Direct Selling Legend: Stan Fredrick

Stan Fredrick co-founded Colony House and Colesce Couture. He is a majority shareholder of WineShop at Home and Custom Fit Bra Company. Stan is also a founder and partner of Blue Ostrich Winery and Vineyard.

In 2001, Fredrick became a board member and the second-largest beneficial shareholder of Mannatech. As an industry advocate for more than four decades, Fredrick served as Chairman of the Direct Selling Associations Board of Directors in 1987-1988 and Direct Selling Education Foundation from 1988-1990. He was inducted into the DSA’s Hall of Fame and the DSEF’s Circle of Honor. Stan has also received the DSN Bravo Lifetime Achievement Award.

What inspired you to get involved in a direct selling business?

My dad always told me, “Son, you’ve got to go to college.” But when it came time to go, he didn’t have any money to send me and said I needed to earn enough to go myself. I had $10 in my pocket, and my brother told me that he would show me how to sell pots and pans. He said, “I’ve made enough to buy a new car. You can make enough money to go to college, easy.” So, I followed him, and my first event was at 7:30 in the morning, downtown. He pointed to two girls walking to work and told me to go talk to them. And these two gals really got me off to a great start in direct selling. If they had treated me harshly, I might not be here today.

When did you decide direct selling was the right choice for you?

I guess somewhere along the way, I decided to make it a career. I can’t imagine life without direct selling. I can’t imagine being in any other business or any other industry. I started out wanting to be a teacher, and then I realized after a while, I did practice teaching. I taught young men more than teaching them how to sell pots and pans; I taught them how to be a good person and make something out of their lives. I’ve done much more good there than I would have or could ever do in a classroom.

What are a few of your most memorable moments?

When I first started, if you heard me stop that first girl on the street, you’d think I was born a stutterer because I was so scared to talk and be in front of people. But today, I’m able to talk in front of people and not have to worry about it. There are so many blessings from this industry—it’s hard to count them all.

What is your outlook for the business model?

I believe direct selling being led by a bunch of entrepreneurs will always find a way to adjust to whatever the rules are, whatever society needs or wants because that’s what we do. We find products that customers really need, and we find a way to explain it to them. It may be standing on their doorstep, in front of a group at a party, or in front of a big group at a meeting—but we find a way.

What advice would you like to share with our audience?

I still use the fundamentals I learned selling pots and pans. If you want to learn to communicate with people, how to influence and persuade and lead people, then learn the fundamentals of direct selling.