Lia Sophia Business Review
Lia Sophia (formerly Act II Jewelry) has been owned and operated by the Kiam family since 1986, and is currently headed by President Tory Kiam. (Source, liasophia.com.) The home office is in Wood Dale, Illinois. The company currently sells in the US, Canada, China and Europe. Lia Sophia’s specialty is affordable fashion jewelry made from original designs.
The jewelry includes gold, silver and mixed metals, as well as crystals and cubic zircona, shell, resin and glass beads. The company does not list gold content on its website, and stresses that it specializes in trendy, affordable jewelry. It also offers a lifetime replacement guarantee on all merchandise purchased through an authorized representative.
The Business Model
The company utilizes the direct sales business model to get their products to their customers and is a member of the Direct Sales Association. The direct sales system relies on the services of independent advisors, eliminating the need for a retail outlet for the product or services. The company sells its jewelry exclusively through its advisors.
The Party Plan
Like in any direct sales organization, advisors are independent contractors responsible for filing their own Federal and State Income Tax forms. Consultants may contact and sell to individuals face-to-face, one-on-one, by telephone, fax or email, but by far the most popular way (popular with both customers and the representatives I have met) is the “party plan”. In fact, the company website indicates that the party plan is the company’s primary method of distribution and that a home party’s consistent sales average is a lucrative $650.00. This is higher than the direct-selling industry sales average.
The “party” can also be one of the simplest types of business for a consultant because the host/hostess invites friends into their home or workplace to meet the consultant and purchase the products. Chances are that at some time in your life you have attended at least one party sales presentation, whether it was for Arbonne, Tupperware, Mary Kay or the like. The Lia Sophia advisor will take a low-key approach where the products are simply made available to touch, hold, admire, try on and hopefully purchase. The advisors usually carry a sampling of catalogue offerings.
Sometimes a host or hostess may simply agree to have a “book party” where they pass a catalogue around to their friends, family or co-workers who may be interested in making purchases. However, that is generally a poor substitute for bringing a party together for socializing and to introduce potential new customers to the product. In return for hosting a party, the hostess may receive discounted or free product, or other hostess specials from the consultant. At Lia Sophia parties, the actual hostess rewards depend upon the amount of sales generated by the party as well as the number of guests who agree to host another party in the future.
How You Earn Money
The advisors earn income in two ways. First, they can earn up to 30% commission from their own retail sales. Second, they have the opportunity to earn cash bonuses and free jewelry based on the sales and recruits of the rest of their team. Sales and recruiting can also earn a consultant points towards awards. All is outlined on the company’s website.
To become part of the organization, you may sign up through an existing advisor (or recruiter) to become an advisor. The necessary start-up package costs $149.00, and includes jewelry, display materials, catalogues and other business supplies. The company website indicates that there will be ongoing personal and web-based support. The official company website is attractive and user-friendly and does a nice job of introducing the company and its products to potential customers.
It is our opinion that
offers a quality fashionable product, has a good reputation, offers training and support for their advisors, and boasts higher-than-average party sales. The company is community-minded, partnering with Dress for Success with sales of particular pieces. It is also a “green company”, recycling office paper and clear plastics, recycling and using shipping cardboard, and using lightweight “air pillow” packaging it its own shipping.
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