Hoopla 5.0

Hoopla 2014… my fifth annual conference with Stella & Dot! Every year, this is THE event that Stylists look forward to. Yes, it’s technically a work conference, but it’s really much more than that. It’s game-changing training sessions with the craziest, most brilliant VP team out there and learning about the inspiration and craftsmanship behind the most beautiful, on-trend accessories created by a truly world-class design team. It’s inspirational stories of fellow Stylists being in the back of the room one year and then being recognized on stage for their incredible accomplishments the very next year and celebrations of those fellow Stylists and team members’ hard work. It’s sitting poolside sharing not only work tips and strategies, but also personal stories and laughs. It’s endless hours of happiness through dance parties, team parties, and dinner parties with friends near and far, many of whom we only see once a year at this conference.  It’s listening to our Board Chairman’s yearly speech and wiping tears from your eyes because his words are just that beautiful and heartfelt… and also watching him dance on stage for 3,000 women, all of whom are jumping from their seats to cheer him on. It’s way more than a work conference, because through all these things, it rejuvenates me and makes me want to apply what I’ve learned to all aspects of my life. It makes me want to be a better version of myself.

This is kind of a photo over-share for the blog, but I hope this gives my readers/friends/family a glimpse into the happiness, innovation, inspiration, fun, and pure joy that Stella & Dot embodies. Who wants to join me next year?

Hoopla swag bags, including 3 new pieces from the fall 2014 collection::
IMG_4479
My ATL friend Melanie, the Lucky and Lovely lady
IMG_4492
Orlando World Marriott Center – best pool yet
IMG_4766
Faux cousin yearly meet-up
IMG_4499
From college hall roommates to Hoopla roommates
IMG_4553
All opening sessions should include break dancers
IMG_4515
Complete with an appearance by our Global VP of Training, Danielle Redner
IMG_4520
Some love for the ladies in the back!
IMG_4542
IMG_4556
Metallics, geometrics, and bright colors — all big trends for fall
IMG_4559
Day #2 of Hoopla
IMG_4564
Danielle’s re-incarnation as “Danierella”
IMG_4578
IMG_4582
Stella & Dot is partnering with Every Mother Counts, founded by Christy Turlington. Did you know that 1 woman dies every 2 minutes from complications during pregnancy and childbirth? Every Mother Counts is a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. The organization informs, engages, and mobilizes new audiences to take actions and raise funds that support maternal health programs around the world. The sale of just 20 of these bracelets will buy essential medical equipment for midwifery students, pay for two prenatal visits for uninsured women, and buy 6 safe birth kits for mothers-to-be. Can you imagine what we can do as a company through this partnership?
I have a goal to sell 25 bracelets by August 31st — who wants to help make a difference?? Click here to support this amazing cause!
IMG_4593IMG_4608

One of the fall favorites – the Fanella Statement Necklace
IMG_4602
Sutton in gold – wear it 5 ways
IMG_4603
Our CEO/Founder Jessica Herrin and her youngest daughter rocked it on stage for our “Hoopla dance” 
IMG_4606

dinner with Stella friends 
IMG_4726
IMG_4610

Dance party, complete with break dancers and flamingos everywhere
IMG_4621
IMG_4632
IMG_4723
IMG_4668

Day #3
IMG_4737

Hostess bonus through 8/31/14! Who wants a FREE engravable necklace?
IMG_4743
IMG_4754
IMG_4756
Heading home, but not before dinner at the airport with some lovely new friends who didn’t want me to eat alone. Nice people are everywhere.
IMG_4765
Agreed, John, agreed.
IMG_4762

Hoopla, Vegas style:: part 2

Hoopla, part 2! 

For the past 3 years, I’ve gotten to meet up with my “cousin” Katie and her friend Kirsten at Hoopla. Katie and I have grown up knowing each other through our mutual cousin (who would make quite a fabulous Stylist, I might add), so it’s funny that we both ended up working with Stella & Dot, just in different states. I say it all the time, but I just love how S&D brings people together or reconnects them with one another.
IMG_8995

Devon is another shining example of reconnecting — we were hallmates in our dorm freshman year of college and hadn’t seen one another in years. She was invited to a trunk show I did for another girl from that same dorm hall, and Devon ended up signing up as a Stylist on my team. It’s been so fun getting to know each other again and helping her with her business!
IMG_0002
Shannon is one of my Stylist favorites. We met a few years ago at Hoopla and have been friends ever since. 
IMG_0001

3,000 very stylish women packed into a room. This is what Day #1 of training looks like.
IMG_8998

And we have the best leaders out there. Our VP of Training is a crazy Canadian lady whom we all adore and wish we could soak up her incredible energy. She started each day off by entertaining us as a can-can dancer, a show girl, and the King himself — Elvis. None of them disappointed. 
IMG_8999

IMG_9002

I’ve never seen so many pairs of colorful flats in my life. And check out 2 of our new bags — the How Does She Do It in painted zebra and the Madison Tech Bag in poppy. Which is your fave?
IMG_9017

My favorite slide from the entire training program. Of course it was courtesy of our crazy VP of Training, Danielle. Doesn’t it just make you smile?
IMG_9018

For our last night, Chateau, the nightclub at the Paris Hotel, was rented out for our company dance party. Stella & Dot knows how to party.
IMG_9055

IMG_9083

IMG_9056
IMG_0007

IMG_0008

Perfect view to end our trip — the Eiffel Tower on the Strip.
IMG_9090
It’s hard to believe that another Hoopla has come and gone, but there are so many things to look forward to with the new line and all the goodness that fall brings in this business!

Hoopla, Vegas style:: part 1

Another Hoopla has come and gone… and I’m only just recovering. What is Hoopla,  you may ask? It’s only one of the best trips all year — Stella & Dot’s annual conference for Stylists. This was my 4th Hoopla and the first one that’s been in Las Vegas since I’ve been with the company. I think it’s safe to say the trip lived up to the hype. The conference took place at the Paris Hotel, so the theme of “Joie de Vivre” was very fitting.  Join me on a little trip to Paris (in Vegas)!

IMG_8847

IMG_8829
Ok, so this doesn’t look much like work, but it was a fantastic way to start the week.
IMG_8835

IMG_8826

IMG_8846
Without a doubt, this year had the BEST free swag for Stylists. I received the How Does She Do It tote in Painted Zebra,  Union Square Scarf in Painted Zebra (which now comes with a handy little storage bag), Linda Studs, Moxie Stretch Bracelet, and other fun goodies! 
IMG_8855

We started Hoopla off with the fashion show and debut of the new fall 2013 collection, which is always one of my favorite parts. One of my team members, Devon, attended Hoopla for the 2nd time, and I’m so glad I got to share in the fun with her! (And of course my Stylist friend and roomie, Shannon, too!)
IMG_9998

IMG_8871

Who else has legit Vegas can-can dancers at their work conference?
IMG_8919

This year, there was a fun Stylist boutique where we could have our makeup done, portraits taken for new business cards, and sample new Smirnoff flavors. We thoroughly enjoyed it.
IMG_8930

IN LOVE with the new Madison Tech Bag in poppy!!! It has zippers on the sides to make it more compact, the strap is adjustable/removable, and it’s coming out in black in August! This is a definite must-have for the girl on the go. 
IMG_8943

Another favorite thing about Hoopla is the time we get to spend just visiting, celebrating, and learning from with our fellow Stylists from around the country, many whom we only see once a year. I’ve made so many amazing friends through my job with Stella & Dot, and I so look forward to spending this time with them. It’s incredible to see the success that so many of them have achieved over the past year — from earning an incentive trip to Mexico, to being top in sponsoring, or being #1 in sales in the ENTIRE company (I’m looking at you, Alex!). That’s what is so wonderful about the Stylist community — we help and encourage everyone to go above and beyond their goals, and when they do, we CELEBRATE! This year, the Dixie Dots did it in style with a penthouse suite overlooking the Nevada mountains.
IMG_8950
Our Senior Director and leader of the Dixie Dots team, Anna, made awards for lots of our team members. This was mine, which I greatly appreciate. Thanks to Anna for making everyone feel special!
IMG_8992

IMG_8955

You can’t go to Vegas without seeing the beautiful Bellagio fountain show. 
IMG_8991

Or the Chihuly blown glass sculptures in the Bellagio lobby.
IMG_8988

That was one looong day, but so fun and so worth it!  Part 2 coming later this week.

Hoopla 2012, part 2

Hoopla warp-up, part 2::

One of my most favorite things about Stella & Dot is the connections I’ve made with so many new people, and a few old ones, too. After I signed up as a Stylist, I found out that my cousin’s cousin Katie (she’s in the photo below on the left) was also a Stylist. We hadn’t seen each other in probably at least 8 years until last Hoopla. Since then, we’ve kept in touch and I look forward to getting to visit with Katie and her friend Kirsten each year. She’s so fun and is a crazy dancing machine. This photo was taken at our Wonderland Awards Gala, where we  honor so many of our incredible leaders as well as every Stylist’s successes over the past year. The Stylist who earned top in sales sold over $200,000 in jewelry in the past year!! Way to set the bar, Sandy Sembler! She’s such an inspiration — last year, she attended her first Hoopla and sat in the very back. She later told us that as she sat in that back row, she said to herself that she’d be in the front this year… and she certainly delivered, even in the face of a difficult personal situation. It’s women like her who are an inspiration for me to keep going, even when it’s not easy. This company is full of those women, and it’s such an honor to be associated with them!


We were entertained by amazing Cirque performers during cocktail hour, and after awards, about 1,500 women (and a few good men) celebrated with a giant dance party till late into the night.


Our one and only CEO/Founder, Jessica Herrin. I am confident she has the best dance moves of any CEO in the country, hands down. With our company well on its way to being a billion-dollar business in the next few years, she certainly has every reason to dance.


Two of my team members, Devon and Kari, joined me at Hoopla this year! Kari was the very first Stylist to sign up on my team over 1.5 years ago, and Devon is a new Stylist (who lived on my hall freshman year of college!). The training we receive over this short weekend is invaluable for our businesses, and I’m so thrilled that they decided to take part in it. They are already putting what they learned into action, and I can’t wait to see what this year brings for them!


One of my favorite moments of the weekend::
Our Board Chairman, Mike Lohner, flew to SF from London to give a very motivational and inspiring speech and he started it off with a saxophone serenade to “What Makes You Beautiful.” His performance was so unexpected, and it received a huge roar from the crowd, especially with our Executive Team dancing all over the stage!


Our mission has also expanded! We’re now officially supporting breast cancer, autism, and ovarian cancer awareness months with sales of specific items (like our Tribute Bracelet last October for breast cancer). Stella & Dot is making it easy for our customers to look good while doing good!


Q & A with Jessica closed out Hoopla 2012::
One of her favorite words:: BOLD. Not surprising, given who she is and the empire she’s created in just a few short years. Being BOLD is a leap of faith to try something new, like starting your own business. It’s overcoming obstacles and adversity when you think you can’t. It’s knowing that this business is not just about selling jewelry (even though it’s the most stylish, gorgeous jewelry out there), it’s about being able to style our own lives and giving us the power to help others do the same. It’s about believing 6 impossible things before breakfast. It’s about turning the word “impossible” into “I’m possible.”   Thank you, Jessica Herrin, for dreaming big and making it possible for us to do the same.


I think this photo says it all. I can’t wait to see where the next year takes me!

Hoopla 2012, part 1

This time a week ago, I was about to arrive in San Francisco for Hoopla. I look forward to this weekend every year for so many reasons.
1) Stylists who attend our national conference are the first to see and try on our new Fall collection.
2) We get 2 days of training from the cream of the crop — our VP of Training, Chief Creative Officer, Director of Field Operations, and our amazing/gorgeous/genius CEO & Founder. (And we dance to “Call Me Maybe” while we’re at it!)
3) We also get to learn from thousands of our fellow Stylists and leaders from around the US and Canada.
4) Meeting new Stylist friends that you’ve been stalking (or were being stalked by) on facebook… and reconnecting with those friends that you maybe only see once or twice a year. We have teams that span across the country, so sometimes we’re meeting people on our teams for the first time at Hoopla.
5) Prizes!! Lots and lots of jewelry giveaways as well as super fun swag bags for all attendees!
6) It’s a big ‘ol dance party at every event. We love our DJ.
7) Speaking of parties, there are so many welcome receptions, team parties, team dinners, and recognition parties. This year’s awards gala included a special performance by Cirque de Soleil performers!

So yes, it’s a business trip… but it’s really all about the jewelry, isn’t it? The Olivia Bib Necklace is my FAVORITE piece from the new collection. These red-orangey stones will pop over so many colors and prints…. I’m excited to wear it with light pink, mustard, lime, denim, navy/white, and hot pink! It’s such a statement and can really dressed up for weddings or a night on the town — or it can be thrown over a white T or patterned maxi dress for a casual outing. I also adore those Gigi Studs seen below — and they come in black, too!


And speaking of jewelry, here are some prizes from the trip! Stylists received a pair of the new Secret Garden Earrings, which are gold leaves with sparkle down the spine. They’re pretty, dangly, lightweight, and have just enough sparkle. Stella & Dot also debuted a boutique where we could purchase S&D branded items, like mousepads, water bottles, pens, etc. I got several to give out as prizes to my team who couldn’t make it to Hoopla. No, those TB flip flops weren’t part of our swag bags — I have an awesome Sponsor who loves to shower us with gifts.


This was our last year in San Francisco for Hoopla, as we’ve outgrown the conference centers and hotels there. I’ll miss getting to tour around this beautiful city next time, but I don’t know if I’ll miss 60-degree weather and very windy evenings in July! My sponsor Paige did a team dinner on Friday at a neat little place called Salt House. The food was great… the wait time after ordering was not. We didn’t eat until after 10pm, which made for a very late night for us East Coast girls. My favorites were the loaves of fresh-baked bread tossed on the table (I probably ate 1/2 a loaf waiting on the meal to arrive) and the dessert that one of the girls got — lots of peanut butter and chocolate crunchy goodness. I should have just ordered bread and dessert, and I would have made it out of there much earlier.


Had to get a standard trolley photo::

Day 1 of training — Behind the Design with Blythe::
We added 2 new collections — Mod Safari and New Romantics. My darling Olivia is a superstar from Mod Safari — the collection is full of bright colors, animal prints, and designer-inspired pieces from a nod to 60’s style. I’m also really loving the enamel animal bangles. I mean, who can resist blue and gold tigers?? You can’t have a bad day while wearing kissing blue and gold tigers on your arm.

New Romantics is inspired by Victorian estate jewelry. Some of my favorites from this collection are the Tempest Necklace, which can be worn 3 different ways (that’s pretty awesome for a bib-style necklace), the Lillith Fringe Necklace and Earrings, the Starstruck Cocktail Ring, and the Secret Garden Ring. (All are pictured below, except for the SG Ring.) I love the edgy, rocker look that is still very elegant and can be pulled off by a 20-something city girl or a mom in her 40’s.


Our design team is incredible and never ceases to impress me with the collections they release each season. They travel the world looking for inspiration, whether it’s on the streets of Brazil or in a tiny vintage shop in France, and they then bring that to our customers with a fresh new design. We have a world-class design team that hails from the likes of DeBeers, Ippolita, Banana Republic, and Marc Jacobs — and we have in-house model makers that create models of many of our pieces, which is almost unheard of in the fashion jewelry industry. I am reassured more with every collection launch that I chose the right company to be a part of.

Stay tuned for more from Hoopla!

what’s all this Hoopla about?

In honor of my big HOOPLA trip next week, I’m dedicating today’s post to the wonderfulness that is Stella & Dot. What’s Hoopla, you ask? For anyone who hasn’t heard me gush on and on about this trip the past 2 years, I’ll tell you. (Although I’m doubting any of you haven’t had the pleasure…)

Hoopla is Stella & Dot’s national sales conference that takes place in San Francisco each July. The company has grown tremendously over the past couple years, though, and we’ve finally outgrown the conference hotels in SF. Next year, we’re off to Vegas! Anyway, I’m flying out next Friday for a long weekend of the following:

— 2,000+ women decked out to the nines in sparkling jewelry
— 2,000+ of those same women (and a few good men) screaming and laughing and hugging when they see their long-lost Stylist friends from around the country
— the best training from our CEO, VP of Training, Chief Creative Office, Board Chairman, and many other top leaders in the company
— the fall 2012 collection debut
— swag bags and lots of free goodies
— pajama parties
— listening to stories of struggles, heartache, and great triumph from some of the strongest, most amazing women I’ve ever had the honor of meeting
— awards ceremonies and celebrations
— a HUGE dance party, where our CEO will probably be seen on top of a table in 4-inch heels like last year

Now do you see why I’m always so pumped about this crazy thing called Hoopla?? And oh how that word describes it perfectly. Each year, Hoopla rejuvenates my business and I come home feeling like I can take on the world, one sparkly necklace at a time! I’ve made countless great friends through Stella & Dot — they are my hostesses, customers, and fellow Stylists. I look forward to this extra girly “business” trip more than almost any trip I take all year — and I take a lot of trips.

Here’s a little more of an explanation through photos… enjoy!