Origami Owl - For Independent Designers - you can make money, but proceed cautiously | Glassdoor

Employee Review

Employee Review

Helpful (8)

"For Independent Designers - you can make money, but proceed cautiously"

StarStarStarStarStar
Current Employee - Lead Designer
Current Employee - Lead Designer
Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook

I have been working at Origami Owl part-time (More than 3 years)

Pros

You make your hours.
You get out of it what you put in to it.
Once you finally connect with Designer Care, they are so pleasant but not always able to solve.
It's possible to make money, but must be careful.
I love my mentor and it is nice to meet other like-minded designers.

Cons

I've been a Designer for three years. I did make money selling the product, however when you subtract my excess inventory, selling costs (postage, shipping, mileage, business cards, etc) and other selling 'paraphernalia' I did not make any profit.
Here is my caution to any new designer:
You must keep in mind that the O2 'business model' is to sell as much product as possible - the primary vehicle being that they sell product to us, the Designers. If you get caught up in the excitement you can be left holding so much excess inventory that you hope and pray to sell to anyone. Let's say you decide to stock up on the new Spring line, but it doesn't sell right away. You potentially will sell some of this product past the warranty period and then you are on the hook to replace any broken parts. For example, I have a new gold mini crystal locket in my inventory that I no longer can sell because a few of the crystals disintegrated. They literally crumbled in my hand. I can't go to Designer Care to have it replaced because it's out of the warranty period. I eat that cost.
O2 also makes money on any Jewelry Bar display items, O2 branded merchandise, your business cards, charm cards, invites, TOMs catalogs, etc. So if you buy these - and most new designers do - you are helping O2 make THEIR money, but this is an expense for you that cuts in to your margins. The 'cost of doing business' if you will.
At my most successful season, I realized I was putting in 40+ hours per week. So many hours fighting with the Back Office, trying to place orders, on hold with Designer Care plus following up with customers, trying to get a Jewelry Bar scheduled, and physically packing, driving to, unpacking, setting up and holding the JB, etc. etc. Lost packages from the Nest where they had no clue where it was and in the meantime the Limited Edition items had sold out so I coudln't reorder, and there was no solution to provide for my customer. When I did the ROI and analyzed the hours put in, I realized I wasn't hardly making any money.
I'm also very unhappy that they've cut the commissions for designers if you don't meet a minimum PV. This just seals the doom deal for me.
I do think if you are smart - meaning you exercise serious restraint and do not buy all their stuff - if you keep your costs very low - then you can realize a true profit. If I did it over again, I would become a new designer, order some business cards - and I would NOT keep an inventory, not order or design marketing cards, not purchase tablecloths, display items, not purchase items each time they had a Back From the Vault sale, etc - just not buy more than I actually had for an order. What's the problem with this? Most people like to see before they buy. They want to touch it, make their lockets in person, see how the charms look and fit. You still need to create marketing materials to reach these customers to convince them to schedule a jewelry bar, too. And having an attractive display set up for your jewlery bars does make a difference with how much you sell.

Advice to Management

This is their model, theyre not going to change it.
They should keep the commission strucutre as is, 30-50% with no minimum PV.

Other Employee Reviews

Other Employee Reviews

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Is anyone actually making money?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Freelancer - Independent Designer
    Current Freelancer - Independent Designer
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Origami Owl (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is a fun direct sales company with awesome products.

    Cons

    With so many knockoffs it is really hard to justify price anymore. And is anyone actually making money? I can't close a sale or book a party to save my life. The company feels a little desperate to me, and seem to spend a lot on incentive trips, events, and travel for corporate staff. The lack of transparency makes me worried, and I won't invest in carrying inventory on a company with an unclear future. Also, the new commision structure is harsh.

    Advice to Management

    Share your numbers. Practice some fiscal responsibility. Go back to the 6 month $250 PV.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "designer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer in Sacramento, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Set own hours. Easy if you put in the time and effort.

    Cons

    Constant need to buy new items with each new release. Poor product quality causing constant need to replace customers items and deal with returning to corporate and limited return policy. Spent a lot out of pocket to replace broken items after the Origami Owl refund time expired. Long wait time when calling customer service (hours).

    Advice to Management

    Provide better quality products, better customer service for your designers and clients.

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