My American Dream began with a fusion of culture and color when I moved from San Juan Puerto Rico to Portland, Oregon, in 1980 — colored by personal experience and a vision for what was possible. What could have been a culture and color clash became a personal mission to make "myself " at home when I quit my job to be with my kids. I created a custom-blend of paint palettes for myself that ignited the minds and hearts of those who were seeking the confidence to do the same.
I became a color consultant; then, a trusted color expert.
By 1998, I was selling my paint brand out of the trunk of my car. Devine Color, Color Therapy from the Northwest, with paint that "went on like yogurt and looked like chiffon," became an overnight success. Globally recognized and revolutionized the American paint experience.
FROM PAINT DRAMA TO PAINT MAMA
In a world of Sherwin William, Benjamin Moore, and Ralph Lauren along came Devine Color. Devine was "girl paint," inspired by my time working as a makeup artist and trainer for Estee Lauder with displays and color tools fashioned after the cosmetic industry. The original "goes on like yogurt" paint recipe quickly turned paint drama into a paint-mama experience that covered in one coat, didn't splatter or sag.
Devine put women in charge of their own paint experience—from beginning to end. Word traveled fast. Women heard about it from their mothers, their sisters, and friends. Strangers heard about it in every significant home décor and lifestyle magazine publication, including notable newspapers like The New York Times and USA Today.
When the market crash of 2008, I found myself in the middle of our brand expansion and drowning in its wake.
Devine would have sunk had it not been for Valspar Paint, who rescued the brand in 2010 and asked me to come along. Five years and seven part-time brand managers later, Devine Color, by Valspar, landed on Target shelves, with a small line of specialty paint products and color-coordinated wallpaper.
MAKING DESIGN PERSONAL
Shortly after, Sherwin Williams swooped in and acquired both Valspar Paint and Devine Color. I found myself-with a non-compete in the paint category until 2020, along with an identity crisis. I looked to the cosmos and surrendered to the stars.
I began to write. Practice Yoga. Qigong and Meditation. During one of my meditations, I wrote down the word DIP after images of The Big Dipper Constellation, led by the North Star. The word dip is an ambigram, reading the same upside down. No matter which way you turn it, it reads true to itself. This realization became the acronym for my new company name; Design Is Personal.
Design Is Personal launched in the Spring of 2018 with a mantra, vision, and mission: "We will outgrow trends or color schemes, but never who we truly are because our lives are custom made. DIP will bring you along a design journey with new colorful destinations in 2020.
My, how time has flown!
Trends are massed produced.
You are custom made!
COLOR IS THE QUICKEST PATH BETWEEN LOVE AND FIRST SIGHT
"Gretchen came to our home and read the entire scene. She has this amazing ability to read a space and take a truly holistic inventory "