From time to time I like to take a glance at local Detroit-Metro businesses leading the way in the wedding industry. The "Spotlight On" series helps brides find the best of the best, and offers some unique ideas to brides on most every budget.
I recently spoke with Kelli Robinson, an Independent Director with Stella & Dot who serves our local region. Kelli gives us some background on what Stella & Dot can offer while at the same time gives her expertise as an independent stylist.
Tom Santilli (Bride's Guide): So in a nutshell, what is Stella & Dot?
Kelli Robinson (Stella & Dot): My mission to help women style their own lives. I feel like it’s an incredible privilege to be here in Detroit helping to empower and style these amazing women. At Stella & Dot, we get great joy out of designing irresistible jewelry. And yet, jewelry is just the tangible expression of something much greater we are creating. We have a vision of the world where strong women live bold and joyful lives. We know what we want and we work for it. We inspire one another. Passion and Joy are our best accessories.
Give us a brief description and some background on Stella & Dot.
The concept for the Stella & Dot jewelry collection began a few years ago when serial entrepreneur and mother-of-two Jessica Herrin had a vision to create a company to help today’s busier than ever women succeed with a balanced life. Her goal was to create a company that fulfills three missions: 1) allow women to thrive as entrepreneurs, 2) provide a career that allows time for family and balance, and 3) provide a service and product women really need. Everyone wants to look good, and nobody can deny the importance of feeling good about ourselves. To achieve these aims, Herrin launched Stella & Dot.
Part of Jessica’s plan for Stella & Dot was to create a “must-have” jewelry collection that would compete, both in terms of price and quality, with trendy shops and online stores. Taking that one step further, the Stella & Dot unique method of “social selling” provides her customers with the personalized service and expertise it takes to appropriately choose a fine piece of jewelry.
So how exactly does that work for a bride or someone interested in buying jewelry?
Busy women shop and socialize at chic jewelry trunk shows hosted in a home or office by a friend and led by a Stella & Dot stylist across the country and Canada. This friends-and-family approach lets the specially trained Stella & Dot stylists (independent business owners) offer a high level of personal service with "how to wear it‟ tips in a relaxed atmosphere where people are encouraged to touch and feel the jewelry.
How did you get involved with Stella & Dot?
About a year and a half ago, I saw a darling vintage-inspired necklace in a magazine...I went to the website and it said “Host a trunk show and earn $100’s in free jewelry” and I was sold. I got one of the fabulous Look Books and couldn’t stop looking at it for a week straight. I had a lot of my beloved grandmother’s jewelry, and when I found out that Stella & Dot was named after the founders’ grandmothers’, I felt a strong connection to their vision and design inspiration. I could tell there was something special about this company and knew I had to give it a try!
So now specifically for a bride-to-be, describe this Trunk Show and how it would work?
Well first, I do Trunk Shows for any group of women, not just brides. At our at-home trunk show, the bride and all of her girlfriends get to take a moment out for the busy-ness of wedding planning to have a laid-back Girls Night Out- trying on the hottest jewelry over cocktails. The hostess is then totally spoiled with incredibly generous rewards- typically earning at least $250 in free jewelry, plus half- priced items, just by having some girls over to play with jewelry!
Say someone is interested. What do they need to do?
This will be the easiest thing you do- I do all the invites, bring the jewelry- all you have to do is invite everyone you know and give me a table- I take care of the rest!
As you know, wedding are expensive and there is always a push to "cut corners" so to speak, and save a bit of money when planning the wedding. How does Stella & Dot fit into this way of thinking?
Actually it’s remarkable how the Michigan Stylists have consistently high some of the highest sales in the Midwest (even the country some months!). With our attention to detail, on trend style, rigorous product quality, and amazing price point (over half our line is under $50!) my customers find incredible value in our product.
What would you say is the most rewarding part of what you do?
I love being able to be a stay-at-home mom and still significantly impact my family’s financial situation. I love helping women style their own lives and I get so much joy out of helping each customer choose the perfect piece that makes them feel amazing about themselves!
So is there any lasting advice you'd like to give to a bride?
At Stella & Dot, we’re all about exceptional customer service. If hosting a trunk show doesn’t seem realistic right now, see if one of your friends wants to do one (I hook my referrals up with free jewelry as well). Or in lieu of having a trunk show, I love hooking my brides up with free jewels when they order jewelry for their bridal party! Contact me for details!
Here are some great links from Kelli Robinson (Stella & Dot):
Tom Santilli has been in the Detroit wedding industry since 2002, and in that time has established himself as one of the top in his field. His company, Complete Video Solutions , was named as the #1 Best Wedding Videographer in Detroit by local brides and Channel 4 FIVE consecutive years and is currently inducted into TheKnot.com's "Vendor Hall of Fame." He also has won several awards for his wedding production, and is a member of WEVA (Wedding & Event Videographers Association.) As the Detroit Wedding Examiner, he has helped hundreds of brides with their weddings, with a local knowledge not found anywhere else. Being in the industry for so long, he is an expert in all areas of wedding planning, not just videography. He welcomes your questions, article suggestions, or feedback, and he can be reached