Six years ago I was working full time in corporate America, trying to live life with my husband and our two children, managing work, home, church, kids’ activities and still trying to find time for myself. On top of all that, I am a girl, and girls must shop, right?
My busy lifestyle made it so difficult to find time to visit all of those cute little gift boutiques where the really great products are. I decided it was time for working mom’s, single women, and even grandmothers to get a chance to shop on their terms. I had a great experience with direct selling and knew of the potential behind owning your own business and prayed diligently about offering something that would help women contribute to their lives financially and the lives of countless others. It is from this passionate resolve that Thirty-One was born.
We started Thirty-One in the basement of our home with no money, just dreams. I had been making bracelets with a friend just for fun and started selling them at work. Soon I found myself in Atlanta, Georgia at the Merchandise Mart where most retailers go to buy products for their stores and realized then that Direct Selling really didn't offer a "gift boutique" opportunity. I told my husband about my idea and he agreed to support whatever I dreamed. We began to pray and seek people to come along side us who might consider joining us in our journey. I quickly ran across an acquaintance named Julie at church who worked for an advertising firm and found out that her husband was a graphic designer. They agreed to come on board and Julie Sutton became our Vice President even before we started selling anything! Julie and her husband designed our first 3 years of catalogs and flyers and Julie has done everything you could imagine within the company.
We released our first catalog in the fall of 2003 and I began doing Home Parties for a few friends. One of those friends was a sweet, quiet and petite lady named Jenny Hillenburg who I somehow talked into becoming our very first Consultant. Jenny, still with Thirty-One, leads our largest team and has surpassed her wildest dreams for success. She has been first in a lot of ways for Thirty-One and recently became our first Senior Executive Director.
Our mission is to celebrate, encourage and reward women through offering quality products and an outstanding opportunity to become successful business owners. We have seen this mission played out across the years in the individual lives of so many women who now have their own “Thirty-One Story”.
Our products are exclusive to Thirty-One and provide style and convenience at an amazingly affordable price. From our key product line, to our “direction” line for teens, or our uniquely crafted “31kid” line for children and moms, you will find so many options to fit every personality type and every situation. We continue to develop new products built on the idea that our products must be stylish, functional, affordable and easy to give as gifts to encourage someone special.
Six years later, our Thirty-One family has grown to over 10,000 consultants nationwide. With production facilities in two states, we are still seeing thousands of women find their place in this world through owning their very own Thirty-One business. Many work full time jobs and use their Thirty-One income to help pay for those extras in life like vacations, cars, and shopping sprees. Others have seen Thirty-One become a lifeline to their families in difficult economic times. Despite all the bad news we hear today, our Consultants are selling at record rates. The doors are wide open.
What a great opportunity we have to share our faith and love to some women out in the world that is hungry. So go out and celebrate, reward and encourage.