Shyan Lasater-Bailey saw a girl friend’s Origami Owl® Living Locket® and instantly knew she had to have one.
She loaded up her shopping cart through her friend’s website with all the pieces she wanted, but quickly realized her desires did not fit her budget.
A self-proclaimed “extreme couponer,” she reached out to her friend to find out how she could get the best price on her jewelry. Having dabbled in social selling before, she knew there was a discount available if you decided to represent and sell the jewelry.
“I was never good at social selling, but I wanted the jewelry, so I signed up and told her that was I was going to ‘be a Designer,’ but that I wasn’t going to sell anything,” laughs Shyan recalling the moment from three years ago.
When her New Designer Starter Kit arrived, the California Designer quickly put together a meaningful Locket, snapped a photo and posted it to Facebook.
“All I said was ‘this is so pretty’ and within five minutes, people were asking me where I got it and then they started messaging me to buy one,” says Shyan. “I thought ‘maybe I should post my link and I could make my money back from my kit.”
That decision turned out to be one of the best decisions she’s ever made.
She left for work after posting her Origami Owl Personal Web Page to Facebook and returned to so many orders that her commissions instantly covered the cost of her $159 kit.*
“Then I realized I should probably put more effort into it,” she laughs.
Tackling the Student Loan Debt
What began as simply creating a Facebook Group to share a few other Locket ideas and make a little extra money turned into nearly achieving a goal she’s been carrying with her for 15 years.
At the time, Shyan was bogged down by student loan debt – $17,500 to be exact. Even with her job as an air traffic controller guiding airplanes from the airport tower, she was only able to pay the minimum payments every month to her student loans, which didn’t equate to much progress.
After earning back the cost of her initial kit, she began giving herself a little “fun money” from her commissions and putting the rest toward her student debt “just to see what would happen.”
Before long, she began to see the daunting number dwindle with each payment of her Origami Owl commissions. For the first time in years, she felt relieved and hopeful for her family’s future.
Still, “I figured the momentum would fizzle out,” Shyan admits. “But the energy just got crazier and crazier. People just connected with the jewelry”
Suddenly, as she had orders coming in from people across the country who found her on Instagram or via past Customer referrals. Her team began to grow, with more people deciding to start their own Origami Owl businesses.
“The power of the internet is pretty crazy,” she says. “Most of my team and customers are people I’ve never met in my entire life. I’ve never even had an in-home party. I’ve just shared what I love and helped other people create their own Lockets through the phone or internet.”
Now, three years later, she only has $5,000 left of that student loan* and her goal is to be debt-free by the end of the year.
People ask her all the time how she’s been able to build such a thriving business, and some say they just “don’t have time.”
“I remind them that I work a full-time job in one of the most stressful careers. I commute over 100 miles a day round trip and have a 4-year-old. I get it because I’m busy, too,” shares Shyan. “I don’t carry a large inventory; I don’t go to events, but I always have my cell phone on me and I’m on Facebook anyway, so I might as well make some money doing it.”
A Dream is a Wish
In addition to paying off student debt, Shyan says she and her husband, Keegan, have been able to do something they hadn’t been able to do in their 10+ years of marriage: hop on a plane and enjoy a tropical destination together.
“I earned a free trip to Cancún, thanks to Origami Owl, and before that, we’d never even been on a plane together,” explains Shyan. “People were shocked that we hadn’t traveled like that before.”
And today? Well, she’s fulfilling a dream for her son, Miles, that’s been in her heart since attending her very first Origami Owl convention in Florida back in 2016.
“I bought him Mickey Mouse ears and said that when I was done paying off the student loan debt, I was going to save up and take us back to Walt Disney World® so he could go there,” says Shyan. “But, I get to make that happen early because I just earned Origami Owl’s Walt Disney World trip for free!”
She adds, “Who would have ever thought that because I wanted to buy a bunch of things and to get a discount that it would have turned into this? Origami Owl has completely changed my life.”
*Actual earnings can vary significantly depending upon time committed, skill level and other factors. Not everyone will achieve the level of income represented here. Amounts of income discussed may be before business expenses are deducted. Please review a complete Income Disclosure Statement found on OrigamiOwl.com.