This Is Rutherford
This is Kathleen Pagan
By Jennifer Ersalesi
Photos provided by Kathleen Pagan
With years of experience in finance, Kathleen Pagan decided to use the knowledge and experience she gained to follow her own passions. Taking her desire to celebrate everyday moments, she has created a company that inspires others to do the same. Similarly, Kathleen, a business entrepreneur, uses her knowledge and contagious enthusiasm to assist other women who wish to create their own career path. Rutherford resident Tara Giacalone told TIR, “As a friend and a fan, I am inspired by Kathleen daily. Whether I’m trying a recipe, rearranging my bookshelf, planning a party, taking a chance, or remembering to stop and celebrate the little things in life, Kathleen is often the inspiration.”
TIR: How long have you lived in Rutherford? What brought you here?
Kathleen Pagan: After living in Hoboken and Jersey City for a couple of years, my husband and I were ready to make the move and plant some roots down. We decided to start looking for a home and truthfully Rutherford became our idyllic town. Safe, good schools, close enough to NYC (where I worked), and a town my husband knew very well as he had his office here many years ago. Fun fact, he’s currently moving his company back to Rutherford. After searching for months, we found a home we thought had so much potential. With a little love and renovation, we officially moved in July of 2018.
TIR: You and your husband restored a house on Ridge Road. What was that process like?
KP: Ahh, the process was long but, in the end, so worth it! I’ve always been a home interior enthusiast, so I knew I was ready for this project. It is not for the faint of heart (laughs). So, along with our amazing contractors, I designed each room and saw my vision come to life. I honestly can’t even imagine having done it any other way. I often tell my husband, I’m ready for the next reno to which he nervously laughs.
Click here to watch a video from Kathleen Pagan's YouTube channel about the house before the renovation.
TIR: You have a background in finance, can you tell us more about your finance career?
KP: Absolutely. I graduated with a B.B.A with a concentration in Finance from Hofstra University and immediately went into banking, which I assumed at that time was the only viable opportunity. Ahh, to be young and not be the wiser. However, after a short stint in banking, I knew it wasn’t for me. I began making the transition into more internal corporate, finance roles. I worked for companies like the Associated Press, Maybelline-Garnier, Loreal Paris, and Revlon before, officially becoming a CFO for a Nutraceutical company headquartered in Canada. My finance career was invaluable and beneficial. It provided a strong foundation in my transition into entrepreneurship.
TIR: What inspired you to make a career change?
KP: If I’m being completely honest, looking back I knew on day one that finance was not for me. My gut always knew, but it wasn’t until my dad’s passing in 2012 that my entire perspective on life changed. I vowed to pursue my dreams and aspirations that I had completely suppressed because the rule follower in me, thought my passions were too risky, or not practical and the list went on and on. I let fear be in the driver seat and take over more than I’d like to admit. In the most incomprehensible way, my dad’s passing taught me how to live. I realized that “Life is short” is not a cliché saying but a harsh reality. You only get one chance at this, so why waste it by not being who you were truly meant to be.
TIR: You also lead Femme Think Tank Women Empowerment Workshops. What is the purpose of these workshops?
KP: In search of who I really was, what fueled me and made me tick, I knew that where I came from there were plenty. Plenty of women sitting in cubicles and offices who wanted more out of life and who wanted to pursue dreams that they too didn’t think were possible. So, I decided to be a voice and the Femme Think Tank was born. On a yearly basis, I hold an event for women who are either transitioning or have transitioned into entrepreneurship and are seeking inspiration along with tangible strategies to further their passions. It is a truly magical day that I look forward to every year!
TIR: Tell us more about Endlessly Elated. Where did you come up with the idea?
KP: The idea for the company’s name was my internal vow (after my dad’s passing) that I would forever seek happiness for myself and the work I did. Hence, I would live Endlessly Elated. I knew immediately that home was where I needed to live and breathe. As a little girl, I remember how much happiness I felt when cooking with my mom, or pretending to entertain dinner guests or the fascination I had with interior design and home products. It’s funny because, throughout the years, I’ve often been asked, “How can I find my purpose? How did you do it?” and my answer always is, “Before society gave you the options of what you wanted to be when you grew up what were you interested in? Whatever that is, no matter how impractical it sounds, that’s your thing. That’s the work you should be doing.” And I truly stand by that. Nothing compares to the feeling I feel when I design home products, when I give an interview on interior design, or share my most cherished recipes with my audience. These things are truly what makes me, me. So, it was no mistake that EE would be a homewares company that created one-of-a-kind products and nurtured a community of home aficionados.
“I was introduced to Kathleen and her Endlessly Elated Instagram through a mutual friend. She is always so delightful to watch, so generous with her recipes, and so sincere about her followers. Love that she followed her dreams. Can’t wait to receive my Elated Coupes (glassware),” Eileen Disbrow, Rutherford resident, explained.
TIR: Endlessly Elated just released a housewares line. Where can readers learn more about that? What can they expect to see as part of the housewares line?
KP: We did! It was a year in the making to debut our first product, the Elated Coupe, which is hand-blown and made of lead-free crystal. Such a surreal moment for me and my team. We are currently looking to expand into a full collection of housewares. So, think more glassware, dinnerware, flatware, bowls, vases, and the list goes on. I’m giddy with excitement at the thought of it. Readers can shop our home products (which by the way are co-created with our community – we are definitely customer obsessed!), read our blog, meet other home aficionados, and join the conversation as to what to launch next, on EndesslyElated.com. They can also find us on all social media channels @endlesslyelated where we share daily content on all things home.
TIR: One of your main goals is to help others celebrate everyday moments. What are some ways that you inspire others to do just that?
KP: This is such an important value for me and EE. Something we preach constantly. I think it is one that most people think is dispensable, like some cliché saying. However, the truth is that we have 365 days a year, and if we remove, holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries we’re left with more than 300 days of “nothing.” So, I often bring this perspective to my audience, my readers, my consumers and share ways to make every day truly count. We lead by example. We show don’t tell and in turn, we uphold our end of the deal and inspire those watching to do the same.