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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Women who employ their husbands


What happens when you husband feels your work is encroaching on his time with you? For Cecilia Ortiz, pictured above, the answer was bring her husband into her business. Ortiz, originally from Colombia, has built a big following selling Avon products from her home in Miami Lakes. She has a niche in the Hispanic community and has recruited more than 800 sales agents to work in her team, or as it is called in Avon talk, her downline. Juan Ortiz wasn't pleased with visitors coming by at all hours to pick up orders or Cecilia's managers calling during the dinner hour. But by setting goals and meeting them, Cecilia now earns a six-figure salary. Eye-opening for Juan? You bet. Before Cecilia started selling Avon, the couple was on the brink of bankruptcy. Now, Juan has quit his job in construction and joined her in business.
It's a trend happening more often as women start and grow businesses. The upside: Cecilia says she can spend more time with her husband and he understands the potential for income. Even better, if they want to take off and visit their son in Texas, they can since their schedule is flexible. The downside: watching out for bruised egos. The key: define your roles. Cecilia is the face of the company, traveling to other states to recruit sales agents, even using translators when necessary (Spanish is her primary language). Juan is the computer guy, keeping the records and enrolling new agents as they join. The Ortizes have been married for 35 years. And Cecilia just received recognition from Avon for empowering other women.
Says Avon manager Rosa Moya-Suarez: "They make a great time. He knows as much about Avon as she does."
To contact Cecilia: Ceciorti@hotmail.com

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