Behind every successful company, there’s a team of people working tirelessly to bring an idea to life. For Room Hints cofounder Tiffany Willson, this (often romanticized) hustle has stuck with her since the age of three: “I’ve always had that fire in my gut to start something.”
And so she did.
We sat down with Willson to discover her motivation behind Room Hints, and learn more about the path she took to create it.
FullStart: If you had to explain Room Hints to a random person on the street, what would you say?
Tiffany Willson: We’re a mobile application that helps with interior design — take a photo of your room and we’ll show you awesome products that work for that space.
FS: Why did you decide to found a company?
TW: I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was probably three years old. Room Hints came about because I got very frustrated with the whole scheduling process of interior design — what should take one month, takes ten.
My fascination with technology led me to think of how that practice could be used in the interior design space. My cofounder also found that there aren’t too many technically-minded companies in this industry.
TW: Since age three?
FS: I’m always thinking of business ideas — how to take something little and grow it. When I was five, I had a lemonade stand. Then I noticed everyone else on my street had a lemonade stand too, and so I started selling flowers as well.
When I was eight I started making jewelry and sold it to everyone, and then I sold pet rocks. When I was ten or 11, I realized we could have garage sales year-round instead of just in the spring. Then, when eBay came along and I was 15 or 16, I sold whatever I could find that I didn’t think my family would miss — like my brother’s bath mat.
FS: What’s your definition of an entrepreneur?
TW: It’s having the drive to create something. You always want to change something. It’s innovative thinking and ignorance. Not seeing problems as big as they are, and having that fearlessness to really say “no I can tackle this. I can change it. Let’s try it.” Taking that calculated risk.
FS: What makes a company special?
TW: It’s always the team — the founding team. Everyone asks “how did you get the idea?,” but I always use this analogy: it’s like taking an art class where your teacher says the project of the day is to use clay, and the theme is a roller coaster. In the end, nobody will have the same results, because everyone’s mind works differently — the same thing exists in the startup world.
At the end of the day, the really interesting thing that builds companies is how your team works together.
FS: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
TW: The ability to be something and build something.
I think that every human has entrepreneurial instincts. Even in the caveman days, they had to find their keep, you know?