Clare Paint Is a Stroke of Brilliance
This feature is in the March/April Next Wave Issue. Click here to subscribe.
Nicole Gibbons is looking to help you “love where you live” with Clare Paint (clare.com). As an interior designer, she has been featured on HGTV, The Oprah Winfrey Network, the Today show, Elle Decor and more. Founded in 2018, Clare Paint uniquely allows customers to use peel and stick swatches of paint to better visualize the color that they want for their walls. She saw how overwhelming the paint market was for the consumer, and Clare Paint was “born out of a desire to solve problems, transform the industry, and make the paint shopping experience easier for everyone.”
Initially, Gibbons made waves in the PR sector after graduating from Northwestern with a BS in communication studies, but always had an interest in interior design as her mom was in the field: “I always appreciated good design and the art of living well, but I never realized it was a passion until I became an adult and realized that all I did in my free time was consume decor and interior content.”
Nicole Gibbons, founder and CEO of Clare Paint PHOTO COURTESY OF CLARE PAINT
Clare Paint had to be fully primed and prepped before entering the industry. “In a day and age where you could buy everything online, this is the one product category where you had to go into a physical store and participate in that very archaic shopping experience in order to buy the product,” says Gibbons. And on top of this, she adds, “There’s not an easy barrier to entry to manufacturing paint. It is a market that is pretty much run by old white men. There isn’t a lot of innovation.” As a Black woman-owned brand, it challenges the male-dominated industry.
“We live by this ethos around fewer, better colors but expanding our color palette,” says Gibbons. Highlighting some of the current favorites: Current Mood is a rich moody green and a current bestseller, Meet Cute is a soft pale pink, and No Filter is a neutral beige. What makes the process less overwhelming is that the colors are carefully curated by interior designers whose expertise guides you to decide the look and feel of your home.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CLARE PAINT
The future of Clare Paint is bright, with the company recently closing an $8 million series A financing, led by Pendulum (an investment and advisory platform focused on diverse entrepreneurs), which raised the company’s total to $12.2 million. Being able to scale the brand has been an uphill battle, but with this help in capital, Clare Paint will be able to expand into new product categories and extensions, creative marketing and more in the years to come.