Market America’s First UnFranchise Business Owners Embrace a Vision and Change Lives


The Beginning of a Legacy

Dave and Maria Silva’s journey with Market America and the UnFranchise® Business began in 1991 when they met JR Ridinger at a meeting arranged by a mutual friend. At the time, the business was still called LustreBond, a jewelry company. Despite not being particularly excited about selling jewelry, the Silvas were captivated by JR Ridinger’s vision and the unique compensation plan he had designed for the average person. Believing in JR’s dream and his enthusiasm, Dave and Maria decided to join the company.

“Maria and I were blown away by what JR described to us about this unique business, and the product brokerage business, it was to become” Dave said. “He proceeded to show us an incredible compensation plan that was for the average person, and that someone could do part-time along with whatever else they were doing. Since we had a business that we were running, we couldn’t devote 100% of our time to it. But I felt that if I could do devote 10 -15 hours per week to it and create that kind of weekly income, it was something that could certainly change our lives in the long run and also help others.

From LustreBond to Market America

LustreBond eventually transitioned into Market America in 1992. The Silvas, along with several people they had sponsored, were grandfathered into the new company. This marked the beginning of their long-lasting journey with Market America, embracing the concept of “living the dash.”


Living the Dash

JR Ridinger, who continuously emphasized the importance of “living the dash” in his talks, embodied this concept throughout his own life and up until he passed in August 2022. The idea, which comes from the popular saying about the dash between one’s birth date and death date, highlights the importance of living life to the fullest and making the most out of every opportunity. The Silvas were deeply moved by JR’s living example of this message and they integrated the concept of “living the dash” into their personal lives and their UnFranchise Business practices. It continues to be an integral part of their lives today.

A Memorable Birthday Gift

During Market America’s Leadership School 2023, which also happened to be Dave’s 70th birthday, Marie presented him with a special gift – a t-shirt featuring JR Ridinger and the iconic image of him discussing the concept of the dash. This t-shirt not only served as a reminder of the importance of living life to the fullest but also offered the Silvas an opportunity to share the impact the UnFranchise Business had on their lives, along with the invaluable lessons they learned from JR, with others.


Growing with Market America

“Every conversation with JR was about making you better, improving your lifestyle, improving your outlook on what you were doing,” Maria said. “JR was passionate and he wanted you to be as passionate as he was.”

Over the years, the Silvas have been dedicated to growing their Market America business and helping others achieve success. Their journey includes many memorable moments, such as Market America’s first big convention in 1993 and their time on the Market America Advisory Council. Dave is especially proud of his tenure as the first Advisory Council President, during which they helped shape the future of the company.

“The last time we interacted with JR, we were at the Middle East Regional Conference and we were being recognized on stage,” Dave said. “As we were about to walk off stage, JR comes running out from backstage and yelled at us to come back and he puts his arms around us and told the crowd how we were the first distributors. It was just heartwarming to have his embrace and his recognition of us being there at the very beginning.”


Embracing the Journey

Dave and Maria Silva’s story with Market America and the UnFranchise Business is an inspiring tale of believing in a vision, embracing new opportunities, and living life to the fullest. As the first UnFranchise Owners, they have set an example for others to follow and continue to embody the spirit of “living the dash.” Their passion for building relationships and helping others achieve success has been a driving force in their journey, and they remain dedicated to making the most of every moment as they continue to grow with Market America.

Earnings depicted are atypical, and the success of any UnFranchise Owner will depend upon the amount of hard work, talent and dedication they devote to building their Market America business. For typical earnings, see

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