I got my order and I tried on the first two colors I got which were Mojave and Beige Champagne. I grabbed my chubby infant and smooched him all over and nothing came off. I was SOLD.
I wanted 8 more colors immediately! When I reached out to the distributor she said “I am more than happy to keep selling you the product at retail, but for $55 you can gain access to the distributor discount of 20-50% – depending on what you order every month; like a Costco membership!” I only heard DISCOUNT and literally signed up, on my phone, as I was laying in bed that night. I didn’t think twice about it! I may have mentioned it to Bryan casually, but as with other things I’ve “signed up” for – I think he probably just shrugged it off.
I placed my first order a day or two later and when all the beautiful gold topped lip colors arrived I was thrilled! I instantly started texting my mom and sister and showed them how incredible this stuff was. Of course, they wanted it. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law wanted some, too. My best friend did, too. Finally I asked the distributor I signed up under if I could host one of those Facebook parties for my friends. A week later, I did. I had over $1,000 in sales in ONE party. I told Bryan “I think there may something to this thing.”
I was so excited to share my new find with everyone that it was natural to me. It wasn’t pushy or salesy. It was authentic, genuine, and fun. I also felt more “put together” simply by having a lip color that wouldn’t come off after 5 seconds of application. My confidence grew. I started taking selfies and sharing them with my friends. I NEVER did that before. But I was truly impressed by this product. I would eat pizza and drink a beer and it would remain INTACT. WHHHHAAAATTTT?
How it went from a side gig to my full-time business?
I signed up at the end of October 2016 and started actively selling it at the end of November. I signed up my first downline distributor (my sister-in-law who is still in business with me!) in January 2017. In three months we had a team of 22 women and I got notification from Senegence that I had CAR-QUALIFIED. UM….what? Bryan was now all over this business. I qualified for a car allowance of a brand new leased BLUE vehicle of my choosing. So, I picked out my brand new Infiniti QX-60 and was literally floating on air. I couldn’t believe this was happening. In July 2017 my team had grown to over 155 women and we were selling almost $40,000 in make up and skin care a month! I decided to take this up a notch and attend a conference hosted by Senegence called PIT Stop (Princess-In-Training, Princess being a high rank in Senegence distributor levels). It is hosted every July in Tulsa, OK – near where the founder Joni Rogers had grown up (Sapulpa, OK). I went with a bit (o.k. a LOT) of skepticism. Even though I was making a good income with Senegence and having my car paid for – I was still weary of it all.
Then, I heard Joni Rogers speak and met her face-to-face for the first time. I cannot explain to you the type of person she is…..its indescribable. Her heart shines through in every word she speaks and she radiates warmth, peace, and intelligence. When she speaks to her Senegence distributors she always references us as her “girls”, but that doesn’t mean that she talks down to us. Rather, she speaks to us as equal business partners. She knows her business inside and out and she can reel off numbers and statistics and market reports like no one I’ve ever heard before. And then I heard her story. She had been a single mom needing to make a way for her son to have a good life and she loved cosmetics. She had been very successful with another direct sales beauty company, but felt that she could improve cosmetics to actually REPLENISH your skin while wearing it. So she dove into the science and chemistry of it all and launched Senegence, International in 1999.
I was so hyped up after learning about the essence of the company and getting around genuine women who were becoming my dearest friends that I had visions of building an empire of a beauty business.
And I have.
My team of over 200 amazing women sold over $660,000 in one year. I earned an all-inclusive vacation for myself and my husband to the most beautiful resort in Costa Rica. I have an incredible client base of over 200 women who regularly order from me and trust me with their cosmetic and skin care needs. I have made life-long friendships with people that I never would’ve met without this opportunity. I left my full-time job in October 2017 – a year after I signed up with Senegence. We have slowed down a bit as a team, coming off a crazy year of momentum, but in the last 5 months we’ve done over $108,000 in sales and are still inspiring others to build their own businesses’.
What does this opportunity mean to me?
It’s difficult to put into words how I feel about what this company has done for me and my family over the last 2 years. I have been blessed to stay home with my young children and cuddle them when they have had low-grade fevers or been teething and just feeling yucky. My husband comes home to a nice meal and a “somewhat clean” home every night that I can call my gift to our family. I get to attend really fun leadership events and meetings with amazing women who I get to call my friends. I love when my clients send me texts and messages saying they love their new looks and skin and that they are so grateful that I introduced them to this product line. I get teary-eyed when women on my team send me photos of their sales for the month and testimonies of having $200 orders while sitting on their couch feeding their newborns. It’s really been a huge lifestyle shift for me. It’s made me more humble, more aware, and more intentional about how I spend my time.
What does this mean for YOU?
This month, September, Senegence is offering $0 sign up fee for new distributors. I was absolutely blown away when I saw the promotion. It hasn’t been done for years. Honestly, I thought $55 was too good to be true for a new business owner. BUT NOTHING? I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! Since I don’t have a rooftop at my house, I chose to write about it and share with you why I chose this path. I would love for you to join me. But, even if you don’t….remember to always keep an open mind for things that may offer you a new journey. It may turn out better than you ever thought possible.