Categorized | Shoestring Startup

Alma & Co. offering a sparkling, fun and profitable proposal

Alma & Co. offering a sparkling, fun and profitable proposal

Alma & Co. was created as a stylish platform to help women get the life they crave. Officially launched in January 2010, this company strives to make direct sales history with their modern approach to this hundred years old industry. Offering limited edition boutique style fashion jewelry, Alma & Co. mission to empower women all over the world in their quest for success it’s certainly a very stylish proposal.

What does your business do —who does it serve, where, and how?

We offer affordable limited edition boutique style fashion jewelry. Through our website http://www.myalmaco.com, catalog and at home parties. We’ve been blown away by the popularity of our products. With prices ranging from $13 to $150, we appeal to the recessionistas: The average party grosses more than $500. Part-timers can earn up to $30,000 a year. It’s an hour-and-a-half party, you have a glass of wine, catch up with old friends, make new ones, and at the end of it, you made $150 plus. It’s really social!

Alma & Co. is committed to giving back and so in March 2011, launched the program Loving Hands. The mission of this program mirrors that of Alma & Co.: to create positive change in women’s lives through education and economic empowerment. A percentage of the proceeds from home parties, catalog, online sales, and gift wrapping go to charitable organizations supporting women and children. Since its launching the program has benefitted organizations such as Dress for Success, March of Dimes and the Girls Rule! Foundations. The Alma & Co. Loving Hands program is our way of extending the success of our Consultant community to women and children at home and around the world. It is our greatest pride that our Consultants have built a business that can give back in such a significant way.

Why did you start your company?

At first, just because the fun of it. Getting something accomplished while having fun and knowing that I could have a positive impact in the lives of other women. I also wanted to start a family and I wanted to make sure to have the flexibility to be home with my children when I needed to be. I was familiar with the direct sales industry and one day it hit me! I’d like to create a modern opportunity with all the traditional benefits of the direct sales industry combined with the technology of today.

The Alma & Co. business opportunity had to be better than anything else out there. While brainstorming about the right product, almost immediately jewelry came to mind. Jewelry is an essential part of every women’s wardrobe. We just love jewelry! It’s a wonderful expression of personal style and it gives a woman the opportunity to be creative just by accessorizing an outfit. It’s somewhat ‘consumable’, so encourages repeat business. It just made perfect sense!

We wanted to make it really affordable for busy moms to jump-start their own business, so our Fashion Consultants can start with as little investment as $179. That gets them a Starter-Kit with all the business tools needed and a shopping spree to choose jewelry samples. Fashion Consultants start earning 25% commission in their retail sales. They also earn coaching commissions by mentoring others.

What was the biggest transition you had to make (i.e. new skill set, habits, abilities, focus)?

My background is in advertising and public relations. Having many skills within in the field such as web design, graphic design, copywriting, photography, and media relations has been a great advantage when starting this company. So, I’ve pretty much became my own client. It totally changed the way I see the industry. The production part of it, the process of designing a piece of jewelry from the first idea to the final product has been overwhelming at times.

Do you use Social Media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn?

Social Media is a integral part of our marketing efforts. It allows us to be in touch with our customers and its a great way to offer that outstanding customer service we aim to provide. We offer special deals to our community on Facebook (http:www.facebook.com/myalmaco) and to our followers in Twitter (@alma_co). We also use our social media channels to support deserving charitable organizations. For example, this month a percentage of every sale would be donated to the, arizona-based, Girls Rule! Foundation. (www.girlsrulefoundation.org).

Was your company started on a shoestring budget or funded?

Alma & Co. offering a sparkling, fun and profitable proposal

Alma Steger

Alma & Co. is self-funded. It was started with savings and it’s been run on a shoestring budget. We are now looking for investors in order to take this company to the next level.

What is the best advice you never got?

“Don’t wait for ‘perfect’.” I had to switch gears and start acting with urgency. There’s always room for improvement, but if you wait for everything to be just perfect, you’ll never do anything.

What would make your business more “Successful”?

We’re still building our core team —people with the right talents, passion and drive. I like to surround myself by big dreamers and positive people. I’m looking for that special partner to complete our team. An investor would definitely be welcome as we’re preparing to formally look for funding to cover marketing expenses and system expansions. That would definitely make this business even more successful!!

What is the one thing that you did right?

I think we did right on creating a brand from the beginning. I designed a professional looking website right away, also all of our marketing materials and packaging. Developing a brand that is stylish, classy and elegant was my goal from the very beginning.

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