You know a Paul Ropp design when you see a Paul Ropp design – the colors, the textures, the fabrics are instantly recognizable and produce, in most people, one of two effects – a “wow” or a smile; or most likely, both at the same time.
But seeing a Paul Ropp designs does more, it makes you wonder what kind of unrestrained, inspired, beautiful mind dreamed them up. It certainly isn’t a mind that can be captured in a conventional interview, so we didn’t even try. Instead, we set off a flurry of seemingly random questions at the man, hoping that the replies he gives us will let you build a patchwork of his persona, a Paul Ropp collage. And whichever way it comes out, one thing is for sure – it will be a colorful one.
Maciek Klimowicz: What do you do to make a day better?
Paul Ropp: A few things. I exercise because helps me physically go forward. I look at what kind of work I need to accomplish and make plans for the day, and last but not least, I stay in touch with my family to find out if there’s anything I can do to make their day better. My full focus is on going forward, which helps me make my days much clearer and less stressful.
What makes your home, home?
Certainly, the people. My house staff who are taking care of me like a family member. They’ve been with me for decades and they always focus on what they can do to make my life more comfortable, and in return, I do what I can to make their lives more comfortable. It’s a very symbiotic, healthy and constructive relationship. It makes me feel safe to know that my home is filled with caring and attention, and of course full of colors.
Talent or hard work?
I have little talent, I had to work very hard to get where I wanted to go. So, I optimize and utilize that little talent I have and the rest is a lot of hard work. But with the good team supporting me, it became much easier. Without that team, my work would be much harder.
What is fashion to you?
Fashion is a bygone era. To me fashion is dead. I work on the oooohhhs and the aaahhhs. When people see my work in real life, when they see someone passing by, wearing one of my designs; they instantly recognize it because of the colors, their assortment and combinations, the textures and the details that go into every piece that we make.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I do as much as I can to enjoy myself. As long as I don’t hurt anyone in the process, I go forward and satisfy my desires.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
I would be sailing, beach-walking, dancing and most importantly spending time with family and friends.
If you could travel back in time and meet one person, who would that be, what would you tell them or ask them?
Grigori Rasputin amuses me. He created a lot of influence through his ability to get what he wanted. Being an individualist and enjoying doing the same, I would like to be in the presence of someone who was very successful at it. One question that I would ask him – what did he do wrong that contributed to his demise?
Your greatest achievement?
My family. I get plenty of joy, satisfaction and I learn a lot from watching them perform, and in some cases practice what I had taught them, or what their mother had taught them. We are well aware that we are an unconventional family, but we work as a team, we care for each other, and as individuals, we all support the family.
What can you do that no one else can?
Create and provoke a positive reaction.
What’s the one thing you’d like to change in yourself?
Fewer efforts, more satisfaction.
What’s the one thing you’d like to change in Phuket?
I’d like to expand and share what we are doing with more people, as I believe what we are doing is less expensive than therapy.
What makes you happy?
It makes me happy when people step into one of our stores; see our colors and smile – being under a psychiatrists’ care for decades, some people have difficulty just learning how to smile.
Another source of happiness is being surrounded by individuals who are doing what they love, people who support each other in peace and harmony and practice what they believe benefits themselves and humanity.
What’s the most memorable birthday present you got?
Being among people who care to share their day with me and optimizing that day.
What was your biggest mistake?
Not practising what I know that works. In life, we seek information, we seek knowledge. We seek that positive step forward. However, without practising what works, it just simply doesn’t happen, one does not accomplish what one aims for. Practising what you know that works is not only satisfying; it gives you a strong sense of wellbeing.
Do you remember a time when you got lucky?
The day I married the mother of our children. I never believed I would have a family or live past 41. And now I’m a 74. Yes, marriage and family were big surprises for me. I never doubted that I would get to be recognized because I’ve put a lot of energy into accomplishing that. I have little talent, but I optimized that talent to the best of my ability and I feel that I work towards bettering that every day.
Is there a rule that you live by? What is it?
Better today than yesterday, better tomorrow than today, better and better in every way.
Paul Ropp boutiques in Phuket:
- Surin Gallery – Tel. 080-5381976
- Laguna Plaza – Tel. 087-6237988
- Turtle Village – Tel. 089-4701693
- Paul Ropp Outlet – Tel. 076-621607
Learn more on paulropp.com