Connie Stevens ... 70 and beautiful
Actress and singer, Connie Stevens, had a hugely successful skincare line on HSN in the 90's called Forever Spring. And then suddenly Connie and her skincare line disappeared from the network.
So what happened that caused Connie and HSN to split?
According to a Los Angeles Magazine article from March 2000, sales of the Forever Spring line dropped from a peak of $30 million per year to just under $6 million in 1999.
HSN VP David Ender said that it's all about "dollars per minute" and that "when her products began to sell less, we had to cut back her airtime." Ender also said that Connie did not take the news well. (Honestly, who would?)
HSN was obviously interested in keeping the sales volume high and pressured Connie to lower her prices. This would have forced her to lower the quality of her packaging and ingredients, and that wasn't something Connie was willing to do.
I just want to point out that one of the most commonly heard complaints from customers is that the longer a product line is on a home shopping channel, the more the quality goes down. This story only serves to reinforce that belief. If Connie would have listened to them, her returns would have increased and her reputation gone down. I can't say that I blame her for sticking to her guns on this one.
Relations between Connie and HSN continued to fall apart. At one point, she even openly questioned HSN's integrity during a national interview with Larry King.
During Connie's time on HSN, she was also being sued by her manager, Norton Styne. He felt that he was due a ceratin percentage for all the sales she made on HSN for originally landing her the deal with the network. Connie did not agree and stopped paying him. The case went all the way to the California Supreme Court.
Connie's case was cited in a similar case involving Billy Blanks, which summed it up nicely:
Connie Stevens, a well known entertainer, developed a restorative skin care line known as Forever Spring, Inc., which she personally sold on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) through infomercials. Profits from Forever Spring, Inc. exceeded everyone’s expectations. During the first couple of years of selling this skin line on HSN, Stevens regularly compensated her manager, Norton Styne. Payments, however, ceased at some point resulting in Styne filing a breach of contract lawsuit against Stevens seeking more than $4,000,000.00 in unpaid profits. The issue of whether Stevens acted as an “artist” when selling her products on HSN via her infomercials, was raised in the talent agency controversy. In concluding that Stevens’ show-business life and her wholesale business enterprise life were “inextricably interwined,” the Labor Commissioner noted that Stevens used her name, personality, charm and charisma to sell the product on television. Additionally, HSN required Stevens to appear on television as a condition of the sale. The Commissioner also noted that a rough script was followed and entertaining stories were told by Stevens during the infomercials.So Connie had two new beauty lines, Serious Skin Care and Signature A Club, nipping at her heels while she was being sued by her manager for $4 million. And then HSN cut her airtime and demanded that she cheapen her product. No wonder she cut ties!
Now at 71, Connie is still continuing to reinvent herself. She most recently wrote, produced, and directed the film, Saving Grace B. Jones, which starred Tatum O'Neal. You can read an in-depth review of the film at The Passionate Moviegoer blog.
And if you want to purchase her skincare products, they are still available on her website.