Meet Paris Smith

Coat, Pieces by way of ASOS

Formerly a real estate agent and Director of Strategic Operations, Paris is the Head of Brand at Company (formerly known as Grand Central Tech).


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Dress, & Other Stories

Dress, & Other Stories


I love my bed, it’s comfy and I share it with my two faves, my partner Nick and my sweet pup Maude which certainly makes it more difficult to get going in the morning. My first alarm goes off at 6:00 am and by 7 (ish) I’m scrolling through my email and Instagram, and checking my calendar for the day, all while trying to convince my dog that she doesn’t need to go outside at that moment. What can I say, I’m a multitasker. I leave for the office by 8:15. Nick and I do our morning commute together which gives us time to chat about mundane things like which one of us is picking up laundry or more exciting things like where to travel next.

on growing up with parents in the military

I moved around a lot as a child—military parents. My family moved states every 2 years for about 10 years. With the exception of living in Wisconsin during middle school, I primarily grew up in the Southern United States. Most people are a little surprised by this mainly because my accent is a little flat. I went to high school in Little Rock, Arkansas so I like to say I’m “from” there, but I’ve lived in New York City for over 11 years now and consider it home.

on her education

I attended Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY where I majored in Urban Studies with a concentration in Architecture & Economics. I loved that my program was multidisciplinary and afforded me a lot freedom in selecting my coursework, including an independent language program in Hindi and a study abroad program in India. For graduate school I attended Pratt and studied Historic Preservation.

After undergrad, I deferred graduate school for a year and went back to Little Rock to be with my family. While home, I got my real estate license and worked for a family friend selling historic homes, but the market was slow heading into the recession so I took on a retail job and a job teaching science workshops at the Museum of Discovery.

Trench, Yang Li Men ; T-Shirt, Vintage ; Choker, Vintage YSL ; Pants, Sonia Rykiel
“Understanding what you do not want can be just as powerful as knowing what you do want. I used to be paralyzed with anxiety just thinking about what I wanted to do in life and where I wanted to go in my career. I’d like to blame the 90s rhetoric of “you can do anything you put your mind to.” Once I started to check in with myself and ask “ok fine, what do you not want?”, it became easier for me to define my goals.”
— on learning to overcome anxiety about the future

on her transition from real estate to tech

I prefer working as a team and having regular access to health care. I quickly transitioned to onsite leasing and marketing with Milstein Properties. That’s how I met Company’s co-founder Michael Milstein. While working with Michael on a project downtown, I was able to prove myself to be a “doer”, always looking for new ways to improve how we represented apartment listings online and how we communicated and promoted the offering to brokers and renters.

When Michael began to work with Matt Harrigan (Co-Founder & CEO of Company) on Grand Central Tech, he selected me to assist them in managing the build out and early operations of then 50k square feet of startup space. That was my introduction to technology, startups, and workplace strategy. I had to quickly learn the world of co-working, agile workspaces, and the various perks and amenities required to fuel the innovation economy.

on her current role as head of brand at company

As Head of Brand, I’m tasked with upholding our brand standards and finding new ways to infuse the Company brand into our physical spaces, digital presence, and culture. Many of our amenity spaces are currently under construction and I’m involved in a lot of design decisions. I also get to work closely with our Hospitality team on brand identity for the bar, coffee shop, retail, and marketplace. We recently launched leasing for our enterprise office space in the building for teams who are 200+ employees so I’ve designed and managed the buildout of our onsite marketing center and continue to work with our team at CBRE to tell the real estate side of our story.

Jumpsuit, Pas Mal ; Earrings, Paris Earrings by Prasada Studio

Jumpsuit, Pas Mal ; Earrings, Paris Earrings by Prasada Studio

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“I’m lucky to be surrounded by a community of creative and passionate people who are always down to talk through big ideas and provide feedback. My younger sister is a photographer and jewelry designer and my brother is still in high school but he’s already a very talented jazz musician, watching them excel in their creative fields inspires me to take more risks. I also love traveling and exploring new places. While I have a tendency to over plan and organize itineraries using color coded spreadsheets—I always return from a trip feeling recharged and with the ability to think more freely.”
— on her inspiration coming from her friends and family
Jumpsuit, Pas Mal ; Earrings, Paris Earrings by Prasada Studio (my sister!)

Jumpsuit, Pas Mal ; Earrings, Paris Earrings by Prasada Studio (my sister!)

Dress, Vintage

Dress, Vintage

on how she stays tuned in

My work requires me to be knowledgeable of trends in real estate, hospitality, and tech. I stay plugged into the real estate world by reading The Commercial Observer and following blogs like YIMBY. For hospitality content I read Eater. TechCrunch and The Information are my go-tos for tech news. I also read The Business of Fashion, I find it to be an amazingly informative publication on the fashion industry and how brands are built. I also follow a lot of hospitality brands on Instagram, I’m currently obsessed with Ace’s Maison de la Luz in New Orleans.

on her home decor

The collection is very eclectic—some are vintage, thrifted, found or even painted by Nick. The majority of pieces are by friends and artists that are local to here or local to where we happen to be traveling. The paintings over the sofa are by artists Uzumaki Cepeda (left) & Dez’mon Omega Fair (right). I also have pieces by the Fortoul Brothers and Earl Swanigan.

In terms of aesthetics, I think the apartment truly reflects both mine and Nick’s style. We’ve made a few compromises to combine his love of mid-century modern design and my need to incorporate lots of textures and pattern mostly through small colorful pieces of pottery and various textiles. I recommend shops like Yu Interiors in Fort Greene, Hem, West Elm, Citizenry, & Anthropologie.

on her style

I do most of my shopping online and have really embraced a number of the Direct to Consumer brands mostly due to their commitment to reduce waste, improve factory conditions, and provide a better quality product. I recommend Everlane, Grana, ADAY, & Other Stories, Rixo, & Sezanne. As for footwear, I’ve been most excited this year about Labucq. I also recommend: Housing Works stores, shopping along Franklin Street in Greenpoint, Brother Vellies, Pas Mal, and Porter James for home.

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“If possible, find an organization whose values you believe in. It will allow you to be a more authentic storyteller and if you believe in it, it’s a hell of a lot easier to build a brand that resonates with others whether they be members of your team or customers.”
— on career advice
Jumpsuit, Pas Mal

Jumpsuit, Pas Mal

on her self-care rituals

A few years ago I had a health scare that resulted in surgery and that really forced me to focus more on myself and learn to listen to what my body is telling me. Now, I like to adjust my self-care based on what I need in the moment, like adding Vitamin D & Vitamin B12 supplements to my daily routine to combat winter blues and adaptogens like Moon Juice’s SuperYou.

on her skincare routine

My skincare and makeup routine has improved and simplified overtime. Daily I cleanse (Biologique Recherche Lait VIP O2), exfoliate (Moon Juice Beauty Shroom), moisturize (Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask), & protect (SkinCeuticals Light Moisture UV Defense SPF 50). I also struggle with hyperpigmentation so I’ve been spreading the gospel of Biologique Recherche Serum Placenta.

For makeup I really like Beautycounter’s Dew Skin Moisturizer, it provides a natural looking coverage while illuminating my skin, Glossier’s Boybrow even if I’m doing a “no makeup” day I’m taming my brows with this, Fenty Beauty Match Stix Shimmer in Yacht Lyfe, I don’t typically wear blush so I’ll pop a little of this on my cheek bones and on my eyelids for a little color, and Milk Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara, it’s conditioning and I like mascara that looks like I’m actually wearing mascara.

paris’s favorite books

I discovered Ada Louise Huxtable’s writing while in college at Vassar. She cemented my passion for architecture and the urban built environment. Her collection of essays, On Architecture is one of the reasons I pursued a Master’s in Historic Preservation. I also recommend: Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist, F. Scott Fitzgerald's Flapper’s & Philosophers, and The Educated Woman by Anne Cleveland & Jean Anderson.

Dress, & Other Stories

Dress, & Other Stories

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Coat, Pieces by way of ASOS

Coat, Pieces by way of ASOS

paris’s favorite places in nyc

By far my favorite place to dine is Cervos. I like that it is more of a cozy bar than a formal restaurant. Closer to home, I’m a huge fan of Risbo, the kale salad and mac and cheese are otherworldly. I also enjoy the ramen at Mo’s and if I need a quick bite I’ll grab curried chicken and a callaloo patty from Errol’s. Until we open our bar at Company, I can be found at Elsa in Cobble Hill, the cocktails are great and it has one of the most beautifully designed bathrooms in Brooklyn. The bar at No. 7 in Fort Greene is the closest thing to a Cheers some of my friends and I have, it’s an old faithful with good visibility to the street so you can literally pull additional friends in as they’re just passing by. Grand Army & Rockwell Place are also in the rotation right now.

Spa & Wellness: I most recently had the best facial of my life at Daphne. The aesthetician was a true pro-explaining each product and the proper application techniques. My preferred spot for massages is Skinspa, they several locations including one a block away from my office which some weeks is an absolute godsend. When I need a mani pedi fix, I go to Wellzen in my neighborhood. The technicians are great and the salon is clean and spa like.

Fitness: I recently purchased a Peloton bike and it’s been a game changer, but I try not to talk about it a lot for fear of sounding evangelical. I drop in for yoga at a SkyTing location or the occasional class at Y7 when I need to sweat in the dark with strangers.

paris’s favorite films

Crooklyn by Spike Lee, Purple Rain by Albert Magnoli, Absolute Beginners by Julien Temple and Clueless by Amy Hecklerling