The idea for Scentsy’s main product, wickless candles, was created by two stay-at-home moms in 2003. Inspired by an episode about “millionaire moms” on Oprah, Kara Egan and Colette Gunnell copied something that Gunnells’ neighbor had done – breaking scented wax into a potpourri warmer.
Egan and Gunnell traded the open flame for a 25-watt light bulb, and Scentsy was born.
However, the duo ran into difficulties managing their new business. The product sold well at fairs and trade shows, and they were having trouble managing the growth. But at a South Lake City home show in March 2004, they met entrepreneur Orville Thompson, who was fascinated by the wickless candle idea and took samples home to show his wife.
Orville’s wife, Heidi, was also excited by the product, and the Thompsons purchased the idea from Egan and Gunnell and took Scentsy to the next level beginning in May 2004. Egan and Gunnell have since stayed on as Scentsy consultants.
The company has grown very quickly, from 66 independent consultants in 2004 to more than 35,000 consultants in 2009, for a growth rate of more than 300%. Revenues have grown equally quickly, from $140,000 in 2004 to $180 million in 2009.
Part of the company’s popularity probably lies in its low price points, ranging from $15 to $35 for warmers and from $5 to $20 for scented wax.
However, a large part of Scentsy’s popularity and growth is almost certainly due to its appeal as a company that stresses values.
The company bases its business on a quote by Albert Einstein that inspired Orville Thompson as a young man:
“Try not to become a man of success. Rather, become a man of value. A successful man takes out of life more than he puts in. A man of value will give more than he receives.”
Scentsy’s mission statement is based around three tenets: Simplicity, Authenticity, and Value. The company sponsors two charities per year. In addition, Thompson’s decision to celebrate Scentsy’s five-year anniversary by giving 1,000 employees, local consultants, and family members $100 each and telling them to spend it with small merchants in Meridian received widespread media coverage.
The company is a member of the Direct Selling Association and the Better Business Bureau, which gives it an “A” rating. In 2009, Scentsy received the DSA’s first Rising Star Award.
Scentsy operates in all 50 US states, Guam, Puerto Rico and “several provinces in Canada.” The company is based in Meridian, ID.
Scentsy Product Line
Scentsy’s product line mirrors the company’s emphasis on simplicity. The company sells scented wax, light bulb-heated potpourri-style warmers, and related items like car candles, room sprays, and travel tins.
The company offers more than 30 different styles of warmers and more than 80 different scented waxes. Customers can buy waxes as small bars and in one-pound bricks. Both the bars and bricks are made up of smaller bricks that are broken off and placed into the warmers.
In addition to ready-made Scentsy warmers, the company offers customers the choice of ordering a custom-designed warmer based on one of several different templates. Scentsy scented wax comes in a wide variety of scents, from the Bake Shop Collection that creates a homey feel in one’s kitchen to the Tropical Collection. The company also offers a Scentsy Man collection.
The MLM Opportunity and Compensation Plan
Scentsy’s compensation plan is a straightforward MLM opportunity. Consultants earn commissions of 20%-30% on sales as well as bonuses on the sales that are made by the consultants they recruit.
While the company doesn’t give average earnings details, there are several Scentsy consultants who are earning 6-figure incomes.
Consultants join with a small investment of $99, which gives them a starter kit, a free website for three months, a free online workstation to organize their business, free credit card processing, and free shipping on orders of over $150.
After the three-month period, the company charges consultants $10 per month for their individual websites. Scentsy consultants are not required to stock inventory.
In fact, Scentsy Consultants are free to run their businesses any way they want to. The company stresses the individual freedom of consultants to operate their business in ways that work for them. As part of this commitment, Scentsy’s sales requirement to continue as an active consultant is very low: $150 in any three-month period, with the entire $150 having to be sold in a single month.
Scentsy is also unique in the company’s commitment to its consultants. Unlike many direct sales companies, Scentsy does not allow the public to make purchases from the company website – all purchases must be made through consultants.
In addition, the Scentsy website makes its commitment to consultants explicit:
“All executive decisions are driven by one overarching goal: to increase Consultant income per hour. If any business move being considered by the leadership team does not support that goal, Scentsy won’t do it.”
No one MLM opportunity will work for everyone, and Scentsy is no exception. If you’re looking for a fast way to earn a large income, Scentsy may not be your best choice.
However, if you’re new to business or to multi-level marketing, Scentsy’s relaxed rules, in-depth support and training, and commitment to its consultants make this a starter company.
Scentsy is also a good choice for people who want to work on their MLM business part-time. And, of course, if your main interest is enjoying the company’s products at a discount and sharing them with others, the Scentsy business model will work well for you.
In addition, Scentsy is a solid opportunity for those who are looking for a long-term business commitment. The fact that the company’s original founders are still working as consultants speaks volumes for the quality of the company and the success it’s possible to achieve through Scentsy.
The bottom line is that Scentsy is a solid company with great business ethics. If you are willing to work at the opportunity and are patient in building up your downline and selling the product, you will do well with Scentsy. You may not become a millionaire with the company, but you do have a very good chance at being able to at least replace the income you’re making at your current job, or you can earn a great second incone.
I did a lot of research before becoming a Scentsy consultant, and it really paid off. I didn’t want a get-rich-quick scheme. What I did want was to represent a product that I love and use myself and not to get bogged down in the mechanics of selling. I don’t consider setting up websites and merchant accounts a good use of my time! Well, Scentsy made the whole thing easy for me—everything is already ready to go when you sign up. All I had to do was concentrate on having a good time.
I usually have about 5 Scentsy parties per year, and I never have to drag anyone over to my house—when my friends and family hear about my next party, they are already looking at the catalog to figure out which new scents they are going to try this time! And it’s a good way of meeting new people, too. If I meet someone at the gym or the dog park, I just invite her to my next party, and most people think it’s the coolest thing. I’m also a professional party planner, so the party is a way for me to be creative with food, decorations, and invitations. People are basically fighting to get into my Scentsy parties at this point!
Scentsy is the first business I’ve ever run, and this experience has given me the confidence to know that I can succeed. Becoming a Scentsy consultant is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. If you’re looking for an MLM business that won’t make people run the other way when they see you coming, contact me at BLAHBLAHBLAH OR WHATEVER. I’ll show you how I did it—and how you could be enjoying a great product for your home and a solid income, just for doing something you love.