Paul Hemming, the child of a Taiwanese entrepreneur mother and an American linguist father, demonstrated tenacity and an aptitude for both creativity and business operations at a young age; convincing his parents to allow him to work at the family’s import/export business when he was just nine years old.
Hemming, who was born in Taiwan and embraces the languages and heritages of both his parents, learned the value of adaptability and respecting various cultures during his childhood, frequently moving with his family to Portland, Ore., Hawaii, Utah and Seattle, Wash., where the family eventually settled; wherever his father’s job would take them to work at different universities.
Growing up with an appreciation for the positivity that comes from co-existence inspired Hemming to develop the Zen Compound, a portfolio of successful businesses he now owns and operates in his four-story, 50,000-square-foot building at 540 Howard St in San Francisco’s SOMA District. The building houses Temple Nightclub, now the top nightlife designation in the Bay Area; Temple Music Group, where more than 100 artists have released their records; ECO-SYSTM, a dynamic, eco-conscious co-working community; and Mirus Art Gallery, an intimate art gallery showcasing the works of renowned artists from the Bay Area’s back yard to throughout the world.
“There is a certain flow that one feels when going from floor-to-floor at Zen Compound,” says Hemming. “Though each business is vastly different, the fundamentals behind each are the same: responsibility in all forms, to each other and to our planet; constant evolution; and a drive to create something meaningful.”
When he was 19 years old, Hemming moved to San Francisco where he attended San Francisco State to pursue a film degree. Always seeking ways to express himself creatively, he began DJing part-time and became immersed in the San Francisco house music scene. When a fire burned down his apartment building, destroying his final film project, Hemming created an opportunity from adversity by using the settlement he received from the building’s owners to open a small record store called Zen City Records in Oakland, Calif. The endeavor was a huge success and just a couple of years later he was able to open a second location in the heart of The Mission District. The store became a hub for DJs and other musical artists to sell their music, as well as produce their music in the record studio located in the basement.
Throughout Hemming’s more than 20 years as an entrepreneur, he has always focused on paying it forward – to fellow musicians, entrepreneurs and the planet at large. By utilizing unique technologies such as an energy-producing dance floor in Temple Nightclub, building a rooftop garden, and mentoring startups that utilize the co-working space, Hemming pursues his passions responsibly, always keeping the impact he has on the planet in mind.