A Go-getter With a Solid Family Team
Blondell Ross always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and since launching her Avon business in 1974 she has seen that dream realized. Of the many skills required in owning your own business, one of the most important is the ability to build reliable partnerships. And this Inner Circle member has not only partnered with local businesses near her Dorchester, South Carolina, home to achieve success, she’s also enlisted the help of her family.
Blondell, 64, decided to start her Avon business after the motor packing plant she worked for closed. “I needed a job that would give me the flexibility to be home with my four children, and that’s when Avon became a big part of my life,” says Blondell. With three daughters and a son, ranging in ages one to eight, to raise Blondell combined the convenience of being a stay-at-home mom with the opportunity it presented to become more active in her children’s after school activities and build her Avon business at the same time. Her early Avon career, says Blondell, flourished alongside her young children’s school ball games, marching band competitions and piano lessons, where she sold products and recruited new Representatives.
As the children got older, they became more involved in their mother’s business, helping it grow. “We worked as a team,” recalls Blondell. “My two older daughters, Evelyn and Vernetha, began taking orders from their friends and teachers and gradually my sales increased.”
The family’s team effort was so motivating, it sparked Blondell’s successful climb up the President’s Club ladder. The exclusive perks that came her way, including high earnings and President’s Points, have allowed her to share the experience of going on luxurious President’s Club trips with family members.
After Evelyn and Vernetha left for college, Blondell’s son, Antonio, was next in line to take over their Avon duties. “Antonio earned extra cash from me by selling Avon at his school. His friends teased him by calling him the Avon boy but he never let it bother him. Antonio was proud to sell Avon and I was proud of his ability to just laugh off the teasing,” says Blondell.
Even the youngest child, Tamar, now 34, played a major role in her mother’s success. “All of my Customers got a thrill seeing her with me,” says Blondell. “It was fun sharing the joy of being a Representative with her and, of all my children, I think Tamar is the one most likely to carry on my Avon legacy.” In fact, although the older children are still involved in selling Avon, Tamar now has her own Avon business and is a member of Blondell’s Downline.
But the family business doesn’t just extend to her children. Blondell’s husband, Washie, is also a devoted member of the family team. After Blondell had a car accident a few years ago, Washie refused to let her deliver orders without him behind the wheel. Now a retired shipyard worker, Washie still pitches in to support her business.
Building Toward the Future
Today, with over $280,000 in personal sales and more than $320,000 in Total Unit Sales last cycle, Blondell’s goal is become an Advanced Unit Leader. To ensure that her business keeps growing, Blondell continues to make door-to-door visits, and uses the contacts she’s established with local banks and restaurants to host regular open houses to generate new Customers and Recruits. Blondell also opens her home to Avon parties twice a year.
Blondell defines herself as a go-getter whose personal style is pleasantly infectious and never aggressive. And those traits have earned her more perks over the years than just money. A highlight of her Avon career occurred in the late 1980s after she won recognition for having the highest sales in her District of the men’s fragrance Undeniable by Billy Dee Williams. At her award celebration, the actor planted a kiss on her cheek. The moment was captured on film and still thrills Blondell to this day. Blondell’s enduring success and steady stream of recognition, monetary gains and travel opportunities during her long career has only deepened her loyalty to Avon. “Avon has offered me better incentives than any job I’ve ever known,” says Blondell. “Avon has made it possible for me and my family to travel to many cities and countries and to send my children to college. I love my work and I have fun at what I do.”