Stella & Dot’s Jessica Herrin on

Starting a Small Business

“Stella & Dot is an accessories company that sells exclusively through independent stylists who can set up their businesses from home. It’s a business in a box, that works when you want to work and that you can scale and grow without having to deal with accounting, fulfillment, raising capital, etc. I started the company in 2004 out of my living room. In 2007, after having two children, I was ready to raise capital and take the company to the next level.”

Jessica Herrin’s Tips:

  • Passion is essential. You need to make sure that you’re passionate about the product you’re basing your business around and that you are soulfully connected to the mission of the company. When I started, I truly felt that I had something that needed to exist and I needed it to be successful.
  • Recognize that your original concept will evolve and that your product is completely separate from your business. You need to evolve both of these concepts separately and at the same time.
  • Get input from friends, family, and people that you trust and iterate your idea over and over. Through conversations, your concept will evolve and grow strong.
  • Be tenacious. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Recognize that your biggest failures are just a precursor to your success. If you fail fast and change your ideas by learning from your failure, your business will improve.
  • Don’t go it alone. Surround yourself with people who will support both you and your business. Make sure that you can share your goals with a partner or even a board of advisors.

I wish I had known…

I wish I had known that passion makes up for experience. In terms of hiring, if the person you’re considering bringing on to the team has years of experience and an amazing resume, it won’t get you anywhere unless this person is also as committed to and excited about the business as you are.