First millionaire Avon lady revealed

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The Independent Online

A woman swapped unemployment and a council house for a million-pound lifestyle by becoming an Avon lady.

Debbie Davis has become Avon's first ever millionaire after starting to sell the popular cosmetics door-to-door six years ago.

Miss Davis, 31, is the cosmetics company's most successful saleswoman in the UK and heads a national team nearly 8,000 strong.

Her dedication has seen her richly rewarded and she now drives a top-of-the-range sports car and lives in a renovated house having earned £1.4 million selling cosmetics.

Despite a millionaire's lifestyle, Miss Davis continues to sell Avon door-to-door around her home in Sunderland.

Her rags-to-riches story began in 2004 when she was made redundant from her job at a local printing factory, where she had worked since leaving school.

After being unemployed for six months, Miss Davis paid £15 to sign up as an Avon representative to help pay the bills.

She was amazed when she sold £18,800 worth of products during her first three weeks and, realising she was onto a winner, Miss Davis decided to recruit her partner Dave Carter, 42, to help.

She now has nearly 8,000 people working for her in a network stretching across the country and has achieved an impressive turnover of £9.3 million since 2004.

Last year the couple were crowned the Avon's top earners for the fourth year running, having earned £300,000.

Miss Davis was given a Mercedes SLK and Mr Carter a BMW X3. They also won a holiday to Majorca.

Again this year they have won another string of awards for their work, including having the fastest growing team of sales representatives and highest earnings.

In addition, the couple was awarded for having one of the top 20 highest achieving sales teams in the UK, which will see them whisked off on an all-expenses-paid holiday to Berlin.

Miss Davis said: "This past year my team size has grown by nearly 25% and I have managed to recruit over 900 representatives from all over the UK.

"I never thought that at the age of 31, I would be able to say I am running a lucrative business with my partner.

"My Avon business has given me the opportunity to do and buy things I never dreamt of.

"I have been able to travel the world from Monte Carlo to Barcelona, drive my dream car and purchase my very own home - a far cry from the council estate I was brought up on."

To begin working for Avon, representatives pay a start-up fee of £15 which is deducted from their first two orders.

From then on for every £100 of products ordered, they receive a 20% discount off the recommended brochure selling price, rising to 25% for orders over £140. It is this discount which creates their earnings.

But for the more ambitious seller, Avon's management scheme allows representatives to recruit and manage their own teams. It is this work which enables the successful to get rich quick.