The drive for independent success is what motivates an entrepreneur to start a business. Not every attempt creates an immediate sensation in the market. But, individuals like Orville Thompson keep plugging away until they find the right formula for a new company.
Thompson had dabbled in sales of various items at trade shows and fairs. He just never found the right product until Scentsy came along. He found the creation at a home and garden show in March of 2004. The Scentsy ceramic warmers deliver the same results as scented candles, but without open flames. A light bulb heats the wax to provide the scent.
He tried to explain the concept to his wife Heidi over the phone. She didn’t quite understand and figured this was just another one of the wares that would end up in her husband’s junk pile. When Orville brought home a Scentsy, Heidi was convinced his tenacity might finally yield big results.
Commitment to the business idea was strong enough that the Thompsons bought the company that created Scentsy devices. Reflecting a sound strategy for entering a new business venture, the Thompsons devised an arrangement to pay the founders of Scentsy over time as sales volume increased. The inventors of Scentsy even agreed to act as consultants for the Thompsons.
Scentsy uses independent salespeople, who deploy sales channels such as private home parties and e-commerce websites as well as local fairs and shows. The company has 170,000 active sales consultants worldwide. In addition, Scentsy has about 1,000 corporate employees. The Thompsons recruited an experienced management team to make up for the couple’s lack of big business expertise.
The products are so popular with loyal customers that repeat sales of new scents boosted revenue in 2011 to $525 million. To keep the momentum, Scentsy is introducing new products in 2012. This includes scented laundry and personal care products. Another new launch by the company is warmers that melt cheese and chocolate using the Scentsy technology. Orville projects 2012 sales to reach $750 million.