Bel Hawkins, a copywriter/poet, established Paradise Press earlier this year with Patrick Hickley, a graphic designer/photographer. “The name pays homage to the lost sense of paradise and travel experienced this year,” says Hawkins.
Tell us what you do.
Paradise Press is an effort to make art collecting more accessible. Our print-to-order model is slow and circular, and 25 percent of our profits are donated to The Kindness Institute.
Why did you set up Paradise Press?
We returned home from overseas to blank walls in our flat and not a lot of art that we liked, or was affordable. Paradise was born during the first lockdown. Home ownership feels pretty impossible, so collecting things of meaning and curating our own space feels like a valuable consolation. None of the creatives we exhibit are full-time artists – they make in the side hours of their lives.
Tell us about the circular model.
Being sustainable in our ethos, environmental impact and workflow is important to us. We work full-time and don’t have the resources to dispatch orders as soon as they come in. So we decided to subvert the quick-hit dopamine rush of e-commerce and print-to-order. This eliminates waste and enables us to work with small local businesses, from printing to packaging. We also believe that when you wait for things, they become more valuable and meaningful. Each artwork is limited to a lifetime print run of 20.
Why do you donate 25 percent of proceeds to The Kindness Institute?
We think it’s important for businesses to exhibit social responsibility by giving back in tangible ways, so we built that into our business model. We chose The Kindness Institute because we love the work they do with rangatahi and in mental health. It’s a cause that’s really close to our hearts.