Paula Lee has found herself at some of the top publications in the magazine industry covering a subject we all know and love—fashion and accessories! Lee graduated from New York University with a journalism degree. She began interning at Harper’s Bazaar and worked her way up to accessories assistant at Marie Claire and now accessories editor at O, The Oprah Magazine.
Lee’s Instagram features some swoon-worthy accessories. Since jewelry is a huge part of Lee’s job, of course, she was recently in Tucson to do some trend spotting and judging for the JCK Tucson Design Challenge on behalf of O, The Oprah Magazine!
This week, we chatted with Lee to find out how she got started in the industry and learn a little bit more about her personal jewelry style! Join us as we go Full Circle with Paula Lee.
Describe your day in three numbers.
Two green juices, four designer-showroom visits, and 153 emails.
How did you get started in the jewelry industry?
My first internship was in the accessories department at Harper’s Bazaar, where I was exposed to the best of the costume and fine jewelry worlds. There was so much! I spent many hours organizing those jewelry cabinets and really enjoyed being around all the beautiful pieces.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Be open to opportunity.
What is the biggest challenge of your job and the biggest reward?
I would say the biggest challenge is not being able to cover everything that I would want to. There are too many things and not enough space. As for the biggest reward, I love working with up-and-coming designers and small-business owners. It’s so exciting to watch them evolve!
What do you love most about jewelry?
The personal connection the wearer makes with a piece.
What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think JCK?
What is your favorite gemstone?
Describe your personal jewelry style in five words or less.
Minimal with a touch of whimsy.
What was the last thing you splurged on?
A New Year’s trip to London.
Last book you read or TV show you binge-watched?
I just finished a This Is Us marathon and am officially in love with Milo Ventimiglia.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
In college, I sent in an audition tape to be the next MTV VJ, which is now hilarious to me, as I absolutely hate being on camera!