We live in exciting times. There are countless home-business opportunities, but not all of them are good… or even legit. In this Piphany review (formerly known as Honey & Lace) we’ll evaluate where they stand.
They are legit… but, are they one of the good ones? Or, are they just another empty pyramid scheme that you pay into and get little in return?
Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate for Piphany. This review has been researched with information and/or testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any recommendations and/or conclusions are strictly opinions and may not to apply to, or agree with, all persons or situations. See full disclaimer for more info
What is P!phany?
As mentioned, Piphany (P!phany) is a direct sales (MLM) clothing company which is better known as Honey & Lace. Earlier this year, they rebranded themselves because (as one source claimed) Honey & Lace sounds more like a lingerie company than a clothing company... and I'd have to agree.
Founded by Dianne Ingram, along with business partner and CEO Jack Petersen, the new direction seems to be a positive one among independent consultants.
If you’re familiar with multi-level-marketing companies in the clothing industry you may have heard of Dianne Ingram. Her twin sister, DeAnne Stidham, is founder of the better known clothing brand, LulaRoe and her niece Nicole Thompson founded Dot Dot Smile.
In addition to these three network marketing companies, DeAnne Stidham’s niece Buffy Bandley started another well-known MLM... Agnes & Dora... in her garage.
Multi-level-marketing is a family business and Piphany is in good company.
Their goal (as stated on their website) is to "empower women through fashion and owning a business".
How Does It Work?
Update: Piphany has made major changes to their business model recently. From onboarding costs to inventory requirements... I'll make sure to highlight the changes below.
What's Changed? Piphany no longer requires you to carry inventory. This is huge, and a major departure from their competitors. You can purchase inventory if you'd like, but Piphany will now ship direct to your customers... and shipping is free.
The other big change is the cost to get started. Rather than $2000 (as mentioned below)... you can now join Piphany for $199.
Piphany compensates it’s members through a traditional buy and sell business model. Unlike many MLM’s today that are handling most of the logistics (such as shipping) and paying their distributors a commission, Piphany requires you to purchase inventory at wholesale, and sell at retail. What that means is, you… as a consultant, must purchase inventory up front, manage stock levels, and deal with things like invoicing, shipping, returns/warranties and collecting sales tax. This will appeal to many who enjoy having their own “store”, but it also comes at a cost. Currently, the start-up cost to become a Piphany distributor is $2000 and with that you can pick and choose your inventory. However, the the cost is expected to increase to $2800 or $3000, and instead of cherry-picking your own inventory, it will come as a pre-selected kit.
Of course, as with any multi-level-marketing company, a big part of your compensation will come from recruiting others and building your downline.
Piphany… like Honey & Lace, haven’t published a compensation plan and being as new as they are, what they do have in place is expected to change. Currently you can earn a between 2 - 7 percent from your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tier downline sales and so on, as well as various bonuses based on mandatory requirements to achieve different levels.
With a big team, it can add up... but the big money (as far as percentages go) is on the Piphany items you sell directly. You can earn between 20 - 50 percent.
Building a team is difficult though. It's the number one reason 99% of multi-level marketers don't make it. Even if you bust your butt and you're good at recruiting... most of your downline won't be.
It's a lot to consider.
But what if you just want to earn a little extra spending money?
Online surveys on sites like inboxdollars.com are a great way to make a few extra bucks if you're not ready to commit to anything serious. You can also make money watching videos, searching the web and visiting websites with Inbox Dollars.
Of course, we're not talking about retirement money here, but it's a good first step if you're just looking for something simple.
Or maybe you are ready for something serious, you just wish it wasn't multi-level marketing. You're not alone.
If you've got health issues keeping you at home, children to look after or even a tough job market to deal with, an online business is what you want.
Generating money by leveraging the easy to use tools and training that solopreneurs have today is what you need in order to get what you want.
Of course, all of the above doesn’t matter if P!phany’s clothes are no good. That doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s difficult to find reviews of P!phany’s clothes (not counting those from distributors which may be biased) but if you dig (and search for Honey & Lace) you can find some positive ones (examples below).
I couldn’t find an official statement, but aside from their leggings, P!phany clothes are US made with unique (exclusive) prints that include solids, stripes, florals and geometrics. Sizes are available from XS to 3XL.
Below is a sample price list, and as a disclaimer; please don’t take these prices as current or absolute. For up to date pricing you will have to contact a P!phany consultant.
Is It A SCAM or A Pyramid Scheme?
Piphany is not a scam. They are also not a pyramid scheme. At least, not illegally.
Your own personal definition of what a pyramid scheme is however may be different.
There is no question that MLM’s are pyramids. Maybe not all are “schemes”… but they are built on the premise that you recruit several, those people recruit several, and those people recruit… well, you know the story...
Eventually, you end up with a structure that looks very much like a pyramid and the people at the top (which are usually few) make most of the money. In fact, statistics show that only about 1% of those in an MLM pyramid actually make money, once expenses are factored in.
But, by law, this is a completely legit business model and according to the legal definition, is not a pyramid scheme.
Is Piphany For You?
I certainly don’t want to discourage you from joining Piphany. There are things to like here and if you have a “passion for fashion”, then this might be the perfect opportunity for you.
However, there are some things about MLM’s (and Piphany) you should know before joining.
For example, you should be comfortable with sales. It's a lot of money to invest, only to realize after you hate what you do.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll need to purchase $2000 in inventory and that’s expected to increase closer to $3000.
Cost to get started now is only $199, and you are not required to purchase inventory.
You’ll also need racks, hangers, as well as portable racks for Pop Up Boutiques and Home Parties. Fuel costs must be factored in. as well as all those evenings away from your family.
Since inventory is not longer required, you can do without the racks and hangers... however, you may want to carry some inventory and put on Pop Up Boutiques.
You also need to consider whether you like to sell and recruit? Multi-level-marketing, regardless of the product, is all about selling and building a downline.
So, even if it’s your dream to own a clothing and fashion business… your day to day activities and the success of your business will be determined by your ability to build relationships, and to ultimately sell and recruit.
If you don’t like doing those things (again and again... and again), it's not going to be fun, and building your MLM will be an uphill battle.
Unfortunately, most people don’t like selling, and they especially don’t like recruiting (or being recruited)... and statistics prove this point.
If that also describes you, an online solution might be the better choice for a home-based business.
Is Piphany Your Business?
Another difficult truth about MLM’s is that you are still dependent on a single company and product (or brand of products). Like a job, your income is coming from one source.
This goes against the very reason people build their own business, which is to be their own boss and become independent.
People who purchase franchises often say they’ve bought themselves a job, which is true. They are still bound to corporate oversight. The company dictates the products, the supplies, the prices, the marketing strategies, the hours of operation etc.
In many ways this is beneficial… it’s a plug and play business. But it’s also not what owning your own business really means.
In the case of multi-level-marketing, you are at the whim of the company. If they change their product line, their pricing, the quality or the service, your compensation structure or even go out of business… you can only go along for the ride, or quit.
If you quit, like a job, you are giving up your source of income and if you’ve spent time building a downline, your group and all of it’s future sales belong to Piphany and your upline… not you.
That’s why MLM’s usually have minimum requirements to maintain active member status. In the case of Piphany, you must purchase a minimum of
30 pieces 10 pieces per month to maintain active status.
So, there is no “coasting” here. Measures are put in place, so you can’t build a large downline, retire, sit back and simply collect commissions. You have to continually push forward or you’ll lose your investment and what you’ve built. (although Piphany's requirements are now significantly easier to meet)
The Pitfalls of Multi-Level-Marketing
Let's be honest, there are some obvious problems with multi-level marketing and I'm sure you're well aware of them. They're the same problems you're skeptical about, and the same problems your upline (or potential sponsor) is trying to convince you are not really problems.
Maybe they're the same issues and objections you're trying to overcome when you're recruiting others.
What I'd like to talk about here are some of the more dangerous and damaging issues.
For example, I think it’s disingenuous to sell a dream or luxury lifestyle to people you know won’t achieve it.
It’s one thing to offer an opportunity to someone. It’s another to present the charismatic and connected top performer who shows up in a BMW to the crowd and say, “all of this can be yours too”.
It’s true that we don’t always know what someone’s potential is, but there are a lot of broken dreams and collateral damage created along the way.
As a test… consider how many of the people you recruit would perform well in a traditional sales role.
If you owned a company, would you hire them as salaried employees to represent YOUR product and brand? Are they qualified sales people? Would they even make it to the interview stage based on their resumes?
If the answer is no… then a lifestyle of freedom, riches and independence through multi-level-marketing is probably not going to happen for them. Not through multi-level-marketing.
It's not impossible, but it's a little disingenuous to sell them a lifestyle like that in my opinion. That doesn't mean they can't be successful, it's just that their skill-set or "vehicle" or may be different. Multi-level-marketing (or sales in general) is not for everyone.
And that’s one big issue I have with MLM’s… and I’m talking from experience (as I mentioned earlier... from building an Amway business).
I’ve gone down the path of recruiting, selling the dream to others as taught, and motivating my team to sell the dream to their friends and family and so on...
I didn't last long (roughly 2 years) in multi-level-marketing once I recognized what I was doing. But the dream of freedom and independence stuck with me and even though I've had good high-paying jobs, they were never enough. I visualized that lifestyle as I was taught and it became part of my DNA... not achieving it led to years of discontent, frustration and even depression.
It took me more than 20 years to figure out a way to create that lifestyle. Or, at least a wiser and more mature version of the lifestyle I dreamt about when I was a lot younger. My online business affords me a minivan and a Kia Optima... Yes, I said Kia... not Ferrari (at least not yet), lol. For now I still live in the real world 😀
Many people won't find their own way though, and that disappointment will persist for a lot longer.
Legal or not, pyramid schemes can be tricky. I’m not saying you shouldn’t join, I’m just saying you need to be aware of those pitfalls going in.
One big plus for Piphany is that they limit their recruits with periodic onboarding freezes.
What this says (to me at least) is that they are driven more by retail sales, rather than recruiting. While that may mean more home parties and less passive income... it takes the pressure off of trying to recruit your friends, family, and co-workers to become Piphany consultants.
Your primary method of sales will likely be, as mentioned a moment ago... friends, family and co-workers. Through home parties, pop-up boutiques and even collaborations with your gym, dance or yoga studios.
While these traditional marketing strategies are offline, multi-level-marketing today can also be done “online”. When I was involved in network marketing, the internet (as we know it today) was still a few years away.
No one I knew had even heard or a “website” or “email” so my strategy was to start conversations with people at supermarkets, movie rental stores and gas stations.
A little off topic, but don't you miss the movie rental store? 😀
Anyway... today you have all kinds of marketing opportunities online and you can, if you choose, avoid those face-to-face encounters.
Let’s look at some online and offline strategies.
Marketing Piphany Online
There have been some changes during the rebrand from Honey & Lace to P!phany. If you’re building your own website, you can’t use the work Piphany (or P!phany) in your title/name or domain (URL).
But… if done properly, this is actually to your benefit. Let me explain.
As mentioned earlier, building a Piphany business (or any MLM) means you are dependent on that single brand and product. But what if you want to quit or change to another brand?
That's going to be difficult if your website has the name Piphany in it.
The best online strategy would be to build a website that focuses on fashion, not brand. Your passion for fashion is best spent on a blog that includes topics such as fashion trends, do-it-yourself articles, fashion accessories, reviews etc.
Then, you can include Piphany and it’s products without putting all your eggs in a single basket. Your business is your blog (learn how to use this strategy for an endless supply of leads), and have Piphany as just one category.
Be diversified by offering related accessories such as shoes, jewelry, or make-up for example, and you can earn commissions though affiliate offers by linking to well known companies such as Shiek Shoes for example (which pays 10% commissions) and Sephora (which also pays commissions) when someone purchases by following your links.
Following your passion and earning a living is possible. Piphany could still be your primary product line, but it shouldn't be your only product line. When you're committing years of your life to your business, it should be your business.
If Piphany ever changes or does something you don't approve of.. like a real business, you can switch suppliers and your client base and audience remains intact.
Online platforms like Wealthy Affiliate teach you how to build online businesses that are completely independent of any one company or platform. In Wealthy Affiliate's case, they also provide free websites.
When it comes to online marketing, this is where most people turn to. But, there is a big danger in doing so and I don’t recommend sinking all of your efforts into it.
Social media should only be one part of your marketing strategy, because (like joining an MLM) you become dependent on the one social media platform that you put all of your time into.
Many people have seen their entire businesses wiped out overnight because Facebook or YouTube changed what they were showing in people’s newsfeeds. Some spent years creating content and building an audience only to realize later that their posts where not reaching their followers.
The social platform they were on was giving higher priority to paid ads for example, posts with higher rates of activity (such as Unilad or Bored Panda), or friend and family created content.
Social media is a great way to increase traffic to your own website (your own platform), but not a great place to commit all of your time and efforts to.
Marketing Piphany Offline
Offline will likely be your starting point, and as mentioned, you need to be comfortable with face-to-face selling and recruiting. This is referred to as relationship selling.
The first place to start is immediate family and friends, as well as co-workers.
From there you’ll want to expand your efforts to include other parents at your children’s (if you have children) soccer games, gymnastics, dance, martial arts, school, etc.
Members of your church and the community groups you attend, neighbors (past and present) are all good candidates.
You can also search for and reconnect with people you went to school with, and past colleagues.
Again… the internet makes this a lot easier than it used to be, so if you’re just getting started in multi-level-marketing, there are some significant advantages you have today (unlike those of us who did it the hard way… with phones… that were only phones, and attached to the wall 😀 ).
As mentioned earlier, another great way to market yourself, and your Piphany business is to collaborate with your gym, yoga or dance studio.
The key(s) to offline marketing are creativity, building relationships and putting yourself out there.
What I Like About P!phany
- From what I can tell, they are similar to some other MLM's like Chalky and Company because they put a higher priority on retail sales than they do recruiting and building a downline.
- Diverse clothing line, exclusive prints (you’re not competing with identical products from someone else) and decent quality.
- No inventory required.
What I Don’t Like
- It might be cheaper to get started than some other brands, but it’s still expensive at $199 plus logistical expenses. When you can start an online business for $50 or less, it’s hard to justify thousands of dollars.
- They are relatively new and although they are growing, they face tough competition against more established brands. It can be argued that this is a “ground floor” opportunity, but in all honesty, getting in “early” is not going to increase your chances of success. On the other hand, growing pains and uncertainty is guaranteed.
UnlikeBuskins orLegging Army who use a commission based sales model, Piphany is a buy and sell company. What that means is you’re dealing with large inventories, stocking product, shipping and receiving, invoicing, returns, sales tax etc. These logistical and operational tasks leave you far less time to focus on actual selling and building your business.You will likely still have some inventory and logistical costs, however... they will be significantly less than they were under Piphany's previous business model.
If a fashion and clothing business is what you want, Piphany is certainly worth adding to your list of candidates.
As far at the cost... Piphany is now comparable to their competitors who also use a commission based approach, which means you don’t need to purchase and carry inventory. They take care of the shipping, the invoicing, returns and so on… while you focus 100% of your time on sales.
J Hilburn is another option if you’re interested in fashion. They are a custom tailored men’s clothing company, but the majority of stylists are women.
At the end of the day, joining an MLM comes down to building an organization. If you're charismatic with an outgoing personality, it could be extremely lucrative.
However, if you're an introvert (like me), generating income online may be a better option.
If difficulties with your health are keeping you at home, or you've got children to look after... making money from home is what you want.
Today we have so many options we didn't have before, which is exactly what you need in order to get what you want.
Also, if Piphany (or any business for that matter) doesn't interest you right now and just want to make a few extra bucks... you can do simple things like online surveys with Survey Junkie in your spare time or make money doing stuff you probably do online anyway... like searching, surfing and watching videos with Inbox Dollars.
I hope this P!phany review was helpful.
If you have any questions, comments or even a review of your own, please share in the comments section below. Your opinions and experience can be helpful to others looking at the Piphany opportunity.
Also, if you found this article informative, or think it might be helpful to others… please share. 😀