Small Business

The Avon Shop offers customers more than just makeup

Like millions of other people, Lacey Beard sells Avon products, but unlike most of them, her sales are made from her retail store on Rock Road.
Like millions of other people, Lacey Beard sells Avon products, but unlike most of them, her sales are made from her retail store on Rock Road. Eagle correspondent

Lacey Beard wanted to sell Avon products without hitting up friends, family and co-workers for sales.

Her solution? Open a retail store.

“It just suited my personality better,” she said. “I’m not very good at convincing people to buy stuff. This way, people can come in. You can take it off the shelf, you can buy it if you want. Low pressure sales here.”

The approach seems to be working. In March, five years after opening, Beard moved The Avon Shop to a bigger space in the Killarney Center on north Rock Road. She's holding a grand re-opening June 13.

Beard said she is an independent Avon sales representative, just like millions of others worldwide, but one of only a couple hundred in this country who own shops. Most independent reps rely on direct sales, although instead of selling door-to-door, they now use workplace sales and social networking. Beard said she tried that route for about four months before deciding to open a store.

There are two more Avon stores in the area, “so we have competition,” she said.

The extra space will allow Beard to host bigger groups for make-up and skin care clinics, a part of her business she is trying to expand. She has a licensed cosmetologist on staff. She charges $15 to $25 for the clinics, which are filled by reservation or on a first-come basis.

The shop also has two make-up stations. Beard offers free makeover consultations as well as make-up applications for $35.

Brides and prom-goers are the biggest clients of makeup applications.

Mostly the store is packed with tubes and jars of lipstick, eye shadow, creams, sprays, lotions and other Avon products, arranged with flair and precision by Beard, who earned her college degree in mathematics.

Beard said the store carries “just about everything” that’s in Avon brochures and that she honors any sales advertised in those publications. She said the well-known brand name helps, and customers like being able to walk out of the door with the product instead of waiting for an order to arrive.

“In today’s fast paced, people want their stuff now,” she said.

Asked what makeup trends are hot now, she laughed and said, “It’s all about blush and looking young.”

During the grand opening, customers will get a gift valued at $30 with a $40 purchase.

The store is the first venture into retail for Beard. Running her own place let her be a somewhat modified “stay-at-home” mom: She was three months pregnant with her youngest child, Dresden, when the store opened. “He was up here two days after he was born,” she said.

Her husband, Cody, occasionally manned the shop during those early days. Her other son, Caden, will be old enough to watch Dresden this summer, Beard said. For customers who have children, Beard has set up a play area in the new store.

Although a math degree might not be the usual path to becoming an Avon Lady, Beard said, “I definitely have always had a strong passion for makeup and beauty products. You have to have a passion for it.”

Now you know

The Avon Shop

Address: 3101 N. Rock Road

Phone: 316-613-2310

Owner: Lacey Beard