What do you get when you cross a therapist with jewelry? I know, you are thinking to yourself “what kind of quirky question is THAT??”. Well, let me tell you, what you are about to read will make you look at the term “retail therapy” in a new kind of light.
Meet Elizabeth A. Bussian, MSW, LCSW. Liz, as she is more commonly known, is a Psychotherapist. By day, the work she does is reminiscent of episodes of Law & Order, as she is a Trauma Therapist with the District Attorney’s Office of the County of Westchester. She also has a private practice in White Plains. But…by night? Well, let’s just say she has a small “addiction” to jewelry. But the positive spin is that she is using her love of jewels to create a second stream of income for herself and her family and also as a form of stress relief from the trials of helping others to ease the pain of being victims of violent crime, and working through all sorts of psychological stresses for her clients. As a Stylist for the Direct Sales jewelry company, STELLA & DOT, Bussian spends nights and weekends as a “traveling trunk show” of sorts, and if you are familiar with the jewelry line, you know it is quite popular among both Celebs and Westchester women (and yes, some Men too!). We recently caught up with Liz after one of her trunks shows, and learned a little more about S&D, and what drives her to pursue the business, AND the jewelry!
WH: “Liz, we have heard so much about Stella & Dot, but can you tell us more about who/what the company is?”
EB: “Stella & Dot is a social selling company geared towards encouraging entrepreneurship. The line is a balance of trendy and classic Bohemian Chic! As someone who always played it fairly safe with jewelry, I started to branch out with this line. The bold pieces are so light and wearable. Many of the pieces layer beautifully together, which makes it fun to experiment!”
WH: “As a successful therapist, what prompted YOU to start a business with S&D?”
EB: “I am a psychotherapist focused on trauma, so much of my day is spent bearing witness to pain. Although I love my work, I was looking for something to do that would be fun, and perhaps tap back into my marketing days (a former career). I was buying the pieces from my friend, Beth, whom I have known for many years. She had gained so much confidence working with S&D, that I started to research the philosophy of the company and was very impressed. S&D’s branding and marketing strategy make it so easy for Stylists (as the distributors are called) to manage their own business while having fun! Once I started, I did not look back…and it has made me a better therapist for my clients.”
WH: “What is your favorite part of being a Stylist?”
EB: “I love the line, of course…but I especially love it when people see the pieces in person. You literally just fall in love! The packaging and pieces are so well made, and easy to wear. Getting to meet new people is also a great perk! In addition, I love brainstorming ideas for the shows.”
WH: “What is currently your favorite piece?”
EB: “Just one??? Ok, well right now, it has been the silver Bardot Bangle Bracelet – I wear it all the time!”
WH: “I know you are always available for home-shows. But, have you done any public shows or fundraisers?”
EB: “I was at the Nepperhan Center in Yonkers on July 23, the New Beginnings Dance Studio Ladies night on July 16, and I did the Jessica Santos Foundation Walk and Family Day in Sleepy Hollow just this past Sunday, July 24.”
WH: “Do you have any advice for someone starting a Direct Sales (Multi-Level Marketing) business?”
EB: “I would make sure that you believe in the brand. If you do not have a personal connection to the brand, then you will not be able to sell it. Your customers will know that you are not authentic. Also, research the company – see what their philopsophy is. Do they give back to the community? Is this important to you? Make sure you read the fine print.”
I am the proud owner of several pieces of the S&D line, and was quite impressed with Ms. Bussian’s commitment to her new business, and to making her customers happy. She did her homework on the company, which is very important. If you are interested in the Stella & Dot line of jewelry, or interested in hosting a show, you can see the pieces and contact Ms. Bussian here. If you are interested in researching Direct Sales companies, visit the Direct Selling Association (the watchdog of Direct Sales), here.
Many people are creating a second stream of income through Direct Sales, and with the current state of the economy, it is a great way to start a new business on a dime. And…what is not to love about jewelry? I think we all could use a little “retail therapy” from time to time. Don’t You?