They buildOn: Stella & Dot Stylist Sells Bracelets to Build a School, Empower Women

In honor of International Women’s Day we’re showcasing bracelets from the Stella & Dot Foundation, a philanthropic division of jewelry company Stella & Dot focusing on women’s rights. All proceeds from the bracelets will go to three great organizations – buildOn, Accion USA, and Girls Inc. The bracelets are available here. Find out more below as They buildOn profiles a Stylist who hopes to build a school in Nicaragua through the sale of the foundation bracelets.

The Stella & Dot jewelry company’s foundation has been donating proceeds to buildOn and two other nonprofits since summer 2010. Its stylists are selling turquoise and jade charity bracelets for women and children to benefit the construction of a school in Nicaragua.

The stylists going on the trek will be selected by a raffle. Stylists earn a raffle ticket for every ten bracelets sold. Stylist Shaina Haller (left) is currently the top saleswoman for the charity bracelets. The winners will accompany Stella & Dot’s founder and CEO Jessica Herrin to Nicaragua in August 2011. The foundation scheduled the trip for Mother’s Day to symbolically celebrate the company’s mission: To create positive change in women’s lives through education and economic empowerment. And since several of the company’s stylists are mothers themselves, departing on that particular holiday made perfect sense.

“It’s our greatest pride that our Stylists have built a business that can give back in such a significant way,” Herrin says. The company has been training entrepreneurial women in the United States and Canada as Stylists since 2007.

We interviewed Shaina Haller to explore what might be motivating her passion for the campaign; when we last spoke to her she had sold nearly 400 bracelets online and through trunk shows. Determined to go on the trip, she wants to sell 500 or more bracelets by the end of the month. “My goal is to reach out to people in our community and share with them how important buildOn is and to support it through our foundation,” she claims. “This is my year to give back and travel and do things for my family.” If Haller is chosen, she’ll go with her husband.

Learn more about Stella & Dot from this video.

City: Danville, California.

What are three words you’d use to describe yourself? Motivated. Grateful. Inspired.

How have you seen your contribution with buildOn make a difference?

The money that I’ve personally been able to raise is helping children involved with afterschool programs, and will build schools in low-income areas. It makes the people buying the bracelets feel good and makes me feel good about helping on a small scale.

[pullquote]buildOn is an inspiration.  But it’s also a huge goal in the initiative for the Stella & Dot to help us work together, to help those in need.[/pullquote]

What buildOn initiatives mean the most to you?

I value helping other woman and other children and (contributing through the foundation) makes us have that connection.

Complete this sentence: buildOn is…

An inspiration.  But it’s also a huge goal in the initiative for the Stella & Dot to help us work together, to help those in need.

How did you end up being a stylist with Stella & Dot?

I was a stay at home mom with three kids and looking for something fun to do. I saw Jessica [Herrin] on The View and Google-ed the company, and signed up to be a stylist. A few months later my husband’s job changed, and this became an amazing vehicle to help support my family. I think it’s done that for so many women, helping us get back on our feet. And now I think it’s the perfect opportunity to help others… It’s changed me and my family in ways I didn’t think were possible.