Join me in going pink in October for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month… It’s for the boobs, after all! Shop my fave brands and products, shown below, to help support the fight against breast cancer.
Stella & Dot and EVER Skincare: All net proceeds from purchases in the Stella & Dot Better Together online jewelry boutique from October 1 to 31st will benefit Bright Pink, a non-profit organization focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women (ages 18-45).
ONEHOPE Wine: With a mission to give back and do good every day of the year, every wine purchase of the California Chardonnay and every Rosé varietal (there are five total!) benefits their year-round cause partner Gateway for Caner Research. – 2,458 women provided with breast cancer clinical trials & counting
– 322,192 women educated about their risks and symptoms of ovarian cancer
MY FAVE PINK ITEMS THAT GIVE BACK:
ONEHOPE Wine Chardonnay & Rosé
The California Chardonnay gives back year round to nonprofit partner Gateway for Cancer Research; featuring notes of toasted coconut, vanilla and tropical fruits. Each Rosé varietal benefits Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance. My favorite is the Sonoma Rosé and a fan fave is the North Coast Sparkling Rosé. >> Purchase HERE
Stella & Dot Champagne Pouch
This glam multi-tasking pouf in textured rose gold exterior with grey “scattered stars” interior organizes you in style. Use it for everything from cosmetics to tech cords – you’ve got it in the bag. >> Purchase HERE
EVER Skincare Smooth All Over Beauty Balm
Rescue rough lips, cuticles and dry skin patches with our multi-benefit dream balm. This powerful formula includes Shea Butter to help smooth appearance of dehydration lines, coconut oil to deeply nourish and soften and a potent form of Vitamin E to soothe skin. >> Purchase HERE
Your purchase of select Stella & Dot jewelry pieces to support victims of Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston, Texas. Stella & Dot will donate all net proceeds from qualified purchases to the American Red Cross. Shop the jewelry HERE.
According to the popular style and lifestyle blog Brit + Co: “The signet ring is making a serious comeback. The jewelry has been around for a minute (it pre-dates the Bible), but the sleek style still feels totally right now. Signets (from the Latin “seal”) served a very important purpose back in the day, acting as a signature. Whether it was engraved with initials, monograms, a coat of arms, or a family seal, it was heated and then impressed in wax or clay. The sturdy symbol of social standing also represented land ownership. In modern times, it can seal your signature style with its minimalist-yet-swanky looks.”
Just spotted on Instagram! Socialite and international DJ Paris Hilton was recently spotted wearing the silver Belle Necklace from Stella & Dot. This necklace has just enough bling to be dressed up or down. It’s a great sparkly necklace to dress up your LBD for the holiday season.
Right around the corner is October, when the calendar (unofficially) turns pink in recognition of national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Each year in October, jewelry and accessories brand Stella & Dot partners with the Noreeen Fraser Foundation to help raise funds and awareness for not only breast cancer, but all female cancers.
Starting NOW through the end of October, all net proceeds from the sale of jewelry pieces from Stella & Dot’s “Shop For a Cause Boutique” will benefit NFF.
Actress Cobie Smulders – from the hit TV show How I Met Your Mother and the blockbuster Captain America franchise – is a survivor of ovarian cancer and partnered with Stella & Dot and NFF to design a beautiful, exclusive bracelet to be featured in the “Shop For a Cause Boutique.”
Inspired by female warriors from history – beautiful, strong, and fearless – Stella & Dot’s jewelry designer Blythe Harris, and the design team, worked with Cobie to create a bracelet that someone can wear to support a loved one or for their own empowerment. The result is the Resilience Cuff, a delicate cuff bracelet with a rose gold arrow motif, micro pavé accents and hand wrapped thread details.
Can you believe it’s almost fall already? Leaves are going to start changing colors, and so are our wardrobes! Time to start finding jewelry to match your fall attire! Stella & Dot has a chic sneak peak of our new rose gold collection coming in September! It’s going to be absolutely gorgeous.
If you can’t wait to get your rosé fix until then, check out Stella & Dot’s other rose gold jewelry pieces.
Wondering how to maximize your existing wardrobe and get the most of the clothing pieces in your closet? The first step, in my opinion, is to make sure you have the top foundational pieces. I recommend that each woman start with these 10 universally flattering and extremely versatile pieces, and then build their closet around these basics.
Do you only have a couple of these items? No problem – start with what you have, but begin to build a list of the other essential items you still need. Research which items you should purchase based on your body shape, age and style type (need help with this? I can help!). And keep this in mind when you shop. The goal is to build your wardrobe with functional, versatile, foundational pieces, so you no longer stare at a closet full of clothes, and think “I have nothing to wear!”
For each of these items in the “closet staples” list, please keep in mind the following:
* Quality over quantity — always. Splurge on these ten wardrobe staples so you have a foundation in your wardrobe that lasts for years and years. Plus, you’ll feel amazing and look polished & pulled together. It’s worth a little extra money, I promise.
* Color is important. Stick to your tried-and-true neutral palette that you are passionate about and that look best on you (need help figuring this out? I can help!)
* Material is key. Choose quality materials that will last forever…. You won’t regret it.
* Time and effort. Sometimes it does take some time in the stores to try on different brands, styles and cuts before you find something that works for you. When you find that item or brand that fits you (like. a. glove.) — write it down and buy in multiples when you can. And keep an eye out when those items go on sale!
* Visit the department store or tried-and-true retailers to find these items. Don’t go to Kohl’s to find your go-to blazer. While you may find a great deal there, it’s just not where you should go to buy your quality, foundational clothing pieces.
Here’s my top ten list of clothing pieces that look great on all women, no matter style type, age, body shape, personality, etc….
1.) The Silk Blouse
Beautiful and feminine, the silk button up will take you from day to night in a breeze. You can wear it to work, on a date or with jeans. Take your time finding this item and don’t be afraid to splurge a little. This top will stay with you for years. And pick a color that you looks great on you – don’t just buy a neutral top because you think it’s more “versatile.” A colorful piece can be just as versatile… Buy a color you’re passionate about. 2.) The Skinny Jean
A no brainer. Every gal should have a pair of black, white and classic blue jeans in her closet. I suggest a skinny or boot cut for most women, even the curvier gals. You really want to feel confident and look fabulous in these go-to pants, so don’t be afraid to take your time and try on a bunch of styles. A note about cheaper jeans: Hey, I have jeans from Old Navy and American Eagle. Do I think you can find some great jeans at these discount retailers? You betcha. But I don’t think we gals should rely on them. You are a woman. A grown woman. And you want to feel like a woman, right? So splurge already. It’s about quality, not quantity. So please treat yourself to at least 2 pairs of great fitting, quality jeans.
3.) The Pencil Skirt
If you work in a corporate or conservative environment environment, you will need a few pencil skirts. But if you have a job that lets you dress more casually, you may only need the two. I recommend one pencil skirt in a neutral, basic color (navy, black, grey, khaki) and one in a fun color, pattern or texture. PS: Not a pencil skirt kind of gal? An A-line or “fit and flare” skirt are both incredibly classic and fit into this category as well.4.) The Chambray Denim Shirt
Surprisingly versatile and more recently coming back into the mainstream, I think the chambray button up blouse is a must-have closet piece. I wear mine over a tank and with Converse to a concert, and then I can button it up and tuck it into a skirt (you know the one… the classic skirt we talked about in #3). 5.) The Slouchy Tee
Another no brainer. I always recommend having at least six: three in neutral colors (white, black, grey and navy are more obvious choices) and three tees that are brighter, and/or have fun colors or patterns. Any additional tees are welcome, of course, but six is a great starting point. Look for soft, higher quality cotton materials and choose a classic, flattering neckline, such as a V-neck, deep scoop or U-shape neck line. Just please leave the crew neck tee at the store, it’s not flattering on most people, unless you have very slim shoulders and a small bust. 6.) The Trouser
Depending on the material, this pant can be very versatile. I like a more breathable, lighter material that can be worn with a boot for cold months and with a wedge for warm months. And the color is up to you, but it’s a good starting point to begin with a trouser in your go-to palette, so you have a foundation for the rest of your outfit. 7.) The Dress
Diane von Furstenburg said it best: “Feel like a woman. Wear a dress.” I agree completely. Wearing a dress is feminine and makes us feel powerful and sexy. I truly believe we all should have at least two classic dresses in our closet: the sheath and the wrap dress. DVF made the wrap dress famous, and the sheath has been popular for decades. They are timeless, beautiful and always flattering. Have fun with the color, print, and materials – this is where you can really show off your personality. But also know your body shape and your coloring when picking out this timeless dress (need help with this? Contact me!) 8.) The Blazer
You need at least one blazer in your closet, let’s be honest. Even if you’re the most casual of Cali girls (like me… most days), you still need a blazer to swing over your tan shoulders to spruce up your boyfriend jeans. Choose a color that will complement most pieces in your existing wardrobe. And if you work in an office, you should really have at least three blazers. These will go with you everywhere and be appropriate with any outfit and for any occasion. The blazer is a true wardrobe hero. 9.) The Sweater
What’s better than slipping on a soft, cozy sweater? Again, choose a sweater with high quality materials, such as top notch cotton, rayon, cashmere and/or wool. Having 2-3 classic sweaters will is a terrific starting point, in a color palette that works best for you and shows your personality (not sure about this? Ask me for more info!).
10.) The Jacket
A fabulous jacket is honestly the best-kept secret to stylish women everywhere. Think of a fabulous, chic, well-dressed woman… A gal strolling the cobblestone streets of Paris, Milan or London. She is probably wearing a jacket. Why do you think the Burberry Trench is such a cult fave? It instantly transforms any look, adding personality, color and/or texture to your ensemble. And hello, it serves another, very necessary, purpose – it keep you warm! Whether it’s the peacoat, the utility jacket, the draped front jacket, the collarless jacket – find one that works for your body shape, first and foremost, and then choose color. Be wise with texture, though, as not all people can wear the same materials (not sure what I mean by this? Contact me!). Invest in a beautiful jacket and you will wear it for life.
Spring is one of my absolute favorite times of year, because it’s all about change! The weather is becoming sunnier, dormant plants are beginning to bloom gorgeous flowers, and our wardrobes are ready for a Spring cleaning. Stella & Dot does a wonderful job at embracing this season of change through our incredibly versatile jewelry and accessories pieces!
Some great examples of versatility are the multiple styles of chandelier earrings that Stella & Dot offers. The beautiful Hibiscus Chandelier Earrings (below left) can be worn four different ways with its removable bottom petal and teardrop piece! This allows for the earrings to change from chandelier to drop earrings in a matter of seconds. Plus, they are adorable! The coral color is so fresh and vibrant for spring and summer. Find these 4-in-1 Earrings here for only $44 (which is an awesome price, especially since you’re basically getting four pairs of earrings!) Another option is the Tropicana Earrings (below center) which are super colorful, fun, and absolutely perfect for Spring. These stunning earrings can be worn three different ways. Find them here for only $49. An additional 3-in-1 earring is the stunning Sardinia Earrings (below right), and come in both turquoise and red. These earrings can also be worn in three different ways, with easily detachable sections to adjust length and create three completely unique looks, going from chandelier to stud in seconds! Our Sardinia Earrings are available here for only $59!
In addition to a full bouquet of gorgeous & versatile earring options, Stella & Dot also offers some fabulous bracelets and cuffs that can be worn alone, or shine gloriously in an arm party! The Stella & Dot Pyramid Stud Cuff Bracelet is both edgy and delicate, which allows for maximum layering potential! This bracelet comes in silver & gold for $44, find it here. You can see this bracelet in full arm party swing pictured below right. It is paired with the delicate silver Pavé Arrow Cuff ($34) & the silver Gilded Arrow Bracelet ($39). Another Stella & Dot staple is our simple yet stunning Alice bracelet ($49), pictured below left.
Let’s talk a little bit about our necklaces! In addition to versatility, Stella & Dot is known for statement jewelry. The turquoise and gold Isa Disc Necklace is a bold, beautiful, and can be worn four ways. Two of its beautiful layers are detachable, which allows you to be vibrant when you desire, and if you want to turn it down a notch, still wear a truly gorgeous necklace. Our whimsically charming Riveria Statement Necklace, below center, looks like it comes straight out of a fairy tale, and while it certainly lives up to its “statement necklace” title, it also boasts detachable layers to lighten it up a bit and allow for two different, but equally fun, styles, for just $148. Our Pop Geo Pendant Necklace offers detachable sections, and adds a brilliant, vibrant splash of pink & orange to your wardrobe to help get ready for spring, pictured below right, for only $89.
Finally, to really complete your look, our gorgeous scarves go well with nearly any wardrobe, and can also be worn in many different ways! Our Union Square scarf comes in six different patterns; each with its own unique beauty. Whether wrapped, tied, twisted, or doubled up, our scarves will complete your new Spring look! Below, you can see our Spring Green, Geo Ikat, and Hot Pink Elephant patterns, all only $59.
April is Autism Awareness Month, and Stella & Dot has teamed up with The HollyRod Foundation to help support a truly fantastic cause. Founded by Holly Robinson Peete, the HollyRod Foundation is dedicated to supporting individuals with Autism and their families. Stella & Dot is donating all net proceeds from our Visionary Bracelet to HollyRod!
In the bracelet’s description on our website, it illustrates what each part of the bracelet represents: “The name, Visionary, represents looking beyond what’s possible, the colors of the rainbow thread represent the diversity of the people and families living with autism, and the brightness of the thread and black diamond crystals signals a vision of a bright future through awareness.”
This is a beautiful piece of jewelry for a truly beautiful cause. For $39, you can purchase the Stella & Dot Visionary Bracelet here, and also be proud of the fact that you have contributed toward making somebody’s life brighter. On The HollyRod Foundation’s website, they outline what the bracelets will actually pay for!
1 bracelet will pay for a Therapy Sensory Device, which improves fine motor skills and reduces stress
10 bracelets will pay for two tablets with specialized apps that provide speech therapy & help improve social skills.
100 bracelets will pay for an all-in-one computer with software that helps with homework and pre-vocational training for teens & young adults.
How amazing is that?!
Holly Robinson Peete shows off the Stella & Dot Visionary Bracelet. Proceeds benefit the HollyRod Foundation during the month of April.
Holly Robinson Peete and Eva Longoria both wearing the Stella & Dot Visionary Bracelet.
Stella & Dot founder and CEO Jessica Herrin was recently featured as the “Mystery Millionaire” on the afternoon talk show The Steve Harvey Show on Thursday, January 8, 2015. Jessica talks about how she turned women’s love for accessories into a multi-million dollar business which empowers women to create the lives they want through a new social selling channel with the Stella & Dot brand.
Did you know that Stella & Dot paid out 240 million dollars to its Stylists? This month, Stella & Dot is offering the best sign-up special ever: receive an extra $100 in jewelry and the chance to earn your start-up costs back when you join!
Watch our CEO Jessica Herrin share our amazing flexible entrepreneurship opportunity on the Steve Harvey Show & get ready to start the next chapter of your life – click HERE for more info.
Click HERE or click the above pic to watch the clip.
This post is originally from Accessories Magazine – see it HERE.
Stella & Dot Re-Launches Foundation with Every Mother Counts
San Francisco– Stella & Dot, a fashion accessories brand announced this week the global re-launch of the Stella & Dot Foundation in partnership with Every Mother Counts.
Founded in July 2010, Stella & Dot CEO & Founder, Jessica Herrin created the Stella & Dot Foundation as an extension of the company’s mission in its everyday business – to give women the means to style their own lives. “We are committed to making a difference in women’s lives. It’s important for us to extend that mission to impact the lives of women and their families, at home and around the world through the Stella & Dot Foundation,” says Herrin.
In celebration of the Stella & Dot Foundation expansion and global re-launch, Stella & Dot introduces the Enlighten Bracelet(retail:$39).All net proceeds of the bracelet will support Every Mother Counts in their mission to inform, engage, and mobilizes new audiences to take action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women worldwide.
“Every Mother Counts’ is excited to partner with Stella & Dot’s mission driven community to help us achieve our goal to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. We know we can’t do this work alone and are always reassured that there are others who want to contribute in meaningful ways. Through this partnership, we will be able to educate many more about the global maternal healthcare challenges and also raise funds to support programs that improve access to quality maternity care that can prevent unnecessary deaths at birth,” said Christy Turlington Burns, founder of Every Mother Counts
Every Mother Counts is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded by Christy Turlington Burns in 2010 to increase public awareness and support for improved maternal and child health. Every Mother Counts is committed to ending preventable deaths caused by pregnancy and childbirth around the world. EMC informs, engages, and mobilizes new audiences to take action to improve the health and wellbeing of girls and women worldwide.
Stella & Dot ‘Enlighten’ Bracelet, above: Maleable gold-plated brass bar sits atop an adjustable, poppy orange leather band. The interior is embossed with the names of all the important women in your life: MERE – SOEUR – FILLE – MOTHER – SISTER – DAUGHTER – MAMA – SCHWESTER – TOCHTER; which translates to Mother, Sister, Daughter in French, English, and German.
I’m excited to announce that we have just launched our brand new Stella & Dot Fall 2014 collection! Pops of color, splashes of brights, lots of neutrals – and beautiful rose gold, too! It’s all stunning. This new line is a must-see!
Here are several upcoming events for July & August…
Please bring a friend or two and join the fun!
Friday, July 26th – Irvine
6:30 – 8:30 PM — Hosted by Sally
Sunday, July 27th – Fountain Valley
12:00 – 3:00 PM — Stella & Dot w/ CAbi Clothing
Monday, July 28th – Corona Del Mar
5:30 – 7:30 PM — Hosted by Mary
Saturday, August 2nd – Gardena
12:00 – 4:30 PM — CREATE 2014 at Gardena Valley JCI
Friday, August 22nd – Mission Viejo
6:30 – 8:30 PM — Hosted by Melissa
* Contact me for further details and private addresses *
* NOTE: Dates, times & events periodically change, so please contact me or check back here to confirm event info *
Love Stella & Dot’s new fall line?
Gather some girlfriends together for a fun styling session, either in the comfort of your own home or in your office – morning or evening, week day or week night – let me know what works best for you! My hostesses typically receive $250 in FREE JEWELS!
PLUS! Host a show before August 31st and receive a FREE engravable necklace – on top of your hostess rewards!
My girl Annalee Shelton from Hello, Handbag mentioned the best-selling How Does She Do It Bag as one of her summer must-haves! Thanks for the shout out, Anna! xo Read the original post HERE on her blog.
Four perfect bags for summer outings
I love the summer! This season, my dogs and I pack up and head out of doors as much as possible. Here’s what I carry when I go…
To a bbq:
BBQs are my favorite! I usually bring a bottle of wine or two, so I carry a big tote. My go to is this beautiful Michael Kors Saffiano.
To the park:
On Saturday mornings I often go to The Trails, a tiny cafe in Griffith Park. I usually take a durable crossbody, like the Whipstitch Crossbody Saddle Bag ($49 at Urban Outfitters). It keeps my hands free to pick up the delicious apple pie from the window, and can keep up if I decide to go hiking to work off that whipped cream I ordered.
For a day at Disneyland I carry a big crossbody with a zipper. It has to carry water bottles, layers of clothing, and lots of sunscreen! It needs to be lightweight, and it has to let me have my hands free. I usually take my favorite Susan Nichole Blossom, it’s a vegan leather bag with pockets you won’t believe. Unfortunately it’s not available anymore, but I was thrilled to see the Skylar on sale for just $38!
To the movies outdoors:
When we go the any of the outdoor movies in LA, we really do it up! We clear out all the cheese, crackers, munchies and wine at Trader Joes. You need a big bag to fit all that! I carry my trusty “How Does She Do It” by Stella & Dot, seriously best purchase ever. I love the stripes, and it has a water bottle holder inside that’s just brilliant. The How Does She Do It is only $89, and if you get one right now you also get a free Detachable Strap which would be great for keeping your hands free hauling all that food in!
I just celebrated my six year “stellaversary” as a Stylist with Stella & Dot. (The pic below is from one of my first Stella & Dot trunk shows in 2008). I couldn’t be happier with where I am in my life right now, and it’s all due to Stella & Dot.
I’ve always loved fashion, but I never thought I’d be in the fashion industry for my career. I just didn’t think I was pretty enough, thin enough, cool enough. I didn’t think I had the gusto and the gumption. Growing up, I dreamed of being a writer, either a columnist for a fashion magazine or a fearless journalist in the field. As I got older and went through college, I realized that writing is not as glamorous as it’s portrayed in the movies – it’s not all Devil Wears Prada. And news writing is, to put it lightly, suffocating, stale and boring. So I found myself trying to dream a different dream.
When I attended a book signing in early 2008, I was 22 years old and about to graduate from college. I wasn’t worried about what my future held for me, I felt rather confident in the fact that I was a capable person and I knew I’d find something. But I didn’t know what that “something” was.
At the book signing, I commented on a woman’s enamel cuff. She told me it was from a brand new company called Stella & Dot, and gave me a catalog (fun fact: it was called “Luxe Jewels by Stella & Dot” way back then). I was immediately smitten. I fell in love with the jewelry, the design and the aesthetic. I loved what the brand stood for. And I was impressed with their business model and their sales commission. But even more than that – even at 22 years old – I saw a company that would be HUGE. I saw the vision. I felt it. And I admired CEO Jessica Herrin’s transparency and steadfastness.
From there, I’ve never looked back. I’ve questioned my decision on occasion, as we are human and we run into roadblocks even in the greatest of times and circumstances. But my choice to jump in and become a Stella & Dot Stylist is something I will forever thank myself for.
I encourage you — yes, YOU! — to think how Stella & Dot may affect and impact your life. Whether you love the jewelry, or the vision, or the community of sisterhood, this is for you. If you love meeting new people, this is for you. If you love jewelry and fashion, this is for you. And if you would love extra money, for whatever reason, then this is for you!
Stella & Dot is gearing up to launch a family of brands within the next two years (think Gap and Banana, or Kate Spade’s Saturday line) which is set to become a game changer in the direct sales market and fashion industry. We are currently about to launch our brand new engraveable items (personalized and engraveable charms and cuff links) as well as debut the 2014 fall accessories line in mid July.
On top of all that, when you become a Stella & Dot Stylist this June, you will receive an additional $100 in free jewelry! Our most basic kit is just $199 (a trip to Costco, eh!?) and you receive $450 in free product, which you can personally choose. HOw fun is that? The one thing we stylists love about this business is that we get to wear our merchandise! Hehe.
There’s never been a better time to join us. Stop thinking “when I” or “what if” and JUST DO. You won’t regret it! Whether you are a college student and looking for work experience, or a stay at home mom who wants to contribute to the family income, or a baby boomer who feels restless after retirement, I’m confident that Stella & Dot will find a place in your heart and in your life. The goal here with Stella & Dot: you fit your life around your work, and not the other way around.
Click HERE for even more info about our brand and our stylist opportunity. And please connect with me with any questions you have – I’m happy to answer them and discuss Stella & Dot with you openly and honestly. Erin Markland: 949-395-2347 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Memorial Day is behind us… So what does that mean? It’s summer! Well, it’s unofficially summer, but the sun is shining, the weather is warm and summer festivities are ahead of us. Here are some suggestions on what to wear to this summer on your fabulous, fun, relaxing weekends. Whether you are headed to a bridal shower, BBQ, concert, park or girls night out, I have a fashionable outfit suggestion for you!
~ Cheers to a fabulous, stylish and super fun summer! ~
A summer BBQ calls for a casual and comfortable look. Start with a breezy summer dress and your trusty denim jacket. Then layer a few delicate necklace, like the On the Mark Arrow necklace and Celia Pendant – it’s a great way to add sophistication to your favorite outdoor ensemble without adding bulk. The Jacinthe bracelet and Monterey Hoop earrings are a great way to finish the look. The last step: don’t forget your fave flat sandals. And keep it simple with by only bringing the essentials in a cross body bag or a small wallet. Your margarita never looked so stylish!
Look “pastel perfect” with this bright yellow top and a turquoise pop from the Elodie Statement Necklace. Heels and a blazer make this chic enough for a nice evening out, but the boyfriend jeans (a great summer staple) and the neutral Avalon Perforated Tote keep it casual. This look gives a warm weather refresh to your favorite year-long staples. You’re ready for girls night or a movie date with your honey.
Show your style at a bridal or baby shower this summer with a mix of classic pieces like a white button-down shirt and the gold link Jackie Bracelet, but add some unexpected add-ons like the Daliah Pearl Necklace and these adorable nude lace-up heels. The Avalon clutch adds the perfect pop of yellow to this subtle yet classic look.
If you’re headed to a summer concert or outdoor event, bring a scarf for breezy nights and wear your trusty sneakers to protect your pretty pedi. The black Tia Crossbody bag allows for your hands to be free to hold your beer and fist pump, and light accessories such as the Sahara White Horn Necklace and the gold Renegade Bracelet and red Love Bracelet, keep you cool and don’t weigh you down in the heat.
Award winning, global fashion brand Stella & Dot just announced their summer sale today! Just in time for summer, take advantage of this sale and update your wardrobe with fun fresh colors, bold pieces or delicate everyday jewelry. Take up to 40% off several jewelry pieces and accessories, such as the statement necklace shown and beautiful earrings shown below.
How Stella & Dot Is Giving Old-Fashioned Direct Sales A Mobile Makeover
How a doing-it-all mom became an entrepreneur–and uses tech savvy and common sense to keep her business running.
Seven years ago, Jessica Herrin was driving around with a trunkful of jewelry. She was packing, shipping, and often hand-delivering orders to women who had purchased them at one of her Stella & Dot trunk shows. Herrin had a six-month-old baby at home. She was working around the clock. She was exhausted.
When she founded Stella & Dot in 2003, Herrin had envisioned it as a direct sales company that would give its sales people, called “stylists,” a way to live balanced flexible entrepreneurial lives. Based on her own experience, she knew things had to change if she wanted to really scale the business.
In the past year in particular, Herrin has given the old-fashioned direct sales model a mobile makeover. And it’s working. Stella & Dot has 16,000 active stylists around the world and in 2013, the company made more than $220 million in sales, up from $100 million the previous year–thanks in large part to the company’s massive mobile push and integration of new technology.
Stella & Dot is what Herrin calls an “omni-channel business”–one that blends the in-person experience with technology. “For a lot of e-commerce companies, their challenge is competing with a company like Amazon. That’s why omni-channel retail can stand apart. It has something Amazon can never offer–a warm body on the end of each sale,” she says. “The use of technology has really unlocked how profitable this business can be.”
Here are four ways Herrin has worked mobile technology into her business model to help grow the company.
A virtual community with on-the-go training.
How do you train 16,000 stylists spread around the world? Stella & Dot has online affinity groups including ones for military spouses, stylists of color, stylists over 50, and the list goes on.
But the company uses more than just social media to connect stylists. Last month, it launched a mobile-optimized “Stylist Lounge,” which gives stylists mobile access to notifications, weekly training videos, peer-to-peer online training, and specific tools depending on how long they have been selling with Stella & Dot.
When new stylists log in, for example, they are given step-by step guidance on how to create their website, send their first trunk-show invitation, and make their first hostess call. More seasoned stylists in charge of teams can access business insights about their team and all stylists can easily choose and share from a collection of customized social media messages. “What used to be a log in and click, click, click is now a swipe and a tap,” says Herrin, who calls the mobile push an “on my phone or bust” model.
Staying lean and savvy about inventory.
Direct-sales models often require sellers to have inventory on hand to sell to customers, which means unsold stuff can quickly start to pile up in their closets. Instead of doing this, Stella & Dot uses trunk shows to test inventory. Last year, the company launched an iPad app for stylists called Dottie that not only allows them to place orders directly to the distribution center in real time when a customer makes a purchase, but also includes tons of images of products that might not be on hand.
The danger, of course, is that the human connection the company so values could be compromised by stylists having screens in front of their faces. But it’s a worry that’s been taken into account when designing the app. “We’ve obsessed over the ease of use,” says Herrin. “We want it to be intuitive so that it doesn’t take away from the human connection.”
Another addition is the social media group called the Style Council, made up of hundreds of the company’s top sellers. The group has direct access to the design and merchandizing teams and votes on the pieces in each season’s collection that are showcased most prominently. “The feedback is very constant in real time,” says Herrin.
Getting orders out instantaneously.
Gone are the days of driving around with trunks full of inventory to deliver. The Dottie app includes a form customers fill out when placing an order, which then gets directly sent to the distribution center. Before that was created, stylists had to keep track of orders on paper that they might not have a chance to submit until the following day. The automated form also lets customers double-check their information, which cuts down on mistakes.
A built-in marketing machine.
At Stella & Dot, stylists play a huge role in marketing. They upload trunk-show photos to the Stella & Dot Instagram feed and are encouraged to post about their work on Facebook. But social media aside, the company has also created a mobile notification that pings stylists when orders are shipped, including the names and notes they took on the customers who made purchases. They can then tap on their phone numbers to make a follow-up call.
Bottom Line: “Our mobile tool isn’t just about sales or transactions. It makes our stylists better at customer service,” says Herrin. “We are using the combination of high tech and high touch to do better merchandizing.”
Just about six years ago, I went to a book signing in Southern CA and stumbled upon Stella & Dot. I had no idea what I was in for, but I had a feeling it was something great. I didn’t even wait a full 12 hours before I signed up the very next morning! Hehe. I figured I didn’t have much to lose… Give it a shot for $199? Why the heck not, I thought.
Fast forward to today and I work about 30 hours per week as a Director with this amazing company, and I’m earning more than I would be earning if I worked a 9-to-5.
That being said, more than half of our Stylists work their Stella & Dot on the side of another full-time job and/or alongside being a mom. They find great joy in calling something “their own,” meeting new people, and styling women. Stella & Dot — whether done full-time or part-time — has added joy, fun, & positivity to the lives of many women (and a few good men!) and it just might be the same for you, too!
I encourage you to take advantage of our April sign-up special and join us on this bold, joyful adventure! For just $199 (that’s what you’d spend at Costco or Target anyhow…) you can join us as a Stylist and offer your friends & family a fabulous, celebrity-coveted accessories brand…. And you get $450 in free jewelry to boot! (Normally $350) You’ve got nothing to lose!
Contact me today to chat more about it… I’m happy to discuss it with you openly and honestly. 949-395-2347 or Simply.Stylish@yahoo.com
Last year, Stella & Dot raised over $120,000 for the HollyRod Foundation in April for autism awareness month. This year, we hope to double this number.
Autism now affects 1 in 68 people. Through the funds raised for HollyRod from Stella & Dot’s autism awareness boutique, we hope to impact the lives of families who are affected by autism. >> Read more below.
Visionary Bracelet – only $39
A rainbow of colors to represent the puzzle piece for autism awareness month
Boardwalk Beach Tote – only $69
Stella & Dot’s new Pisces Print goes to the beach! A waterproof bag for all your sandy, wet, beach essentials.
Beach Pouf – only $24
Waterproof and sand proof – this little pouch keeps your lip gloss, phone, wallet and keys safe from the elements.
Pouch Trio – only $24
Keep yourself organized with these colorful pouches – from snacks to makeup to tech cords, it fits everything!
ABOUT HOLLYROD FOUNDATION:
Inspired by a father and a son, HollyRod Foundation was formed in 1997 by actress,Holly Robinson Peete and her husband former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete. TheHollyRod Foundation is dedicated to providing compassionate care to those living with autism and Parkinson’s disease.
Efforts of the HollyRod Foundation are providing a better quality of life for individuals and their families.
Autism affects 1 in 88 children, 1 in 54 boys, and can decimate families physically, emotionally and most of all
HollyRod introduced the “Give the Gift of Voice” campaign in 2010, providing tablet computers and specially‐designed apps to help give a voice to those without. 50% of children living with autism have extreme difficulty
learning to speak, 25% of them never will. While these individuals may not be able to speak, they have much to
say and through the “Give the Gift of Voice” campaign, they can now make their voice heard. The Gift of Voice
campaign was so well received, HollyRod realized they needed to find a technology partner to fulfill all the requests.
In 2013, HollyRod began a partnership with Fuhu to provide grants for the Nabi tablet. The program is fully
operational and is helping children all across the country.
HollyRod is currently developing plans to create The HollyRod Autism Network at California State University,
Northridge, a unique constellation of autism resources, services, and one‐on‐one support, all with a family‐
centered focus. As Holly says “we need to help these children live their lives and achieve their fullest potential.”
Last April, Stella & Dot raised $120,700 from the sale of signature accessories in our Autism Awareness boutique.
Stylists across the US and Canada held thousands of trunk shows to raise awareness and funds towards
compassionate care for those affected by Autism.
The funds generated from this collaboration helped to support various autism summer camps, social skills and
adolescent prevocational programs around the US and Canada. We were also able to grant more than 100 tablets
to non‐verbal children with autism giving them the “Gift of Voice”. This year, the partnership will allow us to serve
even more children and their families, as they navigate autism’s day to day challenges.
We are very grateful for your support!
Stella & Dot announced this morning that they are offering a 48-hour flash sale! The sale ends tomorrow, Friday March 29, 2014 at 9:00am PST. Go to my web site at www.stelladot.com/emarkland to shop and take advantage of the sale.
Black and White Streamers Print – NOW 60% OFF! Mariposa Print Accessories – NOW 50% OFF! Red Crazy Hearts Print – NOW 40% OFF!
Stella & Dot scarf available in each print – hurry before they sell out and they are gone for good!
Also available are tech accessories, travel bags, makeup pouch (but we call it a pouf)… SHOP THE SALE NOW
Stella & Dot CEO/Founder Jessica Herrin updates us on the latest and greatest with the global accessories company, Stella & Dot. Watch the video on Bloomberg TV. Here are some of the updates:
* Modernizing flexible entrepreneurship, whether you would like to be a side-preneuer” or a full-time sales rep
* Sales reps are called “stylists” because of the high-tech/high-touch philosophy that they offer their customers with individual attention and styling suggestions
* Accessories is a $30 billion dollar business each year! – So much room to thrive and grow!
* Stella & Dot operates like a couture fashion house, utilizing the talents of in-house designers who personally and individually handmake and model each piece.
* High dollar per hour with higher-than-average trunk show sales and irresistible product
* Celebs and magazine editors continue to LOVE Stella & Dot jewelry and accessories!
* Now in several countries – US, UK, Canada, Ireland, France, Germany — Do you know someone in these countries?
* Stella & Dot Foundation supports several causes, such as partnering with HollyRod in April for Autism Awareness
* Few big investors, so they don’t need to operate like a “big venture business”
* How do they measure success? Payout and impact to their Stylists — Over $200 million was paid out in 2013!
* Revolutionizing and focusing on some basic operations, such as new technology, broader design studio, and in-house shipping warehouse
To learn more about becoming a Stylist or hosting a casual, easy styling session, contact Erin Markland, Director and Independent Stylist: 949-395-2347 or email@example.com
My friend and customer Kristi from The Coral Court (follow her! she’s awesome!) recently shared a post on how she organizes her jewelry. See how she edits and organizes her necklaces, watches and bracelets. Thanks for the great tips, Kristi! (www.thecoralcourt.com)
My jewelry situation used to be an organizational nightmare. I would basically just toss my jewelry on the dresser which would result in a tangled mess and earring studs in the vacuum cleaner. I decided to make a change to how I organized all of my “stuff” and that is where The Container Store and a homemade necklace holder came into the picture.
I need to warn you. If you decide to go to The Container Store or surf their website, have someone with you! You will spend your entire life savings there! I have bought containers for my shoes, nail polish, makeup, makeup brushes, jewelry, and knick knacks at that store. It truly has everything you need to become an over the top organizer. I am not someone that needs a gorgeous storage container to make my space look aesthetically pleasing. I just like my space to be simple and clean so this is my go to store.
The wall mount necklace holder was made by my dad as a solution to my mangled necklace mess. I have tried different storage units including the jewelry box that you can hang them on and the behind the door pockets but I needed something that allowed my necklaces to hang all the way down. I organize the necklaces by gold, silver, delicate, bauble, and long ones. There are so many DIY sites for how to make these and the possibilities of what they can look like are endless because you can customize the hooks and the board you mount them on.
Take a step on the wilder side… Accessorize with a little leopard, zebra or crazy stripe print from Stella & Dot! Take up to 60% off these flash sale items until Saturday, March 1st at 11:59pm PST.
Items may sell out, so don’t wait… These tech accessories, bags and scarves will go quickly!
How To Order: 1.) Go to www.stelladot.com/emarkland 2.) Click on ‘Sale’ tab
3.) Click on ‘Facebook Flash Sale’ on left side
4.) Choose your sale items, add to cart & checkout as usual
Call me to place your order at 949-395-2347.
40% OFF Leopard Print iPad & Laptop Covers
iPad Case – Normally $79 – NOW $47.40
Mini iPad Case – Normally $59 – NOW $35.40
Laptop Case – Normally $39 – NOW $23.40
50% OFF Painted Zebra Print Handbags & Scarf
Best-Selling HDSDI Bag – Normally $89 – NOW $44.50
Getaway Bag – Normally $138 – NOW $69
Union Square Scarf – Normally $59 – NOW $29.50
60% OFF Crazy Stripe Print Tech & Organizing Accessories
Chelsea Tech Wallet – Normally $59 – NOW $23.60
Hang On Organizer Tote – Normally $39 – NOW $15.60 iPhone Case –Normally $29 – NOW $11.60
Pssst…. Tricks of the trade…
* It’s made as a travel bag ( and it IS excellent for that!), but teachers and realtors love the Getaway Tote Bag for shlepping paperwork from home to office/school – brilliant! Unzips to expand.
* Are you traveling soon? Know a current or soon-to-be college student? The Hang On is great for the dorms bathrooms and the HDSDI is a stylish book bag turned weekend tote.
* Cold office? Wrap up in a fashion-forward zebra print scarf!
* Always losing your wallet in your big ol’ bag? The crazy stripe print is bright, colorful and fun… You can see it in any deep cavernous tote. (Same with the iPhone case – easy to spot against a dark fabric!)
This article is originally from the LA Times – see it HERE.
Stella & Dot founder saw a way to dress up direct sales
Jessica Herrin, founder of fashion accessories e-commerce company Stella & Dot, was inspired by a Mary Kay convention but decided to give the business model a tech-infused, youthful twist.
The gig: Jessica Herrin is founder and chief executive of Stella & Dot, a fast-growing company that sells fashion jewelry, handbags and other accessories online and via direct sales.
Stella & Dot salespeople, called stylists, pay a minimum of $199 for a starter kit and sell the company’s merchandise at in-home trunk show parties; they also earn money from purchases made on the brand’s website and mobile app. The San Bruno, Calif., company has 370 employees and more than 18,000 active stylists in five countries. Revenue last year was $220 million.
Personal: Herrin lives in Hillsborough, Calif., with her husband, Chad, and their two daughters, 10-year-old Charlie and 7-year-old Tatum.
Education: She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University but dropped out of Stanford’s MBA program after a year to co-create a gift registry and wedding content website called Della & James. The company would go on to become WeddingChannel.com, which was later sold to wedding and family planning website TheKnot.com.
First job: Herrin, 41, grew up in Glendale and got a job serving ice cream at a local Baskin-Robbins when she was 15. As a teenager, she also worked at Haagen-Dazs, Baby Gap, Newport Surf, Chuy’s and Islands to help pay for college.
Career change: After graduating from Stanford, Herrin was set to become an investment banker at J.P. Morgan and had an apartment lined up in Manhattan. But on a whim she took a job interview at a software start-up in Austin, Texas, and decided to pursue what she called “a less certain path.”
Got the idea: In 2001, Herrin happened upon a Mary Kay direct-sales convention while she was on a business trip in Dallas.
She says she noticed how excited the women were to be selling cosmetics and running their own businesses, but she felt direct sales entrepreneurship needed a tech-infused, youthful upgrade that Mary Kay and other brands lacked.
“I didn’t resonate with that sales model. I thought of it as something for my grandmother,” she said. “It didn’t seem very modern. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but it didn’t appeal to me or, I thought, any of the women of my generation.”
Double duty: Soon after, Herrin, who was working in the global e-commerce group at Dell, began dabbling with the idea of starting her own direct-sales company. Jewelry seemed easy to sell straight to consumers, and she recognized a hole in the market for mid-priced accessories.
She went to jewelry-making classes and bead shows, and spent her nights and weekends designing necklaces, earrings and bracelets from her Austin living room. She bootstrapped the start-up, which she called Luxe Jewels, and quit Dell in 2004 to work on the business full time.
Working mother: Although she did her first trunk shows when she was pregnant with her first daughter, Herrin decided to wait until the time was right for her family before going all-in with Luxe Jewels.
“I didn’t try to go for hyper-growth in the business in the early years,” she said. “I paced it around the birth of my newborn and then my second child, and only after I was done nursing my second baby and I could travel did I ratchet it up.”
How it works: A customer hosts a trunk show in her home and invites her friends over. A Stella & Dot stylist brings over sample products for the women to try on and takes merchandise orders, earning a 30% commission. The host of the party receives free product credit and other perks.
Herrin said stylists typically earn $250 to $300 per trunk show. Most stylists are women who sell Stella & Dot products part time and make an average of $2,400 a year.
Stella & Dot designs and manufactures all of its products. Half of the jewelry is priced at less than $50.
First big purchase: After Herrin left WeddingChannel.com, she and her husband took three months to see the world, traveling to such places as Thailand, Croatia and Egypt. She also paid off her student loans.
What’s in a name: Herrin and Chief Creative Officer Blythe Harris decided to change the name of the company from Luxe Jewels to Stella & Dot in honor of their grandmothers.
“We wanted a name that really spoke to the spirit of the business, which is — it’s a company inspired by and created for strong women,” she said.
Treat the woman in your life to something special this Valentine’s Day. And I don’t mean typical diamond jewelry. While diamonds and precious stones are always appreciated, it’s also a little predictable. Give her something delicate & dainty, or fun & flirty, or personalized just for her. She will be impressed with your gift giving skills… And impressed with the quality of jewelry from Stella & Dot!
Great & affordable Valentine’s Day gift ideas from Stella & Dot jewelry:
Left to right from top: On the Mark Arrow Necklace (also available in silver), Love Always Necklace, Ever After Heart Necklace (also available in silver), Amour Sparkle Necklace, Love Necklace, Interlock Heart Necklace, Together Forever Circle Necklace, Etoile Sparkle Necklace–All necklaces from Stella & Dot, are sterling silver or pure bronze, and range in price from only $49 to $69.
Shop for Valentine’s Day gifts, or for any occasion, with Stella & Dot. Jewelry always makes for a perfect gift for birthdays, holidays and “just because.” Just pair with flowers or make her dinner, and you’re set!
Hello, fun, flexible fashion career! Earn 30% commission and receive $100s in free jewelry when you get started, plus MORE free product within your first few months in business. As featured in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, this global fashion brand is allowing a new kind of success for busy women with a professional, flexible, profitable home-based business. Become a Stella & Dot stylist and create the means to style your own life — on your terms and in your time.
That phrase — style your own life — what does that look like exactly?
It looks like….
….a mom being able to afford Christmas gifts for her 8-year-old son this past holiday season.
….a young 20-something being able to earn a steady income after she graduates from college
….a mother-of-five doing something she loves & believes in, so she can be a great example for her kids
….being able to buy a new computer without counting coins, creating a budget or looking at your bank account
….being able to afford an over-the-top bat mitzvah because you think your daughter deserves it
….a full-time teacher “just having fun” selling jewels & being able to finally afford that summer trip to summer
So, what will YOU make of this fabulous life you live? Stella & Dot just may be a means for you to style your own life and live the dream you’ve always wanted. That may mean financial freedom, a dream vacation, being able to afford piano lessons for your child or just having extra money for a killer pair of shoes. No matter your vision for yourself and your family, I know you can achieve it with Stella & Dot!
Click the videos below to hear a little bit more about becoming a sales rep with Stella & Dot, a billion-dollar fashion brand in the making. And please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime. I’m happy to talk to you about this opportunity openly and honestly. >> Simply.Stylish@yahoo.com -or- 949.395.2347
Looking for a cute, affordable gift idea? Look no further! Stella & Dot’s Soho Initial Charms are so pretty and affordable, they are sure to delight any one, no matter age or style type! They are universally flattering and a great stocking stuffer for the holidays.
How to create the perfect personalized gift:
Step 1: Choose your charm
The Soho Initial Charm is Italian bronze and just $18. Choose a letter that personal to the recipient… Initial of her first name, last name, baby’s name, or a loved one. Hints: First name initial for coworkers, employees, secret santa or the single girl; last name initial for the newlywed, fiance or wife; baby’s initial for the new mommy; “other” initial if recipient has lost a loved one recently, so they can wear them close to their heart.
Step 2: Choose a chain
There are 2 options – a sterling silver chain or a bronze chain. Mixing metals is very trendy and “hot” right now, so gifting a gold charm with a silver chain is unexpected and fun. Or choose the bronze gold chain for a classic, more simple charm necklace.
Step 3: Choose Add-on Charms
If you want to add any other personalized charms, Stella & Dot has several options. Choose a birthstone, zodiac, symbol, number, word or phrase that meaningful to the recipient. Hints: Choose a freshwater pearl for a classic look; add on a birthstone charm to symbolize a special someone’s birthday; cross or star of david charm for a spiritual person; or the Grandma charm for nana.
This article is originally from Business of Fashion, read it HERE.
In the latest instalment of Founder Stories, a series highlighting the personal and professional journeys of some of fashion’s most dynamic entrepreneurs, BoF speaks with Jessica Herrin, founder and chief executive of “social selling” jewellery and accessories company Stella & Dot.
Jessica Herrin | Source: Courtesy
SAN BRUNO, United States — The words “direct selling” have long been associated with Tupperware parties and Avon ladies. But that’s not quite what Jessica Herrin had in mind when the Stanford business school dropout and co-founder of WeddingChannel.com started Stella & Dot, a direct sales company reimagined for the age of e-commerce and social media that enlists thousands of women (and a few men) to sell its chic but affordable jewellery and accessories to their network of friends and acquaintances via in-home trunk shows and personalised websites.
In 2011, Stella & Dot attracted $37 million from famed Silicon Valley venture firm Sequoia Capital. The transaction valued the company at $370 million, no doubt a reflection of the firm’s belief in both Herrin’s personal drive and the growing opportunity in direct sales, created by the sluggish economy, in which more and more people are looking for ways to supplement their incomes; the rise of social media, which enables people to more easily maintain a far greater number of “weak ties,” significantly extending their reach; and the rise of tablet computers, which can display limitless inventory, take credit card payment directly and run easy-to-use enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and sales force automation (SFA) software, dramatically improving a seller’s productivity.
According to market sources, in 2012, Stella & Dot surpassed $200 million in annual revenue and, as of June 2013, has paid out a total of over $150 million in commissions to its army of approximately 14,000 active sellers, who the company playfully calls “stylists.”
BoF spoke to Jessica Herrin about the genesis of Stella & Dot, empowering women entrepreneurs and reinventing direct sales for the digital age.
BoF: Let’s go back to the beginning. What were you doing before Stella & Dot?
JH: I grew up in LA, then went to Stanford undergrad to study economics. It’s a magical place that breeds entrepreneurship, probably because it’s rooted in Silicon Valley. But when I finished college, I had a massive amount of debt, so I thought I had to go to Wall Street and take up investment banking or consulting. I actually had an investment banking job all lined up, but on a lark my friend saw this ad in the student paper that said, “Get $1,000 if you refer a friend” to work at this software start-up, and submitted my resume!
I never thought I would do it, but I did the interview anyway and it really changed the trajectory of my career. It was this enterprise software company called Trilogy that was so not sexy and based in Austin, Texas, but it ended up being a phenomenal growth experience and ultimately led me back to Stanford for business school, which I left a year early to start the business that would become Wedding Channel. At the start-up in Austin, I was aggregating price and availability for computer parts and Wedding Channel is really just aggregating price and availability for wedding guests who want to buy a gift, so it’s the same technical approach for a completely different market, one that was ripe for disruption back in 1999.
JH: Wedding Channel was a great experience for me. It was a commercially successful company and was great for the four years that I was there. But I realised that, ultimately, I didn’t want to dedicate my life to the wedding business. Plus, all these women would reach out to me and say: “I want to be an entrepreneur, what’s your advice?” And I remember thinking to myself, “I honestly can’t recommend what I’m doing right now, because I work all the time.” I had just gotten married and I was thinking about becoming a mother, but I was dedicated, day and night, to this business. I realised, I wasn’t running the business, the business was running me.
Around that time, very fortuitously, I went to a conference about the women who pioneered the work-from-home model and I was so intrigued, because I knew it was such an important chapter in the story of women in the workforce. You know, when people think of the most disruptive thing to have changed the economy, they often think of the Internet, but I think it’s the role of women in the workforce. So, I thought to myself, “We haven’t changed the old role for women in society, which is having babies. That’s never going to change. So, we need more ebb and flow. We need to be able to let women seize the opportunity and be whatever we want to be professionally and still be happy [in terms of family life].”
Creating Stella & Dot was not just about going into jewellery and accessories. It was about creating an entrepreneurial platform for women — and then marrying that with my love of design and fashion.
BoF: What was the opportunity you saw in direct sales?
JH: When I looked at what was going on in the realm of home-based business opportunities for women, it felt like the 1950s — not remotely geared for the modern woman or today’s digital world. Nobody was using e-commerce, and certainly not social or mobile. The idea of being flexible, yes. The idea of a community of women, yes. The idea of personal service, yes. But everything else felt antiquated. So, we decided to start with a blank piece of paper and asked ourselves, “How can technology improve that experience?”
BoF: You prefer the term “social selling” to direct sales. What’s the difference?
Social selling is flexible entrepreneurship reinvented for the modern woman that leverages technology like tablets and social commerce. Our stylists, when they sign up and buy a starter kit, get their own website in a couple of clicks. They also get access to a virtual business centre, where they can get online training, as well as access to a community platform where they can get support from people nearby. We also use game mechanics: there are trackers for things like time management and they get badges when they do activities that help them grow their businesses. One of the most revolutionary things we just introduced is our new iPad app for stylists that we call Dottie, which we found raised their earnings by 20 percent because it enabled them to show the product in this really amazing way, supported by video, gives them tips on how to finish the look, and suggests other products that their customers will love.
BoF: What made you think the jewellery market was ripe for this approach?
JH: First of all, accessories are so critical to a woman’s style and they’re simple; they always fit and flatter. I often joke that from the beginning of time, if men had animals, then women had jewellery made from the bones. Specifically, we thought there was a very big opportunity in mid-market accessories. There’s was a lot on the high end and a lot on the low end, but not a lot in between. So, we felt there was an opportunity to create an affordable luxury line, with amazing design and amazing quality.
Plus, the traditional retail environment for buying accessories was not great. At traditional department stores, all the jewellery is locked up in glass cases, otherwise it would walk out of the door. So women don’t have the chance to pick it up, play with it and touch it, the way they do with apparel. There’s this barrier.
As for social selling, accessories are things that people can easily see when a stylist is wearing them. So a stylist is naturally going to be able to sell her jewellery on the go. She’s walking around with our jewellery and people are going to compliment her on it. It’s easy to have it naturally come up in conversation, because it’s a very public, visible, beautiful product. Many of our stylists have full-time jobs outside the home, or they’re busy working as a mother. But when they’re going about their day, people are going to see their jewellery.
BoF: That makes perfect sense. Jewellery is inherently social to begin with.
JH: Right. It’s shiny, women love it and immediately it’s, “Ooh I love your earrings” and they get a compliment on it.
BoF: What are the economic terms for the stylists?
JH: So you sign up for $199 and you get $350 in free accessories to kick-start your business. I wanted to de-risk entrepreneurship. I knew that what’s usually most daunting for would-be entrepreneurs is the capital you need to start a business. So, I wanted to make this easy. There’s not a lot of barriers to entry. Then, they sell as much or as little as they want. But every time they sell, they earn 25 percent commission. It’s an “effort in, results out” kind of business.
BoF: How much does an average seller earn in a year?
JH: There’s a really wide range. Most of our stylists are part-time; this is a business designed to be seasonal and part-time. So, we have teachers that only do it during vacation and holidays. And we have lawyers that only do it when they’re not busy. Many people will sell a couple of hundred dollars a month, because they’re only working five hours a week. That’s about 80 percent of our sales force. Our top earners will earn $10,000 a month, but that’s a very small percentage of people who actually want to do this full time. In the US, where we’ve been operating the longest, our top earner brought in $1.3 million last year and so there’s amazing earning potential. But I always want people to know that it’s an “effort in, results out” business. The people that are earning a lot, they have teams of other stylists working for them and they earn a percentage of those sales.
BoF: So-called multi-level marketing companies have attracted a fair amount of criticism over the years. How is Stella & Dot different?
JH: When people think of these pyramid schemes, that’s because there are indeed companies out there who have a model that’s not straightforward. It’s really a wholesale buying club, where so-called sellers aren’t really selling at all. They’re buying at a discount and selling to other people at a discount. Stella & Dot isn’t remotely like that. Our sellers don’t carry inventory, they don’t get commissions on personal purchases of accessories, and we don’t market this as something that you’re supposed to be selling, but you’re actually buying. We do a tremendous amount of training for our stylists. And I always tell them, listen, it takes work. It only works when you do. There’s no oceanside property in Arizona.
BoF: You bootstrapped the company for three years before taking on Mike Lohner as chairman, Blythe Harris as head designer, and sales guru Danielle Redner. How did you know it was the right moment to expand the team and grow the business?
JH: In the beginning, I had another full-time job, I was pregnant, I worked nights and weekends. Then I went to Doug MacKenzie [Wedding Channel’s first investor, when he was at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers] and said, “Listen, I just had a baby, I’m going to have another one, I don’t know exactly what this is going to be but it’s going to be big and I’m going to make it happen over time. Right now, this is a lifestyle business for me, meaning that I’m a mom working, not a working mom, and that part is going to come first. But one day, I’m going to make something of it, do you want to be a part of this and do this?” Luckily, he was crazy enough to say yes.
The trajectory really changed when I stopped breastfeeding my last child. The business was growing rapidly, but I waited until 2006 to say, “Okay now I’m ready to bring on the talent I need to really ratchet things up.” I went back to my one investor [Doug MacKenzie] and I said, “Okay we’re ready, now it’s time to go find someone who will take this to the next level in terms of design and who really knows everything about home-based businesses. So I brought on Mike [as chairman], then Danielle [as VP of training], then Blythe [as chief creative officer].
BoF: Staging in-home trunk shows enables you to have really intimate interactions with your customers, which I imagine results in extremely valuable insights. How are you gathering and leveraging these insights? Do they inform design?
JH: 100 percent. First of all, we’re in her living room, chatting about her life! People are talking about their marriages, as much as they’re talking about accessories. And as much as we’re fashion accessories designers, we’re also data geeks and we live in Silicon Valley. We use our iPad app to capture a lot of data and do excellent CRM. We’re capturing birthdays and wishlists and all of that is being used generate product recommendations for our stylists, so that we know they’re going to have the best products on their tables. Then, we have regular feedback from our stylists themselves; we’re constantly listening to what they want from us. We even bring stylists into the design studio and give them sticky notes and they look at the product and say “love it” or “lose it.” I also do trunk shows all the time, which informs our assortment.
BoF: Why did you decide to expand from jewellery into bags, wallets, scarves and tech accessories?
JH: Our customers have been asking us for other things for a while. Plus, when you broaden beyond jewellery, you double your market size.
BoF: What have the results been? In 2012, you broke $200 million. Where are you now?
JH: We don’t share revenue figures, but we are doing very healthy double-digit growth. And we’re continuing to have amazing success as a company. In Europe, we are in the UK, Germany and France, and it’s been remarkable; we’re growing at over 100 percent.
BoF: Where do you see Stella & Dot in 3 to 5 years?
JH: A global, billion-dollar, multi-brand, multi-category company that changes the lives of women around the world by providing the right opportunities for them to pursue their passions and succeed as entrepreneurs in a flexible way that works for them.
BoF: When you say changing lives, how are you measuring that?
JH: I would be very happy if we had over 100,000 people getting incremental value in their lives from Stella & Dot. It’s really remarkable when you meet people and you recognise what it’s doing for them. We have people for whom this is taking care of the mortgage or a percent of their bills. There are also people who are stay at home moms and they feel like this is the only money they have that they can spend 100 percent their own discretion and without guilt.
I think it would be crushing if I had to ask my husband whether or not I could buy something. How could you want to live that way? I am as passionate about providing a woman with that $300 as I am about providing her with $300,000, which is what some of our top sellers make.
For me, it’s about providing incremental joy in their lives because they have their own money to spend. I really don’t quantify our success in terms of how much revenue the company generates. Our story isn’t a corporate story, it’s the sum of the success of our stylists. And we can be best measured on how many of those people we are making successful.
BoF: Last question. What about your exit?
JH: My exit is going to be an oxygen tank and a stretcher [laughs]! I just want to get really old and one day fall over a trunk show table and die.
Jewelry is a go-to gift for many people during the holiday season and for good reason: it’s shiny, bright and sparkly. Exactly what every girl loves! But we have enough diamond heart pendants and sterling silver link bracelets…. So, this holiday, step out of the (jewelry) box and gift some unexpected–yet beautiful–gold, silver, hematite or rose gold pieces. No matter who the recipient–whether it’s mom, grandma, sister, best friend, girlfriend or wife–she will be delighted.
1.) Classic with a Twist Tiffany Infinity Pendant in rose gold RUBEDO metal
This classic infinity pendant symbolizes unity, but the rose gold double chain makes it unique. And the little blue box that it comes makes it extra special. Perfect gift for: girlfriend, wife, sister
2.) Personal and Delicate Maya Brenner 14kt Gold LOVE Bracelet
Include her initials, or create any word up to 4 letters – comes in 14kt yellow, rose or white gold. Perfect gift idea for: friend, sister
3.) Say It With Charm Stella & Dot Personalized Charm Necklace
Create your very own gift by choosing a sterling silver or Italian bronze gold initial, birthstone, symbol, or word that is sure to charm any recipient. Perfect gift for: Anyone! Mom, grandma, friend, sister, wife… you name it!
4.) What’s Code for “Cool?” Morse Code Silk Monogram Bracelet
Who uses morse code anymore? You do! Choose from 8 different colors and customize it with 1-, 2-, or 3-letters of your choice. Perfect to give to a newlywed with her new last name. Perfect gift idea for: Friend, sister
5.) A Little Cheer for the Ear Stella & Dot Serenity Stone Gemstone Earrings
Less than $50, colorful semi-precious stones, and 8 different colors & sizes. What more could you want? Perfect gift idea for: mom, friend, sister, wife
6.) Poppin’ Bottles, Figuratively Kate Spade Pop Fizz Stud Earrings
12kt gold plated stud earrings are fun when they have the words “pop” and “fizz.” Pair with a bottle of champagne and you’ve got yourself a cheeky, unexpected gift! Perfect gift idea for: sister, friend, hostess
7.) A Little Lace Story Stella & Dot Chantilly Lace Cuff & Earrings
These are best-sellers for a reason: jewelry designer Blythe Harris made a mold out of a piece of lace from her grandfather’s turn-of-the-century lace factory. She then made these beautiful jewelry pieces out of the lace mold. Who wouldn’t want some gilded lace from the 1900s? Perfect gift for: Anyone! Wife, mom, sister, friend.
8.) Make A Statement
Stella & Dot Pegasus Necklace & Femme Fatale Necklace
Every woman wants a “wow” statement piece, but usually doesn’t treat herself. So give her a surprise treat under the tree this holiday season and wrap up a gorgeous, hand-woven, handmade statement necklace from Stella & Dot. Perfect gift for: wife, girlfriend, sister
9.) Jewelry Worthy of Game Day Cathryn Ann Designs Game Day Sports Team Tassel Bracelet
Ravens fan? Never miss a Celtics game? USC alum? Finally some team gear that’s totally cute! Wear your colors proudly with this adorable tassel bracelet. Psst, guys, this is a great way to include your clueless girlfriend in your sports lifestyle – just don’t forget to explain the rules without rolling eyes & keep a freshy in her hand at all times. Perfect gift for: girlfrend, friend, sports enthusiast
10.) Start ‘Em Young Stella & Dot Little Girls Jewelry Sets
Don’t forget some sparkly baubles for your granddaughter, niece, goddaughter, etc. A little sparkle on a pink chain, or a trio set of butterfly & heart earrings, would make any girl squeal with delight. Buy any 3 for $55. Perfect gift for: granddaughter, niece, little girls