So many women are finding a way to stay at home with their children and still bring in a healthy income working from home. Today we are speaking with Jennifer Tegnerud, who found her perfect home business as a Stylist.
Can you tell me a little about your motivation to join a direct sales opportunity? Did you always want to be a stay-at-home mom?
Well, I’m one month away from hitting my two year anniversary with Stella & Dot actually! I can’t believe how fast these two years went by but then again, as the old saying goes, “time flies when you’re having fun.”
After my first daughter was born, and the drastic life changing experience that it was, I knew that after my second and final child was born I needed something for me again. (I was previously in corporate sales for 8 years before leaving that industry to follow my passion, which was personal shopping and wardrobing. I was a Personal Stylist at Nordstrom for 2 years before starting my own little company to do closet audits but that all went on hold when I had my first child.)
I joined Stella & Dot 3 months after my second daughter was born and 3 years after I first hosted for a friend who used to be a stylist. I needed to get back out there doing what I do best, socializing, networking and styling. This is what makes me feel like me and that I hadn’t lost my entire identity. Staying home with kids is a TOUGH job! I had no idea why I wanted to be home with my kids except that is what my Mom did, what every working Mom said they wished they had done and what society tries to preach to us that is the right thing to do. I realized quickly that is was not for me to be home all the time. I love my girls, but it’s a lot of self-sacrificing work, that I will be honest about, just wasn’t for me.
The direct sales job for a while intimidated me because I had come from corporate sales where you were given most leads and there was not a lot of cold calling. Also the products I sold where necessary for the end user to do their job, in other words, they HAD to buy them eventually. Retail is a whole other ball game, it’s a want sale, not a need sale but I excelled at Nordstrom so I know I could do it. And honestly at first I signed up thinking I would just do a trunk show here and there for friends and clients, wrong! I asked everyone, followed the steps that Stella & Dot teaches you on and bam! I was booking like crazy, selling like crazy, grew a team, won incentive trips, making tons of new friends and just having a blast!
I love the flexible schedule this gives me so I can do other things besides living to work. I work to live and by “work” I mean have fun!
Where did you find your first sales and recruits?
When I started just about two years ago, I found my first sales from friends. I originally just wanted to host, so I had my party set up, but my friend who sponsored me convinced me to make that party my debut trunk show as a stylist. It was a $1000 plus trunk show so I was happy. Then one of my old personal shopping clients from my Nordstrom days, offered to host for me which has turned out to be a group of gals I see at least twice a year.
The first two stylists who joined my team were first my neighbor who attended my first show and immediately wanted to jump in on the action! The second stylist I signed up was my old coworker, a full-time mother of two who I used to work with in the laboratory supplies/biotech industry. Both of these women, one who is a stay at home Mom and the other, a full-time career mom, have really taken the reigns and run with this flexible entrepreneurship opportunity and it has been a blast watching them go! This is so fun it’s hard not to want every single person I know to sign up.
How many hours per week do you work your Stella & Dot business?
As Jessica Herrin intended (our CEO and founder), this is a flexible business, that works around your schedule and life. I have two little girls that are almost 4 and just turned 2 so as you can imagine my hands are full when they are not in preschool. I spend a good 3-5 hours a week on office work like booking, sponsoring and hostess coaching and coaching my team. My trunks shows usually last at least 3-4 hours, plus travel time. In my slowest months I might work 2-4 hours a week, meaning 1 trunk show every 2 weeks, but we are now coming up on my craziest time of the year where I spend easily 20-25 hours a week through Christmas!
It is so exciting! Everybody likes to shop now so why not do it at a home party, and yes it’s just fun too, it’s a labor of love really!
What made you choose Stella & Dot over the other options out there?
My history includes corporate sales job where I represented the most boring products imaginable, at least for a gal who loved styling and meeting new people. So I made a huge transition from eight years of corporate to retail, where I was super happy doing what I loved which was personal shopping. After two years, I quit the long hours on my feet to have my girls, and then I realized that staying at home 24-7 with babies was not for this social butterfly! So I had hosted with Stella & Dot many times for years but I wasn’t there yet. The timing was finally right to become a stylist three months after my second daughter was born. So there were a few things that went into my decision.
I made a promise to myself after I quit corporate America that I would NEVER sell anything I wasn’t passionate about, thus I have a few criteria for any “job” I take. I have to love the design/product, the corporate philosophy and the community! Stella & Dot is all of that and more. Lastly, I had to make sure my husband was on board. I knew I would be out many hours on weekends and some evenings, and he would have to watch our kids. He has been more than supportive and I am taking him to Jamaica in February on the incentive trip I earned as a thank you to him!
We all have our “why” which is basically our motivation for doing things. Busy is a choice, stress is a choice but being busy doing something you love is passion. My advice is to follow your passion, you love to cook? You love holistic heath care? Clothes? Working out? Great there are all these wonderful companies out there like Stella & Dot.
I personally love Stella & Dot for the supportive camaraderie of other stylists, which has to be my absolute most favorite thing. We are all moms, many of us want to stay home, or quit a FT job to stay at home and still help support the family. I really can’t imagine going back to being micromanaged, having sales minimums, boring work meetings etc.. I will do everything I can to make this work for as long as I can because I really am my own boss and the only person I have to hold myself accountable to is me.
So in the end, when you understand your motivation and it is a driving force in combination with your love of the product you really can’t go wrong in Network Marketing because again, you will find that community of like-minded individuals and you won’t feel isolated and alone in your home!
What are some favorite resources or tools that you can share with your fellow budding entrepreneur?
I was a marketing major in college and I would LOVE to retake some of my old classes to see how much they have changed with social media. Your best tools are other entrepreneurs and the internet! Read up on what works for one person and then read up on what works for somebody else! I feel so blessed that our community of stylists is so creative and supportive. We have multiple Facebook groups for our teams depending on what you want to learn more about. I try to coach my team to success and part of that is to utilize what is given to us on a silver platter.
Stella & Dot has worked hard at providing us with tons of training videos, phone calls, marketing tools etc so that you can log into our website as a stylist and go through when you have the time, again reinforcing the flexible business. The stylists that really want to learn, and be successful, build a team, earn the incentive trips, build a team and earn the money do it all, follow the steps Stella & Dot has shown us, we don’t reinvent the wheel, we just get out there, stay passionate, talk about the fun and business happens.
- Related: How to become a virtual stylist