Introduction to Origami Owl MLM Compensation Plan
My niece Emma is far from being the biggest girly girl in the world. She is five years old, and when I think back to when I was that age, she and I would have had a lot of things in common. Her favorite toy is a yellow stuffed duck that my mom gave her on Easter when she was three. Emma fell in love with the duck at first sight because it was the same color as her yellow rain boots. Fast forward two years, and Emma has outgrown the rain boots, which probably now belong to a three-year-old whose parents are frugal enough to buy rain boots second hand (there are many such parents here in the Midwest). The duck, meanwhile, has become a far less attractive shade of yellow after Emma handled it enough times while she had Rice Krispie treat residue on her fingers. In fact, no clothing designer in his or her right minds would make a pair of children’s shoes in a color that reflects the current state of Emma’s duck. If I were being nice, I would refer to the color of Emma’s duck as “dirty blond”.
Most of Emma’s favorite TV shows have fairly gender neutral appeal. She likes shows where the main characters are animals, like Zoboomafoo, Daniel Tiger, Arthur, and Curious George. Another favorite of hers is The Littlest Pet Shop, which, while its drawing style clearly looks like it was meant to sell toys to young girls, has a mixed gender cast and a dry enough sense of humor that her dad can stand to watch it. She also enjoys some of the activities that my brothers and I enjoyed when we were little, like dogs, swimming, snowball fights, roasting marshmallows with my dad, and seeing how much she can pick on her little brother before she gets in trouble.
Emma owns only one Disney princess dress, a light blue Cinderella dress that her other grandma (other than my mom) gave her for Christmas. As far as I know, she has only worn it once. It is almost inevitable for girls of her generation not to be surrounded by princess stuff unless their families expressly forbid them to associate with fictional princesses. My mom, who is a Montessori teacher and the mother of three sons, with whom she has played numerous games of both Paintball and Risk: The Game of World Domination, hates Disney princesses with a vehemence usually reserved for candidates for public office. She loves scented candles and Bath and Body Works sales as much as the next grandma, but she has no time for the trappings of femininity that vie for the disposable income of the parents of daughters. My mother herself has never bought into the princess fantasy; I think that, if she could choose to be any princess in the world, she would choose to be the Delphic Oracle. Emma’s mother doesn’t go out of her way to shield Emma from the princess ethos, it’s just that there are other things that attract Emma’s attention more. Sure, she probably has a few items of Disney princess memorabilia in her room; I think every female born in the United States after the big screen debut of The Princess and the Frog in 2009 does. I would imagine that Emma’s princess tote bags and princess toothbrushes and princess hair clips were either party favors at the birthday parties of her classmates or else freebies from the dentist’s office.
But, my goodness, does Emma ever have a collection of junk jewelry. If you melted down all her plastic jewelry, you would probably have enough plastic to build a spacious dog house for a Saint Bernard. She has everything from beaded bracelets that spell out her name to orange spider rings from her school’s Halloween party to pendants of teddy bears, stars, and butterflies to ankle bracelets that look like they separated a hippie’s kitchen from his living room in former times to earrings in the shape of dogs, cats, canaries, pigs, alligators, frogs, monkeys, and what I could swear is a sloth. I think she even has some earrings in the shape of mushrooms, but I try not to think about those, because it makes me think about that fungus that is the secret ingredient in those weight loss coffees that one multilevel marketing (MLM) company too many has autoshipped to my basement, and that fungus is the very last thing in the world I want to think about. I would rather think about drug-resistant bacteria or the amoebas that cause dysentery.
Unless you have a daughter or a niece, you probably don’t realize the amount of cheap plastic jewelry that most girls accumulate by the time they enter high school. It’s a good thing the MLM industry has not picked up on the tendency of Americans to buy junk jewelry for young girls at the slightest provocation. Oh, wait. It has.
Good news, folks. If you were hoping to read an MLM review that isn’t about nutraceuticals, you have come to the right place. This is my Origami Owl review.
Origami Owl: The Company and Its Products
At first glance, the Origami Owl story sounds refreshing. The story goes that, when Bella Weems was 14 years old, she put the money she had saved from babysitting into a costume jewelry business, and her mother Chrissy matched Bella’s contribution to the startup capital. When I first heard that story, I liked the idea of a smart teenager who felt motivated to do a project; it reminded me of myself when I came home one night from a Pink Floyd planetarium show and devoted the next two years to my classic rock blog. (In those days, they were called e-zines, not blogs, and in case you were wondering, mine was named Classic Rock Ragnarok.) Of course, when I read that story I thought, “If a 14-year-old were to start a jewelry company, why would she make it an MLM?”
It turns out that the original idea for the Origami Owl company did not come from Bella. That angle was a cynical cash grab by her mother Chrissy. When the company went MLM, Chrissy herself was not listed as a founder, but rather, other relatives of Chrissy and Bella’s. A reason for this change was because Chrissy had already previously gotten bad press a long time ago, for leaving a baby unattended in a car for over an hour during an Arizona heat wave (the baby survived), and more recently, for helping a female friend who was accused of sexual misconduct with a teen boy hide incriminating evidence.
The more MLM companies I review, the higher my threshold for shock becomes, so this is not even the most shocking MLM origin story I have heard. I am almost relieved that, so far, no one has claimed that Origami Owl products can cure cancer.
The Origami Owl products consist of costume jewelry, which is industry jargon for jewelry that does not claim to be made of gemstones or precious metals. The company’s flagship product is something called a living locket, which is a large, clear plastic locket that you can fill with charms that represent the people and things that are important to you. Those kind of sound like fun until you take into consideration the fact that they are sold at home sales parties, my absolute least favorite part of the MLM industry. If you are ever invited to an Origami Owl party and lack the rhetorical skills to talk your way out of attending, I humbly request that you fill your living locket with charms representing the number four, a crown, a diamond, and barf.
The Origami Owl Compensation Plan
The Origami Owl compensation plan is similar to the compensation plans of many MLM companies. As with most other MLM business opportunities, the Origami Owl business opportunity requires you to buy a starter kit to begin selling products. The business starter kits range in price from $189 to $999. Income is based on selling Origami Owl products and also on the commissions and bonuses you can get after recruiting other Origami Owl distributors.
I am always curious about the names of the leadership levels in the various MLM companies I review, and most of the time the leadership level names are not terribly interesting. The leadership levels in the Origami Owl compensation plan are no exception. From lowest to highest, they are Designer, Leading Designer, Team Leader, Senior Team Leader, Executive Team Leader, Director, Senior Director, and Executive Director. At all levels of leadership, you get a commission of between 30% and 50% on your own personal sales of products. The other rewards in the program are dependent on the size and sales volume of your downline team. There are additional bonuses (usually in the form of a percent commission of your downline sales) when members of your downline team attain certain leadership levels in the Origami Owl compensation plan. Again, this is all pretty standard for MLM.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- “Origami Owl” is a catchy name, and for that, the company deserves credit. Longtime Notebook Crazy readers surely are familiar with my tirades about MLM companies with nondescript names.
- At least Origami Owl products are not nutraceuticals.
- Origami Owl allows Origami Owl distributors the option of selling the company’s merchandise online.
- I can think of nothing less fun than an Origami Owl home sales party, and I have already thought of drug resistant bacteria, the amoebas that cause dysentery, and a basement full of fungus. I’ve said this before, and I will say it again. Quadruple crown diamond barf.
- If people want to encourage the business skills of young girls, why not support them in pursuing their interests, like folding increasingly complex origami animals, using alliteration, or learning about actual owls? There are much better examples one can set for girls than that of bullying other girls into wanting jewelry and bullying their mothers into buying it. (Look, Mom! I included your suggestion.)
- Origami Owl products have a reputation for being poorly made and for breaking easily.
- Even worse than that, many Origami Owl reviews report that communication with the Origami Owl company is notoriously difficult. Origami Owl distributors report spending hours on hold, only to have their concerns ignored. When they post comments on the discussion boards of the Origami Owl website describing their issues with product quality, website glitches, or order cancellations, their comments are quickly cited as being too negative and are removed.
- I think the company has since changed its policy, but I have read in other Origami Owl reviews that the company used to allow minors to become Origami Owl distributors. If you ask me, that sounds like one of the worst possible ways to teach kids about business.
- To me, Origami Owl products really look like they are for children. I would hate to see kids get dragged into any aspect of the MLM industry.
Origami is cool, and owls are cool, and I can think of lots of little girls (including my niece Emma) who would have fun at a party where you choose symbols of things and people you care about and make a locket out of them. But everything I have read about Origami Owl oozes sleaze, and teacher everywhere (including my dear mother, with her scented candles and her down to earth attitude) are outraged that a company promotes such crass materialism to children. If you want to make enough money to afford to buy your niece a charm necklace with a hundred charms for Christmas every year until she is old enough to roll her eyes at the thought of charm necklaces, you will not find that opportunity at Origami Owl. To hear former Origami Owl distributors tell it, all you will get is frustration.
Can you think of something less fun than bacteria, amoebas, MLM home sales parties, and a basement full of fungus? If so, I’m all ears. Schedule a call with me.