This is not just about Stella & Dot's story but my story with Stella & Dot.
(Because, let's be honest: this video makes me wish I could become a stylist all over.)
If you aren't familiar with the company, Stella & Dot is a boutique-style jewelry and accessories line. But more than that, Stella is a social selling company that creates flexible entrepreneurial opportunities for women.
I had only heard the name Stella & Dot in passing before it suddenly became part of my life. On May 30th, I learned that I needed surgery and that the surgery would be taking place on July 23rd - not even two months later. As a graduate student without sick-time or vacation days, I immediately began panicking at the costs of flying to New York and taking off of work for four to eight weeks. At the same time, my friend Maralyn approached me with an offer to host a Stella & Dot trunk show for my benefit. Of course I said yes.
Not only did she host a trunk show, she coordinate our business-owner friends - my tribe - to turn it into a giant celebration of and fundraiser for, me. Not only did the event cover the costs of my travel and my expenses in New York, it was one of the best nights of my life. (You guys, my brain surgery made the news.)
Maralyn could have stopped there but she didn't. Instead, she gifted me a necklace engraved with a 2.0 - an emblem of my surgery - and my new life after - that I couldn't wait to wear. As soon as I got out of my neck brace, that is.
Fast forward eight weeks. It was the day before my 23rd birthday and like most days before a milestone (a birthday, a new year, a new semester), I was feeling contemplative about the year that had passed and excited about the year that was to come. Amidst feelings of thankfulness for the support I had received in my 22nd year, and feelings of frustration at missing 'fun' during month of being sick, Maralyn reached out to me about joining Stella & Dot.
My first thought was.. well, no. And then, I realized that Stella & Dot had given Maralyn the opportunity to help me when I needed it most and perhaps I could use Stella & Dot to pay that forward. (Spoiler Alert: I have. And will continue to. It's my favorite part of this 'job'.)
I joined Stella & Dot three and a half months ago on a whim. I didn't realize at the time that I was finding yet another tribe - a tribe of women passionate about jewelry, about entrepreneurship and about women. I've been able to contribute to my favorite cause, to earn a new accessories wardrobe, to meet new people, and to pass on the gift of entrepreneurship to other women.
While having brain surgery may have been the best decision I made in 2014. Joining Stella & Dot was definitely my favorite decision of the year.