Episode 61 / Picking the Right Swatch
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“[I had] this intense desire to learn the industry and to figure out how I could differentiate myself in the design space.”

Ten years ago, Nicole Gibbons began designing interior spaces and writing about it. Before influencers and bloggers were commonplace careers, she turned her side hustle into a personal brand. That led to a successful design firm and hosting her own television show. Earlier this year, Nicole shifted into another role — CEO of direct-to-consumer paint brand, Clare.

Designed to bring the expert to you, Clare simplifies the paint shopping process. The brand opts for a focused color selection, user-friendly sample swatches, and an intuitive color picking guide. By bringing together her personal and professional experiences, Nicole is hoping to build a brand that’s primed for the long haul.

On this episode, Nicole explains why she choose to launch with a solution for the entire paint shopping process (6:28). She talks about predicting the lifetime value of their customer (9:56) and shaping a brand that sells to the DIY and professional markets (11:17). She shares the through line in her career (12:57) and how she built an audience at the height of the recession (17:39). She talks about exploring the licensing model, and choosing, ultimately, to operate on her terms (27:30), no matter the challenges (42:01).

You can follow Nicole on Twitter and Clare on Instagram.

 Picking the Right Swatch

You can find this and all future episodes on iTunes, Google Play, and here on the Lumi blog. This episode was edited by Evan Goodchild.

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