Paul Lowe got his start as a Home Maker rather accidentally, but soon realized his talent and passion, eventually turning it into his very own magazine. Read our Q&A to hear his advice for other Makers and what food you’ll never catch him eating in January.
What was your very first job?
At 18, I started working in a flower shop in my hometown of Oslo, Norway. Initially it was just something to do to earn a bit of spending money – little did I know that I would love it so much and also have a natural talent for working with flowers. After just one year of working and learning the business, I opened my very own floral workshop, and I was a florist for more than 10 years!
Was there a defining moment when you decided to turn your passion into a profession?
Amazing food, easy crafts, beautiful decor… they’re all in my blood! Both my mother and my Mormor (grandmother) were very creative, and I like to think that I inherited even a fraction of their talent. Over the years that I owned my own flower shop, I began to branch out into other creative areas, like cooking, crafting and styling. I did this first for my friends and then for a growing list of companies and publications in Norway and Europe. After weighing the pros and cons of owning my flower shop, I decided to close the shop, take a risk and jump into the world of food and styling full time. I think that moment – taking a big risk and not being too afraid of change – that was the key. I believed in myself and my talent, and I decided that I was always just going to be nice to the people I work with and for, and I knew good things were bound to come from this.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice when you were just starting out, what would it be?
I wish I could tell the younger me to be smarter about money and not to undervalue my work and talent. We all work hard in our homes, in our professions, and there is nothing good that comes from not acknowledging that. If you’re working very hard at home, treat yourself to something nice to recognize your work. If you’re working hard trying to build a business, make sure you charge enough for your goods or services. The only other thing that I would mention to the young Sweet Paul would be, BUY LESS SHOES!
When you meet people and tell them about your job, how do they react?
A lot of times people are in awe of what I’ve built with my magazine and brand, but you know what? Anyone can do what I’ve done. You just have to take what you’re good at, and focus time, effort, energy, and passion into it. You have to be persistent, and be nice. That’s what I tell everyone. There’s no secret to it, just a lot of satisfying work!
How do you incorporate seasonal flavors or ingredients into your cooking?
There are certain things I only eat in season – tomatoes, berries, etc. Nobody needs to eat strawberries in January! They never taste as good as the ones you get in peak season. I focus on what’s good, fresh, local and currently available. I think I learned this from growing up in Norway. If a certain food wasn’t in season, you just couldn’t get it. I often will go to the farmer’s market and buy whatever looks best. Then, the fun part is going home to my kitchen and experimenting and thinking of ways to use every ingredient!
What’s your go-to menu for large gatherings?
Roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes and parsley sauce. It’s so easy to roast chickens for a crowd, and everyone always leaves full and happy. I love to focus on a few simple ingredients and not try to get too fancy with meals when I’m entertaining. I’d much rather enjoy my guests over cocktails than be slaving away in the kitchen. Also, cake. Cake is so important! My version of the classic Norwegian “World’s Best Cake” is always a hit.
Any clever tricks or favorite ways to use Mrs. Meyer’s products?
I love that my hands smell like Basil after cleaning up with the Basil Dish Soap! You should really consider making a line of perfumes or colognes, I'd wear every single one!
If you could be a Mrs. Meyer’s product, which product would you be and why?
I would be the Basil Hand Soap—it’s my favorite. It’s sweet (just like me!), works hard (just like me!), and it looks pretty on my counter (just like me!).
How does Mrs. Meyer's inspire you and your Home Making?
As I get older, it gets more and more important to me to surround myself with only natural products. I try to eat as best I can with high quality, natural, and organic foods. I also want to only clean with products that I’m confident are safe, effective and smell great. Mrs. Meyer’s plays an important role in the life I’m curating for myself and my family. I think we all deserve the best of everything!