Being a socially responsible artist

Our babies are our treasure

I love those that I mentor. This is where Paul Rene is socially most effective. Their overburdened, poorly paid teachers cannot reach them and therefore, they are labeled as troubled. What troubles these precious babies is the disrespect of their fast-moving minds and the sedating curriculum that attempts to make them something other than themselves. And now automation, robotics, AI, fentanyl, etc, are all colluding to make them useless. Fuk dat!!! Not on my watch. We will teach them how to create a job for themselves, how to build their own table and take a seat. Excuse my passion.

A deficit of empathy

$15 minimum wage; a deficit of empathy? Wealth does not sustain a nation, so history teaches. It is steadfast adherence to natural law and higher values that keep individuals and nations aloft. Income inequality on a day-to-day basis, for millions of Americans in the richest country on earth, means the lack of food and shelter. I grew up in the church being taught the 10 Commandments – those great universal moral laws. Off Later in life, I learned about natural law, which is instinctual – not taught. Natural law, the highest of which is self-preservation is a stronger force than moral law. When one is desperate for food and among those with plenty, he or she will take from others – forced to act immorally – if required to survive. History again is full of examples. I know what it feels like to be food and shelter insecure with a wife and children. I experienced that for 16 years. Therefore at Paul Rene, we pay all of our artisans who handcraft our works of art a livable wage. $15 is not a livable wage.

We are like trees.

We are like trees. The tree eats carbon dioxide and returns to us the very breath and energy of life – oxygen. The cracks tell the story of what it has endured to give us life. It has been tried, but it didn’t break. Those cracks enhance its beauty and therefore, its value. As I see it, you and I are like trees, with limbs, born with a purpose. We too have to endure hard trials so that we may give oxygen to others – the lessons and insights gained throughout our life’s journey.

Pivoting from furniture to mask making

We couldn't find protective masks for our team, so we partnered with a local fashion designer to manufacture our own. With a single social media post, orders poured in from across the country. Some bought to donate to the most vulnerable. In addition to hiring a few sewists, a couple of bored teenagers unable to attend school received training to assist in the effort. It's beautiful to experience what ordinary Americans can do when our backs are up against the wall.

Paul Rene’s example inspires

Pumping gas on May 2, 2019, when a brother just released after 5 years in prison, asks for $25 to buy a shirt for a job interview and a hotel room to shower. My mood was unpleasant so I was trying to ignore him. However, he kept on and soon I became empathetic. Attempting to inspire hope, I gave him one of our furniture brochures, while saying that it wasn't that long ago that I was in a similar situation. When he saw my picture on the brochure, his eyes lit up as he said, "I know you, I know you! I saw you in a magazine, while in prison. I put your picture on my cell wall. One day my cellmate asked, "why do you have that man's picture on the wall?" I said, "because I want to be just like him one day." This experience recharged me by reminding me of the impact that our work is having on others and the necessity to continue, despite the obstacles.

America’s deindustrialized inner cities

Inner cities all across America have been deindustrialized and the government apparently has no will to lift these neglected communities up, despite decades of promises. Those of us who live in these graveyards are left to conclude that we'll have to rebuild our communities ourselves. Paul Rene accepts the challenge to do its part.

Lots of work but few qualified laborers

American labor has been sold out. The trades are no longer taught to high schoolers. Neither do we see artisan or craftsmen on the big or little screen. Making things, the foundation of the American middle class is just not cool too far too many Americans. So what does this mean for the country? Just as the saying goes; idol hands are the devil's workshop. Paul Rene's work has young people excited. Our vision is to grow to finance our own woodworking training and apprenticeship program at the old George Washington Carver High School in downtown Phoenix.

custom design process

We can't take all the credit for the creativity in our work. Our designs express ideas that come from collaborating with an engaged customer. When the consultation conversation is safe from the judgment of our thoughts, ideas flow one after the other, each refining the last until a remarkable design comes into view.

The sustainability pitch is dull

As social entrepreneurs, we find the argument for sustainability lacking THE compelling point. Yes, we are concerned about the ever-increasing intensity of destructive weather. However, the human dimension of this crisis is a greater concern to us. What good does it do to restore the earth and leave its inhabitants to overheat in anger, frustration, and insecurity due to job loss or a lack of means to adequately sustain ourselves and our families? Until were made to see ourselves as the object of the sustainability crisis, instead of the sprouting trees that we often see in advertisements and other forms of public communications, the planet doesn’t have a chance.

Welcome to Paul Rene. Custom-made modern furniture is deeply personal, so we eschew the traditional showroom because we do not repeat designs. The uniqueness of the luxury artistic and handcrafted furniture that we do for you reflects your oneness, which has no copy.

Understanding you best happens in your home, your showroom.

Virtual appointments are available. 602.282.3396