About a year ago I was invited to go to The Scoop put on by CAbi in Long Beach, California. At the time I had never heard of CAbi (Carol Anderson by invitation). However, Marie Coleman, their spunky marketing manager, intrigued me.
“It is the nation’s largest women’s direct sales clothing company.” I know what you’re probably thinking ‘direct sales, eh?’ But I assure you, at CAbi we have something completely different – and I think you’d LOVE to meet this incredible group of women. CAbi is sold through a group of passionate female entrepreneurs.”
Then I got an email from sassy 24-year old fashion blogger, Jessica Zigenis. Her mom sells for CAbi and she was attending her first conference. She also wanted to connect for some 40:20 Vision. I loved her quirky style and attitude. She ended up giving me some great 20:40 Vision!
So I thought, why not go see what this CAbi is all about. I didn’t know exactly what was expected of me, as I’m not a fashion blogger, but I figured there must be a ton of 40:20 Vision in that conference hall and they agreed.
What I found was incredible energy. Over 3,000 CAbi Consultants – all women -came together at the conference for training and the unveiling of the new fall Collection. It all kicked off with a huge fashion show and a welcome by Carol Anderson and the leadership team.
It struck me that unlike the fashion shows I’ve attended, the models were having fun. No stick figure, poker faced, one acts here. The energy was contagious. It was essentially a party with the models dancing and the crowd rocking (see this year’s show here).
But what I remember most, now a year later, were a few thoughts from the speech from CAbi president, Kimberly Inskeep:
“Taking the first step of doing something puts you ahead of 90% of people. Everybody else is waiting for something to happen to them. If you want to get somewhere, you have to make that decision to make that step. It may not be the right one, but at least you’ll start to get moving and you’ll be able to make adjustments that way.”
Very 40:20 Vision. As someone recently said to me, “You can’t turn a car that is not moving.” Part of the CAbi philosophy is to give women an interesting opportunity to work from home, make money and create a community. Not a bad option for many women seeking more flexible and empowering ways to take control of their career and earning potential (check out the compensation plan here).
Kimberly also talked about the film Run Fatboy Run, a tale of finishing what you start. It’s a relatively small British romantic comedy (although directed by David Schwimmer of “Friends” fame) about an out-of-shape “loser” who tries to win back the fiancé he left at the altar by running a marathon. Of course he is vying against Perfect Peter … the handsome, successful athletic guy she’s about to marry.
As a sucker for British accents and a fan of the underdog, I was since inspired to watch the film. I found it to be unexpectedly charming and worth a watch on a rainy Sunday! But I think Kimberly’s point was that the little guy can win, especially with personal authenticity and the support of the crowd. Thus drawing parallels to the supportive community of CAbi Consultants.
One consultant I spoke with told me how CAbi had literally changed her life. She was getting divorced. She needed a job. She was shy. She was overweight. She didn’t think she could do it when a friend suggested CAbi. Then she became a Consultant and through the training she learned a) what looked good on her, b) how to tell someone else what looked good on them, and c) how to earn money while enjoying what she was doing.
That honesty and eye for personal style made CAbi stand out to me. Of course it’s easy to think that a group of women trying on clothes together at a party would just say, “that looks great.” But all CAbi Consultants are trained to really counsel women about what suits their body shape and lifestyle and how to make good choices.
The designers are committed to creating clothes that reflect the trends … and actually look good on real people. Then add that the fashions are moderately priced, are made from great fabrics and the website gives women tons of cues as to what goes together. So for a small budget … you can get a big wardrobe.
It reminded me of my first year in New York City. I was making $14K at an ad agency. Not a lot of money for clothes. I took $500 and a catalog (that I can’t remember the name of and doesn’t exist anymore…but all my friends loved at the time) and bought 10 or so pieces that all went together but could make a lot of different looks. And I always got tons of compliments on my style despite the tight budget (granted that budget would’t go as far today!). It occurred to me over the past year that is exactly what CAbi is offering.
I also got to meet some fabulous other bloggers who did a wonderful job showcasing the CAbi clothing so I will let them shine. Washington DC style blogger Naina Singla captured the best of the collection for her blog Style’N.
Fall 2011 Collection
“CAbi brings high quality clothing and the personal shopping experience to you. Carol and her design team smartly combine chic trends with timeless and flattering feminine styles, and never compromise on the quality of materials. The mission is to provide an exceptional line of clothing sold exclusively in a relaxed home environment by independent fashion Consultants.” – Naina Singla
Jill Seiman captured the spirit of the company in her blog, Glamamom.
“It was inspiring to see how proud and empowered the Consultants are working for a company they believe in and a business model that allows them to make money while maintaining flexibility. Fitting with the philosophy of empowerment and support, CAbi’s charitable arm, The Heart of CAbi Foundation, has provided over 25 million dollars of CAbi clothing and hundreds of thousands of dollars to domestic and international non-profit organizations dedicated to impacting women in need. And the clothes are just cute.” – Jill Seiman
As for my finds …a rare occasion…one or two pictures of moi.
Spring 2010 Collection
On a 20-somethiing:
On a 40-something! This wrap/cardigan has made many a flight comfortable.
A summertime staple:
Spring 2011 Collection
So a year later I have finally written this blog post about CAbi — great people, opportunities and fashions for women of all ages. Check out the Fall 2012 collection here:
My participation in the The Scoop 2011 was sponsored by CAbi who provided me with travel, hotel and meal accommodations, and complimentary clothing. For more information about CAbi, how to purchase CAbi clothing or to become a consultant, visit CAbi Online, CAbi Canary (blog), Facebook and Pinterest}