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Girls Inc. Online

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Meet Jessica: The Business of Starting Businesses

The Business of Starting Businesses

Jessica Herrin, CEO of Stella & Dot, launched a company that helps other women start their own home-based businesses.

Q: Describe Stella & Dot and your role in forming and running the company.

A: Stella & Dot is a company that helps women start their own home-based businesses selling our line of fashion accessories at home trunk shows. We worked for many hard years to design products that customers would love and a website and training tools to help our independent business owners thrive. It hasn't always been easy, but it's always been worth it!

Q: How did you get your start as an entrepreneur? Tell us about a few of the entrepreneurial adventures you had along the way.

A: I have always been a person that has big ideas and likes to do things my way! After high school, I started a business selling personalized books. It was very small, and I didn't make much money, but I learned a tremendous amount. I learned how to find customers, make the product, and manage my money. I went on to work at lots of different startups. I learned everywhere I went, even if I didn't love the job. Starting a business is always harder than you think, so you have to have a lot of tenacity [translation: persistence and drive] to be an entrepreneur.

Q: What were some of the challenges you have faced as an entrepreneur. How did you overcome them?

A: The biggest challenge as an entrepreneur is taking the leap of faith to invest your time and money trying to make your idea a real business. Some people might think you are crazy. But you have to believe in yourself enough to ignore those people, and work hard long enough to make your vision come true.

Q: What advice do you have for girls who might one day want to start their own businesses?

A: Get lots of experience working in jobs will you are young. Pay attention to how they are run and try to think of things from both the owners’ and customers’ perspectives. Ask lots of questions! Find someone who will answer them. Stay observant. Lessons I learned working in the mall in high school still apply today – over 20 years later!

Q: Last but not least, when it's time to relax, what do you do for fun?

A: I spend time with my family and friends. I have a wonderful husband and two daughters that are the light of my life! We play Polly Pocket, do lots of art projects, and run and play outside. I also love to stay active and do lots of running. I know that I have to keep my body strong to have the energy to do my best in my business!