Is Origami Owl a Pyramid Scheme? [No, But Be Careful…]

Maybe you’re thinking of joining Origami Owl as a Designer and you’re wondering if it’s worth it? Maybe you’re even wondering if it’s a pyramid scheme? You’re very smart to do your research before joining because there are some things you’ll definitely want to know about this company.

I’m going to break everything down for you including what they sell, how much is costs to join, what their compensation plan is like, positive reviews and complaints and more.

We’ll then determine if Origami Owl is a pyramid scheme, or a completely legitimate way to do business.

Let’s get started!

What is Origami Owl?

Origami Owl homepage.

Origami Owl is a jewelry multi-level marketing (MLM) company that was started in 2011 by Bella Weems. The story goes that she had to create enough income to buy her own car at the age of 16. She began creating jewelry designs that people loved and, as time went on, and with the help of her co-founders (Chrissy Weems, Tyson Basha and Shawn Maxwell), moved to direct selling to help keep up with demand.

Origami Owl has products that include:

  • Charms
  • Lockets
  • Chains
  • Bracelets
  • Watches
  • Necklaces
  • Rings
  • Earrings
  • Accessories

They also have a locket builder where you can customize a locket by choosing charms and gemstones that are meaningful to you.

Locket builder to customize your own locket.

They have a 30-day customer-friendly return policy.

How Much Does it Cost to Join Origami Owl?

In order to become a Designer (independent consultant), you will need to pick a kit. There are three to choose from:

  1. On the Go Kit
  2. Happy Holla Days Kit
  3. DIY Kit

1. On the Go Kit – $49

This is the basic kit and includes:

  • 1 designer charm
  • $100 Hoot Loot
  • Personalized website, catalogs and other business tools

2. Happy Holla Days – $99

The Happy Holla Days kit is the mid-range kit and includes:

  • 1 designer charm
  • 17 charms
  • 2 living lockets
  • 1 chain or necklace
  • 2 earrings
  • 1 bracelet
  • Personalized website, catalogs, holiday gift guides and other business tools
  • 5 glass votives, 1 charm case, 5 pairs of charm tweezers, 4 fortune cookies, 5 take out boxes (all for displaying and packaging)

3. DIY Kit – $199

The DIY Kit is the highest-priced kit, but it is customizable for your needs:

  • 1 designer charm
  • $400 Hoot Loot (to buy whatever jewelry you want)
  • Personalized website, catalogs, and other business tools
  • Living locket and charm compact case with tweezers, 5 glass votives, 1 new slim charm case, 5 pairs of charm tweezers

Here’s an unboxing so you can see some of Origami’s Owl’s stuff.

This is Part 1:

Part 2:

You also need to have at least 75PV (personal volume) in a month after your first month to be considered active. You can sell this amount to others, or buy it yourself.

Origami Owl Compensation Plan

There are 15 different rank levels in this compensation plan.

They are:

  1. Designer
  2. Sr. Designer
  3. Executive Designer
  4. Team Leader
  5. Sr. Team Leader
  6. Executive Team Leader
  7. Team Manager
  8. Sr. Team Manager
  9. Executive Team Manager
  10. Director
  11. Sr. Director
  12. Executive Director
  13. Field Vice President
  14. Sr. Field Vice Preseident
  15. Executive Field Vice President

In order to be considered an active Designer, you need to have at least 75PV in a month, as mentioned above.

There are a couple of ways to earn with Origami Owl.

1. Retail Sales

  • Less than 250PV per month = 20-40%
  • More than 250PV per month = 30-50%

2. Build a Team

As you build a team and generate more sales, you will be promoted to the different ranks, as shown above. Each rank has its own requirements and sales goals.

See the full compensation plan for details, or you can watch this YouTube video for an explanation:

Origami Owl Income Disclosure

You can see Origami Owl’s full Income Disclosure here. It includes this chart:

Origami Owl income disclosure

Keep in mind that this is the annual income of Origami Owl designers and this is also before incurring any business expenses.

Unless you’re one of the 22 people in those top ranks, you’re really not making a significant income. Even Team Managers to Executive Team Managers only average about $18,000 a year. That’s not enough to live on. And they probably worked their asses off to get there.

And that only represents half a percent of Origami Owl’s Designers.

Unfortunately, this is a typical MLM income disclosure. Almost no one makes money in an MLM.

Positive Reviews and Complaints

As with every company, there will always be positive reviews and complaints. Let’s take a look at what people are saying about Origami Owl.

On the positive side, people have said:

  • The company offers great support and has beautiful products in their jewelry line
  • Each Designer is dedicated in helping other Designers succeed
  • Origami Owl has changed my life
  • I have been very pleased with Origami Owl in the 5 years I’ve been a customer

And here are some Origami Owl complaints that I’ve seen:

  • The necklace tarnished and I won’t be buying again
  • The product is cheap for the price they charge
  • I received the wrong items and it’s been a month of dealing with customer service
  • My item was returned to Origami Owl, and I issued a refund but it’s been more than a month and I haven’t heard anything

Here’s a complaint from a former Designer who had some choice things to say about working for Origami Owl:

Origami Owl complaint about being a Designer.

Here’s an overview of the BBB rating and reviews:

Origami Owl BBB rating

Related Articles:

Is Origami Owl a Pyramid Scheme?

Technically, Origami Owl is not a pyramid scheme. They do have an actual product that can be sold retail to customers. It always gets a little dicey if it becomes more important to recruit people than to sell your products retail. The problem with MLMs is that you almost need to build a team to make any significant income

There does seem to be a big push for Origami Owl to sell their items retail via home parties, so maybe they’ll be OK long-term if they can get their customer service issues together. But you always have to be a little wary when you’re in an MLM. Just because you’re not considered a pyramid scheme now doesn’t mean that will always be the case. Just look at Advocare.


  • Low startup costs
  • Customizeable jewelry that people seem to like


  • Major customer service issues, which makes things hard for retail customers AND Designers
  • 99% of active Designers make only an average of $3,000 a year or less
  • The only way to make a significant income is to build a team
  • Being in an MLM is tough because you have to constantly be recruiting and training people
  • You have to keep your team motivated because turnover rates are very high
  • Origami Owl focuses on home parties, which can be a lot of work
  • No real way to make passive income
  • You’ll likely be asked to contact your friends and family
  • If you do recruit people to be on your team, they become your competition

MLMs are just a tough business model in general. Not only are people super skeptical of them (plenty of people think all MLMs are scams and pyramid schemes), but once you do convince people to join you, you have to continuously stay on top of them to make sure they’re duplicating your effort. And chances are, they aren’t and don’t wanna. Because it’s HARD!

Origami Owl Alternative

Maybe you’re looking into Origami Owl because you were thinking of joining? You wanted to check it out before making a decision. I think that’s smart. Because MLMs really are tough to work. Maybe some people just have a natural ability to work in one, but for most people it’s not going to be easy. (Which is why 99% of people don’t make money in them.)

If you like the idea of working for yourself and having money AND time freedom, then let me suggest an alternative. I was in an MLM recently and couldn’t stop bleeding money.

Then I realized that I had a passion for affiliate marketing some time before, and I decided to move back. Affiliate marketing is a much, much easier business to work, in my opinion. (Not saying it’s easier, but much easier than an MLM!)

You don’t have to worry about recruiting, uplines, downlines, compensation plans, inventory, customer service, or any of that stuff. You don’t need to contact all your friends and family and you don’t need to have home parties or post anything on Facebook.

Click Here to Read Why Affiliate Marketing is a 100x Better Opportunity Than Any MLM!

Affiliate marketing is promoting other people’s products for a commission. You should never have to pay money to join an affiliate program. And you won’t need to chase sales because you learn how to attract customers to YOU. Even better, you can promote anything you like – from jewelry to mountain bikes to rabbit cages. Whatever interests you!

Sound interesting? Click here so I can show you how it all works.


Is Origami Owl a pyramid scheme? No, it’s not. At least by the FTC’s standards. (Yet.) Would I recommend you join Origami Owl as a Designer? I wouldn’t. Not only because of their customer service issues (and perhaps they’ve cleared some of those up by now), but mostly because MLMs are not great businesses to join.

The business model just doesn’t work. At least not for the people at the bottom, which is exactly where you’ll be. Since you’ll be at the bottom, there’s a good chance – a 99% chance – that you’ll end up losing money.

If you like the idea of working for yourself, but would like something a little easier to manage, I always recommend affiliate marketing. Click here so I can give you more details.

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