About Lee-Anne D’Paul
Lee-Anne D’Paul is the visionary behind jhenlee, a jewellery brand committed to empowering women. She shares the roles of founder and lead designer. Lee-Anne designs jewellery using symbolism to represent and embrace experiences associated with being a woman. Her mission is to arouse in women a desire to stand tall, proud and comfortable in their own identity and spirit. She designs and showcases stunning jewellery products with meaning and purpose for women. Prior to jhenlee, Lee-Anne was an art educator in a leading independent school in Melbourne for ten years and now amalgamates her knowledge to workshop girls on happiness and personal branding. Committed to the authentic relationships she builds with girls and women globally, she embraces her artistic, creative, business, social media and educational forums to do so. Her core desire is to inspire girls and women striving for personal empowerment though her vision and story.
Email: [email protected]
Jhenlee is a designer jewellery brand based in Melbourne. Committed to their brand philosophy of empowering women, jhenlee showcases a unique range of sterling silver jewellery using symbolism to represent the essence of being a woman. jhenlee’s first collection ‘The Signature Medallion Range’, empowers women to honour their womanlee journey and purpose. Designs incorporate the curvaceous and stunning jhenlee logo of the female form or the phrase ‘because I am womanlee’. Thus, women can embrace their own unique story and embed personal and meaningful association with their piece of jewellery. The name jhenlee is derived from the eastern European word jhena, which means woman, and Lee, as Lee-Anne is known to her friends and family. It is no accident that jhenlee equals womanlee. Distinctively the jhenlee brand embraces all things womanlee with the aim to acknowledge, compliment and celebrate this journey through its collections.
$20 voucher on any jhenlee product through our website. Cannot to be used in conjunction with any other offer and not redeemable for cash. Please enter code at checkout. Code: woman15 Expiry: 6th February 2016Claim this offer
Q & A with Lee-Anne D’Paul, founder of jhenlee
What’s the story behind your business?
My vision for jhenlee is more than just creating a jewellery label – it is empowering women. At different times in my life I have felt disempowered and each time it had a profound impact on my soul. What I know for sure is that these experiences were pivotal to who I am today and became my turning points. I required support, strength, determination, and confidence to reconnect with who I was and what I stood for and valued. Over time, I learned to love myself again. As my personal journey evolved and my mindset improved, I made a promise to myself that I was going to assist women using my own experiences to draw upon, providing valuable insight, strategies and mindset to move forward. Women should not feel a victim or powerless to do something about their circumstance and I knew I had to share, inspire, challenge, support, change, connect, motivate and empower women. And hence, jhenlee was born.
What was your first job?
My first job was at the age of nine. As the eldest child of four I was required to go to work with my dad. Every weekend, school holiday and public holiday I was working in my family’s business. I worked in newsagencies, book stores and kiosks until I graduated from university. I truly believe the responsibilities I was given, the confidence my parents had in my skills and the experience in customer service and retail certainly contributed to my business mindset today. Our businesses were based in Melbourne CBD, and I have lost count of the amount of times my father has discussed business and real estate trends in the CBD. My dad could reel off from memory what price businesses sold for, the rents they way paying and his observations of consumer buying over a forty year time frame in the CBD. His memory of those facts still astounds me today. He witnessed many changes over that time and had to change his business to suit. He taught me to think, act and move quickly to cater for trends.
When you decided to start your own business, what was your big “why”?
Jhenlee means womanlee. She is you. She is me. She makes up a sisterhood of women globally embracing their contribution to the world celebrating their worth. Jhenlee is my medium as a designer to provide symbolic representation in jewellery for women embracing personal empowerment. At the basis of my vision and mission, I am fuelled by my desire to be able to make a difference to women globally. The success of jhenlee will in turn allow me to contribute to a community of women that have been disempowered and provide resources that will assist and support fundamentals of security, health or equality. How this unfolds is yet to be discovered but certainly part of my big picture looking ahead. I look forward to brand partnerships and collaborations that will further aid this cause.
What have you had to give up?
I don’t think I have given up anything. I truly love my life. A year ago I walked away from a rewarding teaching role, but only to pursue a new dream and focus with jhenlee full time. So whilst it wasn’t an easy decision it was balanced. I’ve had to give up school holidays and a consistent wage, but at the same time with jhenlee I have so much flexibility to work in so many different ways. I think that it’s really important to understand this mindset and get comfortable with what you are walking away from and what you are gaining. This is where I find my perspective especially in the ups and downs of launching a business.
Your proudest achievement to date?
I am most most proud of what I have created with jhenlee. To forge the brand’s inception to its evolution- leading in fashion, style, creativity and innovation. Presenting stunning jewellery products with meaning and purpose. I have been committed to that from the onset, and have had to get right out of my comfort zone and into an industry I knew nothing about. The learning curve has been steep, challenging and professionally rewarding. Personally my best life achievement is my family as we are a dynamic trio. My family consists of my incredibly supportive husband, my teenage daughter and our spoodle Audi. We invest a lot of time into one another encouraging our strengths, goal setting and planning. Inspiring one another to be the best we can be. I believe the relationship we have as a unit has cultivated with our positive mindset stemming from what we value.
What are some of the most exciting projects you’ve worked on?
I truly believe that a key ingredient to an exciting project is the team you are working with. Two projects come to mind.
1. Collaborating with my sister Donna (interior designer) for our tradeshow stand. Design, build, construction and decoration a momentous project. It was so rewarding to shop for decorator items and be part of all the decisions for what was required in a set up. Furthermore, seeing all the sketch ups and plans come to life was so rewarding.
2. Creating the jhenlee website. Working with Renae Howard from Gosh Creative and Jodie Preiss from Halcyon Marketing. It was empowering to present a well developed design brief for Renae to work from, but moreso, her interpretation of it forged our connection immediately. Jodie provided valuable advice on the way our message was conveyed and presented within the website. Combined, this resulted in its minimalist and contemporary design and presented the jhenlee brand superbly.
What would you tell your younger self not to do?
It is imperative to not lose yourself or your own identity in any relationship. Choose your partners and friends wisely. Many of the women I meet and connect with are searching and finding themselves as a result of feeling suppressed, restricted, bullied, abused and controlled in relationships and friendships. The negative effects of this have long term effects even after these relationships are over. It is important to be respected and valued for all that you are.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life! I have created a life I love, and I am doing what I love. Getting jhenlee started to where it is now has been such a significant journey over time with a personal and financial investment. But because I love what I do and I feel I am living my purpose, I am more inspired and happy to work on it to see my vision through.
What’s next for you and your business?
The next phase of my business journey is promoting brand awareness through numerous PR opportunities. In addition, speaking at events, networking and customising unique collaboration opportunities between jhenlee and other women’s groups and organisations will certainly make for interesting and valued business connections in the years ahead.