The Story Behind the Store: Whink’s Kim Paddon, An Artsy Heart and Business Smarts

Whink will be celebrating its 7th birthday in September.

Whink will be celebrating its 7th birthday in September. The successful downtown jewelry, art, and giftware shop is well known for its fabulous bling, but meeting owner Kim Paddon showed me there’s a lot more to the store than that.

Kim is the sort of woman with engaging energy and a winning smile, pretty clearly someone who’s happy with the choices they’ve made. Despite her youthful appearance, I was stunned when she told me she was just 30, and started the business at the tender age of 22. One wonders how much she will have achieved by 40.

A graphic designer by training, the business opportunity came her way after college and she grabbed it and opened Whink. “I’m an artist by heart, but a business woman by brain” she tells me. She loves mentoring local artists, and carries a lot of local products. Junks of Wood and Fogo Island Candles are just a couple of the many examples she points out. She scours the island for unique items, and one that definitely catches the eye is the bath bombs wrapped in Overcast pages made by St. John’s Bath Bomb Co.

She’s had opportunities to move from downtown but has always refused them. “Downtown is the heart of St. John’s” she says, and it’s been 5 years at her current location. A bigger online presence is among her goals, but overall “ I just try to live day by day,” which may explain her laid-back vibe for such an obviously organized and accomplished woman.

Her own jewelry line is another ace up her sleeve, available at such places as The Rooms and the Art Gallery of Ontario as well as over 20 other stores around Canada. Clearly a proud Newfoundlander, she’s a great ambassador and the local business community is lucky to have such a dedicated and enthusiastic member.

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