Meet an alumna: Building her independent jewelry brand

 

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Written on 13 Jan 2022.


 

Pauletta Zimmerman graduated from EDHEC Business School in 2012 with an MSc in Marketing Management. She recently launched Pijouletta, an independent jewelry brand, based in London. Pauletta shares how her EDHEC degree helped shape her career.

You graduated from EDHEC Business School in 2012 with an MSc in Marketing Management degree. What has been your career since then? 

After I graduated from EDHEC, I took up a 6-month internship offer at The Kase as a Marketing Assistant in Paris. That's how I began my amazing 7-year unique adventure at The Kase. The Kase is an electronic one-stop online and offline retailer based in France offering trending mobile accessories for all smartphones & tablets. My role was to support the Purchasing department and assist my manager in the product development process. After my internship, I was given a CDD and later CDI contract as Product Manager, my role was more specific and more actively setting strategies on our product road map, ensuring our stock level, working on the product & packaging specifications with our fellow suppliers and factories, thanks to the support of our regional purchasing team in Hong Kong, we had a number of very successful proud launches.

After approximately  2 years in Paris, I was offered a life-changing opportunity to set up a buying office in Hong Kong as Product & Creative Director, I took up the challenge and moved back to where my home town is. The experience was a new horizon and my role was migrated to a managerial role making sure the purchasing headquarter is fully functioning and supporting our European retail network. I learned not only the purchasing process but also logistics, stock management, packaging design, and people management. Towards the end of my journey at The Kase, I had successfully set up a team with 23 team members with 7 departments, developed over 5,000 SKUs across 15 product categories under The Kase brand.

 

After seven years at The Kase, you decided to launch Pijouletta. What can you tell us about it?  Why jewelry? How does your brand differentiate itself on the market? 

My 7-year at The Kase was truly amazing, the experience I have gained largely helped me set up my own jewelry business, Pijouletta. Pijouletta is an independent jewelry brand based in London. Our pieces of jewelry are curated with a flair of vintage, elegance, and adventure and with a light touch of French elegance thanks to some of my life episodes in France. We focused on freshwater baroque pearl, carat gold, and cubic zirconia crystal earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, targeting everyday wear and occasional wear segments and most importantly being affordable. We attract not only female customers who look for trending pieces of jewelry but also many brides-to-be who are looking for a stunning pair of jewelry for their most unforgettable day and also be able to wear them back again thereafter. Being able to do that is our unique strength.

I have always liked dainty little things and I am also a bride-to-be (thanks to Covid this title follows me for 2 years straight). I have experienced the market myself. It offers a very limited choice of bridal pieces of jewelry that can also be worn everyday wear. I decided to curate pieces of jewelry myself while working on a pair that I am truly contented with for my wedding and built up my determination to go further and fulfill this potential customer demand by slowly building my startup Pijouletta. I have followed my instincts from the very beginning, hoping to solve the existing problem and marketing needs.

 

How has your marketing background helped you increase the visibility of your brand of jewelry online? 

My marketing background at EDHEC nurtured me. The knowledge learned was very broad and all-rounded which is very crucial. It helped develop me to have a very business-savvy mindset (which is very fundamental in one's business career) and the academic knowledge prepared me well to be a future entrepreneur, even though it was not my plan to become one. I am very glad to be trained and educated under this ambiance. I would also like to mention that I had an opportunity to meet my mentor during my education in EDHEC, the CEO of The Kase who gave me an amazing 7-year career which I could not be more thankful for.

This entrepreneurial mindset as I mentioned was very valuable and it helps me to think and set strategies in a wholesome approach when launching each of my marketing campaigns for my jewelry brand, for example, take the most recent marketing campaign, our first ever Pop Up bazaar in London, which was a big success, I am aware right away that making the noise to the right audience, attractive welcome offer, speaking to customers and put the brand forward online through building social proof is very crucial. I thank EDHEC for my marketing instincts and awareness.

 

What are your next challenges? 

The biggest challenge to be an entrepreneur is to run the business in a sustainable manner. Sustainability is a powerful word but it's a long-term journey. We will dedicate ourselves to making Pijouletta interesting and attractive for fellow customers. We will continue to build our clienteles, put our resources forward to the pan-European market and continue to build our brand awareness, and very soon, we will be able to give back to society and to nature.

 

As an EDHEC Alumni, do you keep in touch with your school? 

I keep very close links with my schoolmates and some of them become entrepreneurs themselves too and of course with our dear professor Guergana Guintcheva. She has guided me from time to time along this entrepreneurial route.

I’m based in London. EDHEC Lille Campus is therefore located very close to me. I would love to be able to come back more often and be able to give back more as an Alumna. I hope I will have more opportunities in the near future.

 

In conclusion, any advice for students or recent graduates who want to create their companies?

Do put a lot of energy into what you are passionate about and keep it up. To me, setting up a business is more about one's mentality than possessing any technical knowledge. Overcome your fear and put yourself forward to uncertainty. They might all sound very psychological but these elements do help keep me up till today! 

 

Learn more about EDHEC's MSc in Marketing Management  

 

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