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Origami Owl: 17 Year Old Arizona Teen Bella Weems Builds $250 Million Direct Selling Jewelry Business

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From Forbes.com
By KarstenStrauss

All Isabella “Bella” Weems really wanted was a used car. That desire set in motion a chain of events that led to the Arizona teenager spearheading what is now a multi-million dollar enterprise that she may someday control. When she finishes school, that isbingo bonus uk.

Weems, now 17, is founder of Origami Owl, a custom jewelry company whose direct sales business model turns would-be entrepreneurs into salespeople and evangelists. The company, which she founded in 2010 at age 14, generated $24 million in revenue in 2012 and this year expects to reach $250 million, according to the company.

Origami Owl takes on independent associates – known as “designers” – who buy products at a discount and then peddle them to others for a marked up price. One of the favorite points of sale are “jewelry bars,” or private parties at someone’s home or another venue operated by a “hostess” (the hostesses get discounts and some free products too). The company has about 50,887 designers.

big cash online casino winIn a sense, what Origami Owl is offering is a canned small business that could appeal to would-be entrepreneurs interested in making a few extra dollars. That motivation is really what got Weems herself started in the first place.

bet365 wheres the goldAt 14 Weems announced that she felt a car would be an appropriate gift for her 16thbirthday, but was told by her parents, Chrissy and Warren, that she should earn her own wheels instead of relying on their funding. They suggested she start a business.

“I started researching and looking for ideas,” she told FORBES. “The locket’s been around for a long time and I thought, ‘well, what if you could make a locket with charms?’” Weems asked her parents to match the $350 she’d earned for babysitting, which she then spent on wholesale components to make her lockets. She quickly leveraged her network of friends to find buyers. “We started selling our product at house parties and boutiques and selling at any jewelry show we could. The product started selling itself.” In 2010 Weems opened a kiosk at the Chandler, Arizona mall in time for Black Friday shoppers.

The company adopted the direct sales platform in 2011 and generated about $280,000. The following year revenue took off like a rocket, multiplying 86 times.

The growth for Origami Owl is dramatic and its revenues impressive but those figures are tempered by the company’s need for components and a large personnel roster to keep business flowing. Though the firm won’t disclose profit margins, as of this writing there about 373 employees, the majority of which work in warehousing (the firm just set up an 80,000 square foot facility in Chandler where components from China are assembled before shipping). According to CEO Robin Crossman, employee numbers fluctuate tend to fluctuate.

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Bella Weems cofounded Origami Owl at age 14. It’s set to make $250 million this year.

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On the sellers end, it’s possible for designers to find that it more difficult to make money selling the jewelry after they’ve depleted their list of personal contacts and local boutiques. Continuing to maximize profits takes…

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