TCU - B.A. in Communications + Spanish
Tysh Mefferd has always loved being an entrepreneur. Working independently in the wedding industry for 10 years, Tysh was intrigued by the potential of Stella & Dot and became involved with the idea t0 simply supplement her family's income. What began as dreams of a master bedroom remodel soon grew as she became more involved. A year later, after experiencing the company and its mission firsthand, she jumped in with both feet — leaving her job and focusing on Stella & Dot exclusively.
Now Tysh is a platinum director with an international team of 3,000 that she manages on a flexible schedule. This flexibility at Stella & Dot allows Tysh to focus on her family while — get this — also successfully generating more than $16 million in revenue with the help of her team. Beyond this monetary success, Tysh is most proud that Stella & Dot has allowed her to make a difference in the lives of other women by helping them achieve their financial and personal goals.
When she's not busy with her team of Stylists, Tysh devotes herself to her love of home decor, relaxing at her beach house and takes in as many events as she can, from baseball to ballet — all things made possible, she will tell you, by Stella & Dot.
Use your 20 seconds of courage every day ... great things will happen.
Stella & Dot Week: This interview is part five in a series of five interviews featuring Stella & Dot employees this week.
How did you discover your current job? Tell us a little bit about the path that led you to where you are today.
I had been a small business owner for 10 years when I was first introduced to Stella & Dot. My business was suffering from the economy and Hurricane Ike, so I was very intrigued by the opportunity. It was first going to be supplemental income (to cover a master bedroom remodel and occupational therapy for my boys), but then as I began understanding the vision and mission of the company, I knew that I wanted to be a part of this incredible journey. I then brought my two sisters on board to join me and within a year, I had closed my business, they had both left their corporate jobs and we were all focusing on our Stella & Dot business with full-time flexibility. Today, I have more than 3,000 women on our team all across the U.S. and U.K. (we launched in the U.K. last fall). I have an executive leadership team over 100 women strong, and together we are helping our team members every week build the business they strive to have.
What is your typical day like, and what types of things do you do in your job?
I typically get up early before the kids and spend an hour or so working on my computer. After the kids are gone, I work out (as often as I can) and am ususally in my office by 9:30 or 10 am. I spend my days talking with Stylists, leading conference/training calls and connecting with leaders and emerging leaders to support the training/coaching they are doing. Then, a couple of times a week I head out for a fun trunk show either during the day or in the evening. Every day is busy. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Helping other women/stylists achieve their goals and make a difference in their family’s life/income. Sometimes the goals are financial … other times they are personal. No matter what the goal (small or big), when I’ve helped someone achieve something that lifts his or her self-confidence, brings happiness and a sense of accomplishment to the stylist and very often has a financial impact to the family, it’s infectious and gets me out of bed to do it again tomorrow.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
Being able to touch as many people on my team that are looking for support/training/mentorship. It’s a large team, and I work closely with my leadership team and have implemented systems to reach as many people as possible and be there for those who are looking to take their business to the next level.
What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?
I travel some, which I never did before. I love the travel. It’s truly a joy for me to go on the road and style new Stella & Dot customers or train our team members who live remotely (in other cities and states), but I know that it’s been an adjustment for my family. I’ve taken many tips from business women who travel often and have implemented quality family time before I leave and after I return. While away, I send funny videos and picturess to my kids, we text, I drop little notes, etc. They get great Daddy time while I’m away, and while they won’t admit to it, I think bedtime may be a little later … and on occasion may have slumber parties on the floor.
What is one lesson you've learned in your job that sticks with you?
This is a marathon, not a sprint! Get up every day and do what you can each to move the needle on your business. At the end of every day, there will always be many things left on the To Do list. Leave them … enjoy your family time … then get up the next morning and pick back up where you left off. Also, this is a flexible business that we work flexibly. Sometimes … my time may be limited in my office (I’m at the hair dresser monthly and on occasion, just want to go browse the aisles of Target or Costco. (I guess you could call this retail therapy for me.) Well, on that day ... I may pull in two to three hours after the kids go to bed. I choose how and when I want to work. I love this about being a business owner.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today?
Flexibility in the workplace … most don’t have this and this is why I left corporate America back in 2003 to start my own business. I wanted to work, but I wanted flexibility to work when I wanted. Thankfully, Stella & Dot addresses this need and women can start their own business for as little as $199 … and be earning profits and have their investment back within their first few trunk shows. This is just not possible if starting a traditional small business because you have so many overhead expenses and are constantly re-investing in your business to help it grow. With Stella & Dot, we have the back office support, a PR firm, a world-class website, a product team second to none that gives us all the tools and resources we need to focus on what we do best.
Who are your role models?
My Cuban grandmother (who the Palomino necklace was named after) and my mother, who raised three productive, giving and hard-working women.
What are some of the rules you live by?
Work Hard; give of your time; be kind to everyone; pay it forward; give more and receive less; teach your children to give their personal best each and every day; life’s too short to not love what you are doing and be extremely passionate about it; there will be hiccups along the way … keep your pity party short and then pick yourself up, put on your big girl panties, and get back out there!
What advice do you have for women who want to be in your industry?
Set a goal that matches the amount of time you are willing/able to give and then JUST DO IT, as the Nike ad says. Don’t let fear get in your way. Use your 20 seconds of courage every day and week ... and great things will happen with your business.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Sending my oldest off to college, enjoying the high school years of my two babies (currently 9 and 10) and working side-by-side with my life partner and husband in our business that is international and changing lives every day.
What’s your favorite wear-to-work piece from Stella & Dot’s Summer Collection?
The Palomino of course! Named after my grandmother, Celida Palomino Montejo, it represents the strength, courage and determination she and her two sisters had when they left Cuba, a country they loved, to provide a better life for their families.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I’m honored to have the opportunity to encourage women to reach for the stars and create the life they are destined to have. Dream big, put a plan together and just get cracking!
-Interview by Katrina Ball