The new direct sales companies are offering fashion and beauty products through legions of sellers who are combining the tradition of personal recommendations with tech tools that are a far cry from peddlers past, and a handful of Bay Area women, including Ruby Ribbon’s Zornosa, are leading the charge. [...] the increase in direct sales businesses — “the original social network,” Mariano says — goes beyond sellers with excess spare time and a need for extra money. A comfort with sharing online certainly hasn’t hurt, but whether the people at the startups are called stylists (as at Stella & Dot) or consultants (Rodan + Fields), they’re using technology to expand their customer base in ways that go way beyond simple social media. Stylists use Stella & Dot’s Dotty application at trunk shows to personalize a customer’s experience, while Keaton Row has totally forgone house parties or in-person consultations in favor of online-only interaction in providing personal styling (and shopping) services. “I thought, 'What would my mother’s business have looked like today?’” For many, that might mean bringing smartphones to the sidelines of a soccer field. “It’s turning her passion into a way to make money,” says Keaton Row’s Elenor Mak, who developed an affinity for the direct sales business model while working at Avon. In the land of startups, where social networks have made many people a lot of money, and women are known for breaking the mold, a reimagined approach to direct sales makes perfect sense.