When she was just 24 years old, Jessica Herrin launched the company that became The WeddingChannel.com, the wedding gift registry site that soared to fame, eventually catching the attention of Oprah. “While I created commercial success, I really didn’t achieve life success. I ended up with a business I felt was running me rather than me running it,” recalls Herrin. “I worked nights and day all, around the clock.”

CREATING OPPORTUNITY: As a woman at the mercy of her career, Herrin created Stella & Dot, rescuing herself and a number of her employees who had similarly struggeled in past occupations. Photo: Brook Todd

Forming a blueprint

She sold the site at a juncture in which she’d resolved to start a family while maintaining a career. “I was determined,” Herrin explains, “that when I started my next company, I was going to do more than endeavor to start a business; I was going to start a life.”

“‘You need to find your own confidence and know you can succeed on your own terms.’”

She did more than kick-start her own next venture. She provided income for tens of thousands of women and “a few good men,” she says, who joined her team at Stella & Dot Family Brands, a direct-sales company.

Setting your own hours

“When you control your own hours, you can still work a lot of hours but love your life,” says Herrin. In this current setup, she is able to secure time to attend her kids’ activities, and able to exemplify the role model and source of strength she wants for her two children, ages 10 and 12.

Realizing not everyone’s “passion” is in fashion, Herrin broadened the business to include KEEP Collective keepsake jewelry and EVER Skincare, a botanical-based skin care line. Success stories of Stella & Dot Stylists abound: college students who funded tuition, teachers who made more in one month on the job than they would normally in three months, and women who were able to give up multiple jobs and support their families solely on their Stella & Dot income. The company has paid out more than $350 million in commissions to 50,000-plus experts across its Stella & Dot Family of Brands—all of whom can set their own hours.

Frequently propositioned for business advice, and targeted as a vehicle to support others’ dreams, Herrin penned “Find Your Extraordinary.” In the book, she outlines that happiness comes from cultivating success in others. “We are often the only ones holding ourselves back,” she says. “You need to find your own confidence and know you can succeed on your own terms. The entrepreneurial spirit is the human spirit.”