As the world seems to unfurl with discord and strife, channeling the warm comforts of home, family, friends and pets becomes even more vitally important. Taking a moment to unwind, sitting down with a cup of tea, and the latest issue of Sweet Paul is like relaxing with a very good friend. Paul Lowe, the Norwegian-born founder and editor-in-chief of the eponymous magazine and its companion website, embraces the Norwegian concept of kos. “Kos conveys a sense of coziness, a warm feeling you feel inside that’s a bit hard to explain,” he says.
In 2007, the then-New Yorker Lowe joined the early blogging movement and found instant success. “I unwittingly transformed myself into Sweet Paul when I chose the name for a little blog that I started to highlight some work I was producing for my clients,” he says. “It was a childhood nickname, and now it means so much more.”
Since 2012, Lowe continues to produce a magazine that evolved as a beautiful culmination of his fruitful career in food and craft styling, both across Europe and in America. He shares equal praise for his global “posse of food-geek, photography-obsessed, craft genius friends.” Together, their work emerges in the quarterly magazine that Lowe hopes “is as creative and visually stunning as any other food and craft magazine out there, but without being weighed-down with impossible recipes and projects developed for expert chefs and crafters.”
With easy-to-make yet stunning recipes and family-friendly crafts, Lowe inspires readers everywhere to try something new in the kitchen or craft space. And for little ones and pets, he shares a bounty of sweet projects and products to inspire the imagination.
As the author and stylist for dozens of lifestyle books in Norwegian and English, his latest book is Sweet Paul Eat and Make: Charming Recipes and Kitchen Crafts You Will Love. While he has enjoyed working on each of his books, Lowe prefers the immediacy of his digital website and print magazine. “Our publication allows me to explore new topics more frequently than I can with the longer production cycle of books,” he explains. His favorite project? “Why it’s the magazine itself. It has been fun to work on something where I am in complete control of my artistic vision.”
Though his website tagline may be “Chasing the Sweet Things in Life,” as he progresses through his creative journey Lowe also embraces another powerful motto: fullkommenhet er kjedelig. “Perfection is boring, as my Mormor and Great Auntie Gunnvor always said. It was okay if a cake we made was lopsided, or a cut of paper for a craft project was crooked.” He contends, “It was always about the fun we had in the making.”
Influenced by Family, Driven by Inspiration
Raised in Norway by a loving family, Lowe often speaks of the strong influence his mother, grandmother (whom he called Mormor) and Great Auntie Gunnvor had on his personal outlook on life. “They are ever present in my life. A psychic approached me in a bookstore once and told me there are very present females watching over you,” he says with a laugh. “It feels true. Every skill they taught me I use every day, whether it is cooking, decorating, gardening, or crafting. In our home, we made everything from scratch, and we had no mixes. I could make bechamel sauce, and bake cookies, and I was testing new recipes even as a young boy. To me, food is love.”
In his striking natural light photography, one might notice unusual styling props and textures. Inspiration can spark Lowe at any moment. “In a flea market I may find a child’s toy reindeer, a vintage baking dish, a length of weathered wood, or a couple of amazing plates, and I become inspired to tell a story around these visually interesting objects,” he explains. “At the farm market, I may come across beautiful, ripe tomatillos, then build a food story and the props around them. My creativity is organic.”
“As I become more seasoned as a magazine editor, I have learned one important lesson. I can’t do everything or be good at everything,” he says. In business, “Know your strengths and what you can’t or aren’t interested in doing. Find great people to do those things that they enjoy.”
Each of my Sweet Paul issues is a keepsake that I refer to often. Sweet Paul magazine is available through select stockists across the county and direct -to-consumer from the website. Quarterly and gift subscriptions are available as well as single issue purchase. Please visit here for more information.