Girl Tribe Gang brings you #FierceFemale Features to inspire and give you some fierce insight behind successful women who are doing incredible things.
Today, we’re talking with Jessica Herrin, CEO and founder of the Stella & Dot Family Brands.
Girl Tribe Gang asked if she could take us behind the scenes of her entrepreneurial journey and share her insights into what life is like as a business owner.
Here is what she had to say:
Tell us the story behind Stella & Dot
After co-founding the WeddingChannel.com, the world’s leading wedding site, I had a vision to create a new kind of company that would offer today’s busy woman a career alternative. I wanted to use my savvy to help solve the modern woman’s dilemma: achieving success and balance through a career you love.
Never one to go with the status quo, I felt that the typical home based business just didn’t deliver. With lacklustre product, high pressure sales tactics, and old school marketing methods, inventory was ending up in people’s closets with little profit in their pockets.
My vision called for an entirely new concept that could guarantee women flexibility, reward, style, profit and fun. With an irresistible product and exceedingly personal service, a proven formula for passionate earning and personal success was born. In 2007, I built a world class team including Blythe Harris as partner and Chief Creative Officer. We named Stella & Dot after our beloved grandmothers.
In 2014, I launched the Stella & Dot Family Brands, broadening the impact and mission to give every woman the means to style their own life. Growing beyond the flagship accessories brand of Stella & Dot, the Family of Brands allows women to follow their personal passion to create a flexible social selling business opportunity just right for them as an Independent Business Owner.
Who inspires you?
Honestly – my two daughters. They are my reason why. They make me want to be a better person and make the world better. They sure don’t do what I say all the time, but my actions will be an example for them whether they are good or bad.
It’s not my duty to dote on them or smother. It is my duty to show them how to be strong, tenacious and live with love, passion, health and integrity.
What motivates you?
It’s my passion to help other women fund their passions on their own terms. That is the Stella & Dot mission.
I thrive when I hear every one of the thousands of stories our Stylists share about what choices they were able to make because they took a leap and started a side gig with Stella & Dot. Less debt, more travel, home remodels, splurges, more learning.
What does success look like to you?
Success is not about having it all, because that is a myth that makes us all feel inadequate, but simply about having what matters most to you.
Life is about choices. Your time should be spent in accordance with your priorities with the goal of happiness for yourself and those you love. Success should look different for everyone.
For me, it’s love. My family comes first. I also want to be healthy and strong, so I won’t sacrifice myself for business success. I will sleep, meditate and exercise before I get consumed by a never ending do list. I certainly didn’t always do this or know this. Self care is essential to true success.
What was your ‘light bulb moment’?
After an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show for WeddingChannel, women reached out to ask me for advice for starting a business of their own. Most were busy moms looking to do something with flexible hours.
At the time, I was in my fourth year of the 80-hour workweek building a venture backed e-commerce business and was run down and miserable. It wasn’t a path I could recommend for others – or for myself much longer. I didn’t have a good answer, but the question “How do I help more women start a business and be happy?” played on a loop in my mind.
Then, when I was on business trip, I ran into a direct-selling convention. A gaggle of convention goers around my mom’s age stepped onto the elevator with me, excited about the awards and recognition they had just received. I admired what the company had done for women, but did not see that approach working for women in my generation.
That’s when it hit me: there was a massive opportunity to innovate the product, brand technology and approach to reinvent flexible business for women. I started with a blank piece of paper, and envisioned a modern social-selling company.
I wanted to help solve the modern woman’s dilemma: achieving success and balance through a career you love. I created the company with the purpose of democratising entrepreneurship.
What is your mantra?
Failure is a necessary part of your success story. It will be a part of the beginning and the middle, just don’t ever entertain it as the end.
What is your golden nugget of wisdom you’d share with other women who are just starting out in business or aspiring to quit the 9-5?
Most ‘overnight’ success stories take years. Starting a business is a marathon, not a sprint.
I learned this through experience.
Most people fail because they stop at mile two.Don’t listen to the voices saying it won’t work. It will, as long as you keep evaluating, improving and applying true effort.
What is your number one #selfcare tip?
If you are creative and ambitious, you will die with an unfinished to-do list.
Never tell yourself the lie you are simply too busy to take care of yourself with rest, exercise and for some bonus points reading and meditation. You can’t serve others if you are a depleted version of yourself. You have to come first.
The rest of the list can wait – it’s going to be unfinished anyway.
Each month Girl Tribe Gang will celebrate the stories of fabulous women who are brilliant at what they do. The aim of this feature is to motivate women who are aspiring to quit the 9 – 5 or just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey.
The women in Girl Tribe Gang’s Fierce Female Feature are no stranger to spinning plates and the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of running their own business. Their determination, passion and spirit is inspirational and representative of the huge variety of talent and ambition within each and every woman in the UK.