Elle’s World


Paula Joye is an icon in the publishing world… as the former Editor of Cleo, Shop til You Drop, Madison magazines, Paula knows a thing or two about fashion and beauty.  Ahead of the curb, Paula saw the rise of digital media and departed her career as an Editor and created The Joye

Paula and The Joye are considered as authoritative voices on home, fashion, lifestyle, beauty and food for the modern woman juggling a balanced but fashionable life.

You started out in magazines, working your way up to Editor, what did your time in the world of publishing teach you and what was your most valuable lesson?

As a creative, I don’t understand why people stop at GOOD? Because everything can be better. Push until you get to GREAT – that’s where magic can be made.  In hindsight, I feel the most important teachings were excellence and accountability. 

The business of magazines made me seek excellence, create excellence and expect excellence.

As a leader, I believe that the buck stops with you. It’s not your teams fault. It’s yours. If you want to lead honourable and well. Be accountable.

I have twenty years of value from traditional media but one important take out is that being a journalist has taught me to always look around. Look. Up. Down. Behind you. You need to study situation and circumstance.

That’s a skill that has helped in every aspect of my life.

When did you realise that you had reached your peak in publishing and it was time to go out on your own?

I had a personal rule: don’t stay more than six years editing any one title. And I stuck to that. I feel after you’ve edited 72 issues of one magazine – you’ve starting to cover old ground. Give someone else a go!

Honestly I was restless and enchanted by the possibilities of digital. I wanted to learn something new and work for myself.

I was also exhausted. I had been working for twenty years, did university at night, had two babies and…I had the best of times in publishing and that’s the best time to leave a party right? When you’re still having a good time.

What was the hardest part of starting your own digital business?

All of it. Every part. I’m a real geek so of course I felt it was necessary to learn to code, edit video, design….all fantastic skills which are working well for me now…but int the beginning I was drowning.

When it comes to digital: if you know what you don’t know – then you’re in a good space.

Was there a defining moment where you realised your skillset could become a career?

In my corporate life, I had always been the face of a brand. Sitting behind the security of a masthead or a company. I really deeply struggled with becoming a brand myself.  I was so uncomfortable. Then one day it clicked.

I found a brand lane and brand voice that worked for me. I changed the name and direction of my website and that’s when THE JOYE became a business.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt along the way?

I don’t know any successful woman who hasn’t been rejected, who hasn’t been fired or entrepreneurs that haven’t failed. I love Malcolm Turnbull’s words: “Every entrepreneur fails, but the secret to great ones is that when you fail, you fail fast."

What does your day-to-day look like?

I start each day with exercise, coffee and a dash of hope.

As I’ve gotten older and moved from the corporate goat track to working for myself, my days have become unstructured and unpredictable but I like the stickiness of that. It keeps you on your toes and aware.

But on most days – I will film and edit content, write, shoot and upload content, meet with clients, walk my dog, buy groceries, herd children and drink wine.

The modern world is a busy one! What is your version of self-care?

I had a real Oprah moment several years ago when I realised that balance wasn’t an achievable thing. Once you work that out – it opens up much more space to be kind to yourself.

Exercise is not negotiable for me. It keeps my head in check. It’s brilliant when I get anxious because it gives the stress somewhere to go.

I’ve also started exercising my mind in different ways. I took up the piano about a year ago and that’s been wonderful. And I do the New York Times crossword every day.

Self-care is a changing space – we have different needs at different times in our lives. The important thing is that you switch it up when you need to.

What three things would we always find in your beauty bag?

Ultra Violette Queen Screen Luminising Sunscreen

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

NudeStix Nudies Bloom in Cherry Blossom Babe

If you could have any five women sitting around a dinner table with you, who would they be and why?

This was very hard because there are so many woman and not enough chairs at this dinner table. But…

Marilyn Monroe. I have so many questions.

Elizabeth Gilbert. She is such a brave, creative thinker. Her Ted Talks have given me such perspective, her self- deprecation is authentic and she’s funny.

Stevie Nicks. I want to talk about fashion, lyrics and how the world turns.

Oprah. Duh.

Emily Bronte. She wrote just one novel. But what a novel (Wuthering Heights).

What's the last song you listened to?

XO by Beyoncé

Parting words of advice for being a #bossbabe in work and life?

Be ethical, stay creative, support not hinder, look forward, listen closely and work to live not live to work.