In the beginning, everything was going exactly how I wanted it.
I grew up a complete political junkie (yes, I was the girl in 5th grade stealing her father’s Newsweek). I moved to Washington, D.C. the day after college graduation and quickly started building a pedigreed resume. I was well on my way to the career I always thought I wanted.
The excitement didn’t last. I think we sometimes get so attached to what we think we want that when we finally have it, it’s hard to realize it’s not quite what we had planned. At Stella & Dot, I’ve had the opportunity to meet fabulously successful people many of whom, like me, didn’t have sales anywhere on their radar before they started.
I was making a living but was just getting by in a tiny apartment, and I felt I was more stressed than a 27-year-old should be. I went home to a wedding in Tennessee and a friend told me about Stella & Dot. I had no interest whatsoever. I always considered myself to be stylish but I wasn’t a salesperson, so it sounded like a cheesy gimmick. Yet, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. The more I looked into it, the more I was impressed with Stella & Dot’s business model, their flexibility and certainly their fun, high quality, stylish and affordable collection. I decided to try it out! I thought that I might do it for six weeks, get some free jewelry out of the deal and my friends and I would laugh about the time I tried to sell jewelry.
Many people start with Stella & Dot on the side. The great thing about what we do is that the job (and its commissions) are completely what you want them to be. On my team, there are stylists who sell Stella & Dot as a full-time business and I have people who supplement their other work with Stella & Dot. Here’s an example of someone who is making Stella & Dot a part-time gig.
The perfect job was right in front of me.
I was lucky enough that the thing I needed to be doing was waiting for me, all I had to do was realize that and reach out and grab it.
One month into being a stylist, I found out that I would be losing my regular job (oh, how I don’t miss the volatility of political work!). I took the opportunity to throw myself into Stella & Dot while I looked for a new job. Still, I simply couldn’t fathom doing anything else other than politics, even as I was getting better and better at being a stylist and making more and more money.
I found a job on a political campaign in Des Moines, Iowa, but very quickly became dissatisfied and disillusioned. I suddenly realized that I had more freedom, more fun and certainly more immediate potential with Stella & Dot than I ever had anywhere else. So I made it my career.
It seems so obvious now, but sometimes recognizing the perfect opportunity takes a few tries. My team features dozens of women who found Stella & Dot to be a better alternative to the jobs they had, some of which they had for a long time. It’s a big change, but a change for the better.
Because the decision was going to affect my life, I had to accept that the decision was mine alone.
I try never to get discouraged for long. Some of the most frustrating things in the world can easily melt away as long as you stay focused on the things you want.
When I decided to do Stella & Dot full-time, I was met with a lot of skepticism. Very few people, even if they were supportive, met the decision with over-the-moon enthusiasm. They perceived it as a risky endeavor, or worse, a frivolous hobby. But I knew about Stella & Dot and knew the potential there, and more than anything, I loved doing it. What the doubters didn’t realize is that I could be my own boss for a change, set my own agenda and do things the way I wanted to while having fun and being stylish. Make sure at least one person believes in you, especially if that someone is you.
Getting the courage to believe in yourself is one of the best byproducts of working with Stella & Dot. Certainly, I had a wonderful group of friends and family who supported me, and many of the stylists on my team remember what it was like when they decided that Stella & Dot was for them.
It’s a long journey, and the best part of every day is getting to take another step.
I started with Stella & Dot full-time in 2010. By April of 2011, I had 100 stylists on my team from all over the country, with the majority from the Midwest. In December of 2013, I became the youngest senior director in the company, and in 2016, a year after the airing of UNDERCOVER BOSS, I have promoted to Star Director, one of the highest leadership positions in the company, and I have nearly 400 team members and growing. I am so grateful.
I sometimes think about what I would be doing now if I hadn’t taken a chance to believe in myself and work for Stella & Dot, but I know I wouldn’t be this happy. It took hard work and some guts, but I already knew I had those, the only difference is that my hard work pays off now in a way it never did before.