Sunday, November 27, 2016

The rise and fall of Silpada Designs

These guys started out way back in 1997, which is light years ago in MLM terms, and were so successful they were eventually bought out by MLM mega-giants from Avon in 2010 for a whopping $650 million. [1]

However, the daughters of the company’s original founders decided to buy back their family business from Avon in 2013, for only $85 million (huge devaluation – probably a red flag) to become their own independent company. [2]

Does this mean I was involved?

This video explains everything:

Make sense? Either way, here’s the full review on Silpada Designs.


Silpada Designs was hot for a while – they continued their success after breaking off, expanding their direct sales markets in 2015 and adding additional products to reach men and children.

They’ve even got an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a pretty good rating from their employees on Indeed as well, snagging 4.4 out of 5 stars. [3]

They claim their representatives make good money, too. Supposedly their home parties average $1,000 in sales, which is over twice the industry average.

Basically, the company wanted to empower women around the world to be entrepreneurs through home business opportunities selling cute, fashionable jewelry that they’d wear themselves anyway.

Sounds pretty good, right?

Silpada Representatives thought so too, excited by the prospect of getting to make a living throwing parties and talking with their friends about jewelry.

But the excitement for this newly independent business was short-lived, as they decided to shut down just in May of 2016. Richline Group acquired the company – what that means for them is unclear, but the direct selling model is out the window (along with all their hopeful distributors).


Silpada Designs produces and sells sterling silver, fashionable jewelry.

Their website is currently down, as they are transitioning to new ownership, so their products are likely to change quite a bit as well. Although, it does say that “While a few things have shifted, we’re committed to delivering the same jewelry you know and love.”

We’ll see.

Before they shut down, their jewelry was quality. It was made of .925 sterling silver, and their designs were classic but fashionable.

They also came out with a new line called K & R Collection that was actually pretty trendy, though overpriced. They also had stuff for women and men.

Women’s jewelry:

  • Bracelets
  • Earrings
  • Necklaces
  • Rings
  • Toe rings
  • Watches

Men’s jewelry:

  • Bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Rings
  • Watches

Children’s jewelry:

  • Bracelets
  • Earrings
  • Necklaces

The jewelry was sold primarily sold through home parties, which the company trademarked as “Fun Ladies’ Night Out Playing Dress-Up with Jewelry”. While I can see that maybe still appealing to middle-aged women and older, I don’t about the younger crowd. Most would probably laugh at an invitation to a dress-up party.


A lot of Silpada Representatives were convinced they’d make great money with relative ease.

Start-up costs were high for a jewelry MLM, ranging from $199 to $799. However, if you could sell the product it came with quickly, the investment paid for itself. That’s the hard part.

Silpada recruiters claiming that their parties sold an average of $1,000 in product, netting the representative $300, and only taking a few hours to throw. Thus, if you hold 4 parties a week, you’re only working 12-16 hours and making $1,200. Not a bad side gig. [4]

Of course, the math is questionable, and there’s a lot more than goes into throwing 4 parties a week that make those kinds of sales. Rarely did representatives even come close.

However, a 30% commission rate is honestly not bad. It’s on par with other successful MLM institutions like Mary Kay.

If you host 30 parties a month, given their average sales, that’s $6,750 in monthly income. Pretty great.

But who hosts 30 parties a month? You better have a big network of cousins and Facebook friends if you want to even come close to that number.

Of course, this is MLM, so the real money was in recruitment.

In addition to downline commission, there were also start-up bonuses ($250 worth of free jewelry for every new recruit in their first 100 days). There were also no minimum monthly sales requirements.


So, they had a good run, and for a while they were bought out by one of the most successful MLMs in the world. Their compensation plan was pretty good, too.

Silpada Designs made a name for themselves in the world of jewelry direct sales for sure. But now that name is gone.

They just weren’t able to keep up with the evolving market or support that kind of growth on a direct sales model. Richline Group purchased the company and plans to run it as a regular ecommerce business, meaning that distributors are totally left out of the picture. [5]

It’s a good lesson for network marketers – their job is never certain. This happens all the time with new MLMs, but it can happen even to older, more established MLMs that seem to be doing well.

I’m not a Silpada hater by any means. But they followed the same downward spiral that many MLMs typically fall down.

The MLM industry just isn’t what it used to be folks.

But if you like automated ways to build passive income, there are better ways.

(and you can trash those old MLM habits, too)


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