From being a single parent living in a council flat with two children and receiving income support, Gail has grown her Avon business to great heights. With no business background, no qualifications when she left school and no knowledge of the industry, Gail has built a network of 2,700 team members and an annual turnover of £7 million. She has been in the one percent of Avon’s highest earners for the past six years.
This year Gail was named Direct Seller of the Year 2013 at the Direct Selling Association’s annual awards ceremony – As an independent Avon Sales Leader and mother of three, Gail was recognized for her long-running achievements in the direct selling industry and her inspirational role to other entrepreneurs, women and mothers.
1. How do you manage to run a successful business and be a good mum too? It’s a constant dilemma for mums.
I made my business a part of my life instead of it being something I had to make time for. I think if mums and women can look at, and treat, their business as a lifestyle rather than something that takes them away from being a great mum they will beat the dilemma pretty easily. For instance, when I go shopping, I may have my kids with me….this doesn’t stop me from popping a few leaflets into the trolleys at the super market, or writing up an ad to pop on their notice board. Or maybe a trip to the park with the little one?
I simply take a blanket, take some snacks and drinks and an Avon brochure, before you know it not only am I chatting to the other mums in the park about the great products I have, but also the earnings’ opportunity where they can do what I do!
What is the secret of your success?
There really aren’t any secrets, it is about you just going for it. Become a walking talking business woman with or without the kids. Find a mentor, listen to motivational and self development CDs and always have goals and targets, short term and long term. One major thing I have learned is how to use my “mummy skill sets” in business. If I can negotiate with a three year old to eat her broccoli, I can negotiate with a local news paper to lower the cost of an advertisement!
What is your favourite beauty item?
Avon’s Advanced Techniques dry end serum, it makes my very fine hair look silky and shiny on all occasions.
If you had to take one item on holiday with you what would it be?
Avon’s Skin So Soft Dry Oil Body Spray original. It keeps away the mosquitoes and smells divine.
Tell us your beauty regime?
I use pretty much everything Avon! From shower gel, shampoo and conditioners through to the Foot Works and Planet Spa range to keep my skin soft and smooth. My skincare regime is simply using the Avon Rejuvenate products as well as the AF-33 Anew anti wrinkle serum. I love to pamper myself a lot and because Avon offers some amazing products at fantastic prices, I can’t help but be a walking advertisement for my own business.
What advice would you give to mums who are trying to start their own business?
Definitely go and research other successful women in the UK who have done what you are setting out to do. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either, because the true entrepreneurs will be honoured and happy to share some tips and ideas with you. I have found after meeting thousands of women and mums that want to run/build their own business that they give up at the first hurdle and they easily forget WHY they wanted to start their own business in the first place. To conquer this you need to have a constant reminder of WHY you do what you do every day. A vision board is a great visual reminder of your own why?
What advice did you mother give you about beauty? Something that you have stuck with.
Unfortunately my mum never really gave me any beauty advice, I have learned as I have got older to simply take care of your skin whilst you are young and it will pay off in your later years.
In 2012 Gail addressed over 100 people at the European Parliament in Brussels, speaking about opportunities for women in the Direct Selling industry in Europe, on behalf of all entrepreneurial women in Europe.
Gail’s Avon earnings have allowed her to own her dream £1million home, go on luxury holidays abroad and offer her family the ultimate lifestyle. She has also won holidays to Monte Carlo, Rome Barcelona, Prague, Mallorca, Malta and Berlin
Gail is an award winning author and inspirational role to other entrepreneurs, women and mothers.