Firmology’s How I Power My Business series profiles the technology business owners use to run and grow their business.
Firmology Founder’s Note: I’m fascinated by entrepreneurs, especially those that launched a business that has nothing to do with their past work experience or university area of study. I can relate as after studying economics and business in college, and an almost 5 year career as a commercial real estate broker, I switched industries and followed my true interest in the world of digital media and technology.
Pascale Helyar-Moray followed a similar path. After 15 years in financial services working for industry leaders like J.P. Morgan Asset Management and a Master of Commerce, Marketing, Finance from the University of Sydney, Pascale took maternity after the birth of her twins. During this time, and with a little inspiration from her husband, Pascale launched StyleRocks after realizing there was an opportunity to disrupt the jewelry design and distribution industry.
Tell us a bit about you and your background
I’ve always been a jewelry addict and have worked with jewellers over the years to create my own jewelry, but it’s time-consuming, expensive, and you don’t quite know what you’re going to get! A squiggle and a few lines on a piece of paper, four weeks, and a couple more visits later, the final item isn’t quite what you thought it was going to be!
However, my actual career was working in financial services for blue chip companies both in London and Sydney. The thread of my career had been bringing new products to market, so I was able to take those skills and transfer them when launching StyleRocks.
What’s the story behind your business?
When I was eight months pregnant with my twins, my husband very kindly offered to buy me some jewelry—the ‘push present’— to celebrate the babies’ arrival. The only problem was that I was so large I couldn’t get to the corner, let alone spend half a day looking in jewelry shops. So, I went online and, despite a solid week of searching, couldn’t find anything that I wanted to buy.
What a disaster when presented with such an opportunity! Or, rather, everything I did find, I wanted to customize: I wear yellow gold, not rose. I wear blue topaz, not onyx. So I left it frustrated. It seemed fundamentally wrong to me that you should have to settle for something that’s not right when jewelry is such a personal expression of your style.
After the twins were born and we had moved back to Australia (unsurprisingly, there hadn’t been any opportunity to remedy the lack of jewelry), I read about a website where you could customize your own fashion product online. This discovery coincided with trying to ascertain what my career post maternity leave would be. So StyleRocks—where you customize your quality jewelry online at affordable prices—was born.
StyleRocks is a ground-breaking customization jeweler website which disrupts the traditional jewelry design and purchase model. By cutting out the middleman (the jeweler) and partnering with Australia’s largest manufacturer, you can create your beautiful customized jewelry online for a fraction of the retail price. It takes three weeks for our beautiful customized jewelry to reach your door.
What apps or services are essential to the operations of your business?
Dropbox for file storage, Skype for communication, Mailchimp for email marketing, Pinvolve for distributing content across different social media platforms, Xero for accounting, EWay and Paypal for ecommerce transactions.
Which social media platforms does your business prefer to use and why?
We’re across all social media—you have to be these days! However, because our business is so image-based, we find that the more visual media such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr works well for us; people respond really well to pictures of beautiful jewelry! Twitter and LinkedIn are great tools for also communicating with StyleRockers; they have a different style of audience to the other social media.
Lightning Round: What apps or services do you recommend to other business owners?
Biggest time-saver(s)? Skype: a skype meeting (when appropriate) can save lots of travel time
Biggest money-saver(s)? Gmail: low cost
Favorite mobile app(s)? Dropbox: it enables working really easily with colleagues
Favorite personal app(s)? Moves: telling me how many steps I take each day
How can others reach you?
Other (email, phone, etc): email@example.com
Firmology Readers: Let’s hear your thoughts!
Do you have any questions or comments for Pascale? Drop her a note in the comments below!
If you have a suggestion for someone we should feature, questions we should be asking, or would like to be featured on Firmology’s How I Power My Business series, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: How I Power My Business