What does it take to get to the top — without losing your center? Our “Making It Work” series profiles successful, dynamic women who are standouts in their fields, peeling back the “hows” of their work and their life, taking away lessons we can all apply to our own.
When Jessica Herrin started selling jewelry out of her living room, everyone thought she was crazy. She was a Dell executive at the time and already a proven e-commerce entrepreneur. At 24, she had co-founded the site that eventually became WeddingChannel.com. “All of my friends and family were like, ‘What on earth are you doing?'” she told the Huffington Post. “I [said], ‘Trust me. This is going to be fantastic.'”
She has since built her living room trunk shows into Stella & Dot, a direct-sales jewelry company valued at $450 million. The business model resembles the commission-based social shopping and home entrepreneurship models of old — think Tupperware parties and Mary Kay reps — merged with ecommerce, marketed via social media. The jewelry is chic — you can picture most of it being sold at boutiques in New York or L.A. — but the most compelling aspect of Stella & Dot, especially for the women who become sales reps or “stylists,” may be the way Herrin has positioned the company as an instrument for social good.