Wearing S&D’s latest standout pieces, Kathryn is the embodiment of what the accessories line represents. Colourful, bold and bubbly you build an instant rapport with her which is why she has has won such a close circle of customers and a growing team of stylists."
There have been whispers for some time now that the humble high-street store is dying. Faced with an uncertain economy and the ease and access of online browsing, shoppers have become very fickle in the way they purchase. They want it immediately, they want it mobile and they want it made as easy as possible! American accessories giant Stella & Dot offer all this and consistently deliver quality and style right to your doorstep. With its trunk show, personal stylist based approach it’s easy to understand why so many are looking to the range over high street alternatives. I met up with Kathryn Filleul, who brought the brand to the Channel Islands to understand just why it is sending islanders so dotty.
Wearing S&D’s latest standout pieces, Kathryn is the embodiment of what the accessories line represents. Colourful, bold and bubbly you build an instant rapport with her which is why she has won such a close circle of customers and a growing team of stylists. Her passion for the brand shines through and inspires other women to replicate the flexible working model she champions. When we meet she is swapping strategy ideas with some of her fellow stylists, sounding out what works for the Channel Island market.
Kathryn signed up to S&D believing it to be the perfect complement to her existing business selling a Danish clothing range from her garden chalet and at parties. “As soon as I saw the visual impact of the jewellery I knew becoming a stylist was a no brainer,” she explains. The first stylist to sell the range in Jersey nearly a year ago, Kathryn hasn’t looked back since. “The business model just works so well for those looking to earn easy money with flexible working hours, it doesn’t feel like work at all.”
She quickly established the ‘Island Treasures’, a network of stylists in Jersey and Guernsey which she continues to mentor. Her stylists are thrilled to be on board and despite some early scepticism, their families are fully supportive of the business which has afforded them regular family holidays, funded trips away not to mention heaps of discounted jewellery and accessories. S&D opens doors to a community of creative and innovative women and offers up a network of stylists and mentors to provide advice, support and guidance as you start your journey. There is no pressure of sales targets or timescales, you simply work the hours you want to make it fit your lifestyle.
You may have stumbled across S&D before, they have a huge following in the US adorning celebrities from Jennifer Aniston to Katy Perry and in the UK quickly developed ties with leading fashion editors. The range has wide appeal featuring chunky statement pieces to more delicate gold and silver signature items which can be personalised or inscribed. There are even colourful friendship bracelets which would suit a younger clientele and make ideal gifts for special occasions. All jewellery is hand crafted and are pieces of art in themselves with art deco influences and reflections of Mondrian, serving up a beachy, bohemian feel.
Despite its huge success it has always remained important to founder Jessica Herrin to maintain the business model of selling exclusively through independent S&D stylists. Deciding not to stock in retail outlets not only maintains the mystique and allure of the jewellery, but demonstrates her commitment to providing an innovative shopping concept that will allow the modern women a career platform to develop their own business.
Like Kathryn, you can view the business as your main source of income or you can work it around a full time job. Some join as a hobby, whilst others just enjoy access to a revolving accessories wardrobe, exclusive discounts and the social side of being a stylist. With an upfront cost of £169 to join as a stylist the risks are low and the model is made easy with ordering and delivery administered centrally by the brand and advice on marketing, styling and social media provided as part of your joiner package.
So why does Kathryn believe the brand is such a hit? “Shopping is changing and social selling is becoming more prevalent. It’s much more about building that relationship with clients that will last and last.” A home shopping option is also a much welcomed concept for those intimidated by the thought of shopping and styling themselves and those who are happy to receive tips, advice and deliberate choices with friends in a social environment. But behind all this rests the strength of the product, which is always of outstanding quality and most importantly stands the test of time.
With their eyes set on expansion, the Channel Islands are a small part of the S&D network, but one that is certainly taking Kathryn places. Apart from neighbouring Guernsey, she has been to meet with stylists in the UK and attended the annual ‘Hoopla’ conference for stylists in London last year. She also has her eye on the stylist incentive trip which this year will see S&D treat their top performers to a holiday in Ibiza! Stella by name and by design, this new Jersey chapter is allowing Kathryn and her stylists to turn dreams into a reality and reach for the stars.
For more information on becoming a Stella & Dot stylist contact Kathryn on firstname.lastname@example.org