Jessica Herrin co-founded the venture-backed and now world’s leading wedding site, WeddingChannel.com—at age 24. It earned US $ 25 million in 2005, and in the very next year, The Knot bought it for US $ 90 million. Jessica Herrin, who some term a serial entrepreneur, and mother-of-two delved into her next project without batting an eyelid. The concept for the Stella & Dot jewelry collection was based on a vision to create a company to help today’s busier than ever women succeed with a balanced life.
According to Herrin, “Time is our most precious commodity. My goal was to create a company that fulfills three missions: 1) allow women to thrive as entrepreneurs, 2) provide a career that allows time for family and balance, and 3) provide a service and product women really need. Everyone wants to look good, and nobody can deny the importance of feeling good about ourselves.” To achieve these aims, Herrin launched Stella & Dot.
Part of Jessica’s plan for Stella & Dot was to create a “must-have” jewelry collection that would compete, both in terms of price and quality, with trendy shops and online stores. Taking that one step further, the Stella & Dot unique method of “social selling” provides her customers with the personalized service and expertise it takes to appropriately choose a fine piece of jewelry. “Our clients try on the jewelry in a fun shopping format,” explains Herrin.
Here’s how it works.
Busy women shop and socialize at chic jewelry trunk shows hosted in a home or office by a friend and led by a Stella & Dot stylist across the country and Canada. This friends-and-family approach lets the specially trained Stella & Dot stylists (independent business owners) offer a high level of personal service with ‘how to wear it’ tips in a relaxed atmosphere where people are encouraged to touch and feel the jewelry. Adds Herrin, “the jewelry doesn’t sit inside a case locked up and accessible only by a clerk with limited product knowledge – our stylists help customers choose jewelry with an exclusive ‘hands on’ approach, ultimately combining the best jewelry with the best shopping experience.”
To create her compelling line of jewelry, which has become a favorite among such celebrities as Penelope Cruz, Debra Messing and Paris Hilton, Jessica turned to Blythe Harris. Harris, having studied fashion and accessory design at the Parsons School of Design in Paris, held top positions at DeBeers, LVMH and Banana Republic prior to joining Stella & Dot. Harris, along with celebrity designer Maya Brenner, have created a line of jewelry with variety and style – from vintage inspired pieces to modern, versatile designs, chunky beads, delicate styles as well as a signature Be in Love charm collection. Each exclusive sterling silver or 14kt gold vermeil charm is hand finished. The signature charm collection features initial charms, birthstone charms, and symbol charms, making it easy to personalize a necklace or earrings.
Stella & Dot is now at #4 in the Customer products & services category on the Inc 5000 list, with a 2009′s revenue pegged at $32.8 million, boasting a three-year growth of 3,458.1% ! Named after Jessica and Blythe’s grandmothers, Stella & Dot is a company inspired by, and created for strong women and honors the generation of women that sailed across oceans, went to work, raised children, baked pies and did it all with style, grace and ease.