A mysterious corporate entity with an Orlando (Florida) area address recently appeared in Beverly Hills’ always-red-hot Trousdale Estates area and slammed down a whopping $16,000,000 on a newly-renovated pad near the top of the neighborhood. Naturally, Yolanda was curious about who was lurking in the shadows behind the LLC front.
It wasn’t long before we discovered that the residence’s proud new owners are a married Florida-based couple named Randy Ray & Wendy Lewis. And while you may have never heard of either Mr. Ray or Ms. Lewis, trust your gurl Yolanda when she swears that the couple have lots and lots of moolah. If the fact that they just bought a $16 million second home didn’t clue you in already, of course.
Tennesee native Mr. Ray grew up legitimately dirt-poor, to hear him tell it. But as a young and ambitious fella, it wasn’t long before he discovered he was a natural-born salesman. Together with his wife Ms. Lewis (a former math teacher) Mr. Ray has, over the years, founded a string of somewhat controversial but highly successful MLM (multi-level marketing) companies.
If y’all don’t know what an MLM firm is, let Yolanda give you an uber-brief summary. Actually, let’s let our best buddy Wikipedia give it to ya. According to her, “MLM is a controversial marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant’s “downline”, and can provide multiple levels of compensation.” It is these qualities of MLM businesses, kiddies, (in addition to the cult-like atmosphere that seems to pervade most of these businesses) that have led to many naysayers terming all MLMs as pyramid schemes.
However, there is also a different but equally large camp of folks who are fully aware of what the structure of an MLM business entails and enjoy the flexibility and freedom it offers from a traditional salesperson-slash-employee job. There are many ways you can earn income in most MLM firms (it’s usually not just sales commissions). And loads of salespeople have made loads of greenbacks by working for an MLM. Two of the best-known and most-successful MLM companies in history are Avon and Herbalife.
Mr. Ray & Ms. Lewis are experienced in running these types of firms firms. One of their better-known ventures is called “Fuel Freedom International“, a company that sells $2 capsules to put in your car’s fuel tank, guaranteed to increase your vehicle’s MPG. And no, Yolanda ain’t kiddin’. Tests of the capsules by various media outlets have proven inconclusive, but oh well. Apparently there’s a market for pills to put in your car’s love tank. Who knew?!
Despite their many businesses, it wasn’t until fairly recently — 2009 — that Mr. Ray & Ms. Lewis finally hit the proverbial jackpot. That year, they partnered with a Beverly Hills-based doctor named Nathan Newman to develop a new line of anti-aging skin creams utilizing stem cells. Mr. Ray & Ms. Lewis have built an enormously profitable and fast-growing MLM company around this high-priced “Luminesce” skincare line. And their firm’s name? Jeunesse Global.
In just seven years, Jeunesse has grown from just another MLM startup to being regularly featured on Inc. magazine’s list of fastest-growing private companies. It’s also, apparently, the fastest-growing direct selling firm in the nation, touting an 811% increase in revenue over the past three years and $120 million in sales during a recent single month.
Now in their 70s, an age when many folks are packing their bags for the local rest home, Mr. Ray and Ms. Lewis are raking in more money than ever before. Suitcases full of cash.
But enough of our gossip and chit-chat. Let’s check out the house.
The property sits on a commodious (but not huge) .46-acre lot on one of Trousdale’s quieter streets. The house was owned for decades by a non-celebrity family until they sold it in an off-market deal back in December 2014 for $8,050,000 to a real estate investor who renovated, expanded, and generally snazzed it up with pricey-sounding Black Antolini marble walls inside and out, extra-high ceilings, and motorized glass walls that disappear for that quintessential indoor-outdoor Southern California lifestyle thing-a-ma-jiggy.
Upon entering through the driveway gate into the motorcourt, guests and the delivery man are greeted by a traditional three-car garage to the left and a way more modern glass-enclosed fourth garage spot to the right. We think that glass space is probably for the fanciest automobile in the owner’s mini-collection. Listing photos helpfully display a red McLaren in that parking space.
The snazzy front door — situated next to a mini-reflecting pool — opens up to a dramatic sea of white terrazzo on the floors in front of you. A few steps forward and you’re greeted by the showstopping view out over Century City and all the way to the Pacific Ocean and Catalina. The open-concept floor plan that combines the living room, kitchen, and dining room into one convention-sized space. Yolanda would guess that if all the furniture were cleared out, the place would make a pretty epic ballroom. Just a thought, Mr. Ray & Ms. Lewis. (We’ll be checking our mailbox everyday for y’all’s invitation).
The structure spans a mansion-sized 7,430 square feet of living space with 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. Almost all the private rooms (including the master bed and bath, natch) share the same unobstructed views as the main living area. There’s also a media room, an infinity pool, and naturally the property also has state-of-the-art security and every luxury appliance and appointment you can imagine. And perhaps a few you can’t.
Some of the other homeowners on the same street in Trousdale include crooner Elton John, painter (and billionaire heir) Alex Hank, and nutritional supplement company scion Ryan Drexler.
In a YouTube video, Ms. Lewis mused “We’ve tried retiring three times and it just isn’t for us.” Well, it seems a shame for folks to work into old age. But when you’re making so much money that you can afford a $16 million house in which you will likely only spend a few months — if not a few weeks — per year, who would complain about not being able to retire? Not Yolanda, that’s who.
Now if you’ll excuse your gurl, we’re late to the QVC taping for our new batch of Vitameatavegamin.