“North America”


Just the facts, ma’am

The direct selling business — just like most sizeable industries — is no stranger to tough questions posed by critics and the media. But when those questions hit home, and are posed instead by friends, relatives or neighbors, it’s helpful to have a place to go for answers.

That’s why the U.S. Direct Selling Association launched its new site, It briefly explains how and why direct selling works, who is involved and the ethics and values the industry lives by.

A quick trip to the site recently garnered the following “a-ha” moments:

  • 74% of U.S. adults have purchased from a direct seller.
  • In 2012 in the U.K., there was a 29% increase in people aged 25 and younger joining direct selling companies.
  • The direct selling business model is vocally supported by the likes of University of New Mexico Professor Linda Farrell, Senior Vice President of the Council of Better Business Bureaus Beverly Baskin and former Federal Trade Commissioner Thomas Leary.

The site also contains helpful links to published academic research on the economic impact and history of direct selling, along with growth and outlook figures for the future.

All in all, it’s a great place to go when — just like Dragnet’s crime solver Sgt. Joe Friday — all you want are the facts.


Notable Numbers

Each year when Forbes, Fortune and others rank the most successful companies, it’s an opportunity to reflect not only on the numbers, but also the hard-working people who drive that success.

We’re proud of our Amway business owners. Thanks to their perseverance and leadership, our company has grown to what it is today — an incredible $11.3 billion global enterprise ranked #1 in the Direct Selling News Global 100. Also, Amway parent company Alticor ranks #25 on the most recent Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies. That’s ahead of outstanding businesses as Levi Strauss & Co., Edward Jones, Hallmark Cards and the Neiman Marcus Group.

And based on some fun summer math, here’s another number to ponder:

If our parent company, Alticor, participated in the  Fortune Magazine Fortune 500 listing — an annual ranking of sales revenues for those companies that are incorporated and operating in the U.S. — the numbers show we potentially would come in at #238. That would put us ahead of impressive brands such as Visa,  Estée Lauder and Campbell’s Soup.

Notable numbers?  Absolutely.  And it’s only the beginning.


People Mover

In Amway’s home state of Michigan, USA, residents know The People Mover as the railway that runs, elevated, along a 2.9-mile loop in Detroit’s central business district. But at this week’s Direct Selling Association Annual Meeting, completely different breeds of “people movers” took the stage. 

 First, DSA President Joe Mariano kicked off the Celebrate What’s Right theme with some exciting news:

  • U.S. direct sales are up 5.9% year-over-year
  • Research shows that 14% of U.S. households have at least one direct seller
  • People are two times more likely today than they were five years ago to consider becoming a direct seller
  • In the state of Montana, DSA members are exempt from the registration and renewal requirement with the Security Commissioner’s office by virtue of their existing commitment to DSA’s self-regulatory requirements


Then, keynote speaker Daniel Pink presented research insights and memorable takeaways from his book “To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.” Pink believes that the best way to move others is to be yourself, a message that hits home in the world of direct selling, where people of every background can – and do – achieve.  

The DSA also welcomed new members, other companies that commit to the organization’s ethical business practices such as Sozo and Jillian Chase; celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Direct Selling Education Foundation; presented the 2013 Ethos Awards (Amway won in the Technology Innovation: Mobile Technology category.); and named incoming board members and committee chairpersons.  

The meeting’s final keynote speaker was 20-year National Geographic photographer and movie producer DeWitt Jones, who photographed the child above. Jones used his extraordinary photographs to illustrate balance, inspiration and answer-finding. His words and images were incredibly moving – as much so as the DSA parties, presentations and people themselves.


The jolliest volunteer


More than half of Amway’s West Michigan employees volunteer in some way to help children.

But no one does it quite like Kraig Haybarker.

Kraig, who’s a distribution coordinator at our North American Regional Distribution Center,  is a Hospice Santa, making the holidays merry and bright for the youngest patients served by Hospice of Michigan. 

Hospice’s Early Care program provides support for children coping with a long-term illness or chronic condition.

Kraig, as Santa, just paid his third visit to three siblings who suffer from a genetic disorder that causes blindness, seizures and developmental complications. Violet, Willie and Carson Sherman, who have each lost their sight, have come to know the sound of this special Santa’s voice.  

Santa brought gifts of teddy bears, recorders, a copy of The Polar Express and bells from Dasher and Rudolph’s harnesses. 

But more than anything, he brought the joy of the season, which Kraig says he wishes could last all year long.  “Wouldn’t it be great if we all had that same smile, glow and happiness in our voice every time we met someone?” he wrote to the Shermans.

Kraig isn’t finished spreading good cheer.  The jolliest volunteer at Amway will host a live web chat today with Mlive  from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. Eastern Time and answer questions as Santa.


Giving thanks


When Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel decided to expand Amway beyond U.S. borders in 1962, they didn’t go far.

That year Amway Canada launched in London, Ontario, as the company’s first international market, a four-hour drive away from our world headquarters in Ada, Michigan.

Today Amway Canada  commemorates its 50th anniversary. The celebration has been going on all year, through different events to mark the golden anniversary. A 50th anniversary video tells the story of Amway Canada from the perspectives of the distributors and employees who helped build our business there.  Others have shared thoughts and words on a “virtual memory wall” at Amway Canada’s Facebook page.   

Yesterday Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving.   Today, we give thanks for the distributors, employees and customers who have made Amway Canada what it is today.


Growing business

More than seven decades ago, Carl F. Rehnborg introduced what’s believed to be the first multivitamin/multimineral food supplement, manufactured in a Quonset hut in Southern California.

Since then, NUTRILITE has become the world’s No. 1 selling vitamins and dietary supplements brand, and is the only global vitamin and mineral brand to grow, harvest and process plants on its own certified organic farms.

Today, Carl’s son Sam Rehnborg, Ph.D., and George Calvert, Ph.D., Amway Vice President of Research and Development and Supply Chain, were in a field in Quincy, Washington, to celebrate yet another milestone for the company.

Amway  broke ground on a $38 million botanical concentrate manufacturing facility that will process plants from the company’s nearby Trout Lake Farm operations. Trout Lake is the largest certified organic herb farm in North America.

The Quincy project is part of a $185 million manufacturing expansion we announced earlier this year to meet growing global demand for NUTRILITE products. Amway had sales of $4.7 billion for its nutritional products for 2011.

Check back at The Amway Insider and our Facebook page for photos from the groundbreaking ceremony and more about our growing nutrition business.


Behind the scenes: Amway’s wildlife

Nearly 180 of the 430 acres at Amway World Headquarters Campus in West Michigan are managed that boast more than 80 different species of wildlife habitat, including woods, wetlands and 8,000 feet of river frontage.

In protecting this land, Amway distributors, employees and leaders across the world take pride in our generations of environmental stewardship.  Since a photo speaks a 1,000 words, we thought a video could truly convey the beautiful serenity of our campus wildlife.

YouTube Direkt


Making the grade

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has come a long way since it was founded in 1912, today collecting and providing performance ratings on more than 4 million businesses in the United States and Canada.

In 2010, the BBB announced a relationship with the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) to help educate direct selling companies, their representatives and prospects, and their customers on their rights and responsibilities. That relationship has resulted in a number of blog posts counseling consumers on everything from how to identify a pyramid scheme to why we trust some people, but not others.

More importantly, formally agreeing to abide by the BBB Code of Business Practices is something that Amway and most of our industry peers have done, beginning with Avon in 1949. That long-term commitment means most of us earn the BBB’s A+ rating year after year.

It’s a grade we take pride in, and one we’ll all continue to strive for.


Keeping it clean


Amway Home products are top of the line, but don’t take our word for it. Check out a product demo and see for yourself.

To prove the effectiveness of our products, our Research and Development team creates product demos that compare our product performance to that of our competitors.

The Permanent Marker Demo, featuring our L.O.C. Kitchen Cleaner, is a favorite of the Home Care Product Development group. This demo shows a quick and simple solution to an everyday household problem – removing permanent marker from countertops and other surfaces.

Product demos are a powerful tool for our distributors to use in selling our products to customers. Russia and China reported that most distributors in those markets rate product demos as “important” or “very important” to their business. After the permanent marker demo was released in North America, we saw a significant increase in L.O.C. Kitchen Cleaner sales.

See for yourself the demonstrable quality of our products.


Recognizing bone health

Nutrilite is in the process of launching new, natural source bone health products around the globe. As part of our work investigating ways to optimize bone health, we have embarked upon a partnership in North America with the International Osteoporosis Foundation, or IOF. If you’re from North America and you’ve purchased the new Ultimate Bone Health Solution product, you may have noticed the IOF logo on the package.

Teaming with the IOF gives us a way to help elevate osteoporosis awareness, along with the importance of proper nutrition, weight-bearing exercise and other lifestyle choices that contribute to healthy bones. The IOF maintains different committees within their organization, including the Committee of Corporate Advisors, and Nutrilite scientist Yumei Lin represents us on this committee.

Frankly, the number of people affected by weak bones across the globe is staggering. If you visit the IOF’s website you’ll learn that osteoporosis is often referred to as the “silent disease” because of its symptomless development. You won’t necessarily realize you have osteoporosis until a fracture occurs. In fact, around the world, an osteoporotic fracture is estimated to occur every 3 seconds with 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50, at risk of suffering one.

Bones are built up during childhood and adolescence, so you actually have a limited window to build bone strength earlier in your life that goes up into your thirties. As you get older you need to take preventive action to maintain your bone strength.

Understanding the nature of this issue is one step toward resolving it. Make the right nutrition choices that include sufficient calcium and protein, get enough vitamin D, and supplement when necessary. And be sure you keep active with regular weight-bearing exercises. Taking these steps will help to keep your bones healthy and strong, reducing your risk of having painful and disabling osteoporotic fractures.