Founders Feature | Inside Vishion Launch Week
As we launch Vishion Social, we wanted to give the Vishion community a glimpse into our startup. Read more from Founder and CEO, Samantha Smith, as she gives you an inside look into social launch week at Vishion.
There is nothing quite like seeing a startup you’ve worked on for more than two years be covered by Architectural Digest. As we celebrate the launch of Vishion social, we wanted to give everyone an inside look at what we’ve built and how we are trying to make the world a more colorful place. From talking to interior designers to pitching investors, the last week of February is a great example of a “week in the life” of an early-stage startup.
Read more to take a walk in the shoes of Founder & CEO, Samantha Smith.
Vision for Vishion
I started working on Vishion more than two years ago after struggling to find a nightstand in a specific color. That may seem like a crazy reason to start a company, but the more I talked to interior designers, the more I understood the struggle professionals face when searching for products by color. Coming from a startup background, I knew I wanted to be the first person to create a search engine driven by color.
From the beginning, the team and I went out of our way to include the voices of interior designers and design lovers who have struggled with using color in a design. We built Vishion for interior designers, with interior designers in mind.
Before launching our Beta, we had more than 500 professionals tell us their color search stories and brands they wanted to see on Vishion. We went to High Point Market and asked interior designers how we could create a tool to make a designers’ life easier.
We learned that 68% of interior designers said it takes at least an hour to search for decor online by color.
Our goal is to make the process of planning your next design easier through color exploration. This means creating a search engine that focuses on specific hues, helping users tap into data to find the right products, decor and furniture they envision in the right color. As of late February 2020, this also includes discovering designs shared in the Vishion community by color.
We’re lucky to partner with some of the leading design brands who have helped us better understand their experiences as we built our search engine. Amazing organizations like Industry West, Arhaus and Kravet have supported us as we created our app and can all be found by color on Vishion.
We’ve all experienced the moment when you’re not quite sure how a color will look in a space, especially in coordination with other items. With Vishion’s new social platform, you can discover how colors can be incorporated in a space and celebrate the designs of the design community.
On February 25, 2020, after two years of working endlessly to create the only color search engine of its kind, we launched the app we had always envisioned surrounded by designers, architects, some of our favorite brands and the Vishion Color Retreat (see more below).
“Having the ability to pick up my phone and find a color I’m thinking of is key, especially when I’m not in my studio,” Tiffany Brooks told AD PRO. “My team and I are often in the field, and need access to tools.”
To us, coverage by Architectural Digest that included quotes by esteemed designers made our week and all of our hard work worth it!
It was important to the Vishion team to officially “launch” the Vishion app with interior designers as we discussed color and design. We had dozens of designers join us at Industry West’s showroom in New York City for a Color Retreat, where we discussed color and design. Speakers included:
- Laurie Pressmen, VP of the Pantone Color Institute
- Jordan and Anne England, founders of Industry West
- Nicole Gibbons, founder of Clare
- Dani Arps, Interior Designer
Pitching Investors to Build Vishion
The hectic week didn’t stop at the Vishion Social Launch or the Color Retreat. To create Vishion, we are constantly pitching investors who believe in our dream to create a more colorful world. On February 29th, we competed against 60 amazing companies at the SoGal Global Pitch Competition and won a $10,000 investment! Of 1,700 applications from 61 countries, Vishion was one of 11 startups awarded monetary prizes, competing against some of the most impressive early-stage companies in the world.
SoGal is the largest global platform for the education and empowerment of diverse entrepreneurs and investors. Their mission is to close the diversity gap in entrepreneurship and venture capital.
The Vishion Team
Our goal is to spread the word about Vishion, get designers and design lovers on the app, and find the right investors to help us make the world more colorful. We have a small team of six working around the clock to make the world a bit more colorful.
Samantha Smith started Vishion in 2017 after struggling to find a specific piece of home decor in the perfect color. Thus, was born Sam’s vision for Vishion. Today, the color search engine partners with some of the top brands in the world to help interior design professionals and design lovers search for products and designs by color, instantly.
When Smith isn’t pitching and traveling to various competitions or running her Vishion team, she can be found hanging with her husband, Steve, and their two dogs in Charlotte, NC.