New DSA Board Appointments

8th March 2022

The Direct Selling Association appoints four new board members.

The Direct Selling Association, the UK trade body for direct-to-consumer retail, today confirmed the appointment of four retail industry leaders to its board of directors.

The new board members join representatives from brands including Avon, The Body Shop, and Usborne Books at Home, to serve as an advisory panel for the Direct Selling Association’s work to encourage industry best practice and promote more widespread adoption of industry Codes of Conduct. Collectively, their appointments bring over seven decades of national and international experience in retail and business.

The new Direct Selling Association board members are:

ALESSANDRO MARTINEZ, Managing Director, Vorwerk UK & Ireland

Alessandro has over 27 years’ international experience in the B2B, B2C, Direct Selling and FMCG sectors, with a track record of delivering sustained, profitable growth and successful change management.

He joined Vorwerk in 2017 and was previously based in Vorwerk International as SVP Finance and Controlling. Vorwerk, which has a turnover of £2.7bn, is headquartered in Germany. Its core business is the manufacture and worldwide sale of innovative solutions in the fields of culinary journey (Thermomix), cleaning (Kobold, Neato Robotics) and integrated digital services.

Vorwerk retails exclusively via the direct selling channel, with around 2,500 independent sales people in the UK and Ireland, who sell its products through home demonstrations, parties, online demonstrations and Vorwerk stores.

HOLLY BAKER, Country Manager, Scentsy

Holly is Country Manager for the UK, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands at Scentsy, a Forbes-recognised, billion-dollar, direct-selling fragrance brand headquartered in the United States.

Her 17-year career in the retail sector includes experience with beauty, lifestyle and home brands. Since joining Scentsy in 2017, Holly has overseen significant growth of the UK market, and the successful launch of the brand into the Netherlands in 2019.

Scentsy operates in 12 countries, employs over 1,800 people, and delivers richly-scented wickless candles, wax warmers, diffusers, oils, home, pet and body and products distributed through nearly 300,000 independent consultants. In 2021 Scentsy UK had a total revenue of £84.9m.

ROS SIMMONS, Managing Director (UK & EU), MONAT

Ros has over 30 years’ experience in the beauty industry, including as Global Brand Manager at The Body Shop and Founding Director of The Virgin Cosmetics Company.

Known for her entrepreneurial leadership style and brand-building work with start-ups, Ros is also a member of Cosmetics Executive Women UK and the British Beauty Council.

MONAT is a multinational distributor of award-winning premium health and beauty products in the social e-commerce channel and the number one premium hair care brand in the world.

SCOTT YATES, Managing Director, Essens UK & Ireland

Scott joined Essens in 2018 and oversees the brand’s operations in both the UK and Ireland.

The Essens product portfolio includes a wide range of cosmetics, fragrances and food supplements, and the company has a turnover of £50.4m, operating in 25 countries across Europe with approximately 210,000 independent direct selling consultants.

The appointments come as direct selling enjoys a renaissance in the UK, with many of the DSA’s 53 member companies reporting significant growth through the pandemic. In 2021 the DSA reported an average 45% year-on-year increase in retail sales across its membership, one of one of the strongest annual growth periods on record since the 1970s. Part of the growth is attributed to a 12% rise in the number of people joining the sector as independent sales representatives, as more people look to maintain the benefits of flexible and remote working enjoyed during the pandemic.

Susannah Schofield OBE, Director General of the Direct Selling Association comments: “I am delighted to welcome our four new board members, who bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and wisdom to the Association, from diverse areas of business and retail. I look forward to working with them as they play their part in steering the future of this sector of retail in the UK.

“With many of our member companies currently reporting that they are seeing increased numbers of people joining their independent sales forces in order to maintain the benefits of flexible and remote working that were enjoyed during the pandemic, we expect to see the direct selling channel enjoy continued growth over the coming years.”

The DSA is the only recognised trade body for direct selling industry in the UK and is committed to upholding standards and promoting and encouraging best practice. Its members include Avon, The Body Shop and Usborne Publishing.