by KELLEY GUSICH | photos by Spark Photography

The Center is Love

On an auspicious day in 1984, a customer walked in to Pari Hekmat’s custom design clothing shop in La Jolla and offered Pari an opportunity that would change her life forever. Pari came from Iran to America in 1981 and had never heard of Mother Teresa. This customer took her to a church in National City, where the inspirational icon was visiting. Though the church was full of eager worshippers, Mother Teresa walked up to Pari, crying, and hugged and kissed her. “She told me I had very positive energy,” Pari said, “and that she could see in me a future of writing books that someday will help people and bring them together.”

Pari had never written a book before, or even thought of that in her future. The concept of serving others was not new to her, however. “I live my life trying to help people,” she explained. “For anyone who needs help, you have to be always ready, like a soldier. You need to always have love in your heart for people.” She lives her days demonstrating this: every afternoon for the past twenty-five years she prepares things, food, fruit, and helpful items, to distribute all over town. To follow Mother Teresa’s calling, she started writing books in 2000. Pari has five books in the 4S Ranch Library, the most recent published on March 26, 2014. The books are written in Farsi, and Pari’s wish is that they’ll someday be published in every language, so that people could learn and spread her message of love.


The Library is another element of Pari’s volunteerism. She has been involved there for the past five years, as a Friends of the Library Board member, volunteer cook and all-around helping hand. Her past working life inspired current volunteer projects as well. From 1982 through 1992 she owned a store called Paris Original Fashion Design, where her handmade custom beadwork brought customers from around the globe. She designed dresses for pageants like Miss San Diego Del Mar and Miss California Santa Cruz. She even designed for the Queen of Thailand!

Nowadays she designs for smaller, but equally important patrons of Rady Children’s Hospital. Twice a year she fills baskets with handmade shawls, hats, scarves and blankets and brings them to the children. She loves creating, cooking, and giving to others, and for the past seven years Pari has been a welcome addition to 92127.



Name: Pari Vash Hekmat
Community: 4S Ranch since 2007
Volunteer Affiliations: Rady Children’s Hospital, 4S Ranch Library
Occupation: Former custom clothing designer, owned Paris Original Fashion Design in La Jolla, taught design classes above the store
Publications: Five inspirational novels; newest one, Sun of Flower, published March 26, 2014 – all proceeds from book sales go to charity
Family: Spouse – Dr. Ali Hekmat, Urologist; Children – Dr. Reza Hekmat, Dentist; Dr. Razi Hekmat, Internal Medicine
Hobbies/Interests: Writing poetry, helping others