Cosmetics and more at Suz Avon
That was just over two years ago. She now has two Suz Avon stores in
West Des Moines, one in Jordan Creek Town Center and the other in
Valley West Mall.
Eggers, 45, said she originally planned to open just one store, in
Jordan Creek, but there were delays in getting the space ready,
Christmas 2004 was looming and she was accumulating a houseful of
products ordered for her store.
She approached Valley West Mall about putting products in a space
there, just until her Jordan Creek store was ready. The shop opened in
Traffic was so good she kept the Valley West Mall store open. When
her Jordan Creek space was ready, she opened there in February 2005.
The shops carry cosmetics, skin-care products for women, men and
children, lingerie and handbags. Eggers, who answered these questions,
has about 20 part-time employees.
Q. When did you begin your business with Avon?
A. It was the end
of February 2004. I signed up through my representative and just one
week later I came up with the idea for a store. I intended to open just
one, in Jordan Creek Mall when it first opened.
Q. What did it take to do that?
A. Just a little bit of
paperwork. I had to give Avon information on the mall, the anchor
stores there, the size of the mall, the demographics of the surrounding
area, including the population and median income, the number of
representatives already in the area and the outside competition from
other cosmetic companies. I had to go through marketing requirements
and tell them what I'd accomplish. I had to become a Certified Beauty
Advisor, which included going to Chicago and taking one day of training
in skin care and color.
Q. Are you still an Avon representative?
A. Yes, I still hand out
catalogs to my original customers. At my high point, I was ordering 500
books every two weeks. Now I'm ordering about 100 books every two weeks.
Q. When do you have time for that?
A. Usually at night. My
customers might wake up and find a surprise (catalog and products) on
their doors. All is well and good as long as the dog doesn't bark. My
customers call in or e-mail their orders. I have an account separate
from the store for that.
Q. How many other Avon stores are there?
A. When I applied for
Jordan Creek, I was told that it was the 26th in the nation. When you
count kiosks, there are 100. In the United States, there are 650,000
Avon representatives, so that 100 is not very many.
Q. The lingerie is not what I expected. It's very sexy. Tell me about it.
We carry extra small to 1X. We can special order to 3X. Pricewise, it's
more affordable than a lot of other places. Prices range from $18 to
$38, averaging about $23.
Q. When there are so many representatives, why open a store?
It's here for someone who doesn't have a representative, or for someone
who needs something quick. More people are bringing in clips from
magazines, or seeing products on TV on "Oprah," "Desperate Housewives"
or "CSI." Sometimes, the ads are out before the product. Fortunately, I
can, as a store, get them before the representatives do.
Q. What is a popular product?
A. Our Anew Clinical Line, products
you can use instead of having surgery. They are a blend of Eastern
plant therapies and Western technology. It's the best of both worlds.
I sell a lot of Clinical eyelift. It has two products in one
container - an upper eye gel and an undereye cream. The upper helps
with sagging and drooping and the undereye takes care of those dark
circles. You apply it morning and night and it boosts the collagen
level so it helps reduce puffiness, drooping and sagging. It's about
$30. It lasts a couple of months.
My Anew products are always near the top of my sales report. At an
annual recognition banquet, out of 8,500 representatives, I got No. 1
or No. 2 for volume spent on skin care.
Q. What are your favorite products?
A. Everything I use, from
shampoo to soaps to lotions. Pretty much everything they come out with,
I have. I don't carry clothes here, though. There's no room.
I think my favorite right now is the Anew face cream. And the
instant manicure is oh, so cool. It's real nail enamel that you can
apply to your own fingernails or acrylic nails. You peel it off and
apply it to your nail. I was getting ready for my son's college
graduation and I was scrubbing grout and cutting fruit until my hands
were like raisins. The polish stayed on. I wish I'd invented them. We
have 10 shades right now, but six new colors are coming out in the fall.