At the Thirty-One Gifts (TOG) Conference this year, held July 21-23, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and Nationwide Arena, the organization had one main initiative: diversifying its message. The international direct-sales company is working on being more inclusive by creating an outreach program specifically for Latina families.
“We allocated a specific segment of the convention for the introduction of our Latina Initiative launch,” Claudia Barcelo, director of multicultural business initiatives at Thirty-One Gifts, tells Convene. “The president of TOG Jeff Dahl and I painted the vision and shared our strategic plan with the consultants as to how to tap into the Spanish-speaking and non-Spanish- speaking Latina community across the U.S.”
Along with the outreach initiative, TOG also introduced a new product line “designed specifically to appeal to a more diverse multicultural market,” Barcelo says. “In addition to the products, we redesigned our Fall catalog to feature more diversity in both Latina and African American presence in terms of models and relevant themes. We are launching this initiative in phases, allowing us to provide the field with powerful tools and collateral to go to market.”
When Cindy Monroe founded TOG in 2003 from her basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee, her goal was to help women by giving them the opportunity to run their own businesses. Over the course of 15 years, the company’s consultants have held more than 6 million parties across the country, and its annual event has gone from 30 delegates in 2005 to more than 11,000 in 2018. “This year’s convention was a platform to bring together all ethnicities and walks of life, ranging from brand-new consultants to top leadership,” she says. “The conference messaging resonated with all consultants as Cindy Monroe took us back from her humble beginnings to the mega-power company that TOG is today.”
Columbus has been home to the organization since it outgrew its headquarters in Johnston, Ohio, in 2008. At that point, TOG relocated to the capital city, one of the most diverse destinations in the state, and has held its annual convention there every year since. “Diversity and growth are not just integrated but inseparable,” Barcelo says. “We base our ongoing diversity and inclusion journey, whether related to our customers, consultants, or communities where we do business, on a solid foundation of respect for all individuals and the belief that we all benefit when everyone can contribute to their fullest potential.”
TOG’s commitment to diversity extends well beyond the 2018 annual conference. “Our next phase will take place in September, when we will have our entire website available in Spanish and we will begin offering our starter kits with business collateral in Spanish language,” Barcelo says. “Having diversity is just one part of the story; how well that diversity works together is key. We believe diversity is a fact and inclusion is a choice we make as individuals and leaders.”