“When I started making jewelry in my living room people thought I was crazy. I thought, ‘Yes, I am! But who cares–I’m on my path to happiness.” ~Jessica Herrin
Direct sales companies have made their mark creating freedom and flexibility for women across the United States with brand like Avon or Mary Kay. The next generation of direct marketing models is being led by Jessica Herrin of Stella & Dot, a jewelry company that is growing at a highly unusual rate. Entrepreneurs can work from home by promoting and hosting trunk shows to sell fun and modern pieces of jewelry.
Herrin wanted to create a business built around empowering women who want to make money from home without having to deal with setting up e-commerce or distribution. The sales force is made of women, called “stylists” that sell pieces of jewelry to people they know by hosting shows, but then also have the option to market online and get repeat customers. She calls Stella & Dot a model born out of a dream business designed by women, for women. Jessica Herrin had founded Weddingchannel.com at a young age and sold it to The Knot in 2006. Her success had taken control of her life, she says, and after selling the business she wanted to build a model that would allow flexibility and low overhead to any woman who wanted to start a business of her own. It was important to Herrin to build the company slowly at her own pace so that she could also have time to be a mother and friend.
Today, Stella & Dot is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and Herrin says her motivation comes from a love of risk and love of family. Now that her daughters are a little older, Herrin has brought on venture capital investors and gone global, launching in Germany and the United Kingdom last summer. She expects Stella & Dot sales to reach $1 billion in sales by 2015. When asked if Stella & Dot will become a publically traded company, she says her main focus is to make sure that she is creating something that matters. However, Herrin says that no one should call her company big yet, because no one understands how big Stella & Dot will be.