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OUR CREATIVE DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER SAMANTHA STEVENSON-BAKER CHATS ABOUT MOTHERHOOD

How will you be celebrating Mother’s Day this year?

We will be celebrating with Ed & Sebastain and his family this year. We are planning a picnic at Fitzroy Gardens, so nice and relaxing. It’s a very special one this year as I am pregnant with my second son so we have a lot to celebrate.
I always try and do something nice for myself too as it can be hard to take time out for yourself when it’s go go go! It’s important to take some time out and honour yourself whether it be just to go and do your nails or watch a movie or have some time to recharge. 

How do you find work life balance being a mum?

I don’t think you truly get balance every day, it’s like a see-saw. Some days it goes smoothly and other days it’s a disaster. Some days work is demanding and there are deadlines, some days that little human needs you more and you just have to make it work as best you can. If Sebastian needs me, that is my priority and I’m lucky because i am flexible with my schedule and can work from home if he is sick. We have an excellent team at pared who are so supportive. I just need to be flexible and sometimes plans change!
At the end of each day you need to press a reset button. I don’t like to sugar coat it, some days are so hard, you need to function as a human after a night of broken sleep, a demanding toddler who doesn't want to listen and try and work too but this too shall pass and every day is a chance for a new start!

What have you learnt most from your son?

Patience, surrender and being in the moment, whatever that moment may be. Sebastian has a great imagination and we are always outside building a fort or a dinosaur garden. Boys are active and mine is especially so, we are always on the move.

What’s the best piece of advice your mother gave you?

I think her best piece of advice was to always listen to my intuition. Sometimes only you know something is up and it’s important to listen to that voice whether it be with your own child or any aspect of your life. If it doesn't feel right, go with your gut.

What’s your best advice for mothers starting a new business?

It’s the best of times and hardest of times! For me pregnancy is so hard and tiring. I don't feel my best. I feel my most creative when that little baby arrives and even though i am sleep deprived I have a real hunger to get back into work and i feel so inspired again. It’s different for everyone, just be kind to yourself. You have done an incredible thing to grow and birth a human so take it easy, build it slowly and it will come. 

Who are the women that inspire you?

Women in general inspire me and keep me going. We can do pretty incredible things while managing a lot. I have a beautiful network of girlfriends and strong women in my family and spending time with them recharges me and keeps me going. I really enjoy listening to the Grace Tales podcast and hearing all of the different perspectives of motherhood and lessons that are learnt from different women around the world.

If you could pass on one item from your wardrobe to your kids what would it be?

My engagement ring is passed down to the eldest child, so Sebastian will be the fifth generation to inherit the ring from my Great-Great Grandmother which is very special. My second son (who is due in September) will have a similar memento kept for him to be passed down. I think jewellery is important to hand down and feels so personal.The boys will also inherit a ridiculous archive of pared sunglasses which should keep them happy!

About

ABOUT PARED

How did we start?

PARED EYEWEAR is the creation of co-founders and husband and wife duo, Samantha Stevenson and Edward Baker. In 2011 in the early days of their relationship, Sam’s design vision and Ed’s sales background were the perfect pair for starting a brand set to challenge the global eyewear industry, while based in Sydney, Australia. Samantha’s creative philosophy focuses on wearability while pushing the boundaries of conventional design and still staying true to eyewear fundamentals of high quality materials, smooth shapes and lasting comfort. Pared launched with five unique styles in the summer of 2012. The first ever Pared collection was called Made in the Shade, it featured the iconic Pared styles, Puss & Boots, Bread & Butter and Bigger & Better which are still some of the brands top selling frames to date. Each season the styles are injected with new colourways, but the fundamentals of Sam’s designs are proving to be trans-seasonal and timeless.

Since then, the brand has released a further six collections and 12 capsule collaborations, with each range taking inspiration from places and eras evocative of sunny days and endless summers. Pared collections and collaborations are eagerly anticipated, with the brand gaining a strong customer and influencer following across the globe. Samantha’s unique use of colour combinations and distinctive cutaway detailing, as well as her unusual material and surface treatments, ensure a point of difference among other eyewear brands.

What does the brand stand for?

The word ‘pare’ means to cut something back, shave it, or refine it; this is the fundamental design philosophy the brand stands by. The name is also a play on words for pair – each product is named after a famous pair: Bread & Butter, Puss & Boots, Romeo & Juliet, and the brand is known for its collaborations and cross-industry partnerships in fashion, music, art and jewellery.

Ultimately, pared is collection of handmade sunglasses grounded in the fundamentals of clean lines, smooth shapes and lasting comfort. The design philosophy is based on symbiosis – the idea that contrasting influences can combine to create truly unique experiences. Each Pared style balances a sense of old and new, masculine and feminine, classic and modern. Distinct yet cohesive materials, from metals and crystals to leather and stones, add depth and detail to sculpted acetate frames. Art, architecture and design are key influences for the Sam’s design development; eyewear lends itself to be easily influenced by external industries, it’s a fashion accessory which holds strong sculptural shape and colour and therefore inspiration can come from anywhere! Pared’s collections are inspired by places, memories and eras that evoke endless summers and eternal blue skies.

Pared has established a cult following amongst style influencers, artists and celebrities across the globe. Known for balancing a commitment to wearability with pushing the boundaries of conventional design, Pared collections are always anticipated for their quality and individuality. The brand is currently worn by Beyonce and Solange Knowles, Suki Waterhouse, Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid, Selena Gomez, Kaia Gerber and Helena Christensen.

Pared collaborations tap into a cross-cultural market and set the brand apart in the eyewear industry. Bec & Bridge, STÆRK&CHRISTENSEN, Ginger & Smart, Emma Mulholland, Client Liaison Deluxe Line and Holly Ryan Jewellery are just some of the incredible brands Pared has been lucky enough to work with. It is one of our top priorities to continue learning, and we do this by sharing our design story with other creative teams.

THE PRODUCT

Our eyewear components are chosen with a long life span in mind.

FRAMES – The frame is handmade using high quality 6mm acetates. We use a number of quality suppliers with core acetates from DAICEL and Mazzucelli. Acetate is lightweight, flexible & hypo allergenic. The properties of acetate allow it to retain a vibrant pigment in many different shades and combinations.

LENSES – Pared offers a selection of both solid, gradient & mirror CR39 lenses. We use high quality Japanese lens suppliers as well as Carl Zeiss optics. Our lenses are lightweight, shatterproof and scratch resistant with a great clarity of vision. Cr39 lenses have superior heat and chemical resistance. All pared lenses meet the strictest Australian & NZ standards as well as International standards. The lenses offer UV400 protection and 100% UVA & UVB protection.

METAL DETAIL & HINGES – All metal is either titanium (known for its strength and durability whilst being very light) or stainless steel. Both nickel free & hypo allergenic.

SCREWS – We use OBE German rubber dipped screws to ensure a strong and durable hinge connection for long term wear.

WARRANTY – We pride ourselves on a lovely product made with care and attention to detail. We offer a custom pared case & pouch to protect your glasses as well as a 1 year warranty against manufacturing faults. We also offer a repair service for our glasses. Please contact us – hello@pared.com.au for any enquiries.

OPTICAL FRAMES & PRESCRIPTION – Most of our sunglasses frames can be scripted with an optical lens. Please contact us for more information.