Introduction to Stella and Dot MLM Compensation Plan
Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Notebook Crazy. This is Brad, and I think I am in love. First, some backstory.
If you have ever read Notebook Crazy before, or even if you have not, it does not take very long to figure out that Florida is the perfect habitat for the multilevel marketing (MLM) industry. Pretty much the only good thing that came out of my ill-fated involvement with an MLM company that had me peddling fungus coffee was the trips to Florida that it entailed and the friends I met there. If nothing else, you can always reliably expect, when you go to an MLM convention, that you will meet people who are sure that the buttoned down life in corporate America is not for them. One of the most fun people I met at a fungus coffee convention in Florida was a guy named Drew. He lives in a modest, Floridian house with a big yard in front of a man-made lake in Polk County, Florida, and we met an MLM event in Clearwater, where we struck up a conversation over continental breakfast in the hotel. He is a very enterprising guy, and like so many people who attend MLM conventions, he was willing to do anything except work a 9 to 5 job. Contrary to what the designers of most MLM brochures would expect, Drew did not dream of traveling the world. Rather, he has spent almost his whole life, carving just the world he wants out of his own little piece of Florida. When the convention was over, he invited the other Brad (the cofounder of Notebook Crazy) and me to visit his home. The walkway to his house had flowering bushes with tiny red flowers with angular petals, and the lizards that were sunning themselves on the walkway scurried out of the way as we approached. I think they are called ixoras; Drew told us that, when he was a kid, all the kids in the neighborhood would pick these flowers and squeeze them just so, until a drop of sweet nectar came out. The inside of the house had bookshelves in every room, packed with comic books and action figures, as well as boxes of merchandise from various MLM business opportunities. The screened porch, though, was the site of his menagerie.
He had turned the place into something of an aviary for his pet scarlet macaw. I think it had a cage, but Drew told us that macaws need to be out of their cages for as much time as possible, while we were all sitting on the screened porch, the macaw would fly around from one perch to the next and would sometimes perch on Drew’s shoulder while he fed it some kind of macaw-safe treats. He also had a bright green iguana in a big cage, as well as some other kinds of lizards in a terrarium. (I will have to ask him what kind they are.) Anyway, we sat on the screened porch, drinking beer and eating chips (not the other Brad, he does not go near any kind of carbs except beer) and discussing our successes and failures in making money outside corporate America. Drew seemed really fired up about the fungus coffee, and based on his social media posts, I think he is still involved in that business opportunity. He seems so sincere when he promotes it, although, if you see him, he hardly looks like the poster child for nutraceuticals. (I should not single him out, though. I imagine it would be very hard not to have a sizable belly if you live in the same state as those leaf cookies from Publix.)
The reason I tell this story is that today Drew posted a picture on his Facebook page, and it stole my heart. It seems that he has just gotten a pair of sugar gliders, and they are the cutest thing I have ever seen. Sugar gliders are a type of marsupial, about the size of a gerbil but the shape of a flying squirrel, although, being marsupials, they are much more closely related to the opossums that dig through the trash of suburban shopping centers in Florida. They are native to Australia, New Guinea, and some of the islands of Indonesia, and the markings on their faces, combined with the bald spot on the top of their heads, gives them a facial expression similar to that of an insurance salesman who is at his wit’s end. Each of a sugar glider’s front legs is connected to its corresponding hind leg by a piece of skin that functions as a makeshift parachute as they leap from one branch to another, very similarly to a flying squirrel. They have big eyes and bushy tails, and did I mention that they are so cute?
Don’t get me wrong. My dog Floyd is my best pal, and I would not choose anyone else as my road trip companion, but my goodness! Those sugar gliders! Those big eyes! I used to think that, if I were rich and I could afford to take care of any kind of pet, that I would choose a marmoset, but I think I changed my mind. I want a sugar glider, or maybe two. When I saw those pictures on Facebook, I started thinking about where I would put their cage in my basement, where I would get the mealworms to feed them, how much fun it would be to carry them around in my pocket, but I know it isn’t realistic. The Midwest is way too cold for sugar gliders. My basement is fine the way it is, with just Floyd and me.
Never underestimate good old Midwestern common sense. I hope you have the same common sense when you decide whether to join the Stella and Dot business opportunity.
Stella and Dot: The Company and Its Products
When I first found out that the company I would be reviewing today is calling Stella and Dot, I immediately thought that it sounds like it is named after people’s grandmothers, and, in fact, it is. (My second thought was of the Australian animated movie Dot and the Kangaroo, hence the shout out to marsupials in the introduction to this Stella and Dot review. The movie, which was released in 1979, does not pander to kids’ short attention spans in the way that most children’s films released during that time period do, but that is a story for another day.) Jessica Herrin and Blythe Harris, the founders of the Stella and Dot business opportunity named the company after their respective grandmothers.
The impression that I got, both from reading Stella and Dot reviews and from reading mainstream new articles about the Stella and Dot business opportunity is that the company has tried, successfully, to be the opposite of what people think of when they think about MLM. The Stella and Dot business opportunity was founded in San Francisco, of all places, and some Stella and Dot distributors live in New York brownstones. The company wants to give the impression that Stella and Dot distributors are not big-haired Mary Kay ladies, nor are they fake and bake slathered oafs bellowing into microphones in hotel ballrooms in Florida. Jessica Herrin is not a serial MLM proponent; she actually has a background in tech startups. She got the idea for the Stella and Dot business opportunity because it seemed, to her, like a logical outgrowth of the social media ethos; she calls it “social selling”, which is quite the euphemism, in my opinion.
This does not change the fact that Stella and Dot products are costume jewelry, and that they are distributed at trunk sales, which is another way of saying MLM home sales parties, which is another way of saying quadruple crown diamond barf. The Stella and Dot reviews contained frequent mention of something called “statement necklaces”, and they also said that Stella and Dot products tend to be limited edition, with almost the entirely catalog changing at least once a year. The good news is that there is no autoship; you are not expected to stockpile Stella and Dot products in your home. You just display samples of Stella and Dot products at the party (I refuse to call it a “trunk show”, since I am a dude, and that phrase is not in my vocabulary) and let your guests try them on. Then, after the guests go home, you, the Stella and Dot distributor place your guests’ orders through the Stella and Dot website.
The Stella and Dot Compensation Plan
The Stella and Dot compensation plan is available on the Stella and Dot website, and it is 29 pages long. For some reason, the version of the Stella and Dot compensation plan document I found has the prices listed in Euros, as it is the United Kingdom and Ireland version of the document, but I am certain that the Stella and Dot business opportunity is available in the United States.
The leadership levels in the Stella and Dot compensation plan are Stylist, Lead Stylist, Associate Stylist, Senior Stylist, Star Stylist, Associate Director, Director, and Star Director, Platinum Director, and Diamond Director.
Commissions on your personal sales of Stella and Dot products range from 25% to 35%. There are also one time bonuses for when you are promoted to a new level of leadership in the company.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Stella and Dot products are not nutraceuticals.
- The lack of autoship is nice.
- The Stella and Dot distributors who promote the products on their personal blogs do seem really sincere and intelligent. They are real blogs that just happen to mention Stella and Dot products instead of an avalanche of hype about how your life is empty without the products and how the Stella and Dot business opportunity will make you rich.
- An MLM home sales party by any other name is still an MLM home sales party. Quadruple crown diamond barf.
- If anything, the fact that Stella and Dot tries to live down the blue collar image of MLM is insulting. A gathering of women who wear costume jewelry because it is “fun” or “trendy” sounds even worse than a gathering of women who wear costume jewelry because even dire economic circumstances cannot take away their right to individual self-expression through clothing and accessories.
- You will not make money through the Stella and Dot business opportunity for the same reason that you will not make money through almost any other MLM. That is to say, if your friends have even one finger apiece, then they are perfectly capable of clicking, and if they are capable of clicking, that means that they are perfectly capable of finding the costume jewelry of their choice at much better prices than they can get from Stella and Dot distributors.
- Not that this is unusual at all in the LM world, but some aspects of compensation in the Stella and Dot compensation plan are based on “legs” of your downline sales team.
If you want to honor your grandmothers for all their hard work and to show your gratitude for the fact that women today have so many career options, then, for the love of all that is good and holy, do not guilt trip your friends into buying overpriced costume jewelry to your friends while pretending that it is more fun to attend trunk shows than to save your time and money for things that you actually want. Stella and Dot is far from being the sleaziest MLM out there, but when you dress up an MLM in Sex and the City rhetoric, it only makes it uglier. The better choice would be to wear your grandmother’s jewelry and to do your research carefully when choosing a business opportunity.
Hey, Floridians! Care to replenish my supply of Publix leaf cookies? Schedule a call with me, and I will let you know exactly where to send them.