Despite the jewellery industry and world of tech being predominantly male, Pascale has stepped out as one of the few female entrepreneurs bringing both industries together. Pascale left her job in financial services to pursue her passion, creating the very successful website StyleRocks which allows customers to design their own jewellery online.
What’s the weirdest or most extravagant request you’ve received?
Customers can customise their jewellery based on the design templates we have provided so there’s nothing going to be completely wacky. But in terms of the most extravagant someone has create a $3,500 ring. It did havea lot of diamonds.
What is your go-to office accessory that you couldn’t organise your life without?
My phone, I use it for so much, I use it for social media because being a customisable jewellery website people want to see pictures of beautiful jewellery so we have to be on, a part from linked in and twitter, they’re not so visual, we’re also on Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. As well as email, Skype and drop box and all those things are set up on my phone,
It must have been amazing and scary to just quit your job and pursue your dream career. What did the actual process involve?
Motherhood. I was looking for a career where I could work from home. I used to be in financial services and those hours were not conducive to crazy small children. I’ve always been a jewellery addict and in looking for a return to work after having children I had the idea of Style Rocks because I had been personally frustrated by not being able to find a piece I wanted in the colours that I wear.
Do you think tech start ups that allow people to customise their experience are the way of the future?
Absolutely. A report published last year showed there were over 900 companies globally doing massive customisation services and that contrasted with only 400 companies just six years earlier, so it’s been quite a growth. Also just the other day we were approached by someone from Michael Hill Jewellers who came up to us and said that where we are is where they are hoping to head towards. So when one of Australia’s biggest jewellers tell you that, you know you’re heading in the right direction.
What was your major motivation to take the leap and begin a tech start-up company?
Jewellery industry is a very old industry. For us tech isn’t at the heart of what we do, it’s the enabler. So it’s how it allows you to customise online, because the only other option to do that is offline with a jeweller. It’s time consuming and expensive so we’ve solved all those pain points by taking the industry online.
Did you have any mentors that helped you get from destination A to destination B?
From a business perspective I try share my experiences with other female entrepreneurs, listen to what they’ve been doing. It’s not an official mentoring group but understanding what everyone is going through and being able to take lessons from their mistakes and they’re able to take lessons from my mistakes and that’s been some of the best mentoring I’ve had.
What women do you look up to/ think are good role models?
Ita Buttrose, I think she’s wonderful. She has a fantastic saying, she says ‘Tough times don’t last, tough people do’. So I hold that in my head for when the going gets tough. She broke glass ceilings and she was the trailblazer before anyone else and never took no.
WORDS BY LAUREN PIGGOTT. If you’re looking for a career change or wish to create your own start-up and need some advice sign up to our personal mentoring program here.
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