Many of you who know me in real life know that in my spare time off from governing this fair nation, I am a stylist with Stella and Dot. I just got back from our annual conference/party, and it was basically what you think being a grown up must be like, when you’re a little girl: thousands of women decked out head to toe in the most awesome fashion, jewelry, bags, spending three days getting inspired by other amazing women, dancing their asses off, enjoying cocktails by the pool, shopping, and getting paid to do it.
Many of you who know me must be sick to death of hearing me talk about it, of posting pictures of beautiful boutique jewelry, of trying to get you to host trunk shows, and basically accessorizing everything that will stand still long enough.
But most people don’t know why I do it.
I happened upon the company by accident, just buying a necklace. But when I came upon it, I was in a pretty dark place. My career was not where I wanted it to be. I was deeply, deeply unhappy sitting behind a desk 10 hours a day. I felt a bit dead inside, like all the creative, colorful juice in me was leaking out my ears day in and day out. And when I was told that I could run my own business, part-time, just by talking to other women, hosting parties, and styling outfits, it was like that scene in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy wakes up no longer in Kansas: everything in technicolor. That necklace became a lifeline.
Since then, I’ve realized that the jewelry is just a platform. Our mission is to give every woman the means to style her own life. We’re a part of a conversation about women in the workplace, balancing work and life, redefining feminine power, and modernizing our notions of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Some people might see a jewelry company and think it’s a small, trivial place to gain have this conversation, especially when our problems are so complicated. But they’re wrong. It’s not about fashion, although that’s great. It’s about empowering the women in your life to know, in their core, that they are not just allowed to be happy, but have an unalienable right to it. That joy is a birthright of all people. And not just for us. By partnering with the Every Woman Counts foundation, we work to provide prenatal care for women all over the world. Maybe it starts for these women, like it did for me, with a small piece of jewelry. But eventually the question will become: how do I make myself this happy, all of the time?
Single moms, women who are trying to get money to leave abusive relationships, students paying their way through school or paying off student loans (holla!) women saving for IVF or for the adoption process, women just trying to leave their 9-5, women looking for a different way to live and to work- these are our stories.
So be patient with me the next time I ask you if you’d like to see a look book, or host a show. I’m not trying to sell you something-I’m trying to share a part of me that knows there’s a better way to make a living, and make a life.