Paul Barmes

Trust your instincts, be true to yourself and be selective with the advice you receive.


Paul Barmes, designer and founder of Barmes, created the lifestyle brand in 2012 to redefine the way people live, work, and move. An eclectic artist and entrepreneur, Paul brings extensive business leadership to his position, where he oversees the brand’s design and vision. Prior to spearheading Barmes, Paul led successful furniture companies where he designed, developed, and marketed corporate products nationally and globally. During his entrepreneurship, he has received notable design accolades for his products, including furniture and computer monitor arms. When he’s not busy optimizing travel experience, Paul enjoys engaging in local charities and connecting with people from many walks of life.

Where did the idea for Barmes come from?

Barmes was formed in 2012 and is the graduation from my previous life of designing, developing and marketing products to improve how people live work and move. Wireless has allowed people much more choice to live and work from almost anywhere at any time. How to cater for people constantly on the move now with work, family and social life merging, now more collaborative, and with much more choice. I wanted to create a travel luggage that would be ready for any occasion – keeping work, personal and travel items separate and organized, to allow each journey to be more seamless.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

For me personally, exercise and keeping a good level of fitness is important to keep me alert, productive and get the creative juices flowing. As a “startup” one wears many hats. Design and development all require constant attention to detail, there is collaboration with our design partners, manufacturing partners and our marketing team. People and the journey are what get me up every morning.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am inspired by travel and that’s when I am most creative. I always carry a notebook with me to note down ideas and thoughts. My ideas and thoughts are inspired by people, movement and behaviors.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Change. I love when things evolve.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

There is a simple formula I like. It is RCA, which stands for:

R = Recognize, the issue
C = Choose, what action to take
A = Act

What advice would you give your younger self?

Trust your instincts, be true to yourself and be selective with the advice you receive.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

When creating, there will be times that others don’t always see the same vision.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Challenge yourself every day.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Collaboration. You cannot do it all yourself, so surround yourself with good people who offer alternative skills.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

“Failure” itself. It took me too long to accept and it was difficult, but once I accepted it was OK to fail, I was able to move on.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I don’t have one that I’m willing to share (yet).

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

An intimate dinner with my wife.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

It’s hard to pick just one, so the two I find very helpful:

Dropbox, a collaborative and sharing cloud storage service, you can access at any time and from different devices.

Notes, I use all the time, it has a variety of uses and takes pressure off of my memory.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

“Who Moved My Cheese.” It helps one understand and deal with change in your work and personal life and teaches you to view different perspectives and different points of view of what are important in your life.

What is your favorite quote?

“Carpe Diem!” Seize the day – In essence, I try and live my life to the fullest.

Key Learnings:

• Be true to yourself
• Embrace change
• Continue to review and challenge yourself.
• Work smart and hard as it doesn’t just happen.
• It is OK to fail.
• Seize the Day.


Facebook: @BarmesDesign
Twitter: @BarmesDesign
Instagram: @barmesdesign