Get To Know the team! Q&A with Paola & Humbert
A very special “Get To know the Team”. We managed to schedule time for a chat in the hectic agendas of Paola and Humbert Sasplugas, siblings and founders of PDPAOLA. They founded the company together back in 2014 to fulfil their dreams: Paola’s dream of having her own jewelry line and Humbert’s dream of running a successful business. Two siblings uniting forces for a shared cause, the company wouldn’t be what it is without both their visions.
But the minute you start chatting with them both you realize they are more than business partners: they have a beautiful relationship where they fully acknowledge and respect each other. There’s only one thing they couldn’t agree on: who’s the best dancer.
As Humbert says: “one thing I love about us is that we are able to separate work and family life, for example if we are in a family gathering we do not talk about work”. Read on to get to know Paola and Humbert a bit better and find out who cooks the best curry.
MY FRIENDS CALL ME:
Paola: Pao and Humbi.
I LOVE WHAT I DO BECAUSE:
Paola: We are very lucky to work together - we get on really well and we complement each other. We share the same dream, and that is very fortunate. And on the whole, I have always been passionate about the jewelry and design worlds.
Humbert: I love my job because it's been my lifelong dream to run my own company - since I started studying I already knew one day I’d have my own business. I am living my dream and also I am doing it with my family, harmoniously, which makes the whole thing better, because in the end you are working towards a bigger goal as you put the wellbeing of those you love first.
A RITUAL I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT:
Humbert: I know this for certain: a nice breakfast!! I like to devote at least 45 minutes each day to breakfast. And if I can’t on any given day… It’s like something is missing.
Paola: For me it’s planning my day the night before. If I don’t do it I wake up feeling a bit confused. It doesn’t mean everything will go according to plan, but going to bed knowing what will happen the following day gives me a good sense of direction. Humbert: I think Paola should learn from me and I should learn from her (they both laugh).
MY BEST MOMENT AT WORK:
Humbert: There are many good moments, but one of the moments I enjoy the most is when I have my one-on-ones with my management team, or even with Paola, and we spend a while chatting about the company’s vision and how to implement it. It's the type of chat that might not be too businesslike, but you still have the feeling it was extremely productive. I really enjoy those moments. And I also really enjoy seeing the team working at full performance, but still seeing people are happy and balanced at work.
Paola: In my case, my best moment would be when, after working on something for a long time, that thing materializes and reaches the final client or our community - it gives me a deep sense of satisfaction because I get to see all the stages and my mind goes back to the very beginning or early stages, and that is wild.
MY BIGGEST HOBBY:
Humbert: I really like the mountain: hiking, skiing… Everything that has to do with heights. Ah, also cycling!
Paola: Running! I love the feeling of running with my music on and getting lost in the city… You know, playing imaginary movies in your head and letting your imagination fly.
MY ROLE MODEL:
Paola: To me it’s my partner, because I believe he has many things I lack. He is an example to follow when it comes to being calm and learning to put things in perspective and I look up to him many times.
Humbert: I’d say my parents, in a very particular way: they have nurtured their health for a very long time to reach retirement with time, resources and good health to be able to make the most of it. It took them time, but to me they are the perfect example of what it means to have clear priorities. You reach a point in life where you can sink into the vicious circle of work, so you need to learn to say “ok, enough is enough” because that extra hour at work won’t bring you any productivity or happiness.
MY DREAM JOB WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL/BOY:
Paola: I always wanted to be an architect, I think since I was 14. Or maybe what I associated with it, but without comprehending it fully. But then I realized that it was not really my thing. I actually studied for it, but then changed course.
Humbert: I would have loved to become a professional athlete, it was something I dreamt of as a kid but then at some point got lost. And then at some later stage I saw myself as a broker - one of those who is screaming all day- that’s how I saw myself. I have always loved finance and I worked in it for a while. Maybe this is where all my curiosity started.
A JOURNEY TO REPEAT ENDLESSLY:
Humbert: New Zealand. I went there on my honeymoon, just pre covid. It was a month-long trip with a camper van, the “hiking boots and getting lost” kind of trip.
Paola: Burma. It was a family trip and actually Humbert was supposed to come too, but he couldn’t make it because of work and now looking back we regret it, as we feel he should have 100% come!
MY LIFE MOTTO:
Humbert: I wouldn’t say I have one, but just the other day I read a tweet and thought - this summarizes perfectly what I believe in - and it said: “Living your best life is being surrounded by meaningful relationships, feeling fulfilled and living in a peaceful mind. People living their best life, won’t need to tell you that they are”.
Paola: Mine is “no one is you and that is your power”. Things depend 100% on yourself and that makes you feel very powerful. Believing in yourself and the power of self-confidence is something we try to reflect on our brand.
MY FAVORITE SONG:
Humbert: “Drops of Jupiter” by Train
Paola: “Say my name” by Destiny’s Child
What do you like about each other?
Paola: What I like the most about Humbert is that he never gives up. That is something very characteristic of him and I really like that. And also the fact that he is very affectionate, even though he sometimes tries to hide it.
Humbert: What I love about Paola is that she is a very authentic person, she has a very strong personality and she won’t change it for anyone - and that is something I could learn from. Besides, she is a creative type but has a clear business vision, which is rare - I think that has also been one of the keys to the success of the project. And one thing I love about us is that we are able to separate work and family life, for example if we are in a family gathering we do not talk about work.
One thing you can do which your sibling can’t?
Humbert: Well, I am unable to decorate a room and it’s like second nature to Paola, she’s got it in her. If I see an empty room I have little creativity to decorate it.
Paola: Humbert knows how to cook a delicious chicken curry!! And I don’t really know how to cook.
What things do you like to do together?
Humbert: We like to spend leisure time together: going out for meals, going to the beach… And we also do many weekend getaways together!
Do you ever disagree? How do you resolve conflict?
Humbert: Many times when we’ve had to reach an agreement on something it’s been over a beer, always downplaying things. We’ve taken the most important decisions that way, in very chilled settings.
Paola: Also each of us is focused on one area (business/creative), which happen to be quite different, but we still know a bit about each other’s work, which helps because I can always give my opinion to Humbert on his field and he will listen and might say: “I hadn’t seen it that way!” or otherwise we simply trust the other’s criteria, because it’s their field in the end. I actually believe we have never had an argument.
And finally… Who has better dance moves?
Paola: So difficult!! Humbert dances really well… But so do I!
Humbert: It has more merit that I dance better, right? (they both laugh)
Paola: Okay so… We dance equally well.