Shopping in Malibu is fun if you live in Malibu. But traveling to the star-studded ocean side community isn’t convenient for residents of Burbank, much less women who live in Boise or Baton Rouge.
Winnie & Kat makes it possible for fashion lovers everywhere to shop for the chic, luxury knitwear that defines Malibu living without leaving home. It also affords women anywhere in the United States the opportunity to become direct sellers for the clothing line.
Founder Diane Price Johnston operates Winnie & Kat on the original Tupperware social selling model, which is also followed by such companies as cookware company Pampered Chef and jewelry company Stella & Dot.
Party and Business Opportunity Combined
Independent stylists and hostesses work together to plan in-home trunk shows. The independent stylists earn commissions on sales, the hostesses earn credits on clothes and women enjoy the touch-and-feel experience of shopping at a mall without having to deal with crowds and reluctant shopping partners.
Guests can pull clothing samples off a rolling rack, try them on and model for friends and place their orders. The clothes, all original Winnie & Kat designs, are shipped to them.
A hostess earns $170 in clothes for every $1,000 her guests purchase. Stylists earn commissions on both their personal and team sales. Stylists can also purchase Winnie & Kat designs for 25 percent to 40 percent off.
Women anywhere in the U.S. can host a Winnie & Kat trunk show or sell the designs as an independent stylist.
Advice to Entrepreneurs
Johnston, a mother of three, says her business gives her the flexibility she needs to both succeed as an entrepreneur and care for her family. And she says the Winnie & Kat business model empowers other women to do the same.
She offers three pieces of advice for women who want to launch their own direct sales party plan company:
1. Make an excellent product.
“We started out making lounge wear and pajamas and soon learned that women preferred selling clothing that they can show by wearing all of the time! Then we changed our strategy to make very comfortable clothing that takes you from day to night.”
2. Acquire necessary funding.
“Just like in any business, first you need to make sure that you have enough capital to maintain your business until you are cash-flow positive.”
3. Take advantage of available resources.
Johnston recommends the Direct Sales Women’s Alliance for women who want advice about starting up their own direct sales company.