Jesi Conder is the cofounder and CEO of one of direct sales’ newest brands: Align! This week, she joined us on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast not only to share how Align went from conception to launch in less than a year, but also the ways in which the business was built to allow sellers to be multi-passionate and evolve alongside the industry. Jesi and Align believe in coaching their sellers to build their personal brands first, which in turn allows sales to complement their lifestyles and bring them abundance.

Learn more about Align and Jesi Conder on their website, or follow Align on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

Join the Cultivate Facebook group to stay updated about the community.


Time based notes:

  • 1:52 Jesi Conder introduction
  • 5:08 Align and its beginnings
  • 10:28 Change in the sales industry
  • 13:15 Best practices for personal brands
  • 21:00 The Align Abundance Plan
  • 22:40 Tips to evolve with the market
  • 26:47 The Align Cultivate community
  • 30:29 Jesi’s favorite office supply


Adapt to an Evolving Industry with Jesi Conder and Align


So, to kick us off and get things started, I’d love to hear from you just a little bit of your direct sales story, and how it started, and how it’s going.

Okay. I started in direct selling in 2008. I had a 10-month-old baby at the time—my first. And, my husband had been deployed for a year. So, I was a new mom. I worked full time in a very demanding job; I was actually a wedding coordinator, so lots and lots of hours. And, my husband coming home from a deployment, at that point in our lives, being so young, meant that he was going to take a big pay cut. He actually made more money being deployed than he did at home in his regular job. So, with that coming, I knew that if I could just make my car payment—which was $242—that it would make a really big difference in our monthly budget and our bills and our financial margin.

And, I had attended a direct selling party a few weeks prior, and I remembered hearing this consultant stand up and share her personal story and her testimony about the industry. And, I thought that was really cool, and like, “Good for her. I would never do that.” But, it planted that seed, and so probably a month later, when I was really looking at our budget and needing to make up a couple hundred dollars, I thought, “Maybe this was a way to do it.” So, I actually hopped in as a consultant, and I was with Tastefully Simple for my first company.

I am so thankful that Tastefully Simple was my introduction to the industry, because it is such a great company with a really strong female leader and a really strong culture, and it taught me some fundamentals and rules to live by in the industry that have served me this entire time. Since then, I have been with a couple different companies in the field and built big, large, successful organizations there, and then ultimately made the decision that, “Maybe we could do things a little bit differently and do it ourselves.”


I want to hear more about that decision-making process from, “Okay, I’m gonna be in the field” to “I’m gonna build my own direct sales brand.” What was the catalyst was for that? And, I would love to hear how you’ve taken that lens of, “I just need to make that couple-hundred-dollar car payment” and applied it to Align, because I think that’s so relevant in today’s economy and world that we’re living in. So, share a little bit about Align and how you got started, what the mission is, and what the vision is for the company.

So, Align just launched in March of 2023. So, we’re only a few months old, and our mission is to create more abundance and alignment in the lives of really good people through really good products. So, we really want to keep it simple. We like to call our brand pillars, “minimalist, mid-lux, and modern.” So, we really want to look at social selling through those three brand pillars and think about how we can take what we learned in our experience in the field at all different levels—being the person who needed to make a car payment to being the person who did have a six-figure income that supported my family completely. We have a lot of perspectives, so how can we build a brand that supports all different kinds of social sellers?


And, did you have a background in skincare at all before you started Align? I’d love to hear why you picked Align’s bath, body, and beauty products. And, has it been a learning curve? Has it been easy? Tell us all the things.

So, like I said, I started in Tastefully Simple, which is obviously not skincare. I spent four years there. And, I felt like it was the best foundation. But then, I actually did spend the majority of my time in a company that had skincare products, so I knew a lot about it from a leadership and a selling perspective. But obviously, manufacturing and production and development is a completely different ballgame.


I can only imagine stepping into that space, where literally now, as the cofounder and CEO, you’re wearing all the hats. I know, we say that in direct sales all the time. Like, “You wear all the hats!” But really, production, shipping, manufacturing… I’m sure there’s been a lot to learn, but it’s also probably really exciting, too.

Yeah, it’s been challenging in all the good ways. And really, for me, it came down to a moment last summer, where people had mentioned it to me a couple times, and kind of planted that seed—again—of, ” You should just offer your own line. You should start your own company.” And, I always thought, “Who am I have to do that?” Like, “That sounds really hard. And, I don’t feel qualified to do that.” And, last summer, I just had this shift where I just stopped telling myself that story. And, I asked myself, “Who am I not to do this? I’ve spent my entire adulthood in this field. I’ve seen the good, the bad, the ugly, the great. I’ve made a little bit of money. I’ve made a lot of money. I’ve been with a couple of different brands. Why not? Why can’t I be the one to do it?”


So, in less than a year, this really went from an idea to a launch.

Yes. Idea was June of 2022. And, we launched March 1 of 2023.


Well, congratulations, because that’s incredible and fast-paced and accelerated and really inspiring, also. I love what you shared around that shift in mindset, because I’ve had those moments myself, where it’s like, ” I’m kind of just doing my little thing over here on the side.” And then, “Well, wait a minute. It’s not a little thing. It’s a big thing, and I’m gonna own it, and I’m going to show up that way.”

So, let’s talk about change for a minute, because you’ve been in the industry for a while, and I think “change” is one of those topics that many direct sellers have been very familiar with, especially over the last couple of years. Like, we’ve pivoted. We’ve pivoted again. But, what are some of those big changes that you’re seeing in the industry and being intentional about when it comes to the way that you’re building the Align brand?

I think a huge change that we’re seeing is building yourself as your own brand and no longer saying, “I’m Jesi, and I sell this.” Like, that is not the way that this influencer world functions, where we’re being sold to every day on Facebook and Instagram and TikTok. Nobody is buying the brand. First, they’re buying into you and what you are offering them. And so, I think the door has been kicked wide open for direct sellers in the field to brand themselves as the business and then offer things that they love to share, that they really enjoy, that they’re authentically passionate about. I think that’s one of the biggest shifts that we are seeing and that we’re really embracing on Align, is not asking our fields to put all of their eggs in one basket. Like, we want Align to enhance your life and complement your life and add to what you’re already doing—not be your whole life.


Okay, so in part of that, you’ve shared that Align really allows you and encourages you to represent more than just one brand. There’s an opportunity to be multi-passionate—which is a word that really resonates with me. So, what are those best practices that you’re seeing from direct sellers that are creating more of this umbrella brand, where showing up as “Jesi” instead of “Jesi with Align”?

I think showing up with your face is so important. I just got off a leader call with some of our top leaders, and we were talking about this a lot, because it’s a big mindset shift. If you’ve been in the industry for any period of time, most of us were trained to only do one thing, and be all in, and that it’s a distraction and you’re not going to be successful if you’re doing multiple things. But, I don’t think the world sees it that way. I don’t think your customers see it that way. I think the shift is us changing our mind about it and knowing that it is okay for me to do and share multiple things that I love. We should be thinking, “How do I do that in a way that feels really natural?”

So, I think a big key is showing up and showing your face. And, what we talked about with our leaders is, people want to get to know you. They want to see you on your Stories. They want to see you on your social media, and they don’t really want to be sold to. So, I would rather you get on your Instagram Stories and have a cup of coffee and tell me what you’re doing today and share a funny story about what happened with your kids while you’re using an Align product at the same time. And then, at the end of that, you just plug that product and say, “Oh, you guys asked what I was using. It’s my red light wand. Here’s the link. Here’s some of what it does.” Like, instead of leading from the selling first, and then sprinkling in your personal life, we’re encouraging people to lead with themselves and be really true to who they are, and then sprinkle Align in along the way.


I love that. I think an underlying theme of what I’m hearing you share is really more of an abundance mindset, right? Like, you can do multiple things and be successful at multiple things. And, one of my pet peeves, especially with some of the companies that have been around for a little bit longer, is this limiting belief that “You can only be aligned with our company”—play on words there—”and you can’t touch any other product, because if you do, that’s going to take away from what we have to offer.” So, I feel like you’re leading the way in this. And, many companies are beginning to see it that way and starting to kind of change their approach, because they’re realizing that if you have great products, and sellers love your company, and they love your culture, they’re gonna keep coming back.

And, creating loyalty comes from supporting people in the best way, right? Creating culture, community, and loyalty comes when you’re really doing what’s best for them, not what’s best for you. So, I think from a corporate perspective, it might feel like it’s best to limit people, but ultimately, I think the industry is gonna get a lot of pushback from leaders and a lot of pushback from influencers and content creators who say, “I might want to be a part of your brand, but I have ten other brand deals. And so, if you’re going to limit me, I’m not going to do it.” And ultimately, that doesn’t help you.

I love that you said “abundance,” because it does tie back to my beginnings at Tastefully Simple. One of the core values is “the law of abundance.” And, if you believe that there’s more than enough to go around, there is. And so, that’s something that’s really stuck with me over the past 20 years. And, it is true. So, we really embrace that and try to model that for our field and our leaders to understand that we’re here to support them in doing what’s best for their family. And, that does not always mean putting everything that they have into one brand. That doesn’t really make sense. And, that may not be the smartest thing for them and their family financially, so we’re here to support them in doing what’s going to serve their family and themselves and their goals the best. And so, that means we have to live by that law of abundancy.


So, if somebody right now is thinking, “Gosh, I’ve been in this industry for a little while. I know that change is real.” What are your best suggestions for them to really stay current and relevant and find success in this ever-changing, evolving market?

I would say, look outside of the industry, and study what other people are doing who are sharing and selling brands successfully. Look at their behaviors. What are they doing that’s different? You know, I have a neighbor who’s a very successful influencer, and I really study her. What does she do? How does she share day to day? And, that’s very eye-opening, and it opens your eyes to looking at things outside of direct selling.

I would also focus on being very coachable and embracing change. And, that can come in with a coach, or a training like you offer through Modern Direct Seller. This industry is changing all the time. Social media is changing all the time. And, just recognizing that, even if you have been successful, things are different now, and maybe what you did eight, ten, five years ago is not going to work the same way that it did back then. And so, you have to be willing to not be the expert, and be a little bit humble, and say, “I don’t know what’s working now,” and seek out some help and some training and education on the shifts and how you can tweak things and do things differently to take advantage of the foundation that you’ve already laid. I think that’s super important. And then, for us, we’re really, very, very focused on systems and automation and how that can serve our field and really change the game for how we sell in this industry.


I love that. I love what you said around being open to change, and coachable, and willing to do things a different way than you ever have before. We hear all the time, like, “Well, I tried that, and it didn’t work.” Like, try it again. Like, it doesn’t just take one post, or one Instagram Story, or whatever it might be. Stick with it, and try it again, and tweak it. I think that that’s part of staying relevant and being current, because the things that we did a couple of years ago don’t work the same way that they do today. You have to adapt, and you have to evolve, and you have to grow and seek out that training to really position yourself to be as successful as you can be given everything else happening around you.

And, it’s always going to change. You’re not ever going to master this and be done. Like, that’s just the reality of it. And so, I think, for me, as someone who is a very achievement-focused, I’ve had to learn to fall in love with the process and the action and not be so hyper-focused on the results. Like, if I can fall in love with my own personal development, and building better habits and time management, and balancing my life better, and being consistent, and following through, and really giving things the time that they need to be successful, then I can check those boxes and feel like I achieved what I need to, instead of constantly searching for the new thing that’s going to help me hit the big goal.

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1 Comment

  1. Jenny

    Loved listening to Jesi’s fresh take on social selling and how it lines up so well with my personal priorities! This was a great listen.


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