We have all seen it the recent information about BeautiControl… on Facebook, on the news, and in the paper. The shock has started to fade but the question remains- how does this happen? BeautiControl had been in business for 35 years and at the time of closure, employed hundreds at the corporate offices, had 400 Directors and 50,000 consultants.
BEAUTICONTROL ANNOUNCES CLOSURE
On Thursday July 20th, the announcement was made that BeautiControl would close on August 31st. Myself, along with 400 sister directors were left in tears. I couldn’t eat for days, I cried intermittently as the reality set in, that my life was changed forever. For those in this family, this community of BeautiControl girls, the news was beyond devastating. Even as I write this, I realize we are all walking through different stages of grief.
THE HISTORY OF BEAUTICONTROL
BeautiControl was founded by an amazing couple, Dick and Jinger Heath. Jinger was a glam queen and created the concept of color analysis clinics. Women came together to learn about the styles and colors that worked best for their complexion and body type. Many matriarchs in our business were around during this time, and I have learned so much from them. BeautiControl thrived during these years, growing by leaps and bounds. At the time of BeautiControl’s closure, their son Rick Heath was President. He had come “home” so to speak, to resuscitate BeautiControl.
TUPPERWARE PURCHASES BC
In 2001, Tupperware, looking to expand their brand, purchased BeautiControl from the Heath family. I came into BeautiControl shortly after that, in 2005. I was dazzled by the VP of the company at the time. Her name was Melissa Brisbois. She was stunning, poised, and had come from the field. She was hugely successful in business and was brought in from the outside. Soon after my promotion to Director in 2007, Kristy (President) and Melissa, the VP of sales, were both abruptly replaced. I was sad, but being fairly new to the business, and removed from the inner working, I continued to work my business with few questions.
CHANGE CHANGE CHANGE
As the years passed, we saw Presidents come, Presidents go, VP’s of Sales come, VP’s go. Sometimes we had regionals in the field, sometimes we didn’t. But one thing that was constant… CHANGE… lots of it. Sometimes change is needed. Sometimes the changes come too fast, without input from the field, without systems to back them up, without follow through, and stats to measure effectiveness.
Things were falling through the cracks and fast. Trainings were eliminated, systems collapsed, hostess plans were overhauled but didn’t work, back office software and computer systems were outdated, corporate staff would suddenly disappear, incentive programs became harder to understand, unfair even.
BEAUTICONTROL'S MORALE DECLINES
Over the years, the field became increasingly frustrated and lost respect for corporate. Along with this loss of trust in the field, we lost our sense of excitement, which fuels recruiting. Ultimately, low morale = low recruiting = lower sales = a slow decline.
As Directors, we continued to work the business and “bridge the gap” is what I called it. We created systems for our teams, training, websites, Facebook groups, documents, email systems, incentive programs, and more, to engage our teams. We worked harder and harder to maintain our way of life and paychecks. We watched as sales and recruiting continued to decline, consultants and Directors continued leaving the business.
No company sets out to fail. I believe Tupperware did what they felt would help the business and made many investments to cultivate that excitement again. Some of these attempts fell on deft ears, wasn’t well executed, or simply didn’t work. Also, let’s face it, we were very behind, and there were competitors popping up everywhere! The market had plenty of options. These competitors had something we couldn’t compete with… marketing, graphics, images, social media cases, apps, support, trainings, systems, excitement, and momentum.
All things we were slowly losing. I could go on and on with specific examples, the closure is so multifaceted. I am sure there are things I will never understand. This blog is written from the field perspective. Sometimes it’s easy to make assessments coming from the outside and at the end of the day I harbor no resentment towards Tupperware, as this was a business decision.
BEAUTICONTROL PRODUCTS WERE AMAZING
One thing that never changed, in all of my years with BeautiControl… the products. The branding changed, the bottles changed, products came and went, but the quality and popularity of our line was never a question. We had the most variety, the most beautiful packaging, and the formulas were some of the best in the industry.
Goodbye BeautiControl. Thanks for growing me into the person I am today. Because of you, I have a confidence that I can do anything. Because of you, I have amazing lasting friendships. You taught me to be an assertive leader. You taught me how to run a business and the mistakes to avoid. You taught me to dream and run with full force toward a goal. You helped me develop my strengths and know my weaknesses. I don’t regret a minute of this twelve year journey with you. I will miss you, and will be taking all the skills you taught me on to my next chapter.