In this week’s interview, we have the pleasure of introducing you to Payal Shah​, CEO & Founder of LDezen and Psylish.

Payal grew up and was raised in Hong Kong and graduated from the University of Westminster in London with a BA in Architecture Design. She also holds an Interior Design diploma from Inchbald in London. She had a penchant for jewellry and self-taught herself from a young age. It was initially part of her DNA as she used to create custom pieces for herself as her parents deal in diamonds and precious stones. Once Payal was back from university in 2010, she worked in a hospitality design firm for a year. During her spare time, she would go to her parent’s office and help assort stones and put aside the stones that really excites her. She would then go and sketch design ideas on how she’d like to set those pieces and get the pieces made for herself to wear. She was always complimented on the items she designed for herself and was occasionally asked if she sold the things she wore.

Payal used to attend the Jewellery Conventions in Hong Kong, as her parents were participants. There was a jewelry company that her parents would supply diamonds to from Singapore. They too love the pieces Payal designed for and proposed that she design a capsule line for them. She thought of it as an exciting opportunity and did a small capsule line of 40-45 styles. They then flew to Vegas with her collection to showcase the designs at a huge jewelry convention there. To a pleasant surprise, the pieces did really well and she got some really great feedback. That was also the moment she realized not only did she love designing jewelry but also the business aspect of it. A few months later, with some more experience, she quit her job at the architecture design firm and started her own near the end of 2011 – and that is when L’ Dezen was born. L’ Dezen by Payal Shah literally means The Design By Payal Shah. She wanted to create each piece to be unique from the other. All one-of-a-kind design, comfortable and elegant, bold yet feminine. Payal was always drawn to the creative, telling a story through an expressive form and jewelry just happened to be the medium. As a brand, you’re a storyteller – that has to be one of her most favorite things about the business – branding, and communications that Payal is so passionate about.

Connect with Payal
Let’s start with the timeless 60 seconds ‘elevator pitch’, what’s yours?

NFT’s wedding bands. As the world heads to metaverse – imagine your wedding ring is attached to NFT version of your band. This band will be in the blockchain and you will forever be in history bound. The hype of other bands will be increased when celebrities will start using these NFT bands to propose to their partner.

At one point or another, it is inevitable that challenges will pop up in business. What’s your approach to overcoming challenges?

As the business years pass, everyday struggles can be magnified or reduced. As my business continues to adapt to economic and technological changes, unforeseen obstacles can sometimes cause me decreased mental energy and exaggerated stress levels. How you approach these obstacles often defines your personality and how your employees and customers view you and your business. At these times communication is vital. When employees begin to feel like internal communication is being put on the back burner, they may feel disconnected from the company or even unappreciated. Take the time to get to know your employees so you can better understand their needs and desires. This will help set goals to complete them too. If you’re struggling with problems that you are unsure of, promote your queries through social media channels and inbound marketing and ask for help from your friends. Sometimes your network is the solution to a lot of problems. To avoid future struggles before taking on any project, craft a strategy and estimate your expenses. Make sure the plan is clear and your numbers make sense so you are not surprised with barriers. Prevention only helps to what we know and knowledge of, so always be ready with a plan B.

Sales and marketing are two very important, but different, functions within a business. What is your number one sales tip?

The number one sales rule to follow is to never end your day without taking at least one proactive step to put the prospective business at the top of your sales funnel. That means making one call, asking for one referral, sending a letter, an email, or going to a networking event. It doesn’t matter what the activity is, it’s just important that you are acting proactively and putting yourself in front of probable prospects.

Payal Shah, Diamond Jewelry Designer, Hong Kong
Payal Shah, L Dezen, Hong Kong
What is your favourite business tool or system?

There are so many great eCommerce platforms on the market, but Shopify is at the top because it’s an all-in-one hosted solution that helps small companies streamline the process of getting an online store up and running quickly. Users can easily create pages with a built-in online editor, sell around the world with local language support, and leverage marketing tools such as meta titles and descriptions, create unique URLs and easily boost promotions across social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Shopify also offers a vast range of plugins to simplify tasks such as inventory management. Another great one is Klaviyo, which offers you powerful E-mail and SMS marketing software that you can use for discounts and promotions, VIP early access updates, or welcoming and thanking customers, as mentioned above. It’s a versatile tool that you can use to support almost any email marketing campaign for your eCommerce business. It is a great plug-in for once you have your site on Shopify.

It is important to celebrate your achievements, particularly during the difficult times. How do you celebrate your achievements?

I start off by saying my gratitude and with a ‘well done and share the news with my inner circle (family, best friends, partner). Thereafter, I use social media or a messaging platform to share and celebrate success stories. I set up a dedicated channel to highlight and congratulate people for jobs well done who are part of the success. I make sure to show my gratitude by acknowledging the people who helped to make it happen. Always lookout for opportunities to help other people to succeed, so that they have a reason to celebrate, too. And at last, celebrating by buying team members a meal or drink can be an effective way to reward them and to boost team spirit.

Being in business is like an education in itself, what are the three most important lessons you’ve learned in your business?

Experience is priceless and being open to learning both from your own experiences and the ones that other people have is key to finding a success that makes you happy.

The first thing I have learned is that you can learn from others and seek guidance, but make sure you’re not always turning to outside sources instead of going within and acknowledging your own intuition and wisdom. Love yourself. Turn towards yourself and listen to your gut. Develop a nurturing relationship with yourself and see what blossoms and becomes clear from there.

The second, which took me a while to learn is rather than getting defensive and angry when someone is unhappy with your opinions, ideas, or work, you should aim to be open-minded and receptive to what other people feel. There’s value to be had in every encounter and another perspective may help you see a better path or solidify your confidence in the decision you made. Don’t let pride stop you from looking at the bigger picture. To me, knowledge is immense power and I have learned so much from the people I have had the privilege to meet.

Never be afraid to ask questions and always take the opportunity to ask insightful ones. In the same way, a Pro/Con list can help you make a good decision, asking the right questions will help you see a business idea, strategy, or problem from multiple angles or from a brand new perspective. Asking intelligent questions and leaning into your learning edges is the secret to evolving your knowledge and abilities on the path to mastery.

What business-related book or podcast has inspired you the most?

Business Wars is a podcast by Wondery that gives you the unauthorized, real story of what drives top-level companies and their leaders, inventors, investors, and executives to new heights — or to ruin.

The purpose of such an interview is to promote your business. Please tell us, who is your dream client?

My dream client is anyone who appreciates the designs we offer and is able to see the value and beauty of owning them.

If you are Payal’s dream client, please contact her through her website, www.ldezen.com.

Thank you for taking the time to connect with us Payal. We are delighted to showcase you on our site.

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Women Business Owners Asia is a passion project to showcase the women, living in Asia, who have taken the plunge and started their own business.

“There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.” – Unknown

If you’d like to see a Women Entrepreneur profiled, please ask her to fill out our interview form.