Remember Mary Kay? Tupperware? Avon? Grandmothers peddling face creams from neighbor to neighbor, so quaint, almost antiquated? Stella and Dot makes that model of “social selling” relevant for today’s entrepreneur.
First, their accessories collections are designed with an edgy, but affordable chic. Slick leather handbags are clearly aimed at a younger, contemporary customer. Second, the success of their business model is one that succeeds on the social networking and social lives of today’s girls on the go.
What once seemed like a hook for housewives with no professional skills, Stella and Dot actually leverages the skills of the modern working woman’s lifestyle of multi-tasking and multi-title careers. Sales agents for Stella and Dot are referred to as stylists, as their primary function is to act as brand ambassadors. The flexible schedule works for women who already have full time jobs, or are juggling family or supplementing income between opportunities. For some women, being an accessories stylist can be the perfect complement to existing businesses they own, such as wedding planner or personal shopper.
Instead of going door to door, women can throw home “trunk shows” as part of ladies’ night, then follow through with the collection via their own websites, Facebook pages or Twitter.
The Spring 2012 collection was shown at the Stella and Dot offices in Soho last week. I was pleasantly surprised to find how accessible the pieces actually were. Huge, elegantly crafted statement necklaces came in under a friendly $200. My favorite serpent ring was $60. My favorite necklace from the season was a gold-plated piece that was cast from a long natural, crystal shard (wearing) for $79. The design team behind the collection honed their chops from companies like Marc Jacobs, Coach and Banana Republic.
The Stella and Dot collection is not available in retail stores. This helps the stylists offer an air of exclusivity to their product.
Are you ready to join their revolution? Call it Bling for Spring 2.0.