At Summer Stories, we've asked our favourite changemakers for their best summer read, like Emily Armstrong of The Paradise Catcher.
Emily, what's your favourite summer story?
Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is an excellent summer or any time read! It’s a particularly good summer read as it’s set at a languishing pace, all slow burning beautiful descriptions of nature and the human condition. It’s dreamy, a little dark, and a book to lose yourself in. It was recommended to me by my friend Tula who has excellent taste in everything including books, so I knew it would be a winner, but it blew me away in the most subtle way.
I read it in the last stages of pregnancy here in Singapore, either in bed to the sound of crickets, geckos and ceiling fans on hot summer nights or on the pool lounger surrounded by frangipani and bougainvillea, so it was indeed both a dreamy and very real hot summer read!
It made me feel a rush of love for the enduring human spirit and a reminder of the power of nature. It’s got it all - exquisite descriptions of natural beauty and human longing, a love story, intrigue, a ‘whodunnit’ and a satisfying twist at the end. I would recommend reading it soon, don’t wait for summer wherever you are, as Reese is working on the movie and you need to read this one first.
I started The Paradise Catcher while living in Sydney in 2017. I adore summer and the whole vibe that goes with it and had been thinking for some time that I wanted to launch baskets, bags and other accessories that were customisable. I have also always loved the idea of a monogram. So I joined the dots on the two and researched hand painting processes for the iconic French style market basket bags and launched with a few key styles - the classic monogram with stripe and summer motifs - orange crab, blue evil eye and a classic anchor. It’s been lots of fun since with fab collaborations and new motifs, wicker and canvas bags, shell jewellery and block printed headbands since moving to Singapore in 2018.
My family is moving yet again this year (when is entirely dependent on corona virus!), this time to set up home in the English countryside with our four children. So The Paradise Catcher will reinvent a little. I want to extend to homewares and am dreaming up lots of ideas - hopefully I’ll be able to travel on sourcing trips before too long - I want to continue to offer beautiful and useful products with the idea of catching paradise at home or afar, whatever the season or reason. Chasing the dream while celebrating the everyday...
We hear you. Enjoy summer wherever you are.