Member Profile: Parisleaf Evolving with the ‘Principle of Harmony’April 20th, 2015 by gainesvillechamber
Using creativity as an engine and sustainability as fuel, the founders of Parisleaf are driving towards five years in business in their greenest form yet. Founded in 2010 by now husband-and-wife team, Chad and Alison Paris, Parisleaf has grown from a small print production company to a full-service branding and digital studio with 10 full-time employees working with partners all over the world.
Nestled in its new studio in the downtown Innovation Square, the company has long been known for its tree-planting program: One tree for each social media follow, 10 trees for each printing project and 100 for each web design project for a total of nearly 35,000 trees since its founding in 2010. It was an easy sell and tied to the company’s original charter: to fundamentally disrupt the print and paper industries.
But the Parisleaf services and team have grown and evolved. As they have, its understanding of “sustainability” has had to evolve to more than just planting trees.
“Our growth has been very organic,” Co-founder & CFO Alison Paris said. “We have a very dynamic team with different skillsets and values. We’ve had to make sure that we’re not only sustainable to our environment and community, but that we’re building a sustainable team and culture.”
To do that, they’ve adopted the “Principle of Harmony.” Developed by Chad Paris, the Principle of Harmony is a guiding values system that emphasizes joy and communal balance as well as direct, honest, and vulnerable communication among team members and between clients. It’s become the standard to avoid burnout and grow responsibly as a team.
“By focusing on the Principle of Harmony, we get to look beyond just planting trees. We get to embody the type of change we want to see in the world and focus completely on our actions and mindfulness,” said Chad on the Principle. “When we do that, we become more mindful in all we do, and we make smarter choices for our people and our planet.”
The change has led to a new branding system the team has been gradually unveiling. The new branding system embodies how sustainability in business can empower people to live and contribute in a balanced, healthy world.
“We used to open every sales opportunity with our tree planting programs. We called it ‘leading with the chin,’ and we didn’t like it,” said Chad. “So we aren’t doing that anymore. It’s nice. It feels more authentic. We wove the Principle of Harmony right into the branding system during our Discovery process.”
“We feel a great need to be responsible in every way we do business,” said Creative Director Patrick Sanders. “Our goal is to find the intersection between what is best for our people, our clients and our world in the work we do. ”
“It was invigorating to be reintroduced to Parisleaf and to see that evolution,” said Chad Paris.
Embodying the Chamber’s mantra of, “talent, innovation and opportunity,” Parisleaf shines as a charismatic company dedicated to doing business well while making an impact in the region.
“We wouldn’t have achieved the growth we have without the support and mentorship of the Gainesville business community,” Chad said.
So what’s next?
Parisleaf has been working with the Chamber to launch a project currently dubbed “Gainesville Inspired.” Introduced by Chad at the 2014 iG Forum, the campaign will better communicate the links between city leaders, higher education pioneers and business innovators, in an effort to attract and retain the passionate, loyal talent and entrepreneurs that make the Gainesville region a hub for opportunity and new enterprises.
With support from Mayor Braddy, the Chamber and the Gainesville Tech Council, the coalition hopes to introduce the campaign later in 2015.
And for Earth Day? “We still love trees and we love our friends that plant trees,” said Frank Avery, Director of Marketing and Communications. “That’s why we’re partnering up with Swamp Head and Solar Impact to host Tree Fest (www.treefestfl.com) to plant trees on Earth Day with the Alachua Conservation Trust.”
They’re expecting a huge crowd.