Why Stella & Dot continues to trend in the MLM space

Trunk shows, independent stylists, boutique-style jewelry…if there’s one thing this MLM has down pat, it’s the lingo.

What fashion-loving woman wouldn’t want to hold “trunk shows” in her home, score free jewelry, work in “social selling” and be able to call herself a professional “Stylist” on her Facebook page? (That is, of course, until her network marketing tactics cause everyone on Facebook to unfriend her.)

Stella & Dot may seem like the typical MLM, but what’s not typical about these guys is that they’re still trending after a decade in the game.

Does this mean I’m involved?

This video explains everything:


Make sense? Either way, here’s the full review on Stella & Dot.

Overview

Stella & Dot was founded in 2007 in San Francisco by stylish power-duo Stanford grads Jessica Herrin and Blythe Harris. [1]

Both were already successful entrepreneurs – Herrin’s business know-how had already led her to start WeddingChannel.com and be featured on Oprah, while Harris’s creativity put them over the top with fantastic designs created by the same people who work for places like Neiman Marcus and Fred Segal. [2]

Jessica Herrin had actually dropped out of Stanford Business School to found her first successful company, which she eventually sold 5 years later for $78 million – sounds like a lot of top entrepreneurs. [3]

Stella & Dot caught on fast. It’s an Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Company. [4]

Their designs have been featured on Gossip Girl, In Style, and Lucky Magazine.

Jessica Herrin has grown Stella & Dot’s revenue exponentially, reaching upwards of $300 million annually. Herrin herself is worth $135 million, making her one of Forbes’ “Self-made women to watch”. [5]

She’s inspired her distributors for sure, but her reach goes even further now that she’s publishing a book called Find Your Extraordinary, which is all about helping people “dream bigger, live happier, and achieve success on your own terms.” [6]

Everyone from The Today Show, Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times has praised their “innovative social selling model”. [7]

But if there’s one thing MLMs are best at, it’s rebranding – isn’t this just a new name for the same old direct selling game?

Products

Stella & Dot sells stylish, expertly designed jewelry and accessories and caters mostly toward women. The categories of their products are:

  • Jewelry
  • Bags
  • Accessories
  • Collections
  • Covet (their luxury line of fine jewelry and leather accessories)

Their jewelry is designed in San Francisco and New York by top designers, and it is very cute and trendy. Their products have been featured on Vogue, In Style, and The New York Times. Half their collection is under $50.

Jewelry includes everything from necklaces, earrings, and bracelets to rings, charms, watches, and jewelry display and storage. A good amount of their jewelry is under $100, with earrings in the $30-50 range and necklaces in the $50-100 range. Not cheap, but neither is their quality.

Bags include purses, clutches, totes, wallets, and weekenders. Wallets and clutches are in the $50-100 range whereas purses and weekenders range from $80-150.

Accessories include sunglasses, scarves, tunics, sarongs, and bag charms. Scarves are around $50-70, sunglasses around $100-130, and sarongs are $49.

Covet is their more expensive “luxury line” featuring fine jewelry and leather goods. The jewelry is 14k gold and some include diamonds, while the bags are crafted from pebble-grain leather. They’ve got yellow gold and white gold necklaces in the $300 range and leather bags from around $100-250.

Again, they’re masterful when it comes to marketing these products and pushing the image of high-fashion. Aside from calling their parties “trunk shows”, their Covet line encourages people to host “pop-up shops” (way to ride the trend wave) featuring these luxury items.

They also have a look-book featuring looks put together from their various items. [8]

Opportunity

If you do decide to become an Independent Stylist and host Trunk Shows, what does your income really like?

You get free product, definitely. A trunk show could score you $250+ in free jewelry if you can rally up your #girlsquad to buy stuff from you.

  • If you sell $300-499, you get $45-75 in free product and 2 50% off items
  • If you sell $500-999, you get $100-200 in free product and 3 50% off items
  • If you sell $1,000+, you get $250-500 in free product and 4 50% off items

Overall, Stella & Dot has paid over $300 million in commissions to 50,000 stylists. That’s actually not bad. [9]

It’s an average of $6,000 per distributor. Believe it or not, this is better than most MLMs.

The commission plan is also very simple and transparent.

Personal sales commission is paid out weekly, and it starts at 25%.

25% isn’t bad but it isn’t great. That being said, you can up your commission rates with their monthly power seller bonus:

  • 2,500 QV+ gets you 30% commission
  • 5,000 QV+ gets you 32% commission
  • 10,000 QV+ gets you 35% commission

Then, of course, you’ve got your team sales commission.

Payouts are based on CV, and you can earn down to your 5th generation, but only if you hit a double diamond director rank.

Starting out, you make 4-6% on your level 1 recruits. A few jumps in rank will get you 8% on level 1 recruits and 3% on level 2 recruits.

Commissions on level 1 get up to 10% and level 2 gets up to 5%. Generation 1-5 commissions vary from 1-2.5%.

There are also some one-time promotion bonuses. If you can get up to the high-level ranks these bonuses hit the 5-figures, which would be awesome except that it’s near impossible to get that far.

Recap

So, this is a trendy MLM that can definitely attract recruits and grow. And the founder knows what she’s doing for sure.

Having a good product, growth, and fun opportunities for distributors is great but it doesn’t mean you make a killing. And with MLM, you almost never do.

But it’s a fun side gig, especially if you’re into jewelry.

If this is something you’d have fun with and you have a nice warm market of jewelry buyers, you could go ahead and give it a shot and see how it goes. Just don’t plan on getting rich overnight.

Stella & Dot is still MLM, and MLMs are known for getting hot and then falling off the grid just years later.

If you like automated ways to build passive income, there are better ways.

(and you can trash those old MLM habits, too)

Meet the Author

Jeremy Page

Jeremy Page teaches network marketers (company cheerleaders) how to build a real business. Far from a hater, he still LOLs at 3-way calls and building "downlines". If you like Monday morning conversations with your kids by the pool, you might like this.

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