Leaving Agnes & Dora

As one chapters closes, another opens.

After 18 months with Agnes & Dora, I resigned in April of 2018.  I know so many of you found my blog while researching the path you wanted to take and trying to decide which company to join with.  That’s why this post is so important to me and it’s taken me quite some time to write it.

Agnes & Dora gave me so many things.  Yes, I was successful but sometimes success comes at a cost.  I didn’t realize how high the cost was until recently after I surrendered it.

You see, in the 18 months, there were high amazing sales, lots of processing and shipping orders,  live sales, album sales, website shopping sales, late nights and early mornings.  What most people didn’t see was the mounting stress manifesting in physical symptoms. No one could see the invisible weight I began to carry as so many things changed within the company. The time my business was taking was increasing as it grew and I was being buried in it. The joy was sucked right out.

As you’ll hear in the video linked at the bottom of this blog post, I came up with a fashion direct sales business back in the winter but had no idea how to leverage such an idea. I shared the idea with a friend who shared with me, “that’s what my company is starting!”  I saw my life come back, I saw my time come back, I saw me being able to run a business in the industry I loved without being so stressed.

It’s been NINE days since I launched my new venture and I want to scream from the roof tops, “THERE’S A BETTER WAY LADIES,” to all my friends still in other fashion direct sales companies. Long gone are the days of needing to fill a room in your house with inventory that may or may not sell.  Long gone are the days of putting thousands of dollars on the line to start a fashion business.  Long gone are the days of having to spend hours upon hours packing and shipping orders. There’s a way to run a fashion business and have a life and I’m doing it!  I feel like I took off a 100lb weight that I’d been wearing around my neck and I know if I felt that way, there are other women in these DS companies feeling the exact same way so it’s now part of my mission to let them know, IT’S OK TO MOVE ON! It’s OK to let go of where you are and embrace something new! Get your life back! You deserve it.

If you want to see what I’m talking about, click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0gqFAJe2c4&t=6s

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Paying Uncle Sam

Today my CPA’s office called. The secretary asked if I was sitting down.

She proceeded to tell me I’ll have to write a check to Uncle Sam for the same amount of money that used to be my pay for 6 months.

SIX. MONTHS. 💰

A few years ago, that would’ve made my stomach turn.
Today, I was excited.

As you read this you might think I’m crazy but follow my train of thought.

Entrepreneurship is seen as “sexy” right now, and let’s be honest, it kinda is. But it’s also a huge risk and LOTS and LOTS of work!

I’ve been doing my own thing for years now and the fact that I’m to the point where my business brings in enough that I have to pay taxes equal to what six months of my pay would’ve been in corporate America, to me, that says, “Girl, you’re making it! You’re doing it! You’re work is paying off!”

I look at writing that big check not as a negative thing, but a very positive sign showing my business is successful!

Writing that big fat check is a blessing.
It makes me feel abundant!
It makes me feel empowered!
It makes me realize banking on myself was the best risk I ever took!

 

I hope my entrepreneur friends get to experience this feeling! I hope you keep betting on yourself! If I can do it, so can you!

XO,

Dorothy

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Stop Hustling!

It’s a Monday morning, laying on my toddlers bedroom floor, he and I cuddled together, staring out the window watching the snowfall, I realized this is the pace of life I was meant to live and have been missing.

I’ve spent years building my businesses. I built them to have time, to have freedom & to be able to be present for my family.

My most recent one was built during the first year of my child’s life.

In therapy (yes, therapy) I cried because looking at pictures of my beautiful baby, I couldn’t remember all the stages and milestones.

My brain had been consumed with one word. A word our society glorifies. Something that makes us feel important. If we master it, we are told we are successful.

HUSTLE.

I hustled. I hustled hard. I had huge months. I had many 5 figure months. I was busy. I was stressed. I was angry. I was running myself into the ground.

I finally broke.

I thought I was dying. Actually dying. To the point I was afraid my child would grow up not knowing who I was.

I paid THOUSANDS of dollars, seeing so many doctors that my schedule consisted of at least 2-3 appointments a week…for months!

No one found anything but they all asked the same things.

“Are you taking time to take care of yourself? Are you getting sleep? Do you ever take time off?”

You see, the answer to all these were a big fat NO.

I was addicted to hustling, to feeling and seeming important. Successful people were always busy right? So I was always busy! I was grinding. At night I’d go to bed and be thinking of work, customers, my team, sales numbers, emails I needed to write and then my health fears would take over, inevitably my child would wake up at some point & sleep would be a lost cause.

But this is what we are taught. If you “work hard” you’ll be rewarded. “Good things come to those who hustle.”

It’s not true. None of it. Nothing has to be hard. Hard is a choice. Hard is a mindset.

You can also choose to let things be easy. You can choose to work smart, to set boundaries. You can choose your feelings. You can say “NO.” You can work in flow.

You see stress, anger and frustration that come from hustle may short term create success but it’s not sustainable. It creates negativity long term and negative energy cannot attract positivity. Basic law of attraction & frequency energy.

I was given a new mission because I believe we grow through what we go through. My mission is to support other women in business to learn they don’t have to accept “hard” or “hustle” as part of their vocabulary.

All of this started with freeing myself.

Slow down.

Breathe.

Stop to glorification of hustle.

Life’s too short for that shit.

Choose His Truth

Hello friends! It’s been a while! Where have I been? Busy running my business, raising a baby (who’s now 9 months old) and I’ve been struggling for a few months with health issues. We are still waiting on answers and lots of doctors appointments and the waiting has left me feeling defeated, confused, anxious and fearful.

Today, as I sat after my devotions, journal open to write my prayers to God, I experienced such an amazing revelation.

But today I was able to look back through my life and see just how far God has brought me. How many traumatic things He has walked me through, how many close calls He pulled me out of, how much He has protected and provided for me.

He is ALWAYS there and is ALWAYS GOOD!

Why would I doubt now??

The reason I’ve doubted…the enemy. As believers we are always under attack. The devil will find our trigger, our moment of weakness and plant one seed of doubt then sit back and watch us water it and self destruct!

Today, I was able to write out the lies the enemy wanted me to believe, the things he hoped I’d start to shape my life out of. I was then able to confront those lies with the TRUTH of God!

The devil is a jerk (that’s putting it nicely). I not so nicely told him to leave my home and head today. He belongs in hell, not here & he can take his sorry beliefs with him.

Even with our unknown futures we can always trust a known and never changing God! He knows our futures and somehow, He works all things together for our good. Today more than ever I’m thankful for that!

God, you are amazing! 

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Agnes & Dora 6 Month Update

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Time flies when you’re having fun! Did you guys think I totally disappeared? Well I did for a little while, but now we’re together again, so let me bring you up to speed!

The last time we talked, I had just left the LuLaRoe queue and signed with Agnes & Dora. I gave you all my reasons and left you hanging with how things shook out! Sorry about that, but I had a good reason I promise.  I will be sharing some financial things in the blog post, not to brag, but because many ladies want to know what’s possible with this business.  I believe in being transparent in business so others can see what’s possible 🙂 

On November 7, 2016, I went into preterm labor with my son.  He was 31 weeks and 5 days old. There was NO stopping the birth and he came into the world a solid 8 weeks early. Don’t panic! He was so healthy. The doctors were unbelievably impressed but we still had to leave him in the NICU.  The following week, as my husband and I IMG_5184were playing the NICU parenting game, me trying to recover, him working and both of us bouncing back and forth between the hospital and home, my inventory arrived. Both excitement and overwhelm took over at that point.  I had a business to run but was also now the mom of a preemie and trying to rest and recover.

 

If there’s one thing you’ll learn about me, it’s that I have a hard time slowing down and resting. If I have goals, well watch out!  Despite it being the CRAZIEST time in my life, I launched my business the same week I received my inventory. Some people thought I was nuts, but I truly needed the distraction. I needed something to keep my mind from the fact that my son was 35 minutes away from me and that there was nothing I could do about it but wait for time to pass, weight to be gained and for him to hit certain milestones so he could come home.

The first weekend, I did an inhome open house and had friends and family come shop and try on all the A&D goodies. It was a success in my eyes! I sold around $1k retail in just a few hours that weekend.  I then went to my Facebook group and starting doing both album and live sales there.

What everyone wants to know is, “how long did it take you to make back what you invested?” Originally my plan was 30 days but seeings how I had extenuating circumstances, I cut myself some slack.  It took me until the end of December, so around 45 days.  I ended 2016 breaking even.

During that time, our son was discharged from the hospital and my business strategy changed drastically.  Originally, I had planned to do a mix of online, in home shopping hours and pop ups in other friends homes.  However, we knew bringing a preemie baby home in December meant we needed to now go into hermit mode for the sake of health.  All of my sales ended up being done online from early December until now (May 2017). The last week of December, I sat and really reflected on what I wanted to create with this business.  I could see the potential for this business to me the thing that changed the life of my family.  You see during December, my husband was home the entire month. All I wanted now was to create enough income to 1) pay off the enormous debt the NICU had piled on us and 2) give my husband more time at home with us.

I was determined and committed to creating MASSIVE change for us and that’s what I have done.

Since January my retail sales have grown between  $1.5-$2k every month and April I closed out my first 5 figure month in sales! In fact, in April I far surpassed my original sales goal. It was a pretty awesome 30th birthday present to get.  Now, one thing I want to say about this growth is that it doesn’t come easy. You’ll hear some people say that “the clothes sell themselves,” and that’s not true. You have to market, create a presence online, create relationships, provide good customer service, be a real and authentic person and show your personality. It’s work! It’s a lot of work! And with success comes more work…leggings, dresses and tops don’t just package and ship themselves ha!

 

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When you turn 30, wear lemons!

Some other amazing things have happened besides my sales as well.  A&D did NOT allow us to recruit (until recently and we are NOT an MLM) but wanted us to have organic growth. My team organically grew to over 60 fabulous women! Many of whom were brought to me from this blog or my YouTube channel. One thing that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE is helping other women build their business and A&D has provided the opportunity for me to do that as well. We’ve formed a tight team based on empowering each other and uplifting each other up. We are a tribe of positive, go-getters, determined to change our lives and to make an impact in the world.

 

With all this hard work came other rewards like paying off our son’s NICU stay, allowing my husband the freedom to not work as much in order to be more present with us and we booked an oceanfront beach house for our family as well as a dream getaway to stay at the Biltmore. Of course, A&D doesn’t guarantee any level of income and like I said you have to work, but with hard work, amazing things are possible.

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I’m sure many of you reading this will have particular questions if you’re looking at A&D as a business opportunity. I plan on doing more blogs on specific topics as well as adding more to my YouTube channel  but in the meantime, feel free to email me at agnesanddorabydorothy@gmail.com. If you’re interested in joining my tribe of go-getters please list “business opportunity” in the subject line. If you’d like to shop A&D you can do that here: shopwithdorothy.com  

Thank you all for taking the time to be a part of my journey!

Xoxo,

Dorothy

 

Low Carb Pumpkin Brownies

Happy Fall Y’all!

It’s time for PUMPKIN EVERYTHING…well, if you’re like me! This weekend I scoured the internet trying to find a pumpkin brownie recipe that met my specific dietary needs, low carb, grain free and preferably dairy free. I found a few that met certain parts of that list but nothing that fit it 100%, so like any low carb t1 diabetic, I improvised and came up with my own rendition that I’m happy to share with you!

The outcome was a fudgy brownie, perfectly paired with unsweetened vanilla almond milk!

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Here’s the recipe:

  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp swerve sweetener
  • 1 tsp baking powder

And if you want to get really fancy you could totally add 1/2c Lily’s chocolate chips, Lily’s are sweetened with stevia and erythritol so there’s a lower impact on blood sugar.

You can find the coconut flour and swerve here on my Amazon store http://astore.amazon.com/dorothyboot04-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=1

  1. Heat oven to 350 and use coconut oil to grease a 9×9 or 8×8 pan
  2. Mix wet ingredients together, then add in dry.
  3. Spread brownie mix evenly into greased pan.
  4. Cook for 40-45 minutes depending on your oven!  

Makes 16 brownies and from my carb count that’s 4.125 carbs per brownie, with 3 of that coming from fiber.  May vary for you based on the brand of ingredients you use!

ENJOY!

Why I Left the Lularoe Queue for Agnes and Dora

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First let me say, I’m thankful for Lularoe because without it, the past few weeks in my pregnancy, I would’ve had nothing comfortable to wear!  I wish nothing but the best to all the reps I’ve met and become friends with and there are some awesome ladies, doing amazing things with their businesses!  With that, I have to secondly say that I have I’m super confident about my decision and the direction that I’m taking now and I feel incredibly blessed by how the whole change has come about.  It’s undoubtedly a God thing and you all know, where He leads, I follow!

 

I want my fashionista sisters that were patiently awaiting my inventory arrival to know, I’m not leaving them hanging!  I am still going to be here to help you dress super cute, feel super awesome and confident and empower you to be the best you, you can be BUT with a different organization that after much research fits me, my personality and business sense much better.  You probably haven’t heard of it before, because I’d only heard of it once in passing from one of my good friends who’s a yoga teacher and swears by their leggings.  The name is AGNES & DORA and the company was started before Lularoe by the niece of the Lularoe founder. After I reviewed their clothes, business model, talked to their home office, visited with numerous consultants, bought the clothes myself, showed you all two of the dresses I purchased and let my heart do the talking, I decided that it was the best fit for me and I submitted my contract with them and here are all of my reasons.  Let me also share with you, I have a business degree so many of my decisions came from the business knowledge that I have.

 

  • COST TO BEGIN.
    • With Agnes & Dora I was able to pick between three packages, $2,500, $3,500 or $5,000, so I could decide what fits my budget best to get my business going.  With LLR, when I submitted my paperwork I was looking at about $5,000 to start and that price DID NOT include leggings, their most popular piece, so I would’ve had to spend at least $6,000.  HOWEVER, as of last week LLR changed the packages and I would have been spending even more to get going, $5,500, $6,200 or upwards of $9,000!  I needed to make the best financial decision for our growing family!

 

 

  • COMPANY SIZE.
    • If you’re looking to join a company, you want to look at the company size to see how saturated the market is with their reps.  I called A&D’s home office and learned that in the US and Canada there are currently around 700 reps! SEVEN HUNDRED! That’s nothing! LLR currently has 70k+ and thousands more waiting in the queue.  I was looking for a “ground floor” opportunity, 700 reps vs over 40k, A&D wins! Basically that means that I get to help bring this company to market!

 

 

  • BUSINESS MODEL.
    • Currently A&D is NOT an MLM! I know many people are put off my MLM’s.  Personally I am not put off by them and those that choose to be network marketing professionals, not spammers, can do very well if they run their businesses with integrity! A&D is strictly direct sales right now. If you come to me interested in the business and I refer you, I only receive a credit towards my next inventory purchase BUT I will still help you with anything you need as you embark on your A&D adventure.  We have been told a compensation plan is in the works, so it’s possible in the next few months A&D could become and MLM.

 

 

  • QUALITY/CUT/SOURCING.
    • Personally I have found the fabric to be superior to so many other brands, many pieces are modal fabric which is super soft, less likely to shrink and pilling is less likely and the stitching is super reinforced.  I was super pleased with the cuts of every piece I’ve tried on, they’ve all been super flattering. Oh and don’t let me forget, everything but the leggings are made in the USA and A&D is looking to create them in the USA as well!

 

 

  • CUSTOMER PRICE.
    • On average prices are anywhere from $3-12 less expensive depending on what you’re purchasing.  For example, an A&D maxi skirt is $28, LLR is $42.

 

 

  • INVENTORY CONTROL.
    • No mystery boxes with A&D.  With A&D I’m able to place orders for the exact print, color, pattern, size items I want so I can best serve my customers.  With LLR I could pick what styles (ex: Azure or Maxi skirt) but not the pattern or colors!  I like to know what I’m getting and I like to be able to stock what my customers want! Also with A&D each month I don’t have to have huge orders to stay an active consultant, granted I will be ordering because this is my business BUT should I have a month I need to back off, I only have to place a $100 order, vs a 33 piece order with LLR.

 

 

  • INVOICING CONTROL.
    • With A&D I’m able to decide how my customers pay.  Paypal and Square are popular options that many people use vs a system implemented by the company. With LLR I would have to use “Audrey” which is their system and from my time in the queue it seemed like there were always issues with this system and it left many consultants frustrated with frustrated customers.

 

 

  • FASHION FORWARD.
    • Personally I feel that the patterns, styles and prints are more adult.  They are still fun for sure, but they are pieces that you can integrate with the wardrobe you already have and if you’re a business professional you won’t have any trouble wearing these clothes to the office, or to church for that matter. You’ll see more florals, tribals, geometrics and paisley patterns along with stripes and solids. I couldn’t pull of wearing cake, pizza or cassette tape leggings, but plenty of people can!  The other awesome thing is the sizing! Leggings have actual sizes and I have found with the other pieces, they are true to size with other clothing that I wear, so there isn’t much need to size up and down.

 

 

  • WHAT THE COMPANY STANDS FOR.
    • Created by Buffy Bandley, the name of the company, “Agnes & Dora” is taken from a book that Buffy’s grandmother wrote in the 1960’s to empower women. The book titled “The Secret Power of Femininity” by Maurine Startup, teaches how to recognize the two sides of a woman; the fun loving, playful side (DORA) VS. the best friend, confidant side (AGNES). The goal is to bring out both sides of these traits within ourselves and apply them to achieve a balanced, happy, and fulfilling life with lasting relationships. Agnes & Dora represents the yin & yang of a woman for complete balance. This business is all about ways to build and empower women to find balance and confidence in how they look, feel, work, and how they play!  
      PS: Every dress is named after influential, empowered women!  Heck yeah!

 

 

  • ABILITY TO BRING SOMETHING NEW TO MY MARKET.
    • A&D is not in my area!!!  The closest A&D rep is 1.5 hours from where I live and currently there are less than 10 reps in my whole state!  I saw this as an opportunity to introduce a new, beautiful line to ladies in my community!

 
Honestly, at first the thought of switching made me nervous ONLY because I thought, “what if people don’t get it? What if they’re so committed to LLR that they don’t even want to check out what I’m doing?” But then I realized that me, as a consumer, would be TOTALLY open to awesome quality, amazing prints, patterns and styles for a lower price, and if I fell in love with A&D and their culture, my friends would be too!  I’ll still be doing LIVE online sales via FB live within my VIP group and on Periscope, as well as album sales online, online pop ups for people, in person pop ups and most likely I’ll have open shopping hours in my house! My inventory will be here around the same time my LLR inventory would have been here so I’m not even losing any time in being able to share awesome clothes with you all!

So come join the party over on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/agnesanddorabydorothybooth/

If you’d like more info on A&D feel free to email me at agnesanddorabydorothy@gmail.com and I’d be happy to chat with you!

xoxox,

Dorothy