Lord Sugar and spice, and all things nice....

By total coincidence I was invited to a direct selling party last week on the same day that one of the industry’s leading magazines published its 2016 Global 100 of top companies.

Direct selling remains a mega buck industry, now globally worth $182.8 billion although like most retailers it is increasingly seeing its market share being nibbled away by the mighty internet.

However, as a business it has come a long way from the 1960's when every housewife worth her salt either threw a Tupperware party or at least had her cupboards stacked full of the handy plastic containers.


But today it is health and beauty products which command the lion’s share of the market as the top three in the Direct Selling News Global 100 testify. They are: 1 Amway ($9.50bn) 2 Avon ($6.16bn) and 3 Herbalife ($4.47bn).

Everyone loves a bit of pampering and I am no exception so when my friend, who by the way, also happens to be my accountant, invited to me her party selling a skin care range, I was quick to accept.

The product being ably demonstrated by Norfolk-based Senior Manager, Nicola Calvert, was the relatively new UK-based Tropic Skin Care range which is backed by non-other than Lord Alan Sugar.

The founder and creator of the ethical brand is Susan Ma who in 2010 was a contestant on Lord Sugar’s well-known TV programme The Apprentice.

The story goes that while Susie did not win the coveted title she was canny enough to give Mrs Sugar some samples of her product, hence a 50/50 partnership was born.

The products are indeed sublime, made from purely natural ingredients with no animal testing and have scooped a number of top beauty awards.

One such gong was awarded for the Tamanu Healing Balm which claims to have super-healing powers for damaged or scarred skin.

During the demo I massaged a small amount on the beginnings of an eczema outbreak on my hand and have to say I was amazed that it had almost gone away by the next morning.

I admit purchases were made simply because the products are so desirable and Nicola was not the least bit pushy, but simply passionate about what she was selling.

Albeit, the same cannot be said of every direct seller I have come across at other events I have gone to in the past.

Women, who mostly attend direct sales parties, often complain that they feel pressured to buy when sat in the captive environment of a home party.

Frankly, I find this a totally flawed complaint in that if you accepted the invitation you know exactly what it is about and you do have the option to decline.

Personally, I think it’s a good way to learn extensively about the products you might want to buy and you receive the sort of exclusive customer service you rarely find in a shop. All reasons, I suspect, why there are 100 top global companies.

To find out more about Tropic Skincare visit Nicola Calvert’s website by clicking here

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