From launching your billion-dollar idea to marketing strategies and finding capital, becoming an entrepreneur can be a daunting process and one that requires taking great risks.
Don’t fear though, Jessica Herrin has been down that road more than once, and she’s ready to answer your burning business questions.
As the founder and CEO of Stella & Dot, a popular boutique-style jewelry website that creates entrepreneurship opportunities for women through in-home trunk shows, Herrin is all about empowering people to carve out their own paths -- including Entrepreneur.com readers.
“I’ve learned a lot from making plenty of mistakes,” Herrin says. “If I can help others get there faster, it will be all the more worthwhile.”
Launching the company in 2003 under the name Luxe Jewels, Herrin spent nights and weekends for the next four years building up the business. (She had a full-time job at the time and was three-months pregnant.) In 2007, after raising money and bringing on a strong management team, Herrin relaunched the company under the Stella & Dot name. To date, the business has provided more than $350 million in commissions to its 50,000 independent business owners, helping Stella & Dot rake in more than $300 million in sales in 2015 alone. The company has also expanded beyond its initial offerings to launch sister brands: KEEP Collective and EVER Skincare.
While quite a feat, it wasn’t Herrin’s first entrepreneurship rodeo. She previously co-founded WeddingChannel.com, which was sold to The Knot in 2006 for $61.7 million in cash and 1.5 million company shares (each valued at $18).
Because of her success in the world of entrepreneurship, Herrin has been paying it forward. She recently wrote a book, Find Your Extraordinary, which details how founders can create a fulfilling and successful life for themselves. Herrin shares her successes and failures in order to teach entrepreneurs how to find happiness and be extraordinary inside and outside of business. It quickly became a Wall Street Journal bestseller.
While many would view Herrin as someone who has “made it,” has been wildly successful) she knows she couldn’t have done it without help. “With a lot of hard work and a healthy dose of good fortune, I have created several successful businesses, but I didn’t do it on my own,” she says.
Fortunately, she has also signed on to be our expert for the month. As someone who has taken a need and capitalized on it, Herrin is the perfect entrepreneur to ask about startup ideas and how to get there. Think: entrepreneurship, funding, coming up with the idea, building a team, pivoting, strategy, driving a business to scale.Submit your questions in the comments section on Facebook or tweet us, using the hashtag #ENTexpert. One topic will be selected by the editors of Entrepreneur and addressed by Herrin in a weekly write up.