Silpada Designs reps told business is shutting down, liquidating - KCTV5

Silpada Designs reps told business is shutting down, liquidating

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Silpada Designs, based out of Lenexa, KS, told their representatives Tuesday that they are shutting down and liquidating, effective immediately.   (Jeff Roberts/KCTV) Silpada Designs, based out of Lenexa, KS, told their representatives Tuesday that they are shutting down and liquidating, effective immediately. (Jeff Roberts/KCTV)
The company that's been around for 19 years told representatives in an email that they began the process with firing employees in both countries Tuesday morning.  (Jeff Roberts/KCTV) The company that's been around for 19 years told representatives in an email that they began the process with firing employees in both countries Tuesday morning. (Jeff Roberts/KCTV)
LENEXA, KS (KCTV) -

Silpada Designs, based out of Lenexa, KS, told their representatives Tuesday that they are shutting down and liquidating, effective immediately. 

This affects all business in the United States and Canada.

The jewelry and accessories company that's been around for 19 years told representatives in an email that they began the process with firing employees in both countries Tuesday morning. They also aren't accepting any new representatives and have cancelled their July conference.

"The founding families, our internal team and many of you, have worked tirelessly and passionately to turn this company around from the negative trends we have faced for the last 6 years. However, with much due diligence and with heavy hearts we have come to the stark realization that our love, commitment and significant investments are not enough to reverse or even stabilize our Sales Revenue, Party and Recruiting trends - all of which continue to significantly decline."

On the Country Club Plaza, where people flock to brick and mortar stores for jewelry and apparel, many women were familiar with the name.

"I've been invited to several parties," said Mary Martin, who lives in Lenexa. "I know several people that probably have sold it and enjoy it and like the jewelry."

The company built its success on a multi-level direct marketing model involving casual parties. 

There was a time when you'd find nearly 5,000 sales reps checking out the latest Silpada line at Bartle Hall, an annual convention estimated to have brought $1 million in spillover economic benefit to the city.

In 2010, there were 32,000 people selling Silpada at home parties. It was such a success that Avon paid $650 million to buy the company. The founders retained control over some aspects of the business, but by 2013 the jewelry line's sales had declined and Avon wanted out.

The founders bought the business back for a mere fraction of what they'd sold it for and put their daughters in as co-presidents.

After that, there seemed to be multiple attempts to change with the times.

In 2014 Silpada added a lower cost fashion jewelry line to supplement its signature sterling silver product line. In 2015 they added purses and scarves. This year, in February, they tried a new sales model called Silpada Stylemaker. In a news release, the company said it was "designed for the digital-driven woman who is interested in adding to her current income (not replacing it) [in which] she is not expected to recruit a team or host parties."

When KCTV5 approached women on the Plaza for their thoughts, many of the women in their 20s weren't aware of the brand, but they were aware of the concept and weren't fans. 

Brogan Caffarelli's only experience was a party at a neighbor's house.

"It just was not the ideal situation to be selling things," said Caffarelli. "I would rather go to a storefront. Posting on Facebook for your jewelry just seems kind of like weird and I know kids my age definitely aren't doing that."

Team leaders and sales representatives contacted by KCTV5 did not want to share their thoughts. Calls and emails to Silpada's corporate team went unanswered. The Lenexa warehouse that once employed 300 people looked barren Tuesday afternoon, not a car in the lot. The email to sales reps indicated that the company ended the employment of a high percentage if its direct employees. 

All agreements with Silpada representatives and stylemakers will end on July 31.

"While there is never an easy way to communicate news like this, we will move through this incredibly difficult process in the most transparent manner possible."

The company is answering most of their questions through a FAQ page:

Copyright 2016 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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