Thursday, 23 June 2016
2Inspire Inspirational Woman: Elaine Atherton, Sales Director of LiV for Beautiful Things
In this interview we meet Elaine Atherton who has recently launched a new concept called LiV for Beautiful Things, a party plan business based on beautiful homeware by British craftspeople and designers. She is a two-time winner of the prestigious Direct Selling Association’s ‘Best Seller and Recruiter’, but the interesting thing is that she only joined Body Shop because she left her career in banking, in order to bring up her family. She fit her party plan work around her family commitments, but made a massive success of it, being a top salesperson for the company and winning numerous prizes and rewards. Read her interview and be inspired!
Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
This is one of the things I love about my job is that it is so varied! A typical day can include many things such as registering new LiV Consultants, supporting our existing consultants in their LiV journey and helping them achieve their financial goals. I am also constantly looking for those new designers out there in the UK that could be part of LiV in the future. I am also out and about sharing the LiV at events around the country, and sharing our beautiful products with others.
What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I started with LiV for Beautiful Things Pre-launch in March 2015, when we were still in the planning stages and pulling all the range together. What drew me to LiV was the beautiful range of products we sell, and the fact we are focusing on British designers and manufacturers. Part of my role was to write the training and our commissions plan. I very much wanted this to be a ‘modern day world’ direct selling business, and everything has been done with that in mind. People like to have choices with regard to how they sell our products, and we will support our Consultants in however they choose to do that.
What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
From a personal point of view, it was falling into the direct selling world as a stay-at-home mum 24 years ago, and 9 years later having a business that had a turnover of £4million in a year. Despite this success, I had still been there for all the school events along the way. Direct selling has been life-changing for me and my family. At a professional level, my greatest accomplishment has been being recognised by the Direct Selling Association twice as the top person in my field, which is a huge accolade.
What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Tough question! I think it’s accepting that some things are not within your control, and you can’t do everything yourself!
What are your future plans for the business?
As we are still in our first year of business we have a fantastic future ahead of us. We have a great team who are working on making our business a household name and ‘sharing the LiV’ as we like to say! As we grow our business across the country, I am always looking for the next person who loves to surround themselves amidst beautiful things, whether that be as a customer, a host, or selling the products to earn some extra money, and receive a discount on their own purchases.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Great question! No – one of my motto is ‘we don’t make mistakes, we just have lots of learning curves’. Sometimes you only know what will or won’t work once you have tried it.
Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
I was fortunate enough to be encouraged to follow my dreams! I guess I have always been a bit of a dreamer, as one of my teachers told my parents that ‘Elaine appears to daydream on occasions during my lesson.’ There are so many opportunities now for women to carve their own path, and with great guidance anything is possible. I only came into Direct Selling after 14 years in banking, so it was a complete career change for me, at a time when I wanted something to fit around my children.
What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
If you are looking to join the industry as a Consultant to earn some extra money, then I believe you should choose something you feel passionate about and you love selling! Support and training is also massively important and feeling part of a team is key.
What or who inspires you in business and why?
The late Anita Roddick was my greatest inspiration, and I was fortunate to meet her on many occasions. Her attitude to life and business taught me so much. Passion, enthusiasm and a love for what you do becomes infectious, and surrounding yourself with positive people is a must!
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
‘In the end we only regret the chances we did not take!’
FB - LiV for beautiful things