Noddies: Sweet Paul

Name: Paul Lowe, a.k.a. Sweet Paul
Occupation: Creative guru behind Sweet Paul Magazine, an online destination and quarterly print magazine for the food- and craft-obsessed; all-around Scandinavian bad-ass
Hometown: Oslo, Norway
Raised By: Grandmother Mormor and Great Auntie Gunnvor
Currently Resides: Brooklyn, NY
Motto: “Fullkommenhet er kjedelig” which means “Perfection is boring” (courtesy of Mormor)

Sweet Paul spends his days ‘chasing the sweet things in life’. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.


GENEVIEVE: You’re like a Scandinavian super hero of craft and beautiful living. I kind of want to make you a cape…

SWEET PAUL: Yes, I would love one. You know, why don’t they make cool capes for men? It’s such a great garment, one size fits all, and it keeps you warm and – might I say – rather stylish. Hallo Ralph? Can you make me a cape?

GG: This is fun! I do fancy myself as an excellent costume maker. Linen and leather? Done, boo.

I want to know, being only a half ‘Wegian, but raised in a very Scandinavian community, how would you, the thoroughbred Norwegian, describe the cultural aesthetic if you had to in a brief punch? What are we? I feel like most of America doesn’t really know who we are beyond Ikea and cold weather patterns.

SP: Norwegians are a very cultural people with a good sense of style, but maybe sometimes a bit on the boring side… well you and me excluded, of course. I feel we get the simple Nordic design style fed to us as a child: all the light wood, wood toys, etc. I just love having that simplicity as my heritage and I love mixing it with the American style I love the most: American vintage. I feel those two styles goes so well together; I try to incorporate that in everything I do. Plus, we are a darn sexy people…

GG: Sexy and sooo mysterious, haha! Skøl! Visiting the motherland, I think the most important impression Norway made on me was how incredibly beautiful the landscapes are. Nothing really prepared me for this; what Italy is to fine art, I believe Norway is to nature. I mean, that’s a big statement but… it’s magic. And I really began to understand where my personal aesthetic as a designer came from. How does nature play into how you create here in NYC? Do you lean more on Norway or America for that language?

SP: The nature over there is amazing, strong, majestic, and with a sense of mystery. I always try to incorporate elements of nature in my word. Flowers, rocks, moss – they’re all small elements that can add so much to an image. But the best thing is to shoot outside in nature. It gives me so much joy. It’s just like one big studio with an amazing set already built.

GG: You know, you are sweet, it would’ve been terribly difficult to be your friend if you weren’t. How long have you been called Sweet Paul? Tell me about your American Empire that you’re building. I’m truly a fan of everything that you have going on, so break it down.

The Sweet Paul Magazine Winter 2014 issue hits stands this month. Pre-order it in print or online.

SP: I have been Sweet Paul from around 5 or 6 [years old]. I had a Norwegian godmother who moved to Texas in the early 70s. She only lasted a few years, but she came back as Peg Bundy: too much hair, too much makeup, too much boobs. She was so much fun and she would always call me Sweet Paul. It kind of stuck and who can blame them? Have you seen my face?

For my empire, my plan is to take over the world (cue crazy music). To be honest with you I don’t think about it. I’m in a stage in my life where things have to happen organically. I’m a true believer in dealing with nice people and have turned down many an offer because I don’t feel comfortable with the people. I don’t want to be Martha, I want to be Sweet Paul and just go down the path that I enjoy so much. Do you know how lucky I am? I freakin’ cook and craft all day.

There is some fun stuff in the works: just launched a wedding annual, the spring issue is going to be our five-year anniversary, videos, a new Sweet Paul Makerie in April at Terrain, and some stuff I can’t tell you.

Yes, I know… not even you, my dear Norwegian queen.

GG: We are so happy to play with you this issue. Thank you for being our Scandinavian go-to and my design playmate. We hail from winter cities that do Christmas so well. Let’s dig in and show them how we do!


Psst! Keep an eye out all November and December long for our Scandi holiday collaborations with Sweet Paul!

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