finding meaning in the ordinary


i’m always interested in the journey’s of entrepreneurial woman and the work it takes, especially internally, to build and sustain a business— in particular, ones that demand that one starts over and over and over again.

paradis’s story speaks to what it takes to literally build something out of nothing. five years ago, at the tender age of 21, with no capital and no skill, she managed to create a brand that bridges function and emotion. she creates wood work that celebrates tradition while making space for the new. her magic reminds us that the mere desire for something can create worlds beyond our wildest dreams.

below, a conversation on not succumbing to the pressures of keeping up with the mask that comes with what the world tells us entrepreneurs should look like, staying grounded in the reason we create and the role that energy plays in everything we see and touch.

Narrated by gem

was entrepreneurship something you grew into or is it something that has always been in your blood?

entrepreneurship is a world i was never interested in but looking back at my whole family, they’ve always been running their own businesses. when i was younger, i had that entrepreneurial instinct in me. i remember when i was around 14, i had a small nursery at our house. i loved kids but i wanted to make some money out of it. we had some neighbors who were working and wanted to leave their kids somewhere, so every time i was on holidays, i asked my mom to turn our living room into a playroom so the parents would leave their babies with me. i had so much fun while getting paid for it.

what’s the difference between knowing and feeling? which do you let lead when making major decisions?

my guts led me to where i am. i have this door that has been under trial and error for the past 5 years, it’s a japanese door. i made it not because i was experienced but out of intuition. even if i failed, the important thing for me was that i tried to make something so sick and out of the box. but now because of the experience that i have, i’m more hesitant to just test things out because i’m more knowledgeable on material and process. i think that’s why many brands are most creative and innovative in the beginning stages of their existence. in my case, i have a small company, i can’t afford to hire 3 or 4 creative directors now so the only way i can renew myself is by having faith which is the one constant thing i’ve had throughout, even when i didn’t know anything about how wood shrinks, cracks or bends. i don’t want experience to overshadow my instinct. i want to stay vulnerable, real, honest— like a sponge.

i’m a big believer in the idea that space determines so much about the way people behave and interact with one another. is this something you weigh when you create your pieces?

what i’m discovering in my journey with wood habitat is that it’s not a technical thing. it’s the feeling behind the color, texture and detail. it’s about emotion.

do you have a ritual that keeps you sane & more connected to the life you’re living?

two hours of piano every monday and wednesday at 10am, in the middle of the chaos for two hours. it helps me stay faithful and grateful.

this year, i’m trying to be more conscious about contributing to our community. what role do you think you play?

that 42 people are able to take care of their families and not be stressed about where the next meal is coming from. they push me when i feel like quitting. when i think about them, it’s not an option.

what space…
calms you?

your house, and my garden

helps you focus?

unfortunately it’s closed now but shokola in kimihurura. every time i went there, it was as though i was downloading ideas from somewhere.

puts you in a good mood?

repub lounge, there’s something about it. everything there seems to fall together in a way that calls for fun.

space for ritual?

my gardens, especially around my fire place.

what’s your mantra?

i have everything that i need right now and every challenge that arises has it’s own solution. if something doesn’t work today, then it wasn’t meant to be because i know that i gave my all.

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