This interview is part of a 30 day blog hop hosted by the Military Spouse Business Association and their Red, White & Blue pages. Each day, a new military spouse entrepreneur is interviewed by a military spouse blog. We're thrilled to be a part!
Let’s start by introducing yourself and what your business:
I’m Sandra Sawyer and my business is Ardyss International, a health and wellness company. It’s definitely something I am passionate about. It was a way for me to get into the entrepreneurial field with low startup costs and a great opportunity for me to grow personally. I’ve made so many connections with clients and people in my business who have become great mentors to me. I get to help people think about their health and wellness.
We’re so busy rushing around that we pick up the fast food dinners or microwave dinners instead of getting the nutrition we need.
When I got into this business, Body Magic, our flagship garment that helps you get your “sexy back”, was what attracted me. After having kids that’s definitely something you want to do. From there, I got into the supplements.
If you someone told me to go straight to eating only fruits and vegetables all day from eating junk food, I would have freaked out and said “no way”. I started with just looking good on the outside, and then I got interested in the nutritional products and found things that would help with my energy and focus.
From there, our calls educated me about working out and eating healthy. It’s been a whole a process, a progression. Every day I have a chance to get right. Before, I would go on a ‘diet’ and it was a temporary fix. I would fall off the wagon and get discouraged. Now, I eat healthy every day.
I’ve learned that even in business, it is a process, you make progress and you have to be OK with that. It’s a journey.
Let’s get in a little more detail: What exactly do you sell?
We have 5 product lines all relate to health and wellness in five different billion dollar industries.
Our first is reshaping garment line for both men and women (though, primarily for women). They have medical benefits like improving posture and postpartum recovery. Second, we have our nutritional line, including our flagship product that is a mix of 5 different berries that supplies antioxidants to your body. From there, we have a coffee line, personal care (cleansers, toners, etc.) including amazing weight loss program called Transform 90, and a Go Green cleaning line.
What accomplishment are you most proud of so far?
I’m proud to be able to educate people about their health and how important it is to take care of. I also get to give people the opportunity to earn additional money, whether it’s an extra $200 a month, or the opportunity to earn some significant income over your career. That was one of the most surprising things for me – they broke it down and you have the chance to earn $500,000 over your lifetime career with the company.
This opportunity has given me the ability to work on my legal career more because of the networking opportunities and the people I’ve met.
Also, I’m proud of achieving the level of management that I have. As you move up and build your team, you move up in the ranks.
I try to celebrate all of my successes, no matter how small because they keep you going as you move along on your entrepreneurial journey.
What was the toughest lesson you had to learn?
It’s a process. You have to be OK with the process – it doesn’t happen overnight.
Don’t discount network marketing. I was one of the people that did until I started peeling back the layers on the opportunity. My public speaking has improved, the ability to create a conference call, team building, all of those are skills you can use in any future job.
I look at all of the things I’ve gained and it gives me appreciation for how far I’ve come so far.
We live in a microwave society, we all want success right away, we want everything to happen all at once - it was something I had to overcome and learn to love the journey.
Was there a tipping point when you knew that your business was a success? When was it?
I’ll be honest with you, I’m still working on it! My goal is to get to the top level of the company. I’m not quite there yet. I’m better than I was before, but I’m not to where I’ll be!
How has being a military spouse affected your business?
I think its been great for my business. It gave me the ability think beyond my local area. It’s portable, unlike my attorney career (you have to take a bar exam in every state you move to). This has given me something to do that is productive, earn an income and make a difference in the meantime. Since I’ve moved from Virginia to Florida, I’ve built my team in both locations, and as we move elsewhere, I’ll build my team there.
What strategies you use to deal with PCS’s and moving?
I go out and let people know that I’m new to the area. I started at my church. I introduced myself and passed out my business cards.
I’ve learned that it’s not just about telling everyone about you – it’s about building real relationships. I understand that my business might not be for EVERYONE, I want to build that relationship to see if there’s a real need there.
Networking is really about getting to know that person, not just handing them a business card. You have to build real relationships to make an impact.
I love this quote: “You help enough people get what you want, you’ll eventually get what you want.” –Zig Zigler
What are your plans for this year or upcoming months?
I plan to continue to grow it! My birthday is coming up in August, so I’m going to be doing some giveaways to celebrate. I’m also excited about being a part of Military Spouse Business Association.
As a business owner you don’t know where your next client is going to come from, so I try to get my message out there in as many ways as I can.
Where can people find you online if they are interested in your products or possibly joining your team?
I would love to talk to them. They can find me on my website:
Any other advice for military spouses or entrepreneurs?
I want encourage women not to be afraid to take that leap. So many times we go to a 9-5 and we aren’t happy but we don’t explore other opportunities. We all had dreams and goals as children and for whatever reason as life goes on we forget them or push them down. So I encourage women to try new things. This business gave me the opportunity to put my pinky toe into the business world, and I am so glad I did.
You have greatness inside of you. You can achieve your goals and dreams.
Photo by In this fleeting moment.
Tomorrow's interiew will be with Kara Varner of A Platinum Resume on Judy Davis's blog, The Direction Diva.