Interview with Tricia Smith – Independent Fashion Stylist with Ava Gray direct

Nicole & TriciaTell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.

I’m a stay-at-home mom to two active, fantastic little boys and have been married to my amazing husband for seven years. I was introduced to the Ava Gray brand a couple of years ago when the company was selling only to high end boutiques across the country. I was fortunate enough to have a few of the original Ava Gray tops and dresses that featured removable soft bra cups.

To this day, those tops and dresses are still a favorite in my wardrobe not only because of the lasting quality, but also because of the flexibility of the clothes. It was easy to wear an Ava Gray top around the house and feel comfortable, yet wear the same top to my kids’ play-dates knowing that I looked pulled together and stylish. I really fell in love with the whole concept of the collection!

When the company announced the launch of Ava Gray direct and a ground floor opportunity for women to have their own fashion business, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to have a flexible business of my own, especially after learning that I could work as an Independent Fashion Stylist around my teaching and family schedule. I joined without hesitation, as did my sister-in-law, Nicole; she also owned an Ava Gray dress and is a believer in the brand, just like me. We signed up for Ava Gray direct together and we couldn’t be more excited! We’re having so much fun with our own business, are growing quickly, and are meeting so many new friends in the process.

What did you do before launching your own business?

I was a classroom teacher and I loved it! However, once I had children, I wanted to stay home to care for them and experience their childhoods. I started teaching online but I needed a bit more flexibility. Becoming an Independent Fashion Stylist with Ava Gray direct has helped me be able to enjoy more time with my boys and still contribute financially to our family on my own terms.

What are the startup costs for becoming a stylist, and what does it include?

I knew the Ava Gray brand and I was serious about this business opportunity. I had decided that I wanted to make as much money as possible right away and because Ava Gray direct is committed to its Stylists through quality product, training, and ongoing support, I knew that joining the company would require an up-front commitment from me, too. I started with the Boutique Kit for $589, which included everything I needed to start my own fashion business. I like to call it my boutique in a box – it’s wonderful!  I received the current collection in different sizes and colors, a clothing rack, hangers, a styling guide, marketing brochures, and more. The company even set me up with my own personal website! The online training and live training calls have been incredibly helpful and encouraging, and I continue to receive rewards for myself and for my party hostesses!  So much is included for such an affordable price to start your own fashion business. It’s already been worth it.

How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent is your home office?

I spend about 5-10 hours a week working and spend about half the time in my home office making appointments for fashion parties and participating in live training calls. I love that I can control how many hours I want to work each week, and I tend to be consistent so that I can grow my business faster.

How would you rate your success?

I’ve been in this business for only a few months now and have already had measurable success. I even won the first stylist contest and earned extra rewards! At my most recent fashion party, I didn’t even get to my style presentation before the women were trying on the clothes and asking me to write up their orders. I love my work!

What has been your biggest business struggle as a direct sales consultant?

My biggest struggle is approaching people to tell them about Ava Gray direct, only because I don’t consider myself a true salesperson. Ironic since I joined a direct sales company! Luckily I’ve been approached by other women while wearing the brand – they asked about my clothes! -  and so I’ve had time to build my sales skills and can comfortable share why I’m such a big believer in Ava Gray direct. The training calls have also helped equip me for success.

What advice would you give to a new consultant starting out?

My advice would be to hit the ground running!  The more work you put in upfront, the less you’ll have to do in the future because your sales team does the work for you! The company offers great training and the clothes truly sell themselves. Not to mention, what woman doesn’t want to have a fashion party with her friends? Booking parties is so fun and easy!

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

I like to plan out my schedule before the week starts.  First, I write down all of our family activities. Next, I schedule in the weekly conference calls with Ava Gray direct and then I see what days I want to schedule parties. Planning out my schedule ahead of time allows me to know what the week will look like so that I can be prepared and also gives me a lot to look forward to!

Connect with Tricia Smith and Ava Gray direct…

WebsiteAva Gray direct

Twitter:   @AVAGRAYdirect

Facebook Fan Page:  Ava Gray direct

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