BOARD OF DIRECTORS
As the brains behind Stella & Dot, Jessica has proven just how one woman can go about styling her life with smarts, courage, and tenacity. After joining two successful tech startups out of college, she went to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where, at the ripe age of 24, she co-founded the now world's leading wedding site, WeddingChannel.com. Jessica's been recognized for her business savvy even more than her style savvy -- Oprah, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Forbes have saluted her for her vision. Taking Social Selling to the next level, Jessica's been honored by Ernst & Young and Inc. 500 as a Top Entrepreneur. She is also actively involved in Young Presidents Organization (YPO) in the San Francisco Bay area. But Jessica is most proud of the recognition she gets from the women of Stella & Dot, who are mirroring her success in reinventing the home business opportunity for the modern woman. Because, as Jessica claims, "nine-to-five just doesn't flatter."
Typical Jessica: Endless optimism. Taking a look at the Pyramids and saying "Hmmm, that actually looks very doable."
Past Itineraries: Rock climbing in Thailand, scuba diving in Egypt, cooking school in Italy, safari in Africa.
Favorite Spot on Earth: Home.
Finds Beautiful: Brains, wit, her daughters’ happy shrieks as they play in ocean waves, and their dreamy daddy, Chad.
Passionate About: Being a great wife and mom. Never giving up. Creating the Stella & Dot Foundation.
Guilty Pleasure: Margaritas and friends on a beach in Mexico. Words with Friends.
Personal Motto: "Be daring, be different, be impractical; be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the Ordinary." Cecil Beaton
Artist, entrepreneur, trend authority, Blythe Harris has trekked the globe studying indigenous design and sharing her vast wealth of knowledge with rural artisans. From extensive study of metalsmithing in Mexico to teaching jewelry design to artisans in rural India, she has taken her passion for accessories design across unexpected boundaries. As a student and artist in residence of the prestigious Parson's School of Design/Paris, Blythe studied sculpture and accessories design. Upon returning to her native New York, she pocketed an MBA from Columbia and was identified as a rising star at haute design houses Cartier and DeBeers. At Banana Republic, she led their dramatic entrée into jewelry and the line's rapid sales growth. Her entrepreneurial leanings arose at an early age. While many college grads were mastering the art of the interview, Blythe was launching Primordial Toys, makers of the award-winning Zoob. Above all, she is a fearless innovator and inspired collaborator who puts the style in Stella & Dot.
Typical Blythe: Perfecting the art of multi-tasking. Constantly sketching on any blank piece of paper. Finding inspiration in anything from French pastries to vintage lace to her children’s smiles!
Past Itineraries: Living with local artisans in Otavalo, Ecuador. Arc welding in Paris. Ice climbing in Bolivia. Going native with a tribe in India.
Finds Beautiful: Cobblestones in Soho, Cy Twombly paintings, daughter Olive's smile, and the light and colors of Jaipur, India.
Gets Her Up in the Morning: Her youngest, Freddie, at 5am sharp. But what gets her out of bed with a smile is the thought of being part of the amazing tribe of bold fearless women at Stella & Dot.
Passionate About: Empowering women globally and the painstaking craft that goes into couture.
Guilty Pleasure: Cupcakes, donuts and Gossip Girl on Monday nights.
A master at creating growth strategies from scratch and making sure they're executed to a tee, Nick brings some serious chops to his role as Chief Operating Officer at Stella & Dot. Nick spent seven years as an exec at none other than Nike, most recently building out its Converse subsidiary as Senior Vice President of International. Prior to Nike, Nick was an arch strategist for 10 years at Bain & Company in London, Moscow, and San Francisco. A graduate of Oxford University with an MBA from Stanford, Nick knows that you need to be organized to be creative.
Typical Nick: 8 cups of coffee before lunch.
Finds Beautiful: His three kids, even when they do very naughty things in public.
Gets Him Up in the Morning: Taking Stella & Dot global! (and coffee and kids).
Passionate About: Going faster.
Guilty Pleasure: Lots of motorcycles.
Personal Motto: Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. -Oscar Wilde
Growing up on a farm in the Midwest, Jeff was more familiar finding used farm equipment at “trunk shows” rather than women’s fashion jewelry. He quickly graduated from the farm to the big city of Chicago where he earned his CPA and started work in various finance and accounting roles at The Tribune Company. Moving to the west coast in the mid-90’s, Jeff found his way to the Walt Disney Company where he served as Director of Finance for their art and collectibles division spreading the love of Mickey to fans around the world – in the most profitable way of course. He then moved to “the dark side” and joined Lucasfilm as their Corporate Controller. Prior to joining Stella & Dot, he was the CFO of the Gymboree Corporation and brings a diverse background of finance skills in consumer product goods and retail industries from both public and private businesses.
Typical Jeff: Arriving early and tirelessly looking for ways to be more efficient, protecting the company from harm and always thinking through the long-term impact of every important business decision
Finds Beautiful: His gorgeous wife and their small vineyard in Sonoma County
Gets Him Up in the Morning: His little dog Ellie pouncing on the bed and ferociously attempting to lick his face
Passionate About: Helping take businesses to new heights – and all Chicago professional sports teams
Guilty Pleasure: Enjoying the magic of a hearty cabernet paired with a deep dish Chicago-style pizza
Personal Motto: If you are not going forward, you are effectively going backwards
Ask Ha about her dream job and she'll tell you about her role heading up Stella & Dot's online product group. She brings 10 years of leadership experience at the vanguard of online product teams, most recently at a little internet company called eBay. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Business School, Ha is a competitive poker player, in spite of the fact that her passion for the Stella & Dot mission is written all over her face.
Typical Ha: Taking her poker rival's money, while still aiming to make them feel better about themselves than before they sat down to play.
Gets Her Up in the Morning: Being a part of creating income opportunities and happiness for thousands of women.
Passionate About: Her three kids—obviously "the smartest and most handsome boys you'll ever meet."
Finds Beautiful: The jewelry she gets to wear "for work," a perfectly cooked dish (can we get a specific), her best friend and husband, Cary.
Guilty Pleasure: Traveling to Boston for hot, buttery lobster rolls at Neptune's.
Personal Motto: Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you is determinism; though the way you play it is free will. –Jawaharlal Nehru
If there's anyone who can teach women the tools to build a multi-million dollar business, it's Danielle. She has 15 years of experience in sales doing just that. After studying broadcast journalism, where Danielle picked up handy skills like voice projection (watch her Stella & Dot training videos and you'll see first-hand) she earned her street cred as a business leader. Her aim was (and is) to teach by example and inspire real women like her to reshape their lives in a way best suited to them. Proof that she's a model of positivity, her kids insist on giving her a big kiss every morning (and they happen to be teenagers).
Typical Danielle: Success on her own terms; she plans to explore Europe and write a book before she dies— regardless of whether anyone plans to read it.
Passionate About: People! She's yet to meet a human being she didn't like ( well, maybe that one years ago).
Finds Beautiful: Pastries in a French bakery window, board games, the feel of fondant in her hands, husband's forearms.
Gets Her Up in the Morning: Belief that life is beautiful and every woman deserves it.
Guilty Pleasure: The latest In Style Magazine with a supersized mug of gourmet coffee on Saturday morning.
Personal Motto: Lead by example and prove people right.
Eduardo has more years in the technology field than he cares to admit. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Eduardo has dipped his toes into all parts of the globe while staying on top of emerging trends in technology. He has held leadership positions at companies including Accenture, Dell, and Johnson & Johnson, collecting a few million frequent flier miles in the process. Eduardo is enthusiastic about good quality software and he'll tell you all about continuous process improvement if you let him. Prior to joining Stella & Dot, Eduardo worked at ideeli, an online retailer based in SoHo, New York City, where he was the SVP in charge of its technology organization. Ask Eduardo about Max, his Cavapoo puppy, and he'll bore you to death with cute stories and photos.
Typical Eduardo: I'll try anything at least once (well, almost anything). Often content but rarely satisfied, I am always looking for ways to get my team to do the best possible job.
Finds Beautiful: Flawless execution (from an opera singer or a software engineer), generosity and kindness among strangers, ingenuity and resourcefulness.
Gets Him Up in the Morning: Well, nothing really until the 2nd cup of coffee, but having a diverse collection of problems to solve really gets me going. Knowing that I can, directly or indirectly, help customers and colleagues be successful. Getting one day closer to full-time world traveler.
Passionate About: Soccer, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, a good meal with loved ones, traveling to exotic locations, getting to know a new culture, staying calm under pressure and focusing on the problem at hand without finger pointing.
Guilty Pleasures: My Mom's apple tart, unplanned trips, finding an Argentine soccer game on TV, a winding road to discover with my motorcycle.
Personal Motto: "Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have a faith in people, that they're basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them.” Steve Jobs
Dana is all about driving companies to grow further and faster. Dana joined Stella & Dot from Bain & Company where she advised some of the world’s leading fashion and retail companies to turbo-charge their revenue and profit growth. Prior to Bain & Company, Dana served as General Manager for start-up company 1stUp.com, where she launched a broadband internet service. Dana also did a stint as a private equity investor at Bain Capital. A loyal Stanford alum, Dana attended both Stanford University and Stanford Graduate School of Business. Having worked in the US, UK and Austria and traveled to over 50 countries, Dana couldn’t be more excited to take Stella & Dot global. Dana currently lives in the Bay Area with her son and husband.
Typical Dana: Coming up with a creative solution; Optimizing everything; Always on the go (she is teaching her son to become quite the jet-setter - adding 10 stamps to his passport within his first 18 months)
Passionate About: Learning and discovering; Exploring the world; Making a positive impact
Past itineraries: Summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in Lesotho, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
Finds beautiful: Her toddler’s giggles, her husband’s blue eyes
Gets her up in the morning: Morning cuddles with her son and the excitement of growing a company that is changing the lives of thousands of women
Guilty pleasure: Chocolate chip cookies
Personal Motto: Smile at the world and the world will smile back
Anja leads Stella & Dot’s Global Merchandising team to create irresistible jewelry and accessories for women all over the world. Prior to Stella & Dot, Anja was a 17 year veteran in Merchandising at Gap Inc. She held positions including Vice President of Accessories Merchandising at Banana Republic, helping them earn the title of Accessories Retailer of the year in 2008. While at Gap Inc., Anja also ran the BabyGap division, which to-date has been one of the most successful areas at the company. While at Banana Republic, Anja worked with Stella & Dot's own CCO Blythe Harris, and back then the two dreamed of a day where the jewelry they were creating was not locked up in a glass case making it difficult for customers to try it on and receive immediate styling advice. They also dreamed of a place where women could achieve their career goals and still keep their commitments to their families. When Blythe left Banana Republic, Anja was heartbroken but over time she realized that Stella & Dot was actually the company they had once dreamed of. A happy reunion, Anja and Blythe are together again making an amazing team - merging their amazing Merchandising, Design and Product Development talents. Together at Stella & Dot, Blythe and Anja are fulfilling their dreams of creating an accessible shopping environment for irresistible jewelry, a place to get styling advice from a trusted friend, and empowering women to fulfill their career and family goals. Dreams DO come true!
Typical Anja: Optimistic about everything! Always being the voice of the customer and making sure we are creating the best possible product at a great value
Past Itineraries: Bay Area native, the travel bug was instilled in Anja from a very young age by visiting exotic destinations from Rawa, Malaysia to the tiny country of Malta with her family. Her favorite place to visit is Sydney, Australia where her cousin lives and she can't wait for further Stella & Dot international expansion!
Finds Beautiful: The angelic sleeping faces of her two boys (three if you count her husband)
Gets Her Up in the Morning: Feeling so lucky that every day she gets to do what she loves and someone is actually paying her for it!
Passionate About: Stella & Dot jewelry and helping women feel stylish and successful on their own terms
In 2008, Anita was on the cusp of becoming the first female Managing Director in her department in the demanding world of Investment Banking. The achievement brought the realization that a fulfilling professional career alone was not the secret to happiness – and this was particularly unsettling since she had dedicated 12 years to the idea. Walking away from her career to stay home with her two little girls, Anita abruptly found herself facing a dilemma that so many women experience - how to bridge the chasm between career and family without having to sacrifice the joy that can come from both. So, she asked the question so many others are asking: Why can't we have it all, all at the same time? Stella & Dot's resounding response answered that question and Anita joined the team to help Stella & Dot achieve its mission of giving every woman the means to style her own life. Prior to Stella & Dot, Anita worked at the Estee Lauder Companies as well as in Makeup Marketing for Clinique Laboratories and Bear Stearns. Anita received her BA from Vassar College and her MBA from University of Michigan and currently lives in the Bay Area with her family.
Typical Anita: In motion. Whether it's making lunches and picking out shares for circle-time for her two little girls, hopping on or off a plane to visit Stylists across the country, or logging a full day at the Home Office collaborating with peers and leading the team to create the best programs, trainings and events for the Field, Anita is at her best when her plate is full and her to-do list is long.
Passionate About: Helping women transform "I want" into "I have" and "I can't" into "I am". And currently, the Evernote app.
Past Itineraries: Detroit to Troy to Bloomfield Hills to Poughkeepsie to NYC to Ann Arbor to NYC to SoMa to Montara – with some countries, several hotels, true friends and a splash of champagne along the way.
Finds Beautiful: Uma's pure joy, Asha's infectious giggles, my husband's ability to find humor in everything, memories, a hike up Montara mountain, a pre-dawn walk in the Village and bustling through Kothari market.
Gets Her Up in the Morning: Gentle nudges from her golden retriever, Poppy, the promise of coffee, and the too-long to-do list.
Guilty pleasure: Agatha Christie
Personal Motto: "Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don't need to escape from." Seth Godin
As Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mike Lohner has been a part of the Stella & Dot family since early 2007. Mike knows a thing or two about turning passion into business. In fact, Mike recently relocated to London to head up Stella & Dot's expansion into Europe, launching the brand in the UK in Fall 2011 with plans to enter Germany for Spring 2012. Prior to Stella & Dot, Mike was CEO of the party planning company Home Interiors and Gifts, where he led the venture responsible for bringing the joy of design to the masses to a billion dollar a year business. While on the board of directors of the Direct Selling Association he helped transform the industry and brings his wealth of social selling knowledge to Stella & Dot. An avid golfer with a coveted +2 handicap, he parlayed his love of golf into a golf course development and management company with 50 courses under his guardianship. A family man through and through, Mike and his family are currently enjoying life "over the pond." Mike is married to his best friend and shares his strong family values and love for singing and playing saxophone with his four kids. Mike holds an MBA from Stanford and lives by the motto "you only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." We think Mike's acing it this time around.
In addition to his dueling partner duties at private investment firm Radar Partners and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Doug serves on the board of Blackhawk Network, Devicescape, and Scintera Networks. His leadership readily crosses over into the realm of aid organizations where he sits on the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, the First Tee of Monterey County and the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's' Health. If that weren't enough to keep him busy, he is an advisory council member of the Stanford School of Engineering and a Trustee of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation. Doug received both a Bachelor in Economics and Masters in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University. His MBA is from Harvard.
David is principle and founder of The David Maddocks Company. In 2001, he was recruited to rebuild the product and marketing engine of Converse Inc., subsidiary of Nike. He served as Chief Marketing Officer until 2007 and was responsible for the restoration of the Chuck Taylor franchise and the boosting of distribution from 2.5 to nearly 55 million units globally. He recreated the sports marketing capabilities for the brand and signed Miami Heat and NBA Champion Dwyane Wade in his rookie year. He was a key collaborator in the company's partnership with (product) RED, a charitable marketing entity created by Bono of U2 and Bobby Shriver. While at Converse, he led their entry into the premium apparel market in collaboration with John Varvatos and negotiated a three-year product agreement for the sale of apparel, footwear and accessories by Converse at Target Stores.
Alfred is a venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital with a critical focus on consumer internet, enterprise and mobile companies. His mission is to help interpret the visions and dreams of entrepreneurs about the future of technology and to help build businesses around those dreams.Prior to joining Sequoia Capital in 2010, Alfred served a multiple function as Chairman, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Zappos.com and was Vice President of Finance and Business Development of Tellme Networks. A consumer venture capital authority, Alfred has included AskJeeves, MongoMusic, MyAble, OpenTable, Tellme, and Zappos in his lengthy portfolio, which he did as Co-Founder and General Manager of Venture Frogs, LLC. Before launching his startup career as Vice President of Finance of Link Exchange, Alfred received a Bachelor's in Applied Mathematics from Harvard as well as a Masters in Statistics from Stanford.
As Executive Chairman of Bare Escentuals, Leslie Blodgett has been recognized as one of the “Top Entrepreneurs of the Decade: 2000-2009” by Inc. Magazine. Since launching bareMinerals, an award-winning line of mineral-based products in 1995, Leslie has inspired and empowered women all over the world by making them feel beautiful. An advocate for community long before social media came along, Leslie can be credited with spearheading a community-enabled approach – personally responding to letters, emails and phone calls; putting stock in the value of genuine, personal relationships and ultimately allowing women to have a much broader brand experience. With a background in product development, including positions at companies like Neutrogena and Max Factor, Leslie’s solid experience coupled with her predisposition to intuit what women want while foreseeing trends are key factors that continue to propel her success and ever-growing popularity. Seeing an opportunity to educate women about bareMinerals away from the typical beauty counter, Leslie partnered with QVC in 1997 and reached massive audiences on television with an untraditional approach to bare-skin beauty. Undaunted by the obstacle of selling foundation on TV, Leslie’s passion and authenticity resonated immediately with women nationwide that were looking for healthy makeup alternatives. In 2006, Leslie took Bare Escentuals public in one of the largest cosmetic IPO’s of the decade. Then, in 2010, Bare Escentuals was acquired by Shiseido, the Japan-based leading global cosmetics company, for $1.8 billion making it one of the largest cosmetics mergers in history. Bare Escentuals is currently available in 31 countries with over 6,000 points of distribution. Serving on the board of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW), Leslie was also the first recipient of the organization’s Achiever Award in 2006 for her contributions to the industry. She was honored at CEW’s annual ‘Beauty of Giving’ luncheon in 2009 for her commitment to making women happy; an approach that is anchored in engaging in real, open and honest dialogue, and in turn, one that has transformed Bare Escentuals into a peer-to-peer community of its own.