INTERVIEW WITH PAUL WALDEN – PAUL WALDEN INTERIORS
Tell us a bit about the history of your company, how you started, how you’ve grown, how things may have changed and where you see the business going
I first started in decorating almost twenty years ago after a career in engineering, which gave me a great foundation and understanding of the necessity of high-quality tools and materials. A career in decorating has allowed me to pursue my passion and I have continued to research new products and technologies ever since to achieve the very best results for my client.
Since then, a lot has changed in the industry. Twenty years ago we used a lot of harmful and toxic paints as standard, the paint smell lingered for weeks after application, and most products took at least sixteen hours to dry before you could apply a second coat – how things have changed!
Nowadays, my own health, the health of the environment, and the health of my clients need not be put at risk; paint and other decorating products have improved hugely, and it’s a core value of our business now and moving forward to be at the forefront of this change and use these products in our projects.
What are the core values at the heart of your company, what do you think makes you successful and what do you love most about what you do?
I believe having clear core values and a mission statement is integral to a confident, growing company, and we have six core values we stand by; craftsmanship, dedication, integrity, communication, experience, and satisfaction. We know where our strengths lie; it’s our extreme attention to detail and care for our clients and their goals that have gained us our reputation, so our values are all about maintaining and finding new ways to offer our clients more of this.
Paul Walden Interiors has become successful and continued to grow thanks to our constant level of excellence in customer service. We always offer our clients more value for their money than they could get anywhere else, we go above and beyond for even the smallest of projects, and they can always see our true passion for what we do. I love working with my clients and helping them achieve a transformation beyond what they’d hoped for. Witnessing the change from start to finish is always magnificent and a little addictive!
When deciding on what products to use, what are the things you consider to be the most important for you, and what do you think the most important things are for your customer.
The priority that is paramount for both me and my customers is that the product must live up to expectations – there’s nothing worse than recommending a product after seeing it once or twice, only for it to fail for a customer. It’s a costly mistake for all, and it’s not a mistake I’m willing to make twice.
When I’m deciding which product to use, I always start with where it will be used, as a heavy traffic area like a children’s playroom or entryway has very different requirements to a guest bedroom. Regardless of location, I always pay attention to which products leave a lingering smell or has a strong vapour, as leaving behind a strong paint smell just doesn’t feel professional and may even cause alarm in an ill-ventilated space.
As I just alluded to, health and environmental factors has become of extreme importance to me in recent years, and so I always consider how we can best prioritize my clients’ health and minimize our environmental footprint. I ask my clients if conditions like asthma are a factor so I can make the right choice of product.
Finally, of course, value is always a factor. I’m always conscious of the budget as well as value in terms of quality of finish for cost. I always invest in good quality products as it is the best way to get that top-quality finish my clients expect.
Sustainability and environmental concerns are changing how we do things in all walks of life, including business. How do you think this has, and will affect your business in the future, and also the requirements of your clients?
I feel that Graphenstone has really changed the dynamics of the painting industry for the future with its eco-friendly paints. Thanks to Graphenstone, and other eco-conscious brands, we don’t have to put up with products that are harmful to the environment, to our health, or to the health of our clients.
Everyone on the planet (or at least in the western world) is becoming more aware of the need for sustainable living and how important it really is to take care of the planet and make better choices for ourselves and future generations.
What are your thoughts of the Graphenstone brand and your experience using their paints?
I’ve used Graphenstone paints for several months now, and it has become the only paint brand I’m willing to use. I’ve found that it’s changing the perceptions of paint for my customers and I’ve had very positive feedback from clients. They like the minimal odour (virtually zero), that it’s non-toxic (an element most clients don’t even think about until you offer them a better option), it dries quickly and is a practical, washable option.
What’s your opinion on the importance of Eco-friendly, sustainable paints and how important do you think they will be to the future of your business?
We’ve only just begun to realize the harm we as humans have done and are still doing to our planet, and it’s of vital importance that we start making changes to reverse and protect the world from further harm. My business can do its part by refusing to use toxic paints and using only using eco-friendly paints. I can confidently say that Graphenstone paint will always be a product I turn to for future projects as I know I can trust it to not only be safe for the environment, myself and my clients but also to give the high-quality finish I’m not willing to sacrifice.