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At the ripe young age of 19, not sure what she wanted to do with her life, a chance encounter with a Nutrimetics manager led Lucia Cardamone to a career now spanning more than 40 years. Here, we chat with Lucia about her wildly successful Nutrimetics journey…

So, Lucia, did you always dream of opening your business or was there something else you wanted to be ‘when you grew up’?

I was very young commencing and finishing school and, to be honest, I had no idea what I was going to do when I left school. When Friday night shopping started, I got myself a job at Myer Melbourne while at boarding school, which is where I was working when my manager asked if I’d like to do a two-year retail cadetship. I decided to take this on.

What inspired you to finally open your business?

I was 19 and in the second year of my cadetship in November of 1975, when I invited a lady to come and give me and my four housemates a ‘play’ with these reasonably new products. I say ‘new’ as Nutrimetics had only been in Australia for seven years when I joined.

I was listening to this manager who had just returned from her first international trip with Nutrimetics, and who arrived at my home in her new company car, and she excitedly talked about what was available and what was possible with this company. No kidding, I was jumping out of my skin inspired that I could determine my income, I could work my own hours, I could travel the world, I could drive a new car and I didn’t have to pay any registration or insurance. I would be trained, I also could become a manager and I could do it as quickly or as slowly as I wanted. I asked her, ‘What do I need to do, to do what you’re doing?’ and she said, ‘You just need to get the kit’.


Get the kit, I did!

My biggest obstacle was affording the kit as it cost, at the time, $39.95, which was more than my week’s wages: $37.70. Once I had the kit, I started and attended every training session possible, and watched and copied until I got my own style together. I became a manager, achieved my first international trip and company car in my first eight months in the business. Then I left Myer and have been ‘doing’ Nutrimetics ever since.

What has been your biggest challenge so far? What obstacles have you overcome?

To be honest, I’ve had heaps of challenges. In thinking about it, being honest and putting it into a nutshell AND in hindsight… my biggest challenges would be self-management. There are squillions of books, YouTube videos and seminars to cover these topics so I won’t go there and be specific. My thinking process, my choices and my actions.

I have overcome many obstacles however the first was speaking in front of people. I remember hearing my knees knock doing my first couple of parties. Since then, I have spoken in front of thousands of people including at several of our larger international conferences.

And what has been your greatest business achievement?

My greatest business achievement is the Nutrimetics Home Award in 1991 — when a team sold in excess of $6 million in a three-year period, you were given a $140,000 cash bonus paid over a 10-year period.

I feel pulled to share my experiences, to show my support, my belief and to acknowledge others for their greatness.

Do you have any celebrity followers (fans of your business)?

Not that I know of! But you never know who’s watching you these days…

Who is/was your business inspiration?

Imelda Roche, who started Nutrimetics in Australia in 1968 and then owned Nutrimetics from 1991-1997. And Naomi Alberts, who was my ‘upline’ (the person above me in the business).

Were you among the first in your family and friendship group to run your own business?

My family and most friends have always been in business for themselves.

Were you supported or discouraged?

Luckily for me, I was always supported. I joined a networking club very early in my career called SWAP (Salesman with a Purpose) where we supported each other and got together weekly. Together with my weekly Nutrimetics training, I have always felt very supported.

Do you have a mentor? (Or did you have a mentor during your business-building phase?)

All of my ‘uplines’ were my mentors. I couldn’t have done it without their support.

Are you a mentor?   

Yes.

Who do you mentor? 

Those in my team who want to be managers.

Why do you mentor?

I feel pulled to share my experiences, to show my support, my belief and to acknowledge others for their greatness.

Do you have an exit strategy? Do you think you could ever sell and move on to something else?

Yes. To be honest, over my 40 years with Nutrimetics there has only really been a couple of times when I felt that I should, I needed to or wanted to move on. Right now, it suits our lifestyle more than ever.

Are you involved in philanthropy? If so, what causes are close to your heart?

Since the Think Pink Living Centre (TPLC) opened in Melbourne in 2010, myself and my team of consultants have volunteered our time, products and funds to the many ladies who have participated in the monthly Indulgence Days.

On the last Tuesday of every month, we give the ladies who are currently undergoing breast cancer treatment a makeover and manicure to enjoy while at the TPLC.

Why do you think it’s important for women business owners to be philanthropic?

I give because I want to make a difference and contribute everywhere I can.

What’s the best business advice you’ve been given?

What you think about, comes about!

What’s the most humorous piece of business advice you’ve been given?

Don’t ASSume anything!

What’s the best business tip you can offer our readers?

Manage yourself.
Get into a high energy zone early in the day.
Dream big and often.
Know your numbers.
Have your ducks aligned.
Engage with all parties.
Be transparent.
Be yourself first.
Be systemised.

What’s next for your business?

  • Develop leaders and managers
  • Expand numbers
  • Explore possibilities
  • Generate dreams
  • Learn new skills
  • Keep growing
  • Lift people
  • Inspire people

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you.

 

At A Glance

Business name: Nutrimetics

Business structure: Direct Selling business, which includes one-to-one (121), one-to-many (Party Plan), online, Home Shopper, Smart Shopper.

Location: My team is spread out all over Australia but mostly in Victoria.

Your position: Sales Director

Year business established: November 1975

Annual Turnover: Is great and growing!

Number of employees: In the Direct Selling industry, you don’t have employees, you have contractors and we call ours at Nutrimetics ‘consultants’. I have more than 1000 consultants in my team.

Industry: Skin care, cosmetics, body care, home care and skin care treatments.

 

Name: Lucia Cardamone

Age: 59

Lives: Docklands, VIC

Marital status: I live with my partner Joe.

Children and ages: No children.

Do you work from home, the office, or a combination of both? I work in a number of training rooms, in our hostesses’ homes, my studio at home and my office at home in Docklands, all depending on my appointments.

Typical work week (hours) and Typical work schedule (Mon-Fri etc):

Weekday mornings: Personal, client and business admin, consultant before and after calls, and/or Skype (that is before and/or after appointments call with my consultants).
Weekday afternoons: Rotary meeting every Wednesday, client appointments, personal appointments.
Weekday evenings: Consultant training x 2 nights per week at three different locations around metro Melbourne, Welcome Parties for new consultants, networking events.
Weekend day mornings: personal time.
Weekend day afternoons: Welcome Parties for new consultants when in town.

Training, coaching, mentoring are conducted mostly in the training room on Monday and Tuesday nights, and more and more training and coaching is being done on Skype for all our regional and interstate consultants.

I have always loved doing parties and I still love doing parties. Mostly, these days, the parties I do are starting up new consultants. It’s so exciting being in the home of a new consultant for her Welcome Party with her closest family and friends.

Memberships, Associations:

  • Member, Past President and Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) of the Rotary Club of Malvern
  • Member of the Women’s Network Australia (WNA)
  • Member of the VIP Club
  • Member of Sapphire Rim

Visit Lucia Cardamone

First published May 2015.

Rosemary McKenzie

Rosemary McKenzie

Rosemary McKenzie is Co-Publisher and Co-Founder of Samara Magazine. A seasoned businesswoman, she is also Director of successful mortgage broking business, Melbourne Mortgage Solutions.
Rosemary McKenzie