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The truth about Origami Owl, a trinket MLM founded by a 14 y/o girl

Origami Owl is a custom home jewelry MLM specializing in lockets and charm bracelets.

Products are sold online or at parties hosted by affiliates and managed by independent business owners called Designers and can be shipped to all 50 US states, Canada, and a handful of island territories.

So have I been involved?

This video explains:


All good? Let’s continue…


Origami Owl is a member of the Direct Selling Association and as such there is a certain level of trust and quality that’s assumed. It also means we get to view certain stats about the company, like average income of their Designers (More on them below).

As a company doing business in California, they’re also required to submit a statement certifying that their suppliers do not deal in human trafficking or slavery.

Now that that’s on the table, let’s look into who’s running the show.

Origami Owl was started 5 years ago by a 14 year old girl who wanted a car. Her parents told her to start a small business and earn money for the car so she did. That business was Origami Owl and now it’s set to make $250 million this year.

O2 has partnered with Swarovski, probably one of the most recognized brands in the world (they make crystal jewelry), they’ve been featured on Good Morning America, and they were featured on Business Insider as one of “35 Companies That Are Changing the Way We Shop and Eat”. Bella was also interviewed on Yahoo Finance.  The business is doing fabulously well.

Various family members serve on the executive team. This looks like nepotism but what can you say, it’s working.  Yous say “nepotism”, I say “family business”.

Today there are about 60,000 Designers.


In the jewelry business, it’s important to both know the trends and to always be introducing new products. Origami Owl does both continually.

It’s also important to get your product in front of eyeballs, and Origami Owl has done this too. They’ve been featured in Cosmo, Star Magazine and Family Circle Magazine with no less than Jennifer Lopez wearing the Living Locket.

If you saw the Star Magazine spotlight of O2, you’d notice that it fell under the “Bargain Hunter” section. That brings us to quality.

Origami Owl is not fine jewelry, as in Tiffany & Company. However, it’s a step above costume jewelry, which is a term used in the industry for jewelry that’s not made of silver, gold, or other precious metals and which doesn’t contain precious gems.

Most of your Claires outlets sell costume jewelry, although there are lines of high end costume jewelry. Banana Republic’s line of jewelry, or any other apparel retailer’s jewelry is higher end (and more expensive) costume, for example.

So, “costume” doesn’t necessarily mean “cheap”.

In the case of Origami Owl, the design quality is appealing, original, and both functional and beautiful. The materials are quality too: sterling silver, 18K gold plating and Swarovski® crystals.

The amazing thing is that charms start at only $5. Everything is incredibly affordable, even though the materials are top quality (like Swissgolden or Numis). Another example: a 22″ sterling silver chain is only $22. If you were to buy the same thing from let’s say Pandora Jewelry, it would cost you $60, and their charms start at $30.

Charms come in dozens and dozens of designs, many with inspirational and pleasing inscriptions on them like “renewal” and “strength”.

The idea of customized jewelry is now a highly sought-after concept, thanks to the skyrocketing success of Pandora jewelry. O2 takes it a step further by offering a wider selection of charms at more affordable prices.

Compensation Plan

As an Origami Owl Designer (a.k.a.Independent Business Owner), you’ll not only get to be part of a very active support network, you’ll also have the opportunity to work from home and make money every time you sell jewelry. Here are the details:

  • sell from your personal inventory and keep all the profit (this is buying wholesale and selling retail)
  • earn up to 50% commission on sales of charms (up to 30% on other jewelry)
  • earn up to 15% commission on sales of your team, starting at 9%
    generation bonus: .5% – 1% on teams up to 2 levels down
  • earn commission when you place orders on the Designers e-commerce website
  • earn points in the Soar to Success program to earn jewelry and display units to make your job easier (500 PV to qualify)

O2 is always running training, support, contests, events, inspiration, team leader interviews, free training, your personal website, conferences, recognition of top sellers, and more. It’s a very active community which will go a long way towards keeping you motivated should you decide to join. This stuff matters, by the way.

Get started by purchasing a Business Kit, which includes product, display items, and marketing tools. There are 3 different levels to choose from:

  • O2 Business Essentials Kit ($149)
  • Signature Success Kit ($399)
  • Ultimate Jewelry Bar Launch Kit ($699)

The difference is, with the simplest (and cheapest) kit, you don’t get to earn Personal Volume (PV). It does contain 75 pieces of jewelry, however, so it’s enough to get you through your first Jewelry Bar (party).

To put all this in perspective, the average commission resulting from hosting a Jewelry Bar event with 7 customers and  $500 in sales would be $200.


I’m not sure which aspect of Origami Owl shines the brightest, but they all seem to shine pretty bright. The quality is surprisingly great, the prices are rock bottom, the company seems very well run and it’s clearly very well accepted by the public. Their marketing department is doing a great job of getting them some exposure, anyway, what with all the national news and magazine coverage.

The opportunity offers very high commissions (30% – 50%), plenty of support and training, as well as all kinds of incentives which seem to just keep rolling out with each passing week (check out their blog and you’ll see).

The only caveat is the jewelry industry itself. It’s tough and prone to wild swings due to the trendy nature of the business. Maybe customized jewelry will always be a popular sell- heck I thought it was over years ago but apparently not. But for now, Origami Owl is riding the wave of success with their customized line of great jewelry at amazingly low prices…just can’t beat that.

But in the end, it’s still the sad story of selling hype and chasing the hot opportunity.

There is a better way.

Check this out. You can cure your money chasing addictions without peddling MLM products on your Facebook and hosting home parties.

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Multilevel Marketing

Zija review: Nutritional supplements from moringa

Zija is a nutritional products network marketing company capitalizing on the healthful properties of moringa.

In May 2017 they acquired Xango, making them a bigger force in the health MLM space.

Run by a pioneer inventor in the herbal supplement industry and propelled by a top Harvard scientist, Zija is setup to do big things.


We’ll take a look at exactly what Zija is celebrating. You’ll find out whether the science is there to support the claims made about moringa. You’ll also discover how well their International compensation plan stacks up in a sea that’s brimming with nutritional energy drinks (hint: Tru Vision, Isagenix, and Visi).

First let’s find out about moringa.

Moringa Oleifera is a tree found in the foothills of the Himalayas known for its drought-resistant properties (1). The seedpods are eaten in Africa and Asia. The leaves are the most nutritious part and are eaten in Southeast Asia. The flowers are said to taste like mushrooms.

There seems to be no question as to the high nutritional value of moringa. It’s a good source of protein as well as vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and phenolics (2).

But delve a little deeper and the clinical studies aren’t there yet for many of the claims made by Zija Interntional. More on that below.

Who is Zija International? The founder of Zija is Ken Brailsford. He is credited with inventing herbal encapsulation, and with helping to bring moringa to the supplement industry after watching a documentary about the health benefits of consuming parts of the moringa tree.

Mr.Brailsford is actually something of a “star” in the herbal supplement world. He started Nature’s Sunshine in the 1970s, to capitalize on his new herbal encapsulation methodology. He ran that until 1979 when he left to become a stockbroker because of a noncompete clause with Nature’s Sunshine (3). He later went back but fully retired in 1997 until he founded Zija years later.

The company is based in Lehi, Utah and boasts an executive team of “experienced MLM professionals.”  That would include CEO Rodney Larsen who was hired to promote the growth goals of Zija. Mr.Larsen has been with ZI since 2006 and his LinkedIn profile shows no other data before that year. Some Zija affiliate websites do mention that he worked for NEXX and a branch of NuSkin Entrprises before joining Zija.

President Brad Stewart’s profile mentions that he has managed his career “through vision and faith”. He has been involved in network marketing his whole life.

Executive Vice President Darrell Eyre started as an Amway distributor and has been in network marketing for 25 years.

COO Michael Hershberger has over 15 years experience in management and IT and an MBA.

The takeaway: apart from the Chief Operating Officer, Zija International is run by people who have pretty much always worked in network marketing. The founder is recognized as an important figure in herbal supplement history and founded one of the oldest and most successful herbal supplement companies in the world.

Zija International is a BBB accredited business with a rating of A+.


The ZI products can be divided into three categories: moringa, ameo, and ripstix. Headed by  Harvard Medical School valedictorian Joshua Plant, the scientific wing of Zija International is actively engaged in formulating new products based on moringa and other botanicals.

Moringa is believed to support a wide range of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory support, improved digestion, improved mental clarity, increased energy, anti-aging, immune system support, and blood glucose level regulation. All of these benefits are listed on the Zija International website.

Scientific evidence and clinical trials, however, are hard to find.

There is one agricultural study  where mice and ruminants were given moringa tea. It was found that the white cell count in the mice who drank the tea was significantly higher. Mice also experienced reduced inflammatory responses.

In that same study, Moringa also improved cell viability in sheep and goats, and reduced oxidative stress from internal parasites. No effect on the gut health of pigs was observed, however (4). The results of this study have only been published informally to date.

The same Ag & Tech school that’s conducting that study is also looking into the use of moringa to promote animal health. Specifically, they’re researching moringa’s effects on the immune system (on B and T cells). In addition, they’re studying moringa’s effects on growth rate and performance of pigs. However, at this time it’s merely stated that more research is needed (5).

There is also a World Health Report citing the use of moringa in the use of water treatment in developing countries (6). But so far, not much has made it into the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed system.

The takeaway: moringa is incredibly nutritionally dense, but clinical studies are needed to support many of the health benefit claims made by Zija Interntaional.

Essential oils produced with clinical-grade standards and Zija’s exclusive patent-pending certification system.

Ripstix Hydration and Fitness Line – these are energy drinks in powdered form. Fitness supplements containing L-arginine (8) and electrolytes, they also contain fructose which some people try and stay away from.

Compensation Plan

There are tens of thousands of independent distributors working for Zija International. They have access to an extensive network of Zija training modules, including videos, an app, audio training, all of which is measured by a series of exams.

It’s the only MLM known to have a certification process for its distributors. Not only that, but every 90 days, distributors must re-certify. Passing exams means higher pay, too (7).

This is similar to how non-MLM companies handle their training. For example, public school teachers get pay raises when they pass graduate-level courses from accredited institutions of higher learning.

So what if Zija operates its own training, testing, and certification program in-house: it’s far above and beyond what you’ll see in other MLM companies.


1) IBOs profit by purchasing products at wholesale prices and selling them at retail (up to 25% profit).

2) Qualify to earn commission by being on autoship for at least 75 PV per month.

3) Get 10% of sales made by your personally enrolled recruits.

4) Team commissions and further bonuses as you advance in rank.


Zija appears to offer a good product. They have done a lot of things right and have a unique niche in the competitive nutritional supplement industry. But the income potential isn’t worth my time.

I’m not saying Zija International is a bad company – they’re not.

With any MLM, peddling products to your family members and friends at church might work for a couple months…maybe over a year if you’re lucky.

In the end, it’s still the sad story of selling hype and chasing the hot opportunity.

There is a better way.

Check this out. This will help wreck your money-chasing habits.

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