Q&A with Direct Sales Superstars – Feature One: Nomadés

This month, Powerhouse Planning is featuring superstars of the direct sales industry who have taken the time to share with us their experiences and viewpoints gained over time. Through the words of those doing it—and doing it well—our Powerhouse team aims to help both new and established direct sales professionals grow their businesses as a result of the insights (including some of the harder lessons learned) of those in the field who are finding success.

Company: Nomadés
Industry Professional: Christy DeWitt, Director of Business Development and Sales
Since launching in 2009, Nomadés has offered customers the opportunity to capture their life stories one charm at a time. Christy DeWitt, Director of Business Development and Sales, joined the company shortly after its beginning. Her role evolved from customer to consultant to management, which she says has helped her relate to the team of consultants she now works with. While she does admit to possessing a strong knack for sales, Christy explains that it was ultimately her adoration of the products that made her go all in.

The Nomadés Collection includes custom-designed charms that symbolize military duty stations, branches of the Armed Forces, love stories, and life changes. The company operates with a team of consultants located across the globe located globally and all products are created within the United States. Since their niche market is smaller, the market is less saturated with Nomadés consultants. To find a consultant nearest you, go to www.nomadescollection.com/locate.aspx.

Q&A with Christy DeWitt:
Describe your position with Nomadés:
The Director of Business Development and Sales is a sales-driven position that works directly to train consultants, plan events, and manage the logistics of vendor events. Other responsibilities include establishing and maintaining relationships between Nomadés and boutiques.

What tools do you encourage your consultants to use?
Nomadés encourages their team to “be charming” by working to establish relationships with customers. For example, use a Facebook brand page versus a closed private group so that potential and current customers have the option of accepting an invite rather than being automatically added.

What stands out to you today about working with Nomadés?
I’d say one of them is we’re here eight years later. There have been feast years, and there have been famine years. There aren’t a lot of all women-owned businesses, and we are a tight-knit group of women. They’re my tribe; they are my people. They’re my business partners, but they’re also the most important people in my life next to my family.

How do you gauge success?
Sales is an obvious metric for gauging success in this industry, but so is the personal success of our consultants—even if it was a slower month for the company as a whole. I love it when I have a team member who is a slow starter, and then she is a top performer for three months in a row.

What’s your favorite professional/personal quote?
You don’t build a business. You build people and then people build the business.

How have you grown your team?
Nomadés creates a sisterhood type of company culture among the Independent Consultants. They are taught that they are in business for themselves, but not by themselves. The company uses various tools to engage with their virtual team, such as creating different themes throughout the week like motivational quotes, what’s happening, and marketing information.

Most consultants come to Nomadés by way of first being a customer. After their involvement with the product and company, they traditionally inquire about the process to be a consultant. All different personalities and backgrounds can succeed in this field, especially when they have an authentic belief in their product. Plus, consultants sharing their experiences often motivates new consultants to come on board.

Below, Christy shares her tips for using the trending tools of direct sales to expand a customer base and strengthen relationships.

Building Your Team Tips
Give people the opportunity to say yes or no. Whether it is buying or joining your team, they will not know the options/opportunity unless you tell them. You have to ask.

I invest in my team. I learned early on that words of affirmation, recognition, and to some extent incentives go a long way to encouraging your team. I make an effort to recognize even the smallest accomplishments of my team members. Everyone likes a shout-out!

You can’t drag people into success—they have to want it. Stop spending energy on people who don’t want it. Always be sweet and charming, but you can’t do it for them.

Online Party Tips
Determine why your hostess wants to do the “party” online. I think there is a misnomer that online events are easier than in home. The truth is an online event must have the full attention of your hostess, and she needs to be fully engaged for it to be a success. If she wants an online event in lieu of having people in her home for two hours because she thinks it will be easier, let her know that’s not really the case.

Your hostess should invite 30-40 people to an online event and no more. She needs to personally invite them and not mass invite them (Facebook messaging the masses is not the route to go). She cannot mass invite 350 of her closest friends and think they are going to see that in their Facebook notifications. It is a waste of her time and your time. The jewelry I sell is a very personal piece of jewelry and requires a sincere and personal request to guests. So, here is the tip: YOU are going to have to explain that to her, however painful it may be.

Facebook Live and videos garner tons more interest/results than pictures and posts. If you want guests to get excited about a product, then they need to hear that excitement and enthusiasm in your voice. I don’t care how many CAPITAL LETTERS and exclamation points you put in a post; it’s not the same as someone seeing you and hearing your excitement.

Utilizing Social Media Tips
Pick your favorite social media platforms and what you are most comfortable with and use those. You do not have to be on Snapchat, Tumbler, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Pick a couple that you like and work really diligently on those.

After picking the platform best suited for you and your business, you have to use it daily. If it is March and you still have a Christmas-themed cover photo on your Facebook brand page, people assume you are closed for business. For example, if it’s Easter, take those Christmas lights down and make an attempt to look like you want to work your business.

Every post to your social media platform does not and should not be about your business. Get personal. You are not selling from your brand page; you are building a relationship with an audience. Have fun! Post “other” stuff on your pages—you want people to like you, follow you, and get to know you!

Making it YOUR Company
While your product company (e.g., Nomadés, Scentsy, Pampered Chef) is likely to give you resources to help with your business, they cannot do it for you. You have to want to do this. Know the why, the reason you are doing it.

You have to work YOUR business every day. (Sure, you can take a vacation.) But seriously, if you are truly working this as a business and not a hobby, then it will take dedicated, intentional work every day. Treat it like a business.

Be proud of what you do. Take ownership and when people ask what you do for a living or a job, speak with confidence about what you do.

I firmly believe you have to have a passion for what you do. I love this product. I feel profoundly sorry for anyone who doesn’t have it and I have any overwhelming drive to share it with others. If you don’t feel that way about your product and business, then you are going to have a hard time convincing anyone else.

Website: www.nomadescollection.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/nomadescollection

2017-10-04T14:46:36+00:00 October 4th, 2017|

New Hire at Powerhouse

Kelly W. Maria is pleased to join Powerhouse Planning as a design-minded and social media savvy freelancer who, from technical writing to marketing, does a little bit of everything. Kelly has a background in marketing and special event management. She holds an undergraduate degree in dietetics and a master’s degree in business, marketing, and management. As a proud Marine Corps spouse, she has held positions in many fields including higher education, governmental consulting, military family readiness operations, organizational management, copywriting, training, web and graphic design, and office administration. The military lifestyle has given her the unique opportunity to experience many places and markets; it is through this exposure that her broad range of talents and experiences will serve Powerhouse clients well.

Kelly is currently stationed with her husband, Alan, in Miami. While brushing up on her Spanish, she enjoys practicing yoga, gardening, fishing, and hanging out with her Labrador friends, Zoe and Harley. You can find her, and her dogs, on Instagram @laesposademarinero.

2017-09-27T15:38:24+00:00 September 27th, 2017|

Business Owner Delivers Spa Experience at Home

By: Bianca M. Strzalkowski

The hustle of life keeps people on the go from one commitment to the next, leaving little time for self-care. Donna Ferguson is hoping her products will offer some relief, albeit brief, from all those responsibilities.

The Maryland native first started making and selling spa-like products out of her home nine years ago. Ferguson, owner of SALT—Soak Away Life Troubles—sought to give busy customers a way to take a time out from their day. She sells handmade items online and at a brick and mortar location in Jacksonville, NC, where she moved when her husband, a United States Marine, was stationed there in 2007. By 2014, she expanded her virtual business to include a physical location and she has been a one-woman show ever since.

“I was sitting at the dinner table when I thought, I’m doing this. I always had the bug in me, so I literally jumped in,” Ferguson said. “I didn’t know what I was doing. It didn’t dawn on me until after I was in here and all the adrenaline had subsided, I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ I got to keep books… and I didn’t know how to keep a budget as far as projections, so I spent my budget for three years in probably less than six months.”

With no formal business training, Ferguson relied on her own research and resources from the local community college. As many owners can relate to, she does everything from the accounting and marketing to the inventory and budgeting. The learning curve has been challenging at times, but she looks forward to walking through those doors she built every single day.


2017-07-17T19:44:29+00:00 July 17th, 2017|

Add Video to Your Brand’s Social Strategy

By: Rheanna Bernard

Social media is always changing. Whether you are a blogger, a brand, or a small business, it can be hard to keep up with what’s trending. Just when you feel like you’ve got algorithms down, they change. There is, however, one thing that has been on the rise, and isn’t going anywhere: video.

Video is a key factor in engagement, as seen by every social media platform that isn’t just video—like Snapchat—adding such features to their options. Who remembers that brief second in time everyone made fun of Instagram for launching their Instagram Stories feature? Everyone did, and they made videos about it, too. It was only a matter of time before Facebook rolled out the same thing. Video is king. So how do you do it right?

How you put together your videos depends on the goal of your video and who you are. Bloggers will create videos differently than a brand, but there are some intersections.

2017-07-17T19:41:33+00:00 July 17th, 2017|

Connect with Your Audience—The Right Way

By: Randi Cairns

If you’ve been online for more than two seconds, you’ve already seen the good, bad, and ugly of the interwebs. Everybody has something to say, and it’s not always pretty. As a business with a social media presence, you have no doubt already been thrown into this fray or will find yourself there soon. So how do you deal with the chatter?

Listen. You shouldn’t be the only one talking here. Your social media channels aren’t a commercial, or at least they shouldn’t be. What do folks have to say about you/your brand? If you don’t yet know the answer to this, you’ve just determined your first actionable item. Read your reviews. Set up Google Alerts for your brand. Follow your own social media channels. You can’t guide the talk about your brand if it’s happening off your radar.

Expect to make people unhappy and have a plan in place to address critiques and concerns. What your mama said is true: You’re not going to please 100% of people 100% of the time. Having a plan for what to do when this proves to be the case means you’re not responding in a reactive way.

Remember you have an audience. This isn’t between you and one unhappy customer. This is between you, them, and, well, anyone with an internet connection. And they’re paying attention to more than the negative comment. They’re watching YOU. How quickly and how do you respond? And they’re going to observe the outcome, too.


2017-07-17T19:41:21+00:00 July 17th, 2017|

Client Profile: Randi Cairns Consulting

“It was an absolute pleasure working with Powerhouse Planning. Beautiful graphic design, a keen eye for detail, and an incredibly responsive team that turned around gorgeous deliverables. I can’t recommend them highly enough!” – Randi Cairns, Founder and CEO, Randi Cairns Consulting

Interested in learning how we can help your company grow in regards to a marketing rebrand? Email us at admin@powerhouseplanning.com. We’d love to be on your team!

2017-07-17T19:41:12+00:00 July 17th, 2017|


One of the most unattractive sides to business is the financial side. Whether you are freelancing and billing clients individually or managing inventory and commission, there are some challenges that come with money. The following resources can help make keeping track of income and expenses, as well as invoicing, a lot easier. In turn, when tax time arrives, things are less stressful overall.

Expensify: For the business owner who deals with expense reports on a regular basis, Expensify may be the right tool. Utilizing smart scan technology, receipts can be filed away after a simple picture is taken using the app. The program can also import expenses directly from bank accounts or credit cards. It is free for individual users, and the cost increases slightly when you add a team or your entire company to it.

TaxBot: Transporting technology has gotten easier with smart phones and data plans, so for someone who travels frequently or needs to log miles for their business, TaxBot is a great option. As its name suggests, TaxBot helps users document their tax deductions by keeping track of income and expenses. It works for multiple businesses, stores photos of receipts, and keeps data for several years, even if you don’t continue to use the program.

QuickBooks: QuickBooks for Small Business is a trusted accounting software. With multiple options for small business owners, and one for those who are self-employed, the program covers all needs. All of their plans include the integration of bank accounts and use of mobile apps. Those who are using the self-employed software can track miles, send invoices, and estimate quarterly taxes. The Small Business Plus option is great for multiple users, allowing them to manage bills, track time and inventory, and even track 1099 payments.

TIP: Keeping solid and detailed records of your business transactions is necessary, but doesn’t have to be tedious.

2017-07-17T19:40:55+00:00 July 17th, 2017|

NONPROFIT PROFILE: Philippians Place

By: Rebecca Alwine

When a military spouse sets her mind on something, it gets done.

Five years ago, Lenize Patton, a high school educator, and her Marine husband bought rental property with the intention of supporting women who were transitioning from a local shelter in Jacksonville, NC.

“In 2012, I learned that there were 376 homeless children in Onslow County, and I just couldn’t get it out of my head,” Patton said.

With biblical motivation and a huge heart, she watched her ideas change into what she feels was God’s plan from the beginning. Now, as a nonprofit, Philippians Place provides a six-month transitional housing program “with the intention to end the cycle of homelessness forever,” Patton added.

From MilSpouse to Executive Director

Patton, who is a mother, is also a native of the local area she serves. As a military brat, her father was stationed in North Carolina most of his career. Being active in the military community came with its own challenges for her, especially as an introvert.

“I learned to adjust by making myself get involved in organizations that interested me at the time,” she said. “Now that I’m an executive director of a nonprofit, I’ve had to use those same skills by seeking and working with other organizations.”

She credits her flexibility when working for Philippians Place to lessons learned as a military spouse.

“Things can change in a moment’s notice in the nonprofit world, especially when working with volunteers, non-paid staff, and clients. The military life has taught me to adapt to things that don’t go as planned,” Patton explained.

2017-07-17T19:40:45+00:00 July 17th, 2017|

New Hire at Powerhouse

Amanda Higgs joins the Powerhouse Planning team as a video editor.

Amanda has been involved with technical communications most of her life. She began her studies during elementary school and began to focus on technical communication in her middle school years. She honed her craft and graduated from Angelo State University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Communications.

She served as Angelo State University’s Rampage Features Editor from 2005-2006, during which time she received awards from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association for feature writing and feature headline writing. She also worked as an assistant at the TV production lab, RamTV, hosting, directing, and editing shows for local television and radio stations. 

Amanda has been happily serving as a military spouse for the last 13 years and has now settled in Stafford, Virginia with her husband, their two sons, and their dog.  

2017-05-09T14:04:02+00:00 May 9th, 2017|

The Ebb and Flow of Owning Your Own Business

By: Jennifer M. Morrison

Working for yourself seems like a dream job—and it can be, but it can also be fraught with situations and issues that trip you up. Entrepreneur Mylene Hollick, a military wife and mother, knows about those potholes firsthand.

A graduate of North Texas University, Hollick put her career on hold after her two children were born. As a military spouse, she says it was important to be home for their family, while her husband’s service required him to travel often. As her kids have grown, she felt the urge to refresh her identity by founding Jetset Destinations, an independent travel agency, in late 2015.

Hollick saw current and future flexibility as a top priority when it came to re-entering the workforce, something that employment at an established travel agency couldn’t necessarily guarantee her.

“I started my own company because it gave me the flexibility to set my own hours. I still have kids at home, so I want to be able to be there for them whenever they need me. Also, starting my own travel agency means that I can move as my husband moves. All I really need is my laptop and really good Wi-Fi,” she said.

Starting this business wasn’t clear skies and smooth sailing, though. Quieting her inner critic has been important in finding success. 

2017-04-30T02:43:30+00:00 April 29th, 2017|