This successful role model enjoys helping others achieve their dreams and goals.
Twenty-three years ago, Letha Bissonnet
never dreamed she'd one day be accepting the Avon Women of Enterprise Award. The way she describes it, she almost fell into her Avon business by accident. Her main drive has always been to help others, but it has lead to a very successful career as an Avon Representative!
In 1987, Letha was busy taking care of two of her friend's little boys, one of whom was handicapped and required all her attention. Avon was, as she puts it, "the farthest thing from my mind." But her daughter, Tracy, who had been an Avon Representative for several years was getting married, and she wanted Letha to take over her Customers and start her own Avon business. Letha needed convincing then, but now she thanks her daughter every day for this amazing opportunity.
Avon came calling in just the nick of time. Letha's husband, Charlie, was severely injured on the job—and, it turned out, unable to work for the next eight years. Letha says that Avon turned out to be a blessing in disguise. They had always lived from paycheck to paycheck, but faced with the chance to help her family in the clinch, Letha says, "I decided to take my goals and dreams off the shelf, dust off the cobwebs and get to work."
And so she did. Because of her intense commitment to her Customers and her belief that the shopping experience should be pleasurable and easy, selling Avon was a perfect fit for Letha. And Avon soon provided a terrific goal to strive for: an Incentive trip to Hawaii! Together, she and Charlie built up their Customer base, and, with the support of family and friends, that first goal was achieved. Letha adds, "It was on that trip that I realized that Avon was the company for me, and the vehicle which would help make my goals and dreams come true for my family." Leadership Has Its Merits
The Leadership Opportunity was a tough sell for Letha. She loved selling and helping her Customers so much that she didn't want to take any time away from it. But Charlie was thinking ahead, and saw that the residual income could help them, as well as help him to take an early retirement. Of course, the real kicker for Letha was when she realized she could help others achieve their goals and dreams. She says, "I knew it was the right thing to do. And yes, Charlie was able to retire at the age of 56."
Always a people person, Letha has built strong relationships with her Downline members, and they follow her example and trust her advice and guidance, knowing that their success is her goal as well. It is a responsibility that Letha takes very seriously. She leads her Downline step by step, and makes sure to attend all meetings so she can educate those she leads. By knowing all about the products they're selling, she and her Downline are able to help their Customers choose the items that will work best for them. Letha emphasizes the importance of all aspects of Customer service, from presenting the brochure to product delivery, and that dedication has lead to the loyal Customer base she has today.A Role Model for Success
Letha is a model of the Avon dream, and being able to sell that dream so well is a part of her success. Today, she is an Executive Unit Leader with 400 members in her Downline (including 35 at President's Club level or above) She, herself, is a President's Council member, and has been able to maintain that level for 16 years running.
This Pasadena, Texas, resident, who finds joy in serving others, is also a Spirit of Avon recipient.
Letha and Charlie have been married for 46 years, and together, they support and encourage other Representatives. The mother of two (David and Tracy), and the grandmother of three, Letha finds the time to travel and to go camping, hunting and fishing, but also devotes herself to her church, the parent-teacher association and a group for girls that develops character and life skills. Among those who have helped and mentored her are her District Sales Manager G'Ann Blair and her Division Sales Manager Beth Samples.
Letha has faced some obstacles over the years, but has worked hard to overcome them. She shares her own personal challenges with other Representatives in order to inspire them. She knows how important it is to believe in yourself, and that if she has triumphed, so can they. In her acceptance speech for her Women of Enterprise Award, Letha explained, "I could have easily quit, but I'm not a quitter. I have had numerous surgeries, the most serious of which was needed when I was told that I had a tumor growing next to my heart on the thoracic spine which could have resulted in paralysis. I had the tumor removed and was on life support for a couple of days. Unfortunately, I am facing another surgery, but I am very devoted to my faith and I believe that is why I am able to stand here today and receive this award as well as achieve my future goals. I always remember to keep God first in my life, family second and finances third. Everything else seems to fall into place."
Letha Bissonnet has accomplished a great deal in the 23 years since she started with Avon, and she encourages others with these words: "Remember to believe in yourself, shoot for the moon and if you land in the stars … what a great accomplishment you will have achieved."