From humble beginnings to becoming a leader in direct selling, today we celebrate our 60th year in the direct selling industry!
To our Amway Business Owners and our loyal buyers – thank you for being a part of our family and our community.
Here’s to the next 60! #A60moments.
In the last 60 years, Amway has evolved from two guys selling soap from their basements to a multibillion-dollar global enterprise with more than 1 million independent business owners worldwide selling hundreds of nutrition, home and beauty products.
That’s the Amway story in one sentence, but that sentence encapsulates so many other stories. Stories of hope, hard work, endurance, failure, resilience, discovery, research and sometimes just plain luck.
A simple agreement
The roots of Amway can be traced back to a partnership, a simple agreement between two high school students—one with a car and one who was tired of walking.
Jay Van Andel agreed to give Rich DeVos a ride to school each day in exchange for 25 cents a week in gas money. That was the first time the two had met, and it was the beginning of a lifelong friendship and partnership that produced a host of entrepreneurial ventures.
Those ventures culminated in 1959 with Amway, short for the American Way, which over 60 years have become a multi-billion dollar direct selling company providing opportunity to more than 1 million business owners across the globe.
It was an unlikely partnership. The men had very different personalities; Rich was outgoing and social and Jay was more serious. They likely would not have become friends were it not for Rich’s tired legs. But they did, and what developed has been described as one of the greatest business partnerships in history.
What made that partnership so powerful? Common values and trust, said Rich’s son and Amway Co-chairman Doug DeVos.
“They believed that every person had incredible potential within themselves, and all they needed was an opportunity to express it,” Doug said. “And they always trusted each other. That was easy when things went well, and absolutely critical when things went wrong.”
When Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos launched Amway in 1959, it was not their first venture into direct selling.
Working under the name Ja-Ri Corp., the pair had been active distributors for a small supplement company known as NUTRILITE Products Inc., rising in the ranks to be among the company’s top sellers. In fact, the Amway business model was designed largely after what they saw as the successful parts of the NUTRILITE model.
Sam Rehnborg, Ph.D., son of NUTRILITE Founder Carl Rehnborg and president of the NUTRILITE Health Institute, remembers when his father first introduced him to Rich and Jay at a NUTRILITE distributor meeting.
“I never forgot how enthusiastic they were about the NUTRILITE business and how wonderfully they spoke of my father and what he was doing,” Dr. Sam recalled. “They could see the benefit of the product, but one thing they also saw was the tremendous potential of the business side of it. The best people to sell your product are those who are using the product. That’s what drives repeat business.”
Today, November the 9th, Amway celebrates 60° anniversary…Stay tuned, the story is to be continued..!