Marilynne Paspaley, Paspaley Pearls

I read an article in the business press about Marilynne Paspaley. I was aware of her business through the highly innovative advertising campaigns that she conducts for her superb range of pearl jewellery.

Marilynne Paspaley developed a new market for Australian pearls designing and presenting pearls which were considered by many people to be somewhat old fashioned jewellery. Marilynne’s early training was acting and she had no business qualifications. She began marketing a product costing up to half a million dollars.

There was little knowledge in the market about Australian pearls; we were not exactly a country that really embraced jewellery as a part of our purchasing. The majority of jewellery was low end - the average sale of jewellery in Australia was probably under $1000. People didn't place a great deal of emphasis on design and I very much went against the trend.

We opened our stores and took the high ground with strands of pearls that were incredibly valuable in our advertising. It was just knowing - it was very clear and it was never compromise.

Marilynne’s intuition is highly developed. She has the ability to clearly visualise what is needed for success.

I have to pick the right people who can understand what I say, I don't tell them how to do something I tell them how I want somebody to feel or how I want people to feel when they deal with our staff.

How does she express that feeling of absolute clarity to other people in the company who may have different points of view or who may feel that their boss is not being consultative? Does she share her intuitions openly with her staff? "No it probably really annoys them", Marilynne says and that is why they question it so much.

I just know what is right and it is a real process trying to convince other people that it is right. It is not that I do not care about other people’s opinion.  It is very difficult for other people because I cannot explain it and it looks like I am being stubborn. I just know that is absolutely the right thing to be doing and there is no other way because if you do other things you are going to mess it up.

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