While I have yet to meet Jodi Mann IRL, I’ve come to know her socially through Facebook via a support group for Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley Mompreneurs. Jodi has a full-time job at an insurance company, but her true passion is her career as an independent Stella & Dot Stylist!
Please meet the latest Real Mom of the SFV, Jodi Mann!
How/why did you begin your business?
Jodi: I launched my Stella & Dot business in January, 2015 and it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made! What drew me to the company were the beautiful and affordable accessories – half our line is under $50 – and their Mission Statement of giving every woman a means to style their own life. I also have a full time career in the insurance industry, in addition to raising a young family, so life IS busy. However this opportunity gave me the chance to get out there and do something fun and connect with women, have some guilt free girls nights (with wine!) and make a little money on the side.
What I’ve found is the jewelry IS fantastic, but the friendships I’ve made with my fellow stylists, my Stella Sisters, and the mentoring and the leadership I have been exposed to has been the most unexpected and welcome result of starting my business. I was stuck in a rut and didn’t know it until I put myself out there and tried something different. Eighteen months later, I have a team of 14 stylists and have styled 100’s of women (and a few men)! I’ve been able to give back to causes my hostesses hold dear, and ones I personally support, through my business as well.
As a working mother, what is one tip or piece of advice that you would give to other female entrepreneurs?
Jodi: Don’t go it alone! Involve your partner or family members in your business. Let them know your goals and what you’re working for. Another thing I’d like to mention is find a networking group of like-minded women. Early into my Stella & Dot business I found a Facebook group called LA Mompreneurs, started by a wonderful Momprenuer Tracy Vidal. They had a sister group for the San Fernando Valley (LA Valley Mompreneurs) and late last summer I began hosting once a month networking nights in Studio City so we could meet each other and learn about our businesses beyond the computer screen. After one of these events, it hit me how much I enjoy being able to bring these other women together, supporting them and giving them a platform to meet and discuss. If I hadn’t started my Stella & Dot business, I wouldn’t have found a Momperenur group, and I wouldn’t have taken the action of setting up the first event to see what would happen. It’s all just given me so much more confidence in myself and brought some very special women into my life.
What do you like best about having a business in the San Fernando Valley?
Jodi: I grew up in Minnesota, spent 8 years in New York City which is where I met my husband, Ken, who is a Northridge native. We moved to California after we were married in 2008, buying our first home in Studio City in 2010. As a non-native, I was struck by not just how spread out the Valley is, but that once you get beyond the surface, you notice how deep the ties to the community go and that it actually feels quite small, in the best way possible. My friends and customers have grown up here and are raising their families here and their friends are too. There is a great sense of community I would not have expected being in such a large urban area. Growing up in a rural Minnesota town and having parents who were very involved in the local community, it makes me happy to see such connection and community here and I look forward to diving in more as my son gets older.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?
Jodi: Don’t forget to invest in yourself first. There will be late nights and early mornings but taking care of you is not an option, it’s a must. My marriage, my son, running a household, having a career and a start-up business – these all require my care and attention, but if I’m running on empty then I’m not doing anyone any good. I ran myself ragged the first few months trying to do it all and then realized nope, you can’t nor should you. Learning to say “No” and taking time to take care of me has been more beneficial that I would have ever imagined in those first few months.
It’s so true what Jodi says about remembering to “invest in yourself first.” I recently flew cross-country & watched one of those airplane videos where the flight attendant tells you to put your oxygen mask on first, before helping your children. Why? It’s because if you run out of oxygen, then you can’t help anyone else with their mask. It’s a great metaphor for taking care of yourself & as Jodi explains, if you burn out from work, family life or your side job, then you won’t be productive.
What does a career at Stella & Dot, EVER Skincare, LuLaRoe, dōTERRA or Rodan + Fields have in common? It’s a way for thousands of women to get their side hustle on! 🙂 I personally know several women (relatives even) who are independent contractors at each of those companies. Whether it is a part-time or full-time career, this type of work provides flexibility & a way to expand your social network. I should know, having worked as a Parent Rep at UrbanSitter for two years!
I love Jodi’s enthusiasm for her career & her leadership role in the LA Valley Mompreneurs group. I hope to attend one of her networking events in Studio City this summer!
I know quite a few of you are fans of Stella & Dot jewelry & accessories! If you’d like to check out the collection & view the new arrivals, then click here. You can also visit Jodi’s Instagram for fun photos & style inspiration!
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. The image shown in this post is used with permission. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.