Avon Representatives Celebrate Being Bosses of Their Own Lives at the Beauty Boss Power Lunch

You may associate Avon Products with your mother’s makeup bag, but the Avon of today is far from that. Appealing to makeup users across generations, Avon also works to shed light on causes such as breast cancer and domestic violence, regularly donating profits to awareness and prevention programs. The company’s long-running representative program also has generations of families involved, allowing women nationwide to grow their own part-time or full-time businesses by selling Avon products in a way that works best for them.

Three of these Avon representatives, called Beauty Bosses, are featured in the November 2017 issue of Marie Claire, sharing their perspectives on the flexibility and prosperity that representing Avon has brought them. To celebrate the spread, Bosses Ivanna Diaz Hansen, Lydia Osolinsky and Donna Reid-Mitchell traveled to New York to discuss their positions alongside celebrity brand ambassador Lucy Hale in a panel discussion hosted by Avon and Marie Claire.

“It’s the freedom, the flexibility, the financial opportunities that are available to them that make them a Beauty Boss,” said Betty Palm, president of social selling at Avon, while opening the event.

In the panel discussion moderated by Jessica Pels, digital director of MarieClaire.com, the women shared their own definitions of the Beauty Boss label. “Being a Beauty Boss has really been about being myself,” Osolinsky, who has twice ranked in Avon’s eighth spot for business growth nationwide, said. “Avon has been a great opportunity to find out what that is, and I’ve seen the best results in my business when I have played to my strengths and what felt natural.”

Reid-Mitchell, who has used her 14-year position as an Avon rep to treat cancer survivors with makeovers, said, “For me, being a Beauty Boss means having the flexibility and freedom to live the life that I deserve...I never have to miss out on any important moment in my family’s lives.”

Diaz Hansen also understands family’s role in a career, as she learned about Avon from her mother working as a representative. Now one of the youngest successful Avon reps in North America, Diaz Hansen appreciates the flexibility that she grew up with and can now apply to her own life. “When you get your degree, you think that a lot of doors are going to open, but that’s not always guaranteed,” she said of maintaining an Avon business. “Being a Beauty Boss, you really get to take control of your own life and choose the path you want.”

At the core of Avon is its passion for empowering women like these three to seek lives that capture what they love most. Through the representative program, women also have the chance to mentor other sellers and build relationships with each other. “Avon stands for strong women,” said Pretty Little Liars star Hale, who has worked with Avon since 2013. “They’re the definition of what a Beauty Boss should be.”

The term Beauty Boss stems from Avon’s 2016 campaign Boss Life, which emphasized the company’s ability to help women break out of the corporate, 9-to-5 mold. Osolinsky, who was asked to participate in the campaign photo shoot with her two young daughters, believes that the campaign was a key example of why representing Avon works for so many busy women. “My typical days are probably much like anyone who has small children and cares for them from home,” she explained. “But I’m running a very successful business at the same time…Kids are going to be kids no matter what you’ve got going on, so I try to work it in. I find that people really appreciate that realness…Avon truly is a business we do from home and that’s the beauty of it.”

In true 21st century fashion, the women have no typical workday, often having weeks when they’re working at home in pajamas one day and then hosting a beauty bash for friends the next. As November is National Entrepreneur Month, the panelists also addressed how their non-traditional, successful careers only arose from taking the initial risk of beginning these businesses.

“I knew Avon was a real opportunity,” Osolinsky said, referring to how her mother put both her and her brother through college on an Avon representative’s income. “I was in grad school, five years deep in a program, and hating it. It was just the wrong place for me. I just didn’t want to be a quitter, and I didn’t want to stop because I felt invested, even though I was unhappy.”

When her first daughter was born extremely premature, Osolinsky knew that nothing else in her life mattered at the moment. It was then that she decided to stay at home with her child while beginning a career with Avon, saying at the panel, “Sometimes walking away is the best thing because it allows you to pursue what you’re really supposed to do.”

Osolinsky and her peers share a love for the brand and its message, serving as reminders that powerful things happen when people with a mutual interest band together. “When you have that sisterhood and you’ve surrounded yourself with others that have that same belief, it’s really easy to succeed because you just want to be the best with the best,” said Diaz Hansen.

Accompanying that sense of sisterhood is a rebranding of the concept of power. As opposed to it once equating to material things, the definition is now more aligned with making an impact. “We have women that have successful careers, but they’re lacking that passion and that sense of fulfillment,” said Reid-Mitchell. “I see that changing so much more now.”

While Avon is notable in the beauty industry for its flexible job opportunities, it is only one example of women taking charge of their professional paths to encompass what they truly love. Whatever your passion is, nothing is stopping you from becoming the boss of your own life.

All event photos are credited to Astrid Stawiarz. 

Check out the video recording of the women’s panel discussion, as well as Her Campus’s exclusive talk with Diaz Hansen and Osolinsky.