Paul Cluff finds his true calling

Paul Cluff finds his true calling

From furniture to real estate, from Vancouver to Kelowna

  • Nov. 13, 2019 7:30 a.m.

– Story by Toby Tannas Photography by Darren Hull

What if one day you woke up to the realization that your life needed to change? The passion for the career and family business you served for so many years was gone and had been replaced by an uncomfortable apathy.

Would you have the courage to step out of the family fold and forge a legacy of your own? Paul Cluff did. The Kelowna realtor left the Jordans Furniture empire after 20 years of growing with his great-grandfather’s company. He dutifully put in his time and worked from the bottom up.

Then, something else kicked in: a deep-seated desire to create something of his own, something outside of what was expected. In short order, Cluff informed his family, left Vancouver and moved to Kelowna with his wife and young son. That is how he found the courage to step into what he calls his true destiny. Today, he is a realtor with RE/MAX Kelowna.

I recently sat down with Paul and asked about his life’s journey.

Toby: Jordans Furniture has been run by your family since 1929. Your great-grandfather, grandfather, your mother and uncles, and then you and your cousins…When did you first think about walking away?

Paul: I would at times naturally wonder what I would be doing if Jordans didn’t exist, but pretty quickly after my son was born I started thinking more seriously about it. It was a lot to do with my freedom, my own path, my inspiration. I was getting apathetic. My biggest fear was living in a place of apathy until the end. As far as I know we have one life and I didn’t want my life to be lived in that place.

Toby: How did your family take the news?

Paul: It was a big decision, a difficult one. It was almost like a divorce — definitely some grief in there — but they understood.

Toby: So, you, your wife and young son left Vancouver. Why did you choose Kelowna?

Paul: My wife and I actually met here years ago. She’s from Germany and was going to university in Kelowna. I was helping run the Jordans store here. She loves Kelowna and was very happy to move back. Personally, I loved living in Kelowna and witnessing the amazing quality of life. I think it’s the ideal place to raise a family.

Toby: What lead you to a career in real estate?

Paul: I’ve always had a passion for real estate. It’s an absolute challenge. You’re pushing boundaries. In real estate sales you really have to master yourself because you’re not protected in any kind of system. You have to go out there and make the system.

Toby: You worked in a very established system at Jordans. Is your new career more or less comfortable for you?

Paul: It’s definitely less comfortable, but comfort can be a terrible thing sometimes. This is starting from the very bottom, so you have to be humble in terms of the approach. It’s like being a kid again, learning how to do this and that. It’s exciting.

Toby: How have your years in sales at Jordans helped you in real estate?

Paul: Jordans is fundamentally about delivering the best service possible. It’s been ingrained in me from the earliest days when I was delivering furniture as a teenager. You deliver more than what’s promised, respect the client — that’s the life and ethos I’ve lived now for so long.

Toby: Have you found a niche in real estate, something you want to specialize in?

Paul: My instinct would be to do the luxury market because coming from Jordans, a luxury brand, I’m very comfortable in that place, but I appreciate all levels of real estate. I really love the emotion and connection with the client that comes with real estate. When you combine a lot of money with a major life decision things get pretty intense. It’s exciting and I like being a part of that.

Toby: What are you working on now?

Paul: A lot of my energy is focused on the Lakestone development in Lake Country with my amazing team, The Property Source Group. Big things are happening in Lake Country these days. Lakestone is a hidden gem, many people don’t know it’s there, but when they find it I hear a lot of “wows.”

Toby: How do you like doing business in the Central Okanagan?

Paul: I meet amazing people here who have come from all over the world and I meet them regularly. There are quality people here. My wife and I also believe strongly in giving back what we can. In a bigger city you get swallowed up. Here I feel we can really make a difference.

Toby: What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing what you did: leaving behind a comfortable, secure career for something new and unexpected?

Paul: If you have the option, follow your passion. For me, I always really admired my grandfather and what he represented. He had this style and this way about him that I wanted to capture. I loved the idea of working in his company and being part of its history, but then the cold hard practical side hit me …this is what I’m doing every day. Life is a constant journey to find out who you are. You can’t close yourself off to it because of a decision you may have made as a teenager. I say to anyone, find what gets that fire going in you, that spark, and then make things happen.

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

Lifestyle

Just Posted

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read