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Amway Forever: The Amazing Story of a Global Business Phenomenon by Kathryn A. Jones

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Love and Marriage

Nutrilite not only gave Jay a business, it also indirectly brought him love. His aunt was a housekeeper for the Hoekstra family in Grand Rapids and she also was one of his Nutrilite customers. When she suggested that Mrs. Hoekstra might want to buy some Nutrilite products, Jay stopped by there one morning in 1951. “I was met at the door by her beautiful blond-haired, blue-eyed daughter, Betty,” Jay said. “Making a Nutrilite sale suddenly became a second reason for my visit! I probably botched my sales presentation, but Mrs. Hoekstra decided to buy a box of Nutrilite products anyway.”7 He asked Betty out and she agreed. After several months of dating, Jay knew he’d found the woman he wanted to marry. She accepted his proposal, and they married in August 1952. Their living room became the site of Nutrilite meetings, and the basement served as the office. Jay and Rich ran the fledgling business on a shoestring. They mended the ripped seats of their cheap chairs with duct tape and used the top of the washer and dryer as a staging area to ship products. Jay wrote sales manuals, ran them off on a mimeograph machine, and collated them on the Ping-Pong table. A year after Jay’s wedding, Rich married a woman also of Dutch heritage, Helen Van Wesep. She acted as secretary since she knew how to type. Jay and Rich kept setting up sales meetings at the airport and pushing the product. Once they held a sales meeting in Lansing, the state capital, and advertised it on the radio ...

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