Jessica Herrin has been a successful entrepreneur since she was 24 and co-founded the venture-backed company, Della & James. The business eventually merged with WeddingChannel.com and was later sold to The Knot.
During that time, she worked 24/7 and was featured on Oprah and women across the country reached out to her for entrepreneurial advice. But she found that she couldn’t genuinely recommend that they start a business the way she had done it, because it left her no time to be the wife and mother that she wanted to be. She became passionate about starting a company that could take away some of the financial risks and hurdles that many would-be female entrepreneurs often found too daunting.
She knew absolutely nothing about direct sales, other than some people said it had a shady reputation. She became a student of the industry and ignored the doubts and criticisms of others, believing she could change people’s impressions.
As a result, seven years ago, Herrin started what would eventually be renamed Stella & Dot, selling a line of boutique-style accessories through independent sales representatives via in-home shows, online and through social networking platforms. She continued working full-time while three months pregnant to get the company up and running, and later quit her job to focus completely on the company. She also convinced her husband to quit his job so they could move from Texas back to California, where she wanted to grow the company.
She went the next four years without pay, working hard to grow the business. Eventually, she knew she needed more expertise, so she recruited a direct sales veteran to invest in the company and join the board. They raised more capital and began recruiting a management team. In the years to follow, revenue grew tremendously, and today, Herrin is seeing nothing but success.
How to reach: Stella & Dot, (650) 697-7091 or www.stelladot.com