We had the good fortune of connecting with Paulina Friedel and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Paulina, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I don’t think you can live a full and fun-filled life without taking smaller or bigger risks.. Everyone’s threshold might be different though, and that’s ok. Mine happens to be pretty high I guess 🙂 I literally left my country, with one suitcase and zero connections, to pursue.. well… better weather first and foremost. I’m far from careless though, it’s always a calculated risk, often following extensive research, and usually with some kind of a back up plan. But you have to just do things, JUST DO IT. And I really think this approach applies to pretty much everything in your everyday life, not just business or money.

Some people get paralyzed by the fear of placing a nail in the wrong spot for a piece of wall art.

I somehow have the confidence to pull the trigger on things. Maybe I was born like that, maybe it’s the research that gives me enough “data”, or maybe it’s the strong belief that there is ONE LIFE. That’s all we’ve got, so hang that picture finally 😉

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’ve always been a DESIGNER of all things, passionately obsessed with colors, layouts, textures, light, interior design, construction, DIY and power tools. Career in graphic design for many years satisfied my creative needs. Finally, after becoming a mom, I took a break from screen work and decided to go back to the roots of creating things… with my hands. Working with wood and on our fixer upper, allowed me to get back into making “real” things, design, eventually construction! And it felt like I was finally completely in line with my deepest self.

After years of being involved in numerous remodeling projects for friends and family, and hands-on overseeing construction of brand new buildings A-Z, it felt like I had enough real life experience to share home makeover and McGyver level problem solving skills with other people.

I decided to officially leave my 20 year long career in graphic design and here I am! Over this past weird year, PUNIAF.design, my design & build business exploded, and my fantastic crew of builders and I have been “making over” my neighborhood and giving my friends one of a kind and more functional spaces, one property at a time 😉 All of that with my pixel level attention to detail.

I’ve also created a line of funky wall LED signs with varying messages, handmade with love by yours truly, so check it out at REBELlamps.com  😉

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Coming out of a 1.5 year long pandemic.. I’m going to have to say: my redesigned backyard is THE shit 😀 It already is my friends’ and neighbors’ favorite place to be, partially because I serve the best orange margarita.
Other than that, spending an afternoon on the beach, hearing and staring at the ocean, is life saving.

I can’t wait to have my friends from Warsaw experience my most local, West Adams food spots, feel the community vibe, hike around Kenneth Hahn park, followed by the Hollywood Bowl concert.

One thing we always do with out-of-towners is a drive along the coast, a bit up, then coming back via Sunset Blvd., little detour on Mulholland, back down through Hollywood, grabbing M Cafe de chaya on our way down, swinging by Beverly Hills for kicks, and ending the night with drinks, music and firepit…
Honestly those are the moments when I feel like there isn’t anything more I could possibly need. And that on its own would be my definition of success.

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?
I never had a business mentor, but coming from a line of amazing, honest and wonderfully ballsy women, I internally knew I COULD (do/be anything). I think that’s a huge part of who I am, so yes, credit goes to my Grandma, Mom and Aunt. I’m lucky to have the most supportive husband too! Then upon restarting my business in the recent year, my local community of fantastic women filled me with such a strong sense of support and empowerment that I almost couldn’t fail them by not jumping on it and becoming successful.
Huge shoutout to my ladies of West Adams, especially Lindsey, Yunnie, Darlene, Heather, Angie and Kristie, who “believed I could so I did” 😉 How awesome is that!

Website: www.PUNIAFdesign.com , www.REBELlamps.com

Instagram: @puniaf.design , @rebellamps

Image Credits
Matthew Arnold

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.