How This Interior Designer Disrupted the Paint Industry

Welcome to Second Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who’ve made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on iTunes, and stay tuned. 

Nicole Gibbons’s story is one that exemplifies the risk being worth the reward. In 2018, Gibbons founded Clare, the first direct-to-consumer paint brand with an innovative, strategic business model on a mission to simplify paint shopping. A company designed to eliminate the pain of picking out paint by having a highly curated selection of colors, mess-free peel-and-stick swatches, and interior paint samples conveniently delivered to your door, Clare has completely disrupted the $155 billion global paint industry. Impressively, Gibbons became one of just 34 black female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to surpass the million-dollar mark in capital fundraising, a milestone she met with $2 million in seed funding from prominent VC investors to grow her design startup.

Because Gibbons has a keen eye for design and is a seasoned interior designer, having operated her own design firm and appeared as a TV personality on Rachel Ray and networks like HGTV and TLC, the start of Clare only seemed natural. However, prior to exploring the design industry, Gibbons climbed the corporate ladder at Victoria’s Secret. Gibbons grew from PR assistant all the way into global director of communications and events at the company, which is a testament to her determined work ethic. Gibbons proves that with an optimistic attitude and drive, you can truly be in charge of your own destiny. “I’m self-taught and self-made, and I can figure this out. And so, it was really just a matter of understanding all of the steps that it’s going to take to run this business,” Gibbons explains to us on Second Life.

Head to iTunes to subscribe to Second Life, and listen to this brand-new episode to hear all about how Gibbons transitioned from PR powerhouse to interior designer and eventually founded a company that’s disrupting its industry. 

Up next, find out how icon Kat Von D continues to creatively evolve her career.

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