In Conversation With Paola and Joy
We believe that scent and styling go hand-in-hand: if perfume is the finishing touch to an outfit, then aromatherapy can uplift an interior space, completing it, making it feel like home.
And just like putting together the 'perfect' outfit... When the decor pieces compliment the scent, it feels like a match made in heaven. That's the feeling we had when we gazed upon the beautiful range from Paola and Joy paired with Ena's Essential Oil Blends collection.
From the moment they launched, Paola and Joy have been making thoughtful statements through simply beautiful, ethically made home decor. Their purpose-led business is an approach we admire at Ena HQ.
Our Founder Lindy recently caught up with the mother-daughter duo, presenting Paola with a series of thought-provoking questions after our products were styled and photographed together in an artful arrangement.
Lindy: I'm so glad we could take a pause from our busy week to exchange ideas and chat! We have fallen in love with your beautiful range, which launched so successfully right from the beginning. Was there a lead up to your decision to start Paola & Joy? I'd love to know where the story started.
Paola: The inception of Paola and Joy formed through a lost entrepreneurial journey. I was a digital marketer and ads specialist by trade when I started getting into interiors and grew to love being at home. I saw an opportunity to democratise interiors and produce pieces that were beautiful and affordable without the pressure of being a designer even if you’re just an enthusiast. I knew I had always wanted to start my own business, so from side hustles and freelancing, I went on to save and curate our first collection which had a successful launch.
Lindy: That's such a great example of merging your skills with your passions! I love that you launched with a vision and leaned into that in so many aspects of the brand, especially around ethical transparency. What would you say are the most important values that you keep at the forefront of your mind?
Paola: Our values lie in our passion for our customers; being an approachable and friendly brand as well as having integrity in our work, whether that’s on the relationship we have with our ethical makers or ensuring that the quality of our products exceed our customers' expectations.
Lindy: You've summed it up beautifully. As business owners, we're so used to looking to the future. Sometimes, we forget to look back. What are you most proud of since launching your brand?
Paola: I am really proud of how much we’ve grown in the last two years. Our industry is not an easy market to enter and is filled with giants like Adairs, Freedom etc. however we’ve been able to capture an audience we think is truly invested in small businesses. We started off increasing our product range in order to aim to cater to as many people as possible but over time we’ve been able to narrow it down to the core products our customers love.
Lindy: I have no doubt your marketing background has played a role in the strategy-side of your business! It's not often easy to navigate 'the next steps' when it comes to 'what you do next', but your growth in two short years is a testament to the community you have cultivated and served successfully. On the topic of navigation - how do you navigate being a 'woman in business'? What does that mean for you?
Paola: I’m still figuring that out. As an entrepreneur, there is an element of loneliness, especially if you’re in a startup phase trying to scale, but you can only afford so many resources. The advantage of my career is that I’ve been exposed to both the corporate world and boutique agency environments so I’ve been able to think of the type of leader I want to be. The e-commerce space is filled with so many incredible and supportive people that I can always find a way to lean into my peers for support.
Lindy: That's a wonderful perspective, and we definitely need to thank the internet and social media for the connections we have been lucky enough to forge (like this conversation right now!). A close network is so necessary for the mental support a small business owner needs sometimes. Apart from that, do you have any self-care practices and rituals? What keeps you grounded as an entrepreneur?
Paola: Family. My family is a huge part of my business. We are still so bootstrapped. We have a tribe that is really invested in growing the business. It is somewhat of an added pressure at times, but I wouldn’t be enjoying it as much if I didn’t feel rewarded seeing my family work on this.
In saying that, self-care is definitely important to me as well. After the day-to-day, I like to be able to come home to a serene environment. That can include cooking with my husband, watching our favourite shows, having a bath and topping it off with my Ena essential oils. Even though it’s not always easy to switch off as a business owner, it is something I consciously try to do.
Lindy: That sounds like our vision of a perfect day! In terms of your brand, what is your vision for the future of Paola and Joy?
Paola: This is going to be an evolving answer as more years are added into the business. We would love to be in more stores in the future and expand our range of products and categories. But ultimately, our vision for Paola and Joy is to fulfil Australian homes with beautiful pieces they can be proud of.
Lindy: That sounds like a beautiful way to conclude. If there's a piece from the Paola and Joy collection that has caught your eye, I encourage everyone to take a closer look over on www.paolaandjoy.com.au