Business Spotlights

Business Profile: Ava Gray Direct, Pleasantville

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Pleasantville resident Lynn Zachos is doing her part to help the still-struggling economy. This month she launched a direct-sales company that promises to offer would-be fashion-conscious entrepreneurs the chance to make money selling chic, comfortable clothing.

Lynn ZachosZachos, founder and CEO of Ava Gray Direct, created the direct-selling boutique because she felt there was an industry void, one that wasn’t serving the needs of consumers passionate about fashion but unable to find clothing to meet the demands of their busy lifestyles.

“I saw a need in the industry to offer people the opportunity to run their own fashion boutiques and wear quality, versatile, American-made garments that can be worn from home to the office or directly to an important business meeting,” explained Zachos, the mother of two grown children.

When her son and daughter were younger, Zachos, a former swimming pool designer, searched for the type of clothing that could take her from her home office to a business meeting and back to her children’s school, but couldn’t find anything that made her feel dressed for her different roles.

So she decided a few years ago to design a specialty line of clothing, which she named Ava Gray, with a removable soft bra insert, to be worn for coverage and offering confidence and comfort either at home or in the office. Soon after, Zachos immersed herself in the business, getting advice from a fashion industry mentor in New York City as well as visiting clothing factories across the country.

She uses soft-knit materials made in several factories throughout the United States. The collection includes colorful tops, cardigans, blouses, knit dresses and a range of brightly colored scarves, all suitable for women on the go.

Now, Zachos has combined her original concept with the new Ava Gray Direct. Realizing that many women share a desire for financial independence, enjoy fashion, and want style and elegance without compromising confidence and comfort, Zachos has opened up opportunities for women to work part-time or full-time selling her clothing line. By using an intimate direct-selling method conducted through in-home parties and online sales, Ava Gray Direct collaborates with the women who are referred to as “independent stylists.”

Zachos said all of the company’s stylists complete rigorous training and are given the opportunity to choose from one of three investment options, otherwise known as “fashion kits.” Each fashion kit includes an inventory of line samples and all the tools necessary to start a boutique business, including a personal website to help stylists build their customer base. For a few hundred dollars, stylists can quickly build a business that is far less costly than opening a brick-and-mortar boutique.

Stylists are already up and running in several states, she said, many having the potential to make between $65 and $240 per hour on commission. Fashion parties are the main source of a stylist’s income, she explained. Party guests are provided with a range of comfortable, casual clothing to try on, all at very affordable prices, Zachos added. Every item in the collection is under $100.

They also get valuable hair and make-up tips, based on the unique insights of celebrity stylists that the company consults with, as well as help finding the right type of clothing for their body shape.

“It’s a fun, personal shopping experience,” said Zachos, who works closely with her husband, David, the company’s chief financial officer, and her daughter, Brittany, an interior designer who serves as its creative director.

The company is currently awaiting membership in the Direct Selling Association, a national trade group that governs the direct-sales industry. In a constantly evolving marketplace where sales of clothing through direct-selling parties totaled more than $12 billion last year, Zachos said there’s plenty of room for growth.

“What really excites me is the fact that I can make a difference in so many people’s lives and help them achieve the kind of success they’ve always dreamed of,” she said.

For more information on how to become an independent stylist or to host a fashion party, visit



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