First Look at Spring 2016 Collection and Your Questions Answered Honestly.

There’s no doubt that the Stella Dot Spring 2016 collection is my favorite yet!  And tomorrow is the day!  All the beauties you see here (and so many more) will be available for purchase January 12th.  SD also outdid themselves by adding to their line of “versatile” pieces (my personal favs).  While you’re shopping, taking a look for items marked with a V–those are the pieces that can be worn several different ways (so it’s like buying several pieces for the price of one).  Also, to make room for the new line, many best sellers are now on sale.  Shop the sale here.

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I have received many questions in my inbox about my Stella & Dot experience so I thought I would take a moment to answer some of those questions here.  Some of your questions have been very blunt, and straightforward–which I appreciate.  So here I am, with my very honest answers.

4-FourSeasonsJewels011Photo by Ashleigh and Erik Photography

Your questions answered:

What made you decide to become a stylist? Aren’t you already really busy with your blog and family?
When it comes to their decision to become a stylist, I’ve heard a lot of people say “it was a no brainer”.  And while I completely understand why they felt this way, such was not the case for me (remember, complete honesty here).  I took a long time to make my decision.  In fact, I was first introduced to Stella & Dot shortly after I started my blog 6 years ago.  I immediately fell in love with the brand (as a customer).  Over the years I continued to purchase pieces I loved and even promote other stylists on my website.  A little over a year ago, I attended my first trunk show hosted by one of my dearest friends.  The evening was intimate, full of giggles, junk food and trays and trays of stunning jewelry.  As I held each piece in my hands, I remember the thought crossing my mind “well, this could be fun”…followed by the next thought, “are you crazy, ashley”.  Just what I needed–something else on my plate.  Ben and I had just committed to “simplifying” our life and here I was considering making a huge commitment, in both time and energy.  I quickly buried the thought, placed my order and didn’t think about it again for a long time. In the year that followed, Ben and I both succeeded and failed in our simplification efforts.  Hard as we tried,  we just couldn’t seem to lessen our load.  Each time we removed a responsibility from our plate, we noticed it was our natural tendency to quickly fill up that open time slot with something new.  We noticed our lives had become a revolving door of responsibilities and obligations. Several months back we were living in a hotel while our house was being put back together after a pipe leak.  It was amidst this ultimate chaos that we had our epiphany.  For us…for Ben and me…simplifying didn’t mean cutting back or working less.  For us,  simplifying meant prioritizing.  It meant sifting through the chaos we had created for ourselves and recognizing what mattered most and what was bringing the most blessings to our lives–both emotionally, spiritually and financially.  So we did that.  We sat down and we simplified.  We cut out some things that we love but that didn’t make sense for our family at this time.  And we expanded on the things we noticed as bringing the most joy and opportunity to our family.

So would you think I’m crazy if I told you that our simplification process is what led to me becoming a Stella & Dot stylist?  I’ll explain.  One of the tasks we completed was weighing the time we were putting into certain tasks versus the benefit it was bringing to our family. For 6 years my blog has taken a lot of my time.  Some years I’ve devoted more than others, but overall a good part of what I do on a day to day basis, outside of raising my children, is toward building Little Miss Momma. While LMM is a passion of mine and an outlet for my creative energy, it is also a source of income for my family–I try to always be honest about this fact.  For those who blog or work in the industry, you know there are several ways to monetize a website.  When I sat down to analyze LMM financials, I noticed a hole–a missed opportunity of sorts.  I’ve spent so much of my time promoting and growing other brands and much less of that time in promoting my own endeavors.  I share and help sell products I love every day without financial benefit to my family. And I LOVE doing this–and I’ll never stop sharing other brands and helping other small businesses grow.  But wouldn’t it also be nice if I could share a product I’m passionate about while helping to provide for my family? Yes, yes it would.  Developing a product line of my own was out of the question–such would NOT be simplifying for the Stock family. Rather, I knew I would need to find an established brand whose products made my heart race a bit faster when I held them in my hands.  Now here’s the part that was a no brainer.  Once I made the decision to commit the time and the effort towards providing my family with extra income, I knew the Stella & Dot culture and mission was the most in line with my own.  Not to mention, I could promote my love for their product line with 100% authenticity.

The stars continued to align when I walked into Sawyer’s classroom to meet my new co-room mom who I immediately connected with and who turns out, is a VERY well established Stella & Dot stylist.  What the hec are the chances? I joined Melissa’s team and haven’t looked back.  She’s the most wonderful leader and has helped to mentor me through this whole process.

Is it easy?
Hec no! And I find myself a rolling my eyes any time I hear someone else try to promote any sort of direct sales as “easy”.  Put it this way.  You get what you put into it.  On a week that I devote extra time and attention, I positively see the results.  But this is also the beauty of the business model.  You work as hard and as much as is relative to your life style.  This can be a hobby (extra spending money) or a career.  That’s each stylists decision.

Why SD?  Why not some other direct sales brand?
Because I believe in the product and the mission of the brand.  A company that encourages women to be strong, to be leaders, to find value in themselves and the work they do–that’s a company I ready to stand behind.  Plus, jewelry and bags!!!!

So…is it worth it?
I’ve talked a lot in the past about defining success for ourselves.  Success means something different for each of us and before we go pursuing goals and living dreams, it’s so important that we determine our own definition so we know how to measure our growth.  Vague expectations will only lead to disappointment.  I have to be honest.  I haven’t set specific goals and clearly defined success for myself in regards to SD.  And as a result, at times I’ve been disappointed in my results and other times I’ve surprised myself.  In fact, this little writing exercise has reminded me that it’s time to sit down and write out those goals and measures of success.

I’ve discovered so many fun jewelry lines through your blog.  Will you continue to promote other jewelry lines?
Of course!  I absolutely love to share the brands and products I love with the people I love.  Especially jewelry!  Plus, while my collection of Stella & Dot is ever growing (and glorious), I do still wear other brands that I love and you can always check out my instagram and this blog to learn about the latest pieces I’m crushing on.

I f you have any more questions about my experience as a Stella & Dot stylist or if you are interested in joining my team, email me at: ashley(at)littlemissmomma(dot)com.  Shop here.

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