Promotional nutritional company VEMMA visits Kent State

Jimmy Miller

Tim Crawford was skeptical of the product VEMMA Nutritional Company sold. He was interested but afraid to jump on board with a company that sells their energy drinks without retail and without advertisements.

Crawford decided to put the health drink to the “ultimate test.”

“I gave it to my grandmother once a day for a few weeks and there was a slow, gradual incline (in her health),” Crawford said. “She has symptoms of Alzheimer’s. (She used to stay) in bed all day. Now, two months later, she walked me to my car.”

Crawford, now a brand partner, said the company he recently became a part of, VEMMA, is now “at a tipping point.” The program, founded eight years ago in Scottsdale, Ariz., visited Kent State Friday night in an effort to get students involved with their company.

“You literally should (put this drink) in your body every day,” said Jason Yanowitz, a platinum leader at the company. “When I thought about joining, I did my research and saw that Dr. Oz backed the company. (That is) what got me out of my skepticism.”

The original product was a 2-oz energy shot, and the company was labeled a “health and wellness” program. Tyler Gilles, a brand partner who has reached bronze level, said three years ago, VERVE, their premier energy drink that comes in an orange can, was released. Within time, products stemmed out from VERVE and VEMMA and now the company sells a wide variety of energy drinks and even shakes.

The company’s health products are clinically proven to improve the immune system, and the speakers said they can help people lose weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure, but it varies drink to drink.

Everyone who gets involved with the company is paid to give the products to their friends.

“(This company is) all word-of-mouth,” Gilles said. “All ‘networking companies’ such as Avon (amount to) $167 billion.”

A networking company, such as VEMMA, is a flexible and part-time business. VEMMA sells their products via people who must first purchase at least a $200 starter kit, including shipping and handling. People involved — mostly college students — make money based on how many people they get involved with their team that sells products.

“Not everybody will hit the level (of success),” Yanowitz said. “The amount you make is a matter of how willing you are to work.”

The organization sets different levels for employees to reach which indicate how much they make for a salary. The first level, membership, makes nothing more than $0. As the ranks go up, such as bronze level, where Gilles makes $290 a month, more money is paid out. Platinum leaders, such as Yanowitz, make close to $4,500 a month.

The company, which Crawford said is “too good to be true,” is frequently accused of being a scam. All the speakers that participated in the promotional event Friday said they once thought the program had to be a sort of scheme.

“(I realized I needed to) stop listening to parents, teachers and professors … who make less than I want to,” Yanowitz said during the presentation.

After the official presentation ended, students could stay and speak with representatives about joining the program. Free samples of their product were also handed out.

“I think it’s pretty sweet to make something for yourself,” said Nick Meyer, who is from Canton and was asked to come listen in on the program.

Yanowitz said their next product, an iced coffee, will be released this spring.

Contact Jimmy Miller at [email protected].