Three years ago, I made a decision that would change my life: I became an Independent Stylist with Stella & Dot, a boutique-style line of jewelry and accessories sold only online and through private trunk shows. My friend, Christine, invited me to a trunk show in September 2010; I had seen Stella & Dot on blogs and had visited the website, but I hadn’t seen the jewelry in person. I remember walking in Christine’s front door and seeing the table with all the jewelry – it was love at first sight! I bought a necklace and a pair of earrings, and the stylist, Allison, asked me at checkout if I wanted to host a trunk show. Without any hesitation, I said yes!
I took a look book home with me, and as I paged through it, I realized I loved everything I combed the website for information about becoming a stylist, and a week later, I called Allison and told her I wanted to sign up. I had never considered doing anything with direct sales. Like many people, the idea of a “home party” conjured up images of women sitting in a circle, burping plastic containers, and it just didn’t appeal to me. But Stella & Dot’s merchandise was so irresistible I wanted it all, and the only way I could do that was to be a rep for the company (after all, I had to buy samples for my business!)
At the time, I was teaching second grade and taking care of my mom, who had stage IV ovarian cancer, and I just wanted to do something fun and social that didn’t have anything to do with children. I had so much fun doing my part-time job that I decided to quit teaching and focus on my career as a stylist, in addition to homeschooling, tutoring, and continuing to take care of my mom. Stella & Dot and my homeschooling job gave me the flexibility a traditional school job didn’t, and when my mom was dying last October, I was able to concentrate on her care without worrying about being away from a classroom.
But Stella & Dot has been more than that for me. It has brought so many people into my life, people I never would have met otherwise. From my fellow stylists, with whom I have become very close, to customers and hostesses who have become friends, to members of the networking group I joined, my life has been enriched beyond anything I hoped for when I joined three years ago. I have done things that I would have thought were impossible, like going to a blog conference and meeting bloggers who are encouraging me to pursue my passion for writing. I also had the opportunity to name a piece of jewelry in the Spring 2013 Collection, so my mom will live forever on the wrists of Stella & Dot stylists and customers all over the world, which makes me very happy.
There are ups and downs in the business, like any job, but joining Stella & Dot is still the best craziest thing I’ve ever done. I’m so grateful to my friends and family who have supported me from my very first trunk show. Nothing makes me happier than to see them wearing their jewelry or carrying one of our bags. I hope they get as much pleasure out of accessorizing with Stella & Dot as I do showing it to them!
So, Happy Stellaversary to me. I can’t wait to see where this company is going, and I am so lucky to be a part of it!
You can read about Stella & Dot’s founders, Jessica Herrin and Blythe Harris, here.
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