Interview with Monica and Gabrielle – Founders of Gigi Hill

Interview with Monica Hillman and Gabrielle De Santis-Cummings Gigi Hill

Recently, I was contacted by the lovely ladies over at Gigi Hill. I had heard of the direct sales company before, but didn’t know much about them or their products. After hearing their story, I knew I had to feature them on the site. Not only do these ladies have a great success story, but they also have fabulous products!

Gabrielle and Monica were kind enough to send me the Katharine Reversible Tote Bag (Lulu Design). Not only is it super stylish, but it’s so functional. The bag contains two zippered pouches, one inside and one out, along with a durable and wipeable fabric. Just let me say, the photos don’t do it justice!

It is with great pleasure, that I introduce Gabrielle De Santis-Cummings and Monica Hillman Founders of Gigi Hill.

Tell us a little bit about Gigi Hill and how it got started:

Monica: Gabrielle and I met at our daughters’ soccer games, where we quickly became friends. As we sat on the sidelines week after week, we talked a lot about the lack of worthwhile bags for busy moms. We started Gigi Hill both to fill that market gap by creating a bag that was fashionable, functional and durable, AND to give us careers that would allow us to spend more time with our families. After researching industry trends and direct sales models, we decided to take the leap of faith and start Gigi Hill, literally designing the first bag sitting on my living room floor and then working from my house for several months.

Inspired by our own experiences and those of women we knew, we created the bags to help real women stay organized. That led us to the Gigi Hill Signature Pocket Design™ that ensures there is a pocket for everything so women can stay organized on the go. It includes a key fob to keep your keys handy at all times, as well as pockets for your cell phone or other electronics, water bottles, sunglasses, pens and other essentials like your favorite lip gloss or makeup. We include several clear pockets to make it even easier to find what you need.

Gabrielle: We started the Gigi Hill collection of fabulous handbags in 2006 as a party-plan direct sales business and took it nationwide in 2009. Since the beginning, it has been about helping busy women bridge the gap between style and function by creating handbags they would love to carry whether going to the beach with their kids or out to dinner with their husbands. Gigi Hill bags are modern and chic yet feminine – all with standout fabrics and the highest quality construction. We have everything from wristlets and totes to laptop cases and weekenders. We also expanded to offer accessories like sunglasses and flip flops, men’s bags and a junior’s line.

Gigi Hill offers a home-based business opportunity for women – tell us more about this.

G: Gigi Hill is founded on home parties where our lifestyle collection is sold exclusively in relaxed, comfortable environments by our saleswomen – or stylists – who care about the customer experience. Our stylists get to create their own careers and drive their own earning potential. And Gigi Hill is always looking for new stylists to start their own businesses selling Gigi Hill handbags, totes and accessories. It allows for an extremely flexible work schedule, the ability to determine your own earning potential and rewarding entrepreneurial opportunities. It’s also a great company to network and meet other women, both at your own parties and through Gigi Hill stylist events throughout the year. Being surrounded by fabulous women is such an inspiring and powerful support system and so much fun! To learn more about becoming a Gigi Hill stylist, visit http://www.gigihillbags.com/pws/homeoffice/tabs/_stylist1.aspx.

What was the most difficult lesson you have learned as entrepreneurs?

Direct Sales Opportunity

Katharine Reversible Tote Bag

M: It’s a constant focus on staying relevant and keeping agile with innovation. These are challenges any business faces and its vital you take the time to do it right. We are constantly reading, researching and networking with other business owners to stay ahead and on track.

What advice would you give direct sales consultants on how to build a great business?

G: We invest in helping the women who have made Gigi Hill possible in their journey to success. We strongly encourage women everywhere to chase their dreams and make them a reality. Follow your passion and your intuition, and research, research, research. Then it’s time to get moving. As we always say, plan your work and then work your plan.

How would you rate your success? 

G: Gigi Hill’s success is an on-going accomplishment; the company has grown so much in the few years we have been in business but we still strive for more. Each year we set our goals personally and professionally – true success is meeting those goals consistently. We see success in our home office employees as well as our stylists, and are extremely proud of what we have achieved together.  We are excited to see Gigi Hill expand even further into the market.

How do you manage all of your personal and business activities? 

M: We manage all of our personal and business activities with the help of our wonderful families and amazing Gigi Hill staff at our headquarters in Yorba Linda. We also manage the work/life balance with the help of our chic and durable Gigi Hill bags. Finishing a business meeting and making it to a soccer game in time, in style and with oranges for the team snack – no problem!

What was your first paying job?

G: I was an Aerobics Instructor.
M: I worked at McDonald’s.

Connect with Gabrielle De Santis-Cummings and Monica Hillman Founders of Gigi Hill…

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