Hi! I'm Dane Carlson, and welcome to the Business Opportunities Weblog. I've been publishing this website, by myself, and sometimes with the help of others for over twelve years now. You'll notice two things about this site right away:
Nothing can replace a beautiful piece of jewelry. The right necklace, earrings, bracelet, or ring can say a lot about the woman wearing it. A new direct sales company is helping women find the right piece that speaks to them.
Senzu is a direct sales jewelry business located in Canada. They offer beautiful pieces of silver jewelry in a variety of different styles and price ranges. They can also offer the perfect opportunity for a jewelry aficionado to make money selling what they love. There isn’t much that needs to be said when each piece speaks for itself.
I recently spoke with the owner and Chief Creative Officer (COO), Cristel Dellepoort, about her business and the opportunity she offers.
Tell us a little about Senzu Style.
Senzu is Canada’s newest direct sales company that focuses on fashionable jewelery and emphasizes stainless steel, sterling silver and other high quality materials that are accented with freshwater pearls, Swarovski© crystals, cubic zirconias and other top quality features. It is based right here in Oakville, Ontario.
What inspired it?
The name Senzu was inspired by the Japanese word for Style. I have lived in many countries in Asia for many years and still spend a lot of time there now. Sumitra, my business partner, moved from Thailand to Canada just about 18 months ago, so our inspiration is found in the East. We have tried to translate the elegance, grace, beauty and modern advances we encounter there into beautiful, very wearable jewelery here in Canada.
What are some of the more popular products that you offer?
Our most popular line is the Stainless Steel Collection. One of the first jewelery we started with are our stainless steel and freshwater pearl necklaces and matching earrings, set in dual tone stainless steel and cubic zirconias. It is available with white, pink or black pearls and looks great on everyone. It is a contemporary, modern woman’s take on a classic look. But we have already expanded into 5 unique Collections: Stainless Steel, Prestige, Elements, Spirit and Naturals. Leading up to Christmas, we’ve also found the new Prestige Collection, featuring Swarovski© Crystals, very popular.
Tell us a little about your Stylist opportunity.
Senzu’s Stylist opportunity is a chance to get into a direct sales organization while it is still young, with an opportunity to grow your network of customers and sponsored Stylists along with the company. By joining now, you get in on the ground floor and have a chance to help shape this organization and have a say in how it develops and expands.
Right now it only costs $75 to register as a Senzu Stylist. For that you get 50% off all of your first sample order of jewelery, then 30% off all your subsequent orders. Usually the beginning Stylist’s sample order saves them so much, it covers the cost of their registration fee. Apart from the discount, the starter kit also includes personalized Senzu business cards, promo cards, hostess invitation cards and other marketing materials that will help them get their Independent Senzu Stylist Business started successfully. Stylists make 30% profit on anything they sell from their own inventory, but there is no obligation to purchase stock. Of course wearing Senzu jewelery yourself does make selling it even easier! We encourage Stylists to refer their customers to the senzustyle.com website as well. When their customers buy online, the Stylist also makes 30% commission on any of their online sales, and Senzu handles everything from payment, gift wrapping and shipping directly to the customer.
What separates your business and opportunity from the competition?
• Senzu is very young, and therefore the market for Senzu Stylists is still wide open. Other companies may have been around longer, but people are ready for something new and fresh, which is reflected in our designs as well as our business model.
• Senzu Stylists are not bound by any territories; all of Canada is wide open, so lots of room to expand their sales!
• Senzu Stylists can track their commissions and orders online.
• The Senzu website sets us apart from much of our competition. It allows our Stylists to sell direct from the website and also track their sales and commissions right there. It is very mobile-device friendly, so Stylists can have the Senzu e-Boutique at their fingertips wherever they are. In today’s world of smartphones and iPad-type mobile devices, we believe that it is important to offer our Stylists the best advantage in direct market sales. The website supports our Stylists and our Stylists support the web site, it is a symbiotic relationship.
• Our jewelery ranges in price from $8 to $154, with the average piece being about $40, so it is very affordable for every budget.
• Senzu carries a Stainless Steel Collection, all made from 316L stainless steel, which is 100% hypoallergenic. A great advantage, as some people have allergies to silver, gold or other metals.
• Senzu also has a Naturals Collection, made from all natural products such as silk, cotton, semi-precious stones and wood.
When was it launched, and how has it grown since then?
We first formed Senzu in early 2010 and we had our Soft Launch Party on the 29th of September. About three weeks later, in late October 2010, the e-Boutique went ‘live’ and online ordering has begun. We’ve had quite a few Soirées since then, both hosted by us as well as by hostesses for our Stylists. We’ve been using this first Christmas season mainly as a vehicle to get the word out in Oakville about the Senzu company, the Senzu jewelery and we are already registering new Stylists in and around the Greater Toronto Area.
Do you have any goals you’d like to accomplish in the next year or so?
Our main goal is to grow our network of Stylists and our sales of course, throughout Ontario and Canada. We will continue to create beautiful, affordable jewelery and by doing so, our Stylists will find that it sells itself. Our focus is on supporting our Stylists in their Senzu business and encourage their sales by continuing to enhance the website, the Stylist webportal, an easy to understand commission and downline structure and great customer service and Stylist support.
What are some lessons your business has taught you?
Together with my husband Brad, both Sumitra and I have run (and still run) many businesses, but this is our first business supported by an online store. I love browsing through our own e-Boutique! I have learned that for as many people there are in the world, that’s how many tastes and styles there are. I am inspired by working with the designers and manufacturers to develop great looking, high quality jewelery for Senzu. For Sumitra, this is the first time running a business in Canada. I think for her it is a breeze, compared to the challenges of doing business in other countries. Of course we all love being active in an industry that deals with such an exciting product as well as giving people the opportunity to change their lives and offer them a chance at financial freedom.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A Senzu Stylist’s earnings are only limited by their imagination and efforts. Based on our records, our Stylists typically do around $1200 in sales per Soirée (our home party), which means about $300 in commissions for them, for just about 3-4 hours work. In addition, anyone can be a hostess (those who host a Soireé) and potentially receive hundreds of dollars in free jewelery, compliments of Senzu. Our Stylists have no minimum sales requirements, but no maximums either! Anyone can become a Senzu customer, hostess or a Senzu Stylist. Our Senzu jewelery is high quality and attractively designed and priced, so it practically sells itself.
Any advice you’d like to offer fellow entrepreneurs that are just getting started?
Immerse yourself in the industry, read up on your peers, their experiences and be open to advice from people who’ve been there. Don’t give up on your own concept but be prepared to adapt it to what the market will support.