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We Are Amway: Meet the People — Suzy Llamas

Welcome to WeAreAmway – a brand-new interview series where we meet the people who help power and continue our incredible 60+ year legacy. From trailblazing entrepreneurs to dedicated employees, WeAreAmway explores the diverse experiences of the hundreds of thousands of individuals that make up our community, the landmark milestones in our history and the tireless endeavors that lead us into the future. 

We’re sitting down with Suzy Llamas (natively known as Xóchitl Ibarra-Horta), a dedicated educator of special needs and preschool children, entrepreneur and aspiring author, to talk about her business ownership journey. 

Interviewer: Hi Suzy, thank you for taking the time to talk to me about your story and your journey with Amway. Tell us a little about yourself. 

Suzy: Hi, I’m Suzy (Xochitl, as they call me in my motherland). I’m from Juchipila Zacatecas, Mexico, and have been with Amway for 16 years now. Wow, as I said that, I just realized how long it’s been.  

Interviewer: That’s definitely a long time. So, tell us – Why Amway? Why did you decide to become an Independent Business Owner (IBO)? 

Suzy: I was born in a small town called “El Remolino” in Mexico and back then, access to good medical care was very limited. When I was born, the doctor at our small local health center severely injured my arm during delivery and my tendons were completely damaged. This resulted in limited function in my left shoulder, arm and wrist. Growing up, my limitation was the source of a lot of bullying and teasing in school, and it caused me to give up my hope of becoming a flight attendant.  

Before becoming an IBO, I was a preschool teacher in Reno, Nevada. I was working to make sure schools, and the education system at large, was a kinder, more inclusive place for disabled students, and that’s what I had been doing when the opportunity with Amway first presented itself to me.  

One of the mothers from a family where I worked brought an Amway catalog to school and I was interested. I signed up but did nothing with it for months. I really liked the idea of being a business owner but I was worried that I didn’t know if I had what it took to make it work. 

But the pull was too great. I learned a lot about being an entrepreneur when I was little from my mother, Tomasita Horta, whom I watched selling jewelry door to door in Mexico – and I feel like it’s in my DNA. She taught me determination and always encouraged me to believe in myself– she always said that I would do something great in my future. I finally ended up re-reading the catalog, actively made time to learn about the company and gave it serious consideration. What I found out really resonated with me. The warranty of the products, the founders who believed in family and love and hope. I felt ‘this is me!’  Amway taught me that owning my own business was not only attainable, but also accessible, with very little risk, and that’s what ultimately made me decide to move forward. 

Similarly, I believe in the products and I am an avid distributor of everything related to Artistry, Nutrilite, etc. Amway has been around for 60+ years creating amazing health and wellbeing products for its customers, and I think you need to truly love the product to be able to offer it effectively. 

Interviewer: Why do you think you’ve been successful at Amway? 

Suzy: Well, my definition of success is a “well-balanced lifestyle.”  I can spend time with my loved ones, my business, my clients, our amazing IBOs, personal matters and a solid support system. Amway provides ample opportunities for a flexible work schedule so I can build my business my way, without needing to make it a 24/7 deal, which is the case for a lot of new business owners. That is very important to me – especially since I want to be intentional about making time for my family and also to write the manuscript for my first book. 

And to the second point – in life, you can never wish for there to be no problems. They’re inevitably going to be there and that’s the same with business. What helps get you through the challenges is a solid support system of people who understand what you’re going through. Amway provides you exactly that – through a network of business owners who are entrepreneurial like you, who know what it’s like to be in the same boat as you and whose brains you can pick when you face a challenge, because someone else probably has gone through the same issue. That has been super helpful because when you’re a new business owner there are a lot of unknowns and having access to folks that could help you navigate these new waters truly makes such a difference. 

Interviewer: How has Amway affected your life? 

Suzy: It’s given me a sense of belonging, a different way to live my purpose and I feel useful to the community. Amway is one of the few places I’ve been in where I feel truly seen for my merit and my character, and not for my disability. The people I’ve met through the business, other IBOs, and leaders in the company, have shown genuine interest in my professional advancement. Shout out to the team at Amway who has been walking alongside me with business advice and encouragement! They have shown how dedicated they are to making sure I build a business that is sustainable for me. All the while, I’ve learned so many things about business ownership and being an entrepreneur that’s skilled, honest and focused on supporting more families, and I couldn’t be more grateful.  

All I wanted to do when I first came to Amway was earn a little extra income. I never expected to grow so much in so many ways, through this process and I continue to learn more each day. I can’t wait to see what more this journey has in store for me.  

Interviewer: Well, thank you so much for joining us, congratulations on all you’ve accomplished so far and good luck for the rest!

For the calendar year 2022, the average income from Amway for all U.S. registered IBOs at the Founders Platinum level and below was $852 before expenses. See for details and the most up-to-date information. Earnings depend on many factors, including customer base, business experience, effort, dedication, and quality and performance of the downline sales team.