After five years of marriage and two children, April Rhodes and her husband, Travis, still hadn’t been on a honeymoon. Funds were tight, and they couldn’t justify spending the extra cash.
Last year, however, Rhodes became a consultant for Scentsy, which markets one of the fastest growing products in America – scented, wickless candles heated in decorative ceramic warmers.
“On our fifth wedding anniversary, we went to Jamaica because I made so much money,” says a still giddy Rhodes, who never intended to go into sales.
Her grandmother, who is a Scentsy consultant in Missouri, gave Rhodes Scentsy warmers for Christmas, and Rhodes “fell in love” with the aromas as they filled her home.
She was so impressed that she took the warmers to work one day so that her coworkers at the Frankfort Plant Board, where she still works full-time, could share in the aromatic experience.
“Everyone was like, ‘You have to sell this,’” Rhodes said.
And it took off from there.
“It really sells itself,” she said. “I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true.”
No exaggeration. One day, she parked her white Scion, which has a Scentsy consultant decal on the rear windshield, and walked into the post office. As she waited in line, a woman burst through the doors and yelled, “Is there a Scentsy consultant in here?”
The same thing happened when she was eating at a restaurant in Versailles.
“A woman saw my car, and she wanted to know if I had anything on me,” Rhodes said, laughing about how she sold the woman products out of the trunk of her car.
“You present the product, people experience it, and there’s not a whole lot more you have to do,” she said.
Friends and family members host parties, during which Rhodes shows off Scentsy products, which include more than 80 scents each season.
The handcrafted ceramic warmers use a low-watt bulb to melt scented wax bars, and those are the big sellers, Rhodes said. She also sells Scentsy Buddies – scented, plush animals – that her sons, Landon, 5, and Aydon, 3, love to cuddle.
There’s also a host of home, car and personal products.
“The parties are more fun than anything,” Rhodes says. “I plug in a warmer, and it starts to evoke memories, people get to talk about what it reminds them of, and they go crazy from there.”
Rhodes’ personal favorites are Sweet Pea and Vanilla, Luna (white florals – jasmine, sweet pea and fresia – juicy berries and sandalwood) and Black Raspberry and Vanilla, “but everyone has a different set of scents, a different set of favorites.”
To Scentsy first-timers the fragrance list may seem aromatically overwhelming. “Favorites” include scents like “Clean Breeze – white florals with a touch of spring;” “Skinny Dippin’ – fresh green apples perfectly harmonized with refreshing melons and juicy pears;” and “My Dear Watson – refreshing bergamot contrasted with mint, cedar and suede.”
There are summer scents, kitchen scents, masculine fragrances, romantic scents, spa aromas and international smells from the seven seas.
Rhodes’ job is to help you smell them all. She’s one of 48 Scentsy consultants in the Versailles and Frankfort area, and one of 2,166 consultants in Kentucky. Worldwide, Scentsy has more than 168,000 consultants and growing.
Forbes Magazine named Scentsy to its 2011 list of America’s 100 Most Promising Companies.
Founded in 2004 by married couple Orville and Heidi Thompson, Scentsy is on track to be a billion dollar a year company in the next few years, based on the Thompsons’ projections.
Consultants have the potential to earn a 20 to 30 percent commission on retail sales, plus more when they recruit consultants. Rhodes has four women working with her now and makes a percentage on what they make too.
“It doesn’t feel like a job to me,” Rhodes said. “Some people dread going to work in the morning. I love this.”
Scentsy consultant April Rhodes