We had the good fortune of connecting with Paula Wideman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paula, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
In the end, accumulated awards and projects will just be on a list somewhere…if remembered at all. What will matter is how you lived your life. Was your life rooted in love? How did people feel around you? (Trusted? Inspired? Disappointed?) What did your character reveal about who you were? (Dishonest? Gentle? Good?) Did you show people respect through patience, listening, and sticking to your word? These are the things that matter in your life and your career. I was born to Create. I was born to lead a Christian example that is cool, filled with joy, wisdom and uniquely independent. At the end of my career I want to continue doing all the things that I have always done. At the end of my career I want to still be: Making, creating, solving, pushing, exploring, drawing, designing, interpreting, delivering, showing up, listening, respecting, loving. I want to be true to the person I was created to be.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
For over 20 years I practiced commercial interior design with one of the most prestigious architect and design firms in the world. I have been a visual storyteller infusing a level of skill, experience, and discernment into projects that has produced award-winning commercial spaces globally. Three-dimensional design intuition coupled with the understanding of human behaviors in space and the business acuity to achieve ROI has made me a bit of a design unicorn. I have become a sought-out expert at choreographing guest experiences in high-traffic commercial, Mixed-Use retail developments, entertainment, and corporate spaces, including the Tysons Galleria Mall Expansion/Renovation Tysons Corner, Virginia; Atlanta United FC training facility, Atlanta; Mall Plaza Los Dominicos, Santiago, Chile; Sea World Retail Shops, nationally; Georgia Aquarium Retail, Galaxy Mall, Tianjin, China; and the Ted’s Montana Grill Prototype Design. I now offer design and consulting services through paulaproduct with an emphasis on restaurants, entertainment, mixed-use development projects and product design.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Having worked for years in Midtown and lived in Virginia Highlands, Decatur, Marietta, Sandy Springs and now close to Dunwoody…. I have gotten to know this umbrella we call Atlanta. What I love about Atlanta is there are different pockets of experiences and vibes everywhere. The neighborhood and park festivals are in plenty when not in a pandemic. The walking and hiking trails are numerous, and you can feel like you are “out of the city” quickly when needed. You will be amazed to see the amount of green landscape that can exist in a city. The variety of food offerings are enormous and constantly evolving. If you wanted to experience “Atlanta” you would need to visit all the pockets that create the greater whole! You will also notice that the majority of the people you encounter will greet you with a smile and are naturally warm.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mother has encouraged my creativity from the beginning! She noticed that I loved making crafts, drawing, creating forts, sewing, baking, etc.… Even though she would always and still say that what I do will be “different” and she doesn’t understand it…she trusts it will turn out in the end. I’m so thankful that she allowed me to think and practice creation without guardrails. Along the way there have been teachers, professors, friends and colleagues that would encourage me to keep going and develop the ideas I have. That support props you up when your first steps are on new ground. Having stepped out now in creating my own design company there are MANY people that I spoke to beforehand that gave me advise and encouragement. With that I would like to give a warm THANK YOU to the following: Holley H, Vern Y, Betty D, Tonja A, Jan L, Ed S, Ron C, Chris L, Shawn A, Meggan FW, Elaine E, Rachel S, Teresa E, Donna C, Mark C, Libby P, Anna H, Lionel F, Laura F, Paula E, Paula MW, Jonathan L, Patricia G, Katie K, Renee C, Sarah H, Leah L, Jannel P, Ada P, Natalie L, Kim L, Linda T, Brian G, Allen M, Katie B, Skip R, Chelsea D, Laurie S, Darin G, Mark D, Andrew L, Preston S, Denice B, Bryna W, Jean H, Kelly B, Gerry K, Edie W, Martha S, Heidi H, Clayton H, Christina D, Melissa G, Melissa R, Pam N, Linda S, Sarah T, Haley L, Kelsey R, Alejandra D, John M, Zachry D, Tahirih A, Tara B, Whitney W, Jessica L, Kat B, Tara H, Granger M, Sharon D, Hope T,… I will forever be grateful for your encouragement
Other: All my sites and social are just now getting started! Follow and take the journey with me!