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Generation Next: Nicole Gibbons

The stylish interior designer talks about landing a show on OWN and how to use catwalk trends to spruce up your home.

Company Name: Nicole Gibbons Studio LLC

Occupation: Interior Designer and On-Air Personality

Business location: New York City
How long I’ve been in business:  I set up my business in 2008 and went full-time in January 2013.
What I do: As an interior designer, I manage both residential and commercial design projects with a focus on delivering high-style interiors that are timeless and sophisticated yet have a fresh, modern edge. As a design expert and on-air personality, my focus is on creating content and delivering useful ideas that inspire others to create a home they love and to do it with style.

Why I do it: I am extremely passionate about design and my mission is to help others live more beautifully. Whether I’m working with private clients or dishing out design advice in the media, I have the ability to enhance the lives of others, even if in a just small way, and that is something I truly enjoy.

The moment I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur: I always knew. Both of my parents are entrepreneurs and my father especially always stressed the value in owning your own business. So since I was quite young, I always knew that I would be my own boss someday.

The most important thing I’ve learned: I’m still learning important new lessons every day!

The one thing I never expected was: Although inspiring others is my goal, I’m still blown away when I get encouraging notes from followers or comments via social media from people telling me how inspired they am by my work, that they love my style or that they purchased something I recommended and how happy it makes them to see that item in their home. To know that what I’m doing has such an impact on other people is incredibly rewarding.

How I went from a small scale business to being on OWN: I always knew that I wanted to do TV because it creates an opportunity
for me to share my design sensibility with others on a much wider scale. It’s something I have been working on for the past few years,
building relationships with development executives at lifestyle networks and with casting directors while doing lots of smaller expert
segments for TV and the web. I also had the opportunity to do some higher-profile on-camera work such as an appearance on HGTV’s My
Favorite Place, an online commercial with Nate Berkus for Target and a web series for TLC. All of these things enabled me to build a reel
which I used to land an agent which ultimately helped me land the OWN job. And the in-between involved a lot of hustle and perseverance!

Now, I am so excited to join the cast of Home Made Simple on OWN! As a designer on the show, I’ll be helping deserving families transform their living spaces and teach both the homeowners and viewing audience simple ways to achieve high style on an accessible budget.

What’s different about my business: My company isn’t just an interior design firm. I established as a multi-faceted creative firm that not only encompasses my full-service interior design studio, but also my decorating blog and all of my branded partnerships and on-air work as a design expert in television and digital media. Also, I come from a fashion background and being immersed in the fashion world for so long was a huge influence in shaping my aesthetic. A fashion-forward point of view on design and an emphasis on style is at the center of everything I do.

Entrepreneur I look up to most: Oprah Winfrey & Martha Stewart. I admire Oprah for all that she has achieved as a media mogul and for her generous spirit and commitment to helping others. And I’ve always admired Martha Stewart’s business model.

Style icons I’m inspired by: I am obsessed with Solange Knowles’ style! I also really love the classic sophistication of Kerry Washington and there are also a few fashion bloggers I follow whose style I’m obsessed with. 

Key advice we would give to budding entrepreneurs: Be open and adaptable, learn from your mistakes, don’t be afraid to ask for help and find mentors to help you along in your journey.

Check out Nicole’s debut on OWN’s ‘Home Made Simple’ on Saturday November 2 at 9am/8c.