Every now and then, we evaluate our lives and the choices we've made, wondering whether or not we should take that leap and switch careers.
And for women who love all things sparkly and sociable, the "dream job" may indeed exist: starting up a business as a Stella & Dot stylist, selling jewellery, organising trunk shows, meeting friends and new acquaintances... all while having the freedom to set your own hours and work from home.
Oh, and surrounding yourself with gorgeous jewellery does have perks other than ensuring you're the best-accessorized guest at any party - one Stella & Dot stylist earned £70K last year, which is making us rethink our day jobs...
For Monika Paul, a newbie star stylist based in London, the hectic life of the investment bank trading floor just wasn't working anymore, so she decided to take a leap and go into something creative. She describes her work now as "passionate, fulfilling and life-changing" and we chatted to her about what it takes to be a Stella & Dot stylist, her tips on getting involved in the business and her favourite perks of the job...
What did you do career-wise before becoming a Stella & Dot stylist?
I worked for several investment banks over 10 years, in a heavily male-dominated industry, but have always dreamed of a creative business with products I love!
What made you make the switch? What appealed to you about Stella & Dot?
I wanted to take some time out to focus on planning my wedding. Now, with a supportive husband, I thought it was the time to give something I love a go. I found the perfect opportunity with training, guidance, support and the best products!
What does getting set up as a Stella & Dot stylist entail?
Just one simple step: have the courage to just go for it. It's simple to sign up online and you have a business in a box within minutes! You will wonder why you hadn't done it sooner! (For more information, check out www.stelladot.co.uk/stylists - a starter kit costs £169 for £300 of jewellery samples, with a starter offer until the end of January that entitles you to an extra £75 in products and a starter kit rebate).
Describe your weekly schedule as a S&D stylist (Monika works 25 hours a week for the brand).
I structure my week around the core elements of the business: booking, selling and sponsoring and ensuring that I have around 4-6 trunk shows booked in for the forthcoming month!
Roughly how much income do you make as a part-time S&D stylist?
£1,500 - £2,000 a month at the moment, but it's growing every month and I know the sky is the limit – I'm still pretty new at this!
Stella & Dot is an extension of who I am – because I love the business I can't help but want to share it everywhere I go, wearing my jewels with pride!
What are some of your favourite things about the brand?
The fashion-forward products are every girl's dream! The ethos of the brand and what it stands for is infectious, but most of all it gives me the opportunity to do something I've always loved, even though I don't have the experience or qualifications! This is the best feeling, knowing someone is allowing you to make your dreams a reality! The trading desk feels like another lifetime ago now!
Do you have any favourite S&D jewellery pieces that you love? Any particular bestsellers?
I love the Pegasus! I've always loved my statements, but when I wear this piece the compliments I get make me proud to be a part of the brand!
Tell us about your favourite S&D party so far.
My favourite party was a group of women that all came with their shopping heads on! They were so keen to learn about this new brand (that not one of them had heard of before) and they immediately fell in love with the products, craftsmanship and my personal styling tips!
I sold well over £1,000 of jewels in two hours! I tell you it's an adrenaline rush knowing that you have just earned over £250 in commission for having fun and sharing the brand.
What have some of the biggest benefits of this job been for you?
Making my family proud that I have achieved so much in such a short space of time – from a quick decision to sign up whilst on my honeymoon!
Three things you've learned from the job? What would your advice be to someone interested in getting started as an S&D stylist?
I've learned that you can love your work – it's definitely a '"happy business for women!" You are not stereotyped or discredited for your qualifications or experience – the door is open to everyone!
I have never admired someone that I have never met before, so much as our CEO, Jessica Herrin. She really does make you feel that anything is possible and there is so much to gain!
I would encourage anyone who's slightly interested to join, whether it's starting a new hobby, earning some extra spending money or paying towards that luxury holiday – you are in control!
What are some of the skills you need to be a successful S&D stylist?
The confidence and belief that you can write your own success!
Anything surprise you about the S&D stylist work?
How much fun it really is... it definitely doesn't feel like work!