The Founder of Thirty-One, Cindy Monroe, Shares Her Biggest Takeaways from Her Journey as CEO

What transforms one’s ideas into a thriving multimillion-dollar business? What leadership style helps an international team thrive? Ask any high-achieving leader, and they will say vision and perseverance. Cindy Monroe has embodied both in her journey from her basement to the corner office, building a nearly $800 million-dollar company

As CEO of Thirty-One Gifts, her path was anything but smooth sailing, however with her positive attitude and work ethic, she became the #1 leader in her space. Now she’s on a mission to share her lessons learned and help other female executives and entrepreneurs flourish at work and home.

Even as a young girl Cindy had an entrepreneurial mind; she bought candies from the gas station and sold them to her older sister, for a profit. As a business student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, she covered tuition costs by building a direct sales side gig. 

In the early 2000s, while working full-time in the insurance industry, she engaged her entrepreneurial curiosity in exploring options. Studying current trends, she knew that gift boutiques were gaining in popularity, but she wanted to build the business in a way that worked for her. She recounts, “I didn’t want to sit at a gift boutique waiting for the bell to ring on the (front) door… I knew that I could schedule a party at a specific time, and I could have 10 women come and shop.”

She launched Thirty-One Gifts as a direct sales company with a few friends in 2003. As CEO, she studied early customer response to refine the company’s product lines, moving from a wide variety of gift and decor items to bags and totes. Leaning further into product development, Cindy helped steer the company toward product personalization, which was a game-changer. 

Over the years, the company has enjoyed tremendous success, with nearly $800 million in annual sales, a staff with 1,000 full-time employees, and nearly 100,000 independent sales consultants across the United States and Canada. 

Now as a leadership mentor, podcast host, author, and Thirty-One Gifts executive chairwoman, Cindy is dedicated to sharing business tactics, executive leadership strategies, and personal development approaches that can empower high-achieving women to succeed in every aspect of life. 

She has developed her Flourish Model that lays out practical steps for getting clarity around your intentions, casting your vision, mapping your goals, and driving with persistence toward achieving those goals, both in your career as well as your family life.

To discover how you can flourish at work and home, follow Cindy on Instagram and explore her website here.