We had the good fortune of connecting with Paris Mendes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paris, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
Keep going!! Maybe you’re in a different place than you’d planned, as am I, but that’s not a sign of failure by any means in my opinion. Whether you are a new business or a well-established one, it’s never easy; the challenges just change. But the evolution of a business is inevitable, my advice is to embrace it! Something I find that helps to alleviate pressure is creating an organized process; the more processes you’re able to put in place, the less time you will need to spend reacting as the business grows. Also, become friends with your state’s tax board website, most of the time they have courses for new businesses.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Adenah is a heartfelt homage, and a love story in some ways. We make a natural fragrance that my mother originally created, and which we now continue to carry to celebrate her beautiful legacy. The story of my mother is integral to this brand because it is at the core of it. Adenah also works within the space of vintage home goods and clothing, restoring antiques, creating furniture or clothing garments out of leftover materials. Most of my work is informed by my mother and grandmothers, Gloria and Jean. All incredibly elegant women that I’ve learned an immense amount from when it comes to style. My uncle has also played a huge role, he was a well-known bead artist before his passing, and you can see his influence in some of the pieces I make.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We’d wake up at sunrise and go for a walk and swim at Manhattan Beach. Then go to Jackson Market in Culver City for an early morning coffee outside to chat and read the morning paper. For dinner Violet Bistro which has immaculate interiors, drinks and French food. However, my all-time favorite place in the world is Janga by Derrick’s in Culver City, it’s Jamaican food. I love all the people that work there as well, they make it even better.
We’d have to stop at Pepe’s Thrift Shop and Textile Artifacts one day, both have the most amazing collections and are fun to shop around for gems.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are many people that have been so important in this journey! My dad has been incredible throughout this process and so has his girlfriend, their support has made all the difference. Along with my brother and his girlfriend (which also my brother’s girlfriend has started her own business, Sweet Caroline, and it is an amazing baked goods company delivering all around LA, check her out on Instagram!). I also want to acknowledge my uncle and two older brothers. A big thank you to all my friends that have gone above and beyond to help and support me, I have an immense amount of gratitude for all of you. A final thank you to all the incredible people I’ve met through Adenah or through traveling, the stories shared make Adenah worth it.
Perfume Picture: Leah Chung