Former fashion publisher Monica Nakata and stylist Ruby Heery are the ~tres chic~ duo behind Par Femme a.k.a. an e-commerce (meets content) site where sex also meets style. They’re also our boss(es) of the week.
Purveying adult toys next to designer clothing and accessories might seem like a strange pairing, but a perfectly curated aesthetic, accessible and unassuming products, and an overall ethos of luxuriousness, has won Par Femme (that’s “by woman”) a cult online following. Let’s ask them stuff!
What was your very first job?
M: I realised at an early age I was unemployable, so I had to employ myself. My first job lasted two days. I was 17, working in a cafe and accidentally rung up my first customer’s bill as 20 cents instead of $20. He “paid” and left.
R: Christmas gift wrapping in the city.
What do you “call yourself” now?
M: I have never really labelled myself? Growing up, I always wanted to be and stay young, like Peter Pan, but now that I’m facing the reality of middle age, I’m starting to let go and embrace what the future holds. I’m never going to be a conventional working person, that’s for sure.
R: I’ve recently noticed that I’m now referring to myself as a woman, rather a girl, which surprised me a little.. I’m a bit late to the table with that one.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
M: Follow your gut instincts.
R: Don’t work with assholes.
What does “success” mean to you?
M: Success to me is a combination of personal and professional goals. I would love to have the perfect work/life balance and be inspired by the people around me. I feel like it’s happening.
R: Feeling excitement, joy and passion about your work, and the life that surrounds it.
How do you manage stress?
M: Intense psychotherapy!
R: There are a few things that work for me. I think everyone is completely different and therefore the ways we cope with stress should be completely different. For me, it includes a very straightforward daily meditation that involves smiling, a really healthy and balanced diet, and very little alcohol.
What do you wish someone told you when you were 21?
M: They told me a lot and I didn’t listen. That’s the issue with youth. You have the confidence but not the experience.
R: That no one really knows what they’re doing 100 percent of the time. It may look like everyone is an expert, but even people at the top of their fields (in work and in life) are either faking it, or learning on the go for a good part of the time.
What inspires you and gets you out of bed in the morning?
M: Sunshine and my daschunds Pip and Cliff, in my face waking me up for their breakfast.
R: ~The natural world~ There’s something in knowing that no matter what is going on in my life, the sun will still rise, the birds will still sing, the waves will crash on the sand and it will all start again the next day. It’s comforting and helps me see that all I can do is my best. Nothing more, nothing less.