{the interview series} Maison Paulette

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Hoje estou à conversa com Iris Schwarz, a mente criativa responsável pela deliciosa loja Maison Paulette. Gostam de tesouros vintage? Então encontraram o sítio ideal para se perderem! Se a isso juntarem a arte original de Iris, o cenário está completo - e perfeito, não concordam?

[Este post pertence à rubrica semanal {the interview series}, onde publico uma nova entrevista todas as quartas-feiras, com artistas e bloggers inspiradores que admiro, de acordo com o espírito handmade e um estilo de vida criativo. Tornem-se fãs no facebook e não percam nada!
Por motivos óbvios de extensão e compreensão do texto, tanto pelos entrevistados como pelos potenciais leitores do resto do mundo, a entrevista segue em inglês.]

Today I'm chatting with Iris Schwarz, the creative mind responsable for the delicious shop Maison Paulette.
Do you like vintage treasuries? Then you found the ideal place to get lost! If to that you add the original art by Iris, the scenario is complete - and perfect, wouldn't you agree?

[This post belongs to the weekly feature {the interview series} where I publish a new interview every wednesday with inspiring artists and bloggers I admire, according to the spirit of handmade and a creative lifestyle. Become a facebook fan and don't miss a bit!]

Iris Schwarz | Maison Paulette
site | blog | shop

1. Let’s pretend we don’t know each other and I’ve never heard about Iris Schwarz. Tell us a bit about yourself.
The hardest question in the beginning! I love drawings, I paint, sometimes. I’m a dreamer, I’m a collector, I’m very curious, I love stories, I love beauty, I avoid crowds, I don’t like cell phones, I love to laugh – humor is one of the best inventions! I’m in my forties and I’m living with my love Elias in an old house close to Zurich.

2. You come from a background in graphic design and illustration, but you now share your love for vintage in Maison Paulette project. How was this creative passion born and why did you decide to take this big turn?
Working as an illustrator or graphic designer is compromising; it’s a work with many guidelines. It was a need for me to have my own thing, my own aesthetics, my own space where no one tells me maybe it’s better if it’s red if I prefer black.

3. Maison Paulette is a wonderful world of vintage treasuries. How and where do you manage to find them?
Anywhere I go I always check if there is a flea market, a charity shop… I have a long list!

4. Do you have some favorite history period or type of objects when you’re hunting for vintage treasuries? What are you favorite kind of vintage goods?
Here in Switzerland it’s not easy to find the things I really love – but when I go to France… it’s heaven! I couldn’t say there is a favorite time period, but I always thought I’m born too late, even when I was a child, about a hundred years back would maybe suit me better… In other words: more patina please! I know, today shabby is everywhere, but there is shabby and shabby, I’m looking for that je ne sais quoi.

5. I’m curious… does this vintage love reflects in your own home decor and personal style? How does this influence you in your everyday life?
Oh yes, when I look around in our home, almost every piece is a find I collected through the years, of course here and there some Ikea… oh, and some designer pieces too: my lovely mom kept some pieces in the basement, she bought them way back in the sixties or seventies – actually not my period of time at all (!), but I like the mix, the clash.

6. Besides vintage goods you sell your own art, which I love. Your original drawings are surprisingly simple but yet so intense, they sometimes remind me of beautiful Modigliani sketches. Tell us about what inspires you to create them.
I feel flattered… Modigliani, I never thought about it, but of course, I adore his work. Artists always inspired me from my early age – I had the privilege to grow up in a home where art was loved and had a strong presence. Nature, stories, a conversation, the Internet… everything surround me inspires, but in the end, inspiration and creation is a mystery to me.

7. So, you’re not merely an artist, but an entrepreneur. Tell us about the challenges of it.
The net really opened a whole new world and possibilities to me (so I guess – although – it’s better I live today and not a hundred years before…). To run my own shop, to have my own label is an everyday challenge – it keeps me awake! It’s communication and exchange – this is very inspiring.

8. Through your shop your creations and findings travel all around the world! What means do you use to promote your work?
This is fantastic – since I’m a lazy traveler I’m very happy to send at least parts of me out to the world. They go to Japan, to Canada, Norway, Australia…

9. Would you share with us a regular day at work?
I don’t start too early, though I get up pretty early, but I like to take my time. The days look different. If there is a deadline this comes first. My blog gets a new post, I paint, I draw, I take pictures of my vintage finds, I pack orders, browsing the net. If I’m not inspired I make some office stuff, sometimes I just go out and take a walk – it’s wonderful to have this freedom, I really appreciate it. Although my head is working day and night… the early morning hours often bring up some ideas and then I can’t wait to arrive in my studio…

10. Would you give us a glimpse of your working space? Describe it and tell us what you love most about it.
My studio is part of an old city house located in the heart of Zurich. There is a small park in front, there are nice neighbors next door, we have lunch together, a chat in the hallway – it’s a calm and idyllic place.

11. I really love your blog’s abc series! Share some of your passions and hobbies with us.
Yes the abc, it’s fun, I’m constantly adding new words, names, it’s an endless story… though some letters are a challenge: do you have an idea for the letter Y?
Working and living always was the same for me, so I don’t think I have hobbies, but certainly passions: I really love everything kitchen – I love good food, fresh products and cooking. And long walks. And movies. And books… I have a time problem…

12. You live Zurich, Switzerland - tell us about what you love most in the place where you live. Would you like to live anywhere else one day?
Zurich is small, this is nice. I love the old city, the lake is beautiful, though I miss the ocean! The city functions very well, it’s very comfortable – maybe a bit too perfect. It’s a good life here, but I lost my heart in Paris, years ago.

13. If you could live in any historical era of your choice, what would it be? Why?
Have you seen Midnight in Paris?

14. What advices would you give to someone who would also like to become a business owner?
We heard this a million times, but it’s true: Listen to your heart! And to Oscar Wilde’s advice: Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. I think it’s not so difficult to have a business idea but then to stay with it, to improve and develop it – it’s like a relationship, to fall in love is easy, but then… it’s work!

15. What are your plans for the future? And your most unrealistic dreams?
I want to develop Maison Paulette and I finally hope to find the home I’m dreaming of… in view of the situation here in Zurich a very difficult plan, I hope not totally unrealistic!

Now a quick question and answer game so we can find a bit more about you and your tastes!
Tell us one:

book: Piles! These days before falling asleep I read some chapters in The Red Notebook by Paul Auster
music: So many! Classical, singer songwriter, … I love radio!
movie: I wont start to list…. the last movie really impressed me was El secreto de sus ojos
personality/artist: Oscar Wilde
color: Not the primary colors
object: Table
animal: Every creature
drink: Earl Grey and Red Wine
food: Mediterranean
season of the year: Not Winter
travel destination: Europe
piece of clothing: Dress – this means it’s warm outside
secret: What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Thank you for sharing your vintage treasuries with us, Iris!


  1. very interesting interview & work! i like her illustrations very much! bravo to both :)


  2. thank you for introducing Iris - her work is very interesting, and I love her philosophy!
    Love the Oscar Wilde quote - I saved it :)


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