Heidi VanderWal is "one of those full time girls," she says, but when she goes to work, it's on her own terms. As a Silpada Director, Heidi puts to use her love for selling things that sparkle, but for someone who has no background in sales, she draws on a more natural, inner beauty.
Heidi started selling Silpada in 2001 because she wanted something that would allow her to adjust her schedule in order to take care of her family while still making a buck. With three kids going to private school, having three parties a month seemed like a good contribution to the family funds. But her goal was quickly exceeded. She averages six a month and has at least ten in June alone. Still, she says the adaptability of the business is amazing and provides her the luxury of spending time with her family on vacation, or just at home.
"I can still be a soccer mom and do all the running around and be home when they're sick from school. The flexibility is something I'm extremely grateful for," she says.
Heidi promotes the business on Facebook a little, but mostly her incredible success comes from word of mouth, and of course, wearing her own product.
"I think one of the best places I get to talk about it is just when I'm traveling in the airport. I have given away or sold so much jewelry (there). There's a lot of bored people in airports," she says.
Heidi's friends say she is quick to pass recognition for her accomplishments to others, like her 450-Silpada team members nationwide, or her family. In 2009, Heidi was awarded the Legacy Award for selling more than $500,000 in sales and personally sponsoring more than one hundred people, but she says it is because of her family's support that she has come by this success.
"It's definitely not just me. It's my husband, it's my kids, it's the cheering section behind me," she says.
Heidi uses her success to spread the wealth all over West Michigan Communities. Charity parties are a big hit in the region, and Heidi donates half of all profits to the charity of the party hostess' choice like breast cancer fundraisers, leukemia runs, mission trips, the Grand Rapids food bank, and her favorite, Young Life.
"I find that the attendance is higher, and the hostess is very excited and typically she invites more people and the guests are excited to come," she says.
Heidi's not only exceeding her quotas, her cup is running over in all aspects of her life.
"I am blessed to have so many outstanding people in my life. My heart is so full and I'm so overwhelmed with wonderful friends and people I've met. It's an amazing thing to be a part of…Holy smokes it's quite something," she says.
Written by: Erika Fifelski is the West Michigan Woman magazine editorial coordinator. She was born and raised in West Michigan, and after a brief stint on the sunrise side, she's home and loving it. Erika enjoys gardening, vacuuming, and discovering new ways to live sustainably and support local businesses. Photo: Courtesy of Heidi VanderWal