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Ruby Ribbon: Another Great Idea Tied to Western Pennsylvania

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By Cathi Gerhard

Author Ruth Ann Schabacker said, “Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons.” In this case, the package contains shapewear from Ruby Ribbon: items you can try out in the privacy of your own home or at a small party with friends – much like Pampered Chef, Silpada Jewelry or Tupperware.

Founded in 2011 by Latrobe native Anna Zornosa, Ruby Ribbon is a social commerce apparel brand that sells its products exclusively through a technology-supported network of independent stylists who work for them-selves. Ruby Ribbon designs and manufactures Shaping Essentials that includes essentials (t-shirts, leggings, skirts with shaping technology built inside the clothing), shapewear, and fashion layering.

“As a career woman and mom, I spent many years climbing the corporate ladder. And like many other women, I was always on the hunt for clothes that helped me to look and feel my most fabulous. This was no small feat for someone who has struggled with her weight throughout her life,” explained Zornosa.

“Several years ago, however, I discovered a secret weapon: shapewear. After many trips back and forth to my local department store, and lots of experimenting, I found a few foundational shapewear pieces that I couldn’t live without. I incorporated these pieces into my daily wardrobe, and was amazed by the boost of confidence they gave me.”

Anyone who has ever watched an episode of What Not to Wear on TLC knows that the best style comes from making the best of what you’ve got –not trying to hide it or change it. The first step in every TV makeover was usually finding the right foundation properly fitting bras or other undergarments. For most of us women, the process of bra-fitting is an endless public battle in stuffy dressing rooms, sometimes with overbearing sales associates wearing tape measures around their necks. There are so many sizing variables to consider, we end up taking something that is “good enough” just to get out of there!But when we are lucky enough to find the right one, our appearance is beautifully transformed.

One day Zornosa had the classic “ah-ha” moment: “I realized it would be fantastic if I could figure out a way to combine shapewear with everyday clothing! So I tracked down the best and brightest lingerie, fashion and activewear designers, marrying their skills and learning from each along the way, and helped to create a col-lection of exciting, new shaping ba-sics that can easily work with any woman’s existing wardrobe.”

The result was the development of products containing Intomi by Ruby Ribbon™ – a proprietary technology to enhance a woman’s figure. Most pieces come in six simple sizes, XS – XXL, and comfortably conform to fit each woman’s unique shape –even tall women like me. No more pulling and twisting. No more muffin top, saddle bag bulge, or pinched circulation. Simply step into each garment and pull up for instant support and smoothing in one fashionable step. After my own personal trunk show, I was a believer and a customer.

Inspired by her mother, who was an “Avon Lady,” Zornosa decided on the social or “ambassador” model for her company: “Ruby Ribbon was inspired by my simple desire to create a company built around the idea of em-powering women to look and feel their best, while going after their dreams.”

By incorporating trained Independent Stylists, women are introduced to the products on a personal level and can build dedicated relationships. Each stylist can then build their own customer base to become the CEO of her own company.

“We knew Ruby Ribbon would be all about girlfriend power: The team’s commitment to each other; women supporting other women’s businesses by having trunk shows; girlfriends signing up to work together,” Zornosa explained. “We heard that there is an Asian saying that two unrelated women with deep friendships need only bind their fingers together with a red string to become sisters. We loved that, and turned the red string into a Ruby Ribbon. When we saw the logo with two R’s back to back and saw that could represent two women, or a butterfly, or a bow…we knew we had it!”

A 1976 graduate of Greater Latrobe Senior High School and a veteran national business woman, Zornosa decided to bring this company home for its debut. The first Ruby Ribbon trunk show was held at a home in the East High Acres neighborhood of Latrobe, near Mountain View. A few years later, Ruby Ribbon is a private company with a multimillion dollar run rate and more than 200 active Stylists operating in 35 states.

With headquarters in New York City and Burlingame. CA, Ruby Ribbon has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Womens Wear Daily, and Self magazine among others.

“There’s nothing like Ruby Ribbon in the direct selling space,” according to Crain’s New York Business. Independent Stylists begin by purchasing a $199 starter kit, complete with product samples and business supplies like brochures, catalogs, and order forms. Trunk Shows are held in Hostesses homes, salons, and offices – and each Hostess earns rewards (in free and discount product) based on the sales of her particular Trunk Show. Independent Stylists can earn up to 40% commissions on her personal sales and up to 10% com-missions on her team’s sales. Other reward opportunities for Stylists include bi-annual retreats and other prizes.

To learn more about becoming a Ruby Ribbon stylist, or to purchase products in your area, visit http://www.Ruby Ribbon.com or call 650-458-RUBY.


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