Pauline Laigneau
Co-Founder and CMO of Gemmyo

Q: What drives you crazy?

A: Being intellectually dishonest.

Risk more, grow more

I wasn’t destined for entrepreneurship – in fact, I studied literature. Yet, after a very short career in teaching, I was looking for more risk, adventure and challenge in my life. Then I had an epiphany. I realized that creating a company would be the best option to achieve these desires, and all I needed to do was develop an idea and quit my former job.

The story of Gemmyo began in 2011, when my now co-founder, Charif, asked me to marry him and we began searching for an engagement ring. The search – which should have been pleasant – was disappointing and exhausting. We went from shop to shop to find the perfect design, but customization was hard to come by and there were always hidden costs. That intimidating experience convinced me to create a new kind of jewelry brand: Gemmyo. Since beginning the company, I have been deeply invested in its success with a focus on value proposition, customer experience and marketing. I realize now that taking so much risk is exactly why Gemmyo grew so quickly; it forced us to be nimble and innovate in every possible way.

Pauline Laigneau, 32, is the co-founder and CMO of Gemmyo – the first digital fine jewelry brand. She first studied English and American literature in Lyon and worked as a teacher, but later embarked on a new path in business at HEC Paris. She co-founded Gemmyo in 2011. Today the company has 23 employees.

This article was published in ‘the Hundert Vol. 8 – Female Startup Founders Europe’, May 2016.