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Good Company Podcast #5: Nicole Gibbons on The Myth of Overnight Success

by Grace Bonney

I love seeing designers stretch, grow and evolve as they move forward in life. I especially love seeing when that growth involves new ventures, exciting new projects and tackling territories that are in need of innovation and change. And interior designer Nicole Gibbons is doing just that.

Nicole went from studying communications to working in the music industry to starting her own design blog and then interior design studio. Then over a year ago she had the idea to change the way paint is chosen and sold with her brand new startup, Clare Paint. After raising 2 million dollars in investment (!!), she worked hard to build a strong team and launch a company that aims to make the way we decorate our homes easier and more fun.

On this week’s show, Nicole discusses what it’s like to be the female startup and the myth of overnight success. She shares her journey from school to startup — and just how fun it is to name paint colors after Beyoncé and Lupita Nyong’o. You can listen to the show below, and check out Clare Paint online here. Thanks to Nicole for joining me!

*The next Good Company podcast will be up in two weeks so I can travel this week to record some episodes on the west coast! So in the meantime, check out our archives for more shows to try! 

*Thank you for listening! If you like the show, please consider rating and leaving a review on iTunes — it’s the most helpful thing listeners can do to support shows and help us get support on podcast platforms. To download a transcript version of the show, click here!


“People see you make a big splash and it appears as though it’s an overnight success. But the reality is: nights, weekends, all my free time in between my really rigorous day job schedule, I was spending all my time learning, building, planning, saving money and preparing to be in a position where I could leave to start my own business. I’ve never [been one] to make hasty, big life decisions.” (11:12 )

“I feel like design can be transformative, and when you see someone’s home and where it started to where it [goes] and see how happy they are, it’s my way of making an impact on someone’s life. I believe that when your home is beautiful, well-designed, well-functioning, you’re happier.” (14:07)

“My job is not to leave my mark on someone else’s territory, it’s to channel their personal style, their desires, their most meaningful objects, and assemble that into a home that reflects who they are.” (16:23)

“I think my favorite part of running this company is learning new things and solving problems every day.” (28:11)

“For me, success is when I personally feel fulfilled. It’s not about achieving a milestone, it’s about being happy with who I am and where I am in that moment. Because none of this really matters if I don’t enjoy it.” (29:47)


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  • I absolutely agree! People dont understand what has to happen behind the scenes for success to be seen. Even progress sometimes, can take a lot of time , energy, and hustle to be evident. thanks for sharing