Q+A: Sheltering In Place with the Paik Family in San Francisco

Posted by Jaq Jaq Bird on

It can be said that during times of uncertainty, we as humans can best be comforted in knowing that we aren't going through this experience alone - even if we aren't physically able to be surrounded by those we care about.  We truly believe that shared experiences, even when shared afar through story or video, can bring us together as we shelter in place apart. 

Much like any parents raising three teenagers, rarely does the Paik family's usual schedule allow for an extended period of uninterrupted time at home together, so we thought we would seize the opportunity to join them at home virtually and introduce you to the family behind the Jaq Jaq Bird® brand!

 

The Paik Family

1.  TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. 

Grace Paik:  I am Grace, the founder and creative director of Jaq Jaq Bird. I am a mom of three kids, my passion is my love for Jesus and my community!  I live in San Francisco, California.  I am highly allergic to animals, but my love for adorable furry animals won't hold me back... I just love dogs.  I also love coffee, and living in SF does not help my addiction!  There are so many local coffee roasteries here that keep me from leaving SF.  I also love having deep (or shallow) conversations about spiritual stuff, life, and relationships.  Don't get me started on beauty and fashion. I think life is so much about perspective, so lately I've been trying to be grateful and positive about anything that comes my way... so far, it's been working!  Our five year plan is to move to France part-time.  We've been planning for this move for about one year now. 

Seung Paik:  Hello, I'm Seung Paik, husband of Grace Paik, who is the owner and founder of Jaq Jaq Bird.  We've been married 20 years and have three children, Samuel (19), Ellie (17), and Micah (15).  In 2017, I retired from the US Air Force and the family settled down in San Francisco, CA.  During 25 years of active duty service, I moved 15 times, lived overseas in 3 locations (Korea, Germany, Japan), and deployed twice (Iraq & Afghanistan).  Currently, I am attempting to write my first book entitled, Leadernomics:  Influencing the World, One Decision at a Time, and I am speaking on the topic periodically. 

Samuel Paik:  Hi, my name is Sam, and I am second year business student concentrating in finance, living in SLO.  I am an inspiring disciple for Jesus, and I hope to be a light onto this world.  My identity is in Christ and Christ alone, and my distant, distant second, only on this earth, is the one and only, Benny Green.

Ellie Paik:  Hi, my name is Ellie Paik (short for Eleanor), and I am the middle child among two boys.  I am currently spending my year as a high school junior bending over backwards to get into college.  I live and breathe SAT, AP exams, extracurricular activities.  I am the founder and president of San Francisco's only US Veteran's Club.  I am the head business manager of my school's journalism program.  I also blog for SF's local creative teen blog called Sunset Media Wave

Micah Paik:  My name is Micah.  I enjoy playing golf, and I am a freshman in high school.  I like playing golf at TPC courses.  I'm a Christian.  I live out my life with the MAMBA mentality.  Every day you not work is a day for someone else to outwork you.  Don't wake up at 6, wake up at 4.

2.  HOW HAS YOUR JOB/SCHOOL TRANSITIONED FOR YOU DURING SHELTER-IN-PLACE?
Grace Being the founder of Jaq Jaq Bird, I recently had to make some hard choices regarding cut backs and even lay offs.  It really hurts, because I love my team.  However, even with the new transition, every single team member was so understanding and those still on staff continue to work hard, which is such a testament to me that they are not doing this to just survive, but they love JJB's culture and team.  My day-to-day schedule and environment hasn't changed that much.  We have our condo-office that is on the side of the city and home we work out of but lately my husband will go there to write and work. Because all the kids are home 100% of the time, it's been hard to keep our own space, but we've been creative to occupy every single square meter of our tiny condo in SF:  the garage, our make-shift office, living/dining area, and three bedrooms are all occupied for zoom meetings and class time! 

Seung:  My job hasn't changed much while sheltering in place, other than spending more time with the family now that everyone is home, including our college son.  We spend more time together cooking, cleaning, eating, talking, arguing, exercising, and motivating each other... without trying to annoy each other too much.  My family has challenged me to be more productive writing my book during this time, so I've been trying to get away to our condo/office space to do just that. 

SP:  I am currently unemployed, looking for my $1,200 from Donald Trump. I'll let you know when I get refunded.  As for school at home, it has been good.  I have been able to get up a lot earlier, spend more time with the Lord and do a lot more chores.  I'm a bit indifferent about the online school transition. 

EP:  Because I am involved in so many academic pursuits, sheltering in place has given me a breath of rest.  I am able to sleep in as much as I want.  However, I am still keeping up with classes through platforms such as Zoom and Google classroom. 

MP:  It's been slow but we started online classes with Zoom. We have classes in the afternoon, none in the morning. We have a lot of homework through Google classroom.  Our teachers are trying to implement a new way of online teaching using websites such as Duolingo, EdPuzzle and Khan Academy.
Micah Paik


3.  HOW HAVE YOU USED YOUR SKILL SET FOR CREATIVITY OUTSIDE OF THE OFFICE OR CLASSROOM?
Grace:  That's an interesting question. My real love is product development and design.  As a result, I love to create things, but at the same time, I can't draw/sew (properly!), and I am not good with my hands.  So, the way I have used my profession is to spend one day a week to help someone who needs help with their endeavors, business, projects, etc.  I try to keep an open day where I can give back in this way to my community.  Most recently, I got my sewing machine out and am actually sewing masks!  I was also getting more involved in my local SBA chapter before COVID-19 hit. 

Seung:  At the end of the day, my passion is God, His Word, and inspiring others to invest well through the principles of Leadernomics.  Over the past two years, I've been leading our church's high school ministry and just recently started the college ministry.  So, I've been spending time thinking and praying about the next generation, mentoring these students, and gathering weekly to present God's truth and dive into various lessons on life.  Sheltering in place has definitely made it more challenging, but I've been pleasantly surprised by the overall commitment and participation by our youth and fellow mentors. 

SP:  Because there is no access to the public gym, I've been creating the most brutal of brutal at-home workouts.  These workouts will leave you groveling on the concrete as your legs burn for lactic acid, and your lungs panic for oxygen.  These workouts will not only make you a warrior of the body, but also a warrior of the mind.

EP:  I am continuing to be creative through teaching art classes for children who are learning to draw.  I also work for my mom as her only hands-on artist.  I am using this time give back to my community through art.  I am also going to pick up crochet again, so I can make myself a scarf in preparation for the San Francisco summer.

MP:  I started teaching art classes for my mom's business, Jaq Jaq Bird, and doing 1-1 tutoring with younger kids in Science, History, Math and Golf.  I have also started leading and teaching a 30 minute workout online for young kids with a friend of mine.  My father bought me a golf net that we are going to set up in our backyard this weekend.  Learn how to draw a Stegosaurus with Micah in the most recent episode of Jaq Jaq Bird's Art With Micah series.

4.  WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPACE INSIDE YOUR HOME AND WHY?
Grace:  Our make-shift office.  Our SF home is very tight.  We have one common space, which is upstairs (the living, kitchen and dining area) in our condo. Then the entire place is very compartmentalized and goes two floors down from the main living space.  When we first moved here, the first thing my husband tried to figure is how we can use every square meter of our home.  Right at the first stairwell landing there is a room where our duct, and heating are housed so we dry walled a part of this space and transformed it into a make-shift office.  Currently this tiny five square meter office is my office/sewing room.  Even though the rest of the family does use it to Zoom in with other people, I like the way the desk area inspires me.  I have my daughter Ellie's drawing pinned up along with my products.  It's colorful and very artistic.  I like the little lamp that gives my desk space some ambiance and since we all share it, we respect our belongings and move it as soon as someone needs the room. 
Grace's Home Office
Seung:  Outside!  It's San Francisco... great weather & sunny most of the time.  Plus, I love to workout & run outdoors.
SP:  My new favorite room is the garage.  Why?  It is the only place I can get some alone time in this small cramped condo.  Plus, I practice my piano there.  What little alone time I have in college I now sacrifice to the will of my place.  Nearly 75% of my possessions are in the garage including my toiletries.
Samuel Playing Piano

EP:  My favorite spot in my house is my kitchen.  In the kitchen, you can find wonders such as food in the fridge and chocolate chips in the cupboards.  With just a bit of flour, chocolate, egg, and sugar, you can have a mouth-watering smell wafting through your home.  I love cookies. 

MP:  My favorite spot so far is the hallway on the second floor.  It is the longest part of our house with carpeting that I can put on to continue golf practice.  Soon enough, it will be the backyard once the net goes up.


5.  WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE UNPLUGGED ACTIVITY?

Grace:  I used to play the violin until I graduated college, recently I have picked it back up again.  If I would have never quit the violin, I would have wanted to be a concert violinist in my other life.  I can never get past a certain technical set of repertoire every time I pick up the violin, so I decided to watch Ithzak Perlman's masterclass which inspired me to change the way I practice.  That has been helping me tremendously.  Between 2-3 hours of scales and etudes everyday has been my favorite unplugged activity!  I have also been cooking/baking a lot.  All things that I have said I would like to do more of, but simply never had the time, I've been doing it. It's been enjoyable. My son and I have been working on the Beethoven #9 Piano and Violin Sonata (Kreutzer) the past month. We would have never had this much time together to work on such a piece together. But I think I am enjoying it more than he is! :)
Grace's Violin
Seung:  Swinging my golf clubs, playing against my youngest son at TPC Harding Park, listening to my oldest play Jazz piano and talking with him about financial investing, and listening to my daughter sing (when she's not too loud), and witnessing her finished works of art.  I also do love partaking of my wife's cooking... when she's inspired!  And, spending time together as a family for our evening devotions.
SP:  My favorite unplugged activity is reading about investment banking.  I want to become savvy with money, so I know how to save and increase the size of my portfolio, especially during these volatile times.

EP:  To sit on my window seat in my bedroom and play the ukulele and sing. Although I'm not very good, it brings me joy and peace because my family will leave me alone.  They don't want to be around my insufficient ukulele skills.  I learned from my next door neighbor in Germany three years ago. 
Ellie's Window Seat

MP:  Golfing and dancing, though for dancing you have to plug in the music... 

6.  WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU HAVE DISCOVERED ABOUT YOURSELF WHILE SHELTERING IN PLACE?
Grace:  Let me put it this way - The good:  I have been more disciplined in my personal goals than I thought I would have ever been, considering I have more time.  Additionally, I think working from home for the last 16 years also helped me to manage my time. I am self-motivated. The bad: Right now I am looking for a new puppy... wasting a lot of time!
Seung:  I miss seeing people in person, giving hugs, shaking hands, talking up close, making definitive travel plans, venturing into new locations and date nights at favorite restaurants with Grace.
SP:  The one thing I have discovered while sheltering in place is if you put your mind to anything, you can become at least decent.

EP:  While sheltering in place, I've discovered that I cannot be stopped from SLEEPING for 12 hours at a time.  Although it may sound lazy, it has given me much needed rest and rejuvenation.  A girl needs her beauty sleep.  I found my skin is a lot clearer and my thoughts much happier. 

MP:  I love to teach and hang out with little kids.  I have the capability to wake up early.  I am artistic.  Also, having somebody to keep you accountable (my brother) can really boost your productivity.
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  • Great to see Seung and all the Paik family. I’ve tried to reach Seung a few times to catch up. Please have him contact me when he can. Scott Heyler

    Scott Heyler on

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