Meet the Team
CEO & Founder
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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 recognised 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 mum. 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
Chief Creative Officer
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As the creative force behind Stella & Dot, Blythe Harris has built a world class team of designers and merchants in both our New York and Sausalito based design studios. Recipient of FGI’s Rising Star Award for Accessories, the ACE (Accessories Council) Award for Retail Innovation, and the Drapers Accessories Designer of the Year Award in the UK, Blythe’s leadership has helped grow Stella & Dot into a global brand. Originally inspired by her grandmother Dot’s vintage jewellery box, Blythe’s creative vision mixes the beauty of vintage design and craftsmanship with the modern aesthetic and versatility of today’s stylish woman. Blythe’s design experience is truly global, ranging from working with local artisans in India and Ecuador to the fashion houses in Paris. As an 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 LVMH. At Banana Republic, she led the dramatic growth of the jewellery department. 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 architecture, abstract expressionist paintings, vintage textiles and street style.
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.
Guilty Pleasure: Madeleines from Balthazar, anything Isabel Marant, and The Bachelor on Monday nights.
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GM, Stella & Dot
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Anja leads Stella & Dot’s Global Merchandising team to create irresistible jewellery 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 jewellery 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 realised 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 jewellery, 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 jewellery and helping women feel stylish and successful on their own terms
VP of EMEA
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Kathleen Mitchell, west London mother of two, is the Vice President EMEA. Stella & Dot’s mission to help give women the means to style their own lives is what drew Kathleen towards the company. What is better than empowering women all over Europe to find true happiness and success through their own flexible fashion business. Prior to joining Stella & Dot, Kathleen led a division of the beauty giant L’Oreal. Alaskan born Kathleen loves living in London which has been home since she graduated from Trinity College, Dublin.
Typical Kathleen: On the move, Kathleen is best when busy. Whether it is chatting to her son about word of the week as they scoot to nursery, racing to the Eurostar, visiting with Stylists around Europe, delighting our customers with irresistible style at a Style Session or logging a full day in the office with the brilliant Stella & Dot European team Kathleen is lucky to love it all.
Inspired By: Her stylish friends and women she meets and works with every day, the 2000 + European Stella & Dot Stylists. They are entrepreneurs taking control of their own lives and doing it in style.
Finds Beautiful: Confidence, kindness and a great pair of heels.
Gets Her Up In The Morning: Her two sons that keep her curious and the mission to empower women all over Europe to find true happiness and success through their own flexible fashion business.
Passionate About: Kathleen is an eternal optimist and loves that she gets to help solve the modern woman's dilemma: achieving success and balance through a career you love.
Country Manager UK & Ireland
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Born in London but growing up in the green of the countryside Veryan now lives in Barnes, West London (a happy compromise!) with her new husband. After graduating from Durham University Veryan built a career as a Marketing Director for big name beauty brands. She loved the fast-paced environment of these female-dominated brands and the link to fashion – but her heart didn’t quite skip a beat… until she was introduced to Stella & Dot. Finding the combination of an entrepreneurial business that could offer today’s women true flexibility (the holy grail), alongside completely irresistible fashion jewellery (her passion), made this the perfect combination to utilise her background in both Marketing and Sales. Veryan is in awe of the sense of community and achievements of our Stylists so far in the UK & Ireland, proving what she has long suspected… that women working together and supporting each other can achieve incredible things!
Typical Veryan: Striving to ensure we truly bring fun, joy and success to the women of the UK. Loving our product and championing the importance of design and fashion flair! Making sure we are a fun place to work, grow and develop and passionately making sure my team laugh every single day and love life just as much as our Stylists do!
Past Itineraries: Travelling across Africa, driving the east and west coasts of the US, visiting a lot of cities in the UK and Europe including developing a strange fascination for Scandinavia (and its design!) along the way. India and South America are still on the bucket list – just give her a year or so!
Favourite Spot on Earth: London – the vibrancy, fast-paced ‘fun city’ that never grows old or boring, Durham in the North-East, where I met the love of my life, the silence of the Big Sur in CA staring at the stars, the orange sun and heat of Tanzania, the clear waters of the Maldives. All amazing, but nothing beats home with her family.
Finds Beautiful: Looking across the table and seeing her husband and all her best friends laughing, creating chaos and being sharp witted - just like they have done for years and hopefully will continue to do.
Passionate About: Jewellery, fashion and interior design.
Guilty Pleasure: Earl Grey Tea, trashy TV, champagne, chocolate and a house to re-decorate and she’s happy!
Personal Motto: Lead by example and don’t expect others to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself.
VP and GM, KEEP Collective
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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; Optimising 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
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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.
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A graduate of UC Berkeley, Dina started her retail career at Macy’s in their executive training program. After 7 years alternating between the store, buying office, and merchandise planning, she made a move over to Gap Inc. where she spent 18 years building her career in inventory management. Prior to joining Stella & Dot, Dina headed up the Inventory Management team for GapKids, babyGap and Gap Maternity. A huge fan of Stella & Dot, Dina is thrilled to be a part of such an amazing company whose mission and team are so inspirational. As a mum of identical triplet girls, Ryan, Claire & Emily, Stella & Dot’s mission and support of women living strong, bold, and beautiful lives truly resonates with her. Dina lives in a sleepy Bay Area town with Scott, her husband of 25 years, her yellow lab Rudy and her girls when they’re home from college.
Typical "Dina": works hard but always stops to smell the roses because life is short; an early bird, out the door by 6am but can’t manage to stay awake past 10.
Past Itineraries: the Azores, Portugal, Italy, New York, again & again. Loves exploring new neighborhoods, road trips with her family or friends.
Finds Beautiful: scenic views, a wild flower garden, my daughters playing the piano and singing together when they think no one’s listening, the perfect cappuccino and pastry on a weekend morning
Gets Her Up in the Morning: the smell of coffee and new possibilities every day brings.
Passionate About: Friends and family, interior decorating, and Stella & Dot.
Guilty Pleasure: dessert, there’s always room for dessert! A glass of wine after a long day and a fruity cocktail on vacation
VP, Product Management
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Meera has made her career in building great technology products for consumers and businesses. Born in Madrid and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Meera is a proud global nomad having lived in five cities in the US and two in Europe. She began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, but found her passion for online businesses while working at ZEFER, a boutique internet strategy consultant firm. Meera then spent 6 years at Microsoft in both the US and London before leading Global Product Management for Hotels.com, an Expedia company. Most recently, Meera was at LinkedIn where she lead a team delivering products for LinkedIn's Marketing Solutions business. Meera was drawn to Stella & Dot because of the opportunity to help build a company empowering women to live bold and joyful lives. Through her role, she will be enabling Stella & Dot's Stylists and Customers with market leading technology solutions. Meera received her BSE in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
Typical “Meera”: Cutting it very close to catch a flight to somewhere. Taking conference calls from wherever needed to get the job done. Pouring through the latest tech blogs. Planning a dinner party. Smiling and enjoying while juggling it all.
Past Itineraries: Hiking in Nepal, eating pizza in Italy, shopping in Paris, enjoying the Hong Kong skyline, exploring Fjords in Norway, yearly girls getaways to Mexico.
Finds Beautiful: The sun setting over the beach, the fog rolling into San Francisco, simple technology that empowers people's lives.
Gets her up in the morning: Lately, a Soul Cycle class. Afterwards, the chance to do something big, have an impact, and make a difference.
Passions: Family, friends. A long workout... followed by a long nap.
Guilty Pleasures: Subscribe to the New Yorker and US Weekly. Read US Weekly regularly.
Chief Information Officer
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Neil was born and raised in the United Kingdom, but quickly realised the weather was much nicer in other countries so moved to Germany for 8 years before relocating to California. Neil spent 15 years working for Hewlett-Packard in various roles, both within Germany and the US, ultimately heading the Engineering Organisation for HP’s direct to consumer e-commerce platform (hpshopping.com). After this Neil lead the Technology organisation for Cafepress and a boutique gaming company called PlayFirst. Neil’s belief is in empowering the Technology Organisation to be as good as it possibly can be and provide the support that the Technology leaders require in order to build and nurture truly awesome teams.
Typical Neil: Saying “No” to any crazy feature request, going away and thinking about it for 24 hours, coming back and saying “Yes, we can do that!”.
Finds Beautiful: Source code when written right. Deserted tropical beaches and a cocktail after a stressful day lying on the beach.
Past Itineraries: Almost every country in Europe, snorkeling in Maldives, fighting monkeys in Bali, experiencing typhoons in Japan, swimming atop Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, having birthday parties in India.
Gets Him Up in the Morning: Nothing! No seriously nothing! After all I am still an Engineer! When I do finally make it in, then solving complex problems, working with people much smarter than myself, and knowing we are building something that is truly impacting people’s lives.
Passionate About: Traveling, going to as many exotic locations as possible, visiting as many beaches as possible, and enjoying different cultures.
Guilty Pleasures: Too many to list, but I’ll settle for a good beer, glass of wine, cocktail and a game of FIFA.
Personal Motto: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
"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." Sir Cecil Beaton
BOARD OF MANAGERS
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 organisations 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.
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 recognised 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 organisation’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.