As the CEO of a company that can boast $300 million in revenue, Jessica Herrin’s business practices should be regarded as gospel truth, or at least greatly appreciated. She is the founder of Stella and Dot, an e-commerce site that has made the list for “500 fastest growing companies”. It is both Herrin’s personal drive and success that makes her insight so valuable to any aspiring entrepreneur.
A Void for the Career Minded Mother
Herrin noticed a huge lack of opportunities for the career minded woman who still wanted “time to take care of the other aspects of life” while working full-time. Pregnant with her first child, while dealing with the responsibilities as a middle manager at Dell, lead her to her “aha” moment. Stella and Dot was born. The culture of the company has stayed true to her original vision. It has provided an alternative to the standard 9 to 5 hours for a woman who doesn’t want to sacrifice her family for her career.
A $37 million from Sequoia Capital
Established in 2003, Stella And Dot has become a successful force. That success attracted Sequoia Capital, who has invested $37 million in return for a 10 percent stake in the business. Proving it has become a very profitable business in such a short period of time.
Understanding the success of the “social selling” e-commerce business gives C.E.O, Jessica Herrin’s business practice insights some major credibility. In a recent interview with the New York Times with Adam Bryant, she discussed everything from hiring practices, to advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Who They Are, Not What They Are
Since the company was founded on putting a person first before the profit, it would only make sense that Herrin would take the same approach towards hiring. She tries to get to the real make-up of a person by asking them about their upbringing and influences, aspects that may not be found on a standard resume. Trying to “tease” out whether a person is someone “other people enjoy being around” Herrin says. Is this hiree going to continue the culture of the company.
She also wants to ensure that prospective employees are highly adaptable. “You’ve got to find people who have the mental wiring to see opportunities more than they focus on obstacles” Herrin says. The key is to gauge the level of passion a person has.
Advice for Any Entrepreneur
When asked what advice Herrin had for the budding entrepreneur, she went right back to discussing passion. If authentic passion is not behind the work, one may not be able to survive the inevitable ups and downs of starting any business. She states “Creating something is very difficult. It requires perseverance, it takes a lot longer than you want it to, and it’s a lot harder than you think.”. Therefore, she recommends passion is your best asset.
1. “People also ask: What is Stella And Dot?”. Google. Retrieved 12/15/2015.
2. “Jessica Herrin of Stella & Dot on Remaking Direct Sales for the Digital Age“. Business of Fashion. Retrieved 12/12/2015.
3. “Sequoia Bets $37 Million on Stella & Dot, a Next-Gen Mary Kay“. All Things D. Retrieved 12/13/2015.
4. “Put the culture Over the Quarter”. Bryant, Adam . New York Times, ed. 12/13/2015.