In her journey from customer to stylist to CEO of She’s Got Leggz, Donna Pinsonneault has kept her community at the forefront of her work. Now that she’s running the show, she’s seeking new ways to bring encouragement and confidence to customers and direct sellers alike! Listen in to learn more about the inclusive beauty she represents, how she connects with clients in a real way, and what she recommends to stay grounded and positive—even during her busiest seasons.
Time based notes:
- 1:36 Donna Pinsonneault introduction
- 2:18 Customer to CEO
- 4:25 The entrepreneurial rollercoaster
- 5:43 “Be your own kind of beautiful”
- 8:24 Maximize the holiday season
- 12:42 Moving through burnout
- 16:00 The sunshine jar
Bringing Confidence and Beauty to Direct Sales with Donna Pinsonneault
In her journey from customer to stylist to CEO of She’s Got Leggz, Donna Pinsonneault has kept her community at the forefront of her work. Now that she’s running the show, she’s seeking new ways to bring encouragement and confidence to customers and direct sellers alike, and she recently joined us on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast to chat about all the work she’s done!
Donna, for those that don’t know you, just give us a quick little overview about yourself, your background, who you serve, and what you’re all about.
I am the CEO of She’s Got Leggz. We are a Canadian leggings company in the direct selling world that started in 2015, and we’ve grown to over 1,000 stylists across Canada in those years. I’m also very excited that we have started shipping to the U.S., so our customer base is across Canada and the U.S., our stylists are in Canada, and we bring happy leggings to the world.
I love that! So, you didn’t step into this as CEO; you have been a customer, a stylist, and now you’re running the showTell us about that journey and what got you from there to here.
It all actually started because I found a picture of a pair of skull leggings—which I still have in my closet—on Facebook. So, I ended up chatting with the owners, and eventually they told me, “You should be a stylist with us.” And I’m like, “Well, I’m an accountant. I don’t really do kind of salesy stuff. That’s not really my wheelhouse.” And then, of course, I found a hoodie that I liked to go with my leggings, so I was in again, and again they said, “No, really, you should do this.” After three or four or ten pairs of leggings, I was finally like, “Okay, what if I give it a shot?”
And so, in January of 2019, I joined as a stylist, and I had the most incredible time getting out there, meeting people, doing parties, and doing events. And, I just fell in love with the whole direct selling industry and the opportunities that it brought women. And, I had my first conference that year with them, where I won Top New Stylist, Top Stylist, and Top Partier—which I was so elated about. Because, as a teenager, I was a party child, and it drove my mother crazy. And, I remember phoning her and going, “All those years of worry, Mom, they’ve been worth it! I won Top Partier!” As a 47-year-old woman, that was kind of funny.
After all of that, here I am in 2022. And, I felt so strongly about the opportunities that this industry has for people to be their own entrepreneur… I just needed to be a part of it. And so, in 2019, I joined She’s Got Leggz as a partner, and here we are!
So, a background in accounting, never really having experience in the world of direct sales or fashion, and here you are. Tell us: Has it been easy? Has it been fun? Has it been a little bit of everything?
As any entrepreneur knows, it’s an-up down rollercoaster ride—all the time. But, that’s what makes it so fun, right? And, I strongly, strongly believe that we’re not just building a company; we’re building a community. I love the connection that we have with our fields and the genuine, heartfelt success that everybody contributes to in our monthly meetings. For example, we just had our first conference in three years, and such great human connection happened. That’s the most fulfilling part.
And after so many years of being virtual, actually getting everyone back together and celebrating each other… I mean, that’s pretty incredible in itself. So, when it comes to that connection, not just with your fields, but your clients, I know you have a tagline: “Be your own kind of beautiful.” Tell us what inspired that and how it came about.
Honestly, I really don’t know how it came about, but I know that once it landed on us, it stuck. It immediately felt like, “Yes, that is what we want to say.” So, I can’t remember what year we started using it, but it landed, and we went with it, and it totally encompasses everything that we represent: body positivity, encouraging others, feeling good about yourself. Our goal is to be size inclusive. So, we do try to carry sizes that cover from small to 3X in the same outfit, and we try to not only style but also teach that styling so that, if you have a body that’s shaped differently than conventional fashion styles for, you still feel comfortable. When you feel beautiful, you look beautiful, and that’s what we try to inspire.
Amazing. We all know, when you’re wearing your favorite outfit, you just feel better. You’re comfortable, and you’re confident. But, I think that also really speaks to the community that you’re creating, encouraging others to develop new skills and the confidence to be beautiful, be out there, and do what you love.
That’s so true. I represent the chubbier end of the spectrum, and some of my customers will say, “I never thought I could wear that, but it looks so nice on you.” And, that is exactly the messaging we want to send, that you don’t have to look just one way. We are all beautiful. And, this is how I look in it, and this is how you look in it.
So, when we do our product launches every two weeks, we try to have a variety of heights and widths and ages, and a whole mix in there, because different people resonate with different body shapes and types and age groups and all that.
Isn’t that the truth? I feel like I always want to see somebody that looks like me in an outfit before buying it. I’m like, “Well, that model looks really cute, but she’s 110 pounds and 6 feet tall. I want to see somebody like me.”
You need to be genuine with it. And, you know, if you watch any of our videos, you will know, we do not take ourselves seriously at all. We have a very good time with what we do.
I love that so much. So, with the holiday season, right around the corner—and also legging weather—tell us what your best tips are for the stylists and direct sellers that are out there and really working to maximize this fourth quarter.
I think some of my top tips are: Be genuine with everything you do. People want to get to know you, to like you, to trust you, right? Build that relationship with them. And, when you tell jokes, or you show your life, or you share your hurdles, then it just keeps it real. Like, on our live videos, if we fumble or we drop something, that’s life. That’s how it goes. We haven’t had any wardrobe malfunctions, but even then, people just love to connect with the human side of people.
The other thing is to put yourself out there. We’ve spent three years getting used to hiding behind our walls and our furniture, so getting out there and doing the parties and doing the events and doing the one-on-one with people… We have to push ourselves a little bit to find that comfort zone again. But, once you’re out there, and you make that connection, it’s so fulfilling.
And then, my last tip is to have fun. Have fun with what you do, and it won’t feel like you’re working, because you’re just out there having a good time.
And you just said it so well: People really can relate to you, right? They know that you’re the girl next door, you’re another mom like them, and you’re out there having fun, doing your thing. People are so attracted to that energy and that excitement that you bring. I think sometimes we underestimate that. People really want to buy from people that are kind of like them and that they can relate to.
Completely. Real, genuine people.
With so much of an emphasis in the last couple years around influencer marketing, I’m always thinking, “Like, that’s great. But, people want to buy from real people,” right? And so, I think there’s such an opportunity—especially as we’re approaching the holiday season—to show up and be in it, whether that’s laughing about a baking fail online, or sharing a little behind the scenes of what’s happening at your house over the holidays. I think that that’s really what people get excited about.
So true. And, I think that’s what makes the direct selling industry so unique, because you have that opportunity for one-on-one. You’re not going to go into a department store and get that connection that the direct selling world affords people. That’s what makes it so special.
Yeah, it really is what differentiates things. And, so many big box stores have moved into crazier and crazier automation, where you check out at a store and you don’t even talk to a human.
It’s a little sad. And, we’re a party planning company, so we joke all the time about how you don’t go into a store, buy your clothes, and they say to you, “Hey, bring your friends over, and then you can shop for free!” Right? Nobody does that. But, that’s what we’re about. We’re like, “Hey, let’s have some fun and shop.”
Bringing the fun factor! I cannot agree more with that. And, I know that we’ve had a couple of crazy years—and you’ve been leading a company through it. So, it happens to all of us at one point or another in our business where we’re thinking, “It’s the holiday season. I’m getting a little burnt out. I’m getting a little tired. I have a million things on my to-do list.” When you’re thinking about how it’s getting tough, or things are feeling hard, or maybe they’re not as fun, what are your best tips to keep going and keep your business alive and moving forward?
I’d say there’s probably three things that I focus on. One is mindset. And, I do have one little 5-minute morning meditation that I often go to. Sometimes, I skip over part of it, because sometimes you’re just in go-mode, and you’re like, “Okay, I just need the positives. Give me the positives,” right? But, sometimes it’s taking those 5 minutes in the morning or 10 minutes at night, and just sitting quietly outside and calming the mind—because it can race and race and race.
I love Mel Robbins. One of her suggestions that I try to follow is that high-five in the mirror on some of your struggle days. It’s the silliest little thing, but it has a huge impact. And, one of the other tips that I learned from her was “hands on your chest.” When you’re feeling overwhelmed, just close your eyes, put your hands on your chest, and say, “I got this,” or “This is going to be okay,” or “It’s gonna work.” No matter what works best for you, I think mindset is huge.
And then, something else that I do is keep my goals on my iPhone so that they’re super handy. When I’m feeling down or deflated or burnt out, I go back to them and review them, and I say, “Oh, yeah, I did that. Oh, yeah, I did that. Oh, yeah, I got this, right?” And then I check my goals for next year. And I’m like, “Oh, yep, I’m on track. Oh, yep, I’m on track.”
I also keep my sunshine jar on my phone so that I can access it anywhere. So, if it’s 1:30 at night, and I’m like, “Oh, yeah, I want to remember this one,” I drop it in my notes in my little sunshine jar.
For those of our listeners that aren’t familiar with that term, tell us what that “sunshine jar” actually looks like in practice.
So, I started this when my kids were young—and I still have my original one. It was a little Tupperware container, and they wrote little notes on it to lift me out of my blue days. They’d say things like, “Mom, you’re the best, and I love your hugs.” Those little things. So, after they got older, I started to—at least once a month, or twice, maybe three times a month—try to go into my notes section and add to my virtual sunshine jar. So, I have one for 2022, and I’ll put in there something that made me happy, or proud, or just a little memory that I’d like to remember. So I have, like, eight years of sunshine jars on my notes section, and it’s nice to be able to go back and look through them.
I love that! And, what practical advice that anyone can implement right away, just to bring you back to the “Yeah, I got this” mindset.
Right. When you’re traveling somewhere, sitting in the car, sitting on a plane, you can easily access it.
That’s perfect. You can just add it straight into your notes section, and that’s an amazing way just to look back at those memories and celebrate how far you’ve come. I think that’s something that I personally forget to do. I have to be very deliberate in celebrating even the little things from last week or last month. I think those of us that are achievers and very goal-oriented are constantly up in the goal or moving into the next thing. “Okay, I got that incentive trip. The next thing I’m going to earn is this.” And, “Okay, I hit this rank. Now I already have my eye on the next level.” And, taking just a little bit of time to pause and celebrate, I think that’s huge. I hope other entrepreneurs and direct sellers take that to heart.
Take Action: What is one way that you can make your customers more confident?