Elisa Aronica is a personal stylist for Stella & Dot, a boutique-style accessories company whose beautiful and trendy jewelry and accessories line is available online.
Elisa, who lost her mom to bipolar disorder, and her fiancé Brady Hatfield hosted an online trunk show over the 2016 year-end holidays to benefit the Prechter Bipolar Research Program. They donated their commission of 25 percent to support our research.
Q&A with Elisa from November 2016:
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I am half Italian, half Venezuelan. My mom was Venezuelan, my dad Sicilian. In Italy, my dad became what I like to call the "Jenny Craig of Italy." He opened multiple weight loss centers all over the country and ran that industry for about 12 years, during which time I got to watch him open new locations, negotiate deals, and build his own weight loss machines. Through observation, I learned how to become an entrepreneur.
In the meantime, my mom looked for jobs, but found herself unable to start a career in a country that, in my opinion, didn't value women, and she had goals that weren't being met. In 2001, she brought me to America for a "three-month vacation" to visit her identical twin sister. Once she realized the endless opportunities that this country had to offer, she decided to stay in America.
In the last 15 years, she worked hard to go from a cleaning lady to getting her MBA in finance and working in a couple of big law firms. I watched her work hard, but never quite be content with her position.
I decided to start in sales after leaving college, because I knew that it was the best way for me to become successful quickly, being able to eventually give my mom and my sister the house and life of their dreams. During my first sales job, I decided to supplement my finances with Mary Kay beauty products. I had fun the first couple of months, but I felt there was a lot of competition and not a whole lot of empowerment, so I looked for another direct sales company with a similar system. That's when I encountered Stella & Dot.
What makes Stella & Dot unique?
I joined the company a year ago because I saw someone else I knew who was so empowered by the business that they shined, and I wanted that. When I sell Stella & Dot products I don't feel like I'm tricking people into spending a ton of money on something that's not worth it... and the same goes for recruiting. I never feel like I'm tricking someone to join the company, I KNOW they'll be able to build their own business as quickly, or slowly, as they'd like. Plus a lot of our sales tend to go to non-profits, and I love that about this company.
Please tell us about the details of this Shop-for-a-Cause partnership.
I will be putting the amount of my normal commission -- 25 percent from the sales -- towards supporting the Prechter Bipolar Research Program.
In addition, I have picked a couple of special items that will give the Program even more proceeds -- I will donate an additional 10 percent of sales from certain products to the Prechter Program.
My hope is that the funds my fiancé and I will raise will be useful for the research projects and contribute to the Prechter Program's vision of personalizing treatment of bipolar disorder and prevent recurrences to enable those living with this disease to lead healthy and productive lives.
Thank you so much for your support, Elisa. We depend on supporters like you!