excitement surrounding an event or situation, especially when considered to be unnecessary fuss:“the hoopla and ceremony of international competition”
Stella & Dot’s annual empowerment conference filled with amazing sessions, swag and sisterhood.
“This year’s Hoopla will be a gamechanger!”
So, in case you’re wondering, I have never taken a trip by myself that wasn’t to directly visit family. I’ve flown alone dozens of times so that doesn’t make me nervous but the idea that when I get there, I’m on my own! I also have to take a taxi on my own! Another first! These are just a couple of a LONG line of anxieties I’ve got going on right now…
When I started my Stella and Dot journey, I knew I was going to have challenges. My love for the brand values, the mission and of course, the jewelry, was inevitably not going to be enough to thunderbolt out of the gates. I am a shy person, I don’t have a ton of girl friends and let’s face it…I’m not the size or shape of someone you’d typically take fashion advice from. Needless to say, I had my skeptics and naysayers but when I was feeling a little discouraged, a supportive mother was all I needed to take the plunge.
My reasons were two fold:
1. Superficial – The investment is low and even if I never made a single sale, at least I’d have a bunch of new cute jewelry. I mean really, you get $350 worth of jewelry plus business supplies with your $199 investment! (And that’s without any of the fantastic promotions they have!) That alone is reason enough to become a stylist!
2. Deeper – I was stuck in a funk. I was sad, stressed and overwhelmed with my desire to just DO something. I saw it as an opportunity to get out and meet new people, make a little extra cheddar, and gain a little confidence. I needed help to get out of ‘Mommy Mode’ and find myself a little bit.
Now, my expectations were/are realistic. I did not anticipate suddenly that I would have 1,000 Instagram followers (Follow Me 😉) and be Diamond Director in six months. I expected to have a couple shows and slowly build my customer base and that’s exactly what I’ve been working on. Albeit on the slower side.
When I decided that I wanted to go to Hoopla, it was a changing point for me. I was doing okay and having fun with my business. I loved the idea of a trip to Vegas and the free credit that came with early registration. Then my business hit a wall. My pool of people shrank rapidly, I lost the confidence that I had just begun gaining and it suddenly felt like there was not enough time to get to where I wanted. I can’t lie and say that I wasn’t discouraged and possibly even on the verge of giving up…the thought definitely occurred to me. However, the trip was already paid for back when we actually had a little bit of money to spend and the thought of wasting all that money was not something I want to even consider. So I figured I’d go, get some swag, possibly meet some new friends, hear the great Brene Brown speak and just maybe get a little inspired. So, that was my plan for Hoopla.
I started this post on the plane to Vegas. I am now two days home from Vegas and just now able to sit down and finish it. Holy Hoopla! To simply say this has been incredible experience would be a disservice to you and myself. So, let me tell you all about my awesome experience at Hoopla.
I am shy as hell… I’m shy, awkward, klutzy and nothing like any of the women that I see selling Stella and Dot. So, a lot of the time before, during and even a little after…my anxiety was through the roof. Had my plane landed a bit on time, I would’ve been left rushing from the airport to my room, drop my stuff off and then immediately down to the conference area having not talked to anybody. I ended up spending most of my flight praying that we wouldn’t crash from the turbulence and that my nerves would be calm and I wouldn’t have a panic attack in front of 3,000 strangers. I feel like God was smiling down on me because we got to Vegas half an hour early. So instead of rushing everywhere, I actually had a chance to check in and go upstairs to meet my roommates for the first time. Do you want to talk about the boldest thing I’ve ever done? It’s gone somewhere where I know absolutely no one, in a city that I know absolutely no one, to try to better myself and my business. Because that’s what I did and let me tell you before Stella and Dot, I don’t think I could’ve ever done that. So at the very least, I can say that my confidence is in fact growing.
We started the conference off with a welcome to new stylist where we learned the Hoopla dance and were introduced to Hoopla in a way reminiscent of something you’d
see at Girl Scout camp. It was fun and cute and was followed by opening sessions. Wow, was it incredible! We watched Danielle Redner jump out of an airplane, inspiring us to be BOLD. Our CEO and Founder Jessica Herrin guest DJed before setting us up for an emotional and inspiring session. The highlight of the day was of course watching the Real Women Fashion Show. Blythe Harris is our Chief Creative Officer and the genius behind our style inspirations. She’s amazing and to see her styles come to life on the runway was breathtaking. As a newbie who has loved this company for years, I thought all the shows were run this way but apparently for the first time they used us stylists as models. It was incredible! This tribe of women is so supportive and encouraging. Sure there are a few bad apples here and there but to see the way they encourage one another in business and in life, I couldn’t ever have imagined.
Of course , we ran late. (How could you not with all that awesomeness?) Lunch was a
mad rush and the sneak peak collection viewing got mixed up but we survived and made it to the breakout. We had several to choose from but only six slots to fill so there was no way that I could see all of them. It was kind of like San Diego Comicon except our celebrities are Instagramers, Youtubers and just all-around great Stella and Dot stylist and head office folks. Throughout the sessions, I got insight on how to better run my business. with panels on rocking live and online style sessions, sponsoring new stylists, growing my market, and my personal favorite..getting to hear from the experts about how they run Stella & Dot. Sessions were fantastic and well paneled but the best part about it was just the ambiance of the whole week! Stylists were complementing other stylists, teams were uplifting other teams and just the pure joy of being surrounded by women who are ‘unapologeticly feminine’ just like our new brand logo. I was drawn to Stella and Dot because of their mission and watching these women filled with passion, encouragement, and genuine support…I have never been so glad to start to be a part of something.
The happiness is infectious and was transferred from the hallways and sessions into each of us and everyone who ran into us. That seem carried over into our guest speaker speech Shawn Achor was the perfect pic for Brene Brown’s replacement when she cancelled last minute due to a concussion. Truth be told I had never heard of either of them until Hoopla but I kinda feel like it was kismit that Shawn took over because…I mean, he spoke right to my core. Obviously he’s good because that his job! This is what he does for a living so there was no surprise that he was energetic and fun and well spoken. The surprise was how everything he said affected me and gave me a different perspective in my business, and life. I have just ordered his book (Before Happiness…) and cannot wait to get it and start reading and reflecting with my Gemstones. I left Hoopla with a greater respect for this amazing tribe of uplifting women, an excitement for the future of MY business, and a reminder to find joy in every aspect of the journey. Because this world is full of crap thrown at you in every direction and if I can make just a little bit of the crap seem less…crappy for someone than I’ll be a happy lady.
This is what Stella & Dot does for me. Sure, I’ve got God on my side, my adorable family and loving husband that bring my life meaning but how awesome is it to find something you truly enjoy doing? I am able to help provide for my family by going out and bringing joy and confidence to other women. Now I want to bring the opportunity to YOU! I want to be THAT fool that grows her business and brings my team of ten (or more) to Hoopla next year to experience the fantastic time with me! Let me help you reach your goals and support your why! Whether it’s just to get a discount on jewelry, pay for IVF treatments, vacations or to help your family survive…let’s do this together! So, if you have thought about it even a smidge, let’s talk. It’s too great of an opportunity to NOT share.
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