The Founder's Story

When we moved to Portland, Oregon, we were determined to live a different kind of life, leaving behind the high-stress NYC life. We wanted to focus on the outdoors and all that the Northwest has to offer. As part of the shift, we started a painting business called YOLO Paint. We created custom paint finishes, mixed custom colors, painted murals, and installed plaster finishes for customers in Portland and up and down the West Coast.

We saw many of our customers stressing out over choosing color for their spaces. As artists who are passionate about color, we were determined to take the fear out of color choosing and make it simple and more fun. That’s how the original palette (The Earth’s Color Collection) of 49 colors was created, by being in client’s homes and working with designers and homeowners and mixing custom colors on the spot. All the colors were designed and tested on architecture and are designed to be harmonious throughout the space.

Because we were breathing, touching, and working with paint everyday, we became concerned (and a bit obsessed) about what was in the water-based paints we were using. As time went on, we began feeling grumpy at the end of our workdays with headaches and sore throats. This motivated us to research paint in more detail.

As we looked into what was in paint, we learned that there were a lot of toxic chemicals, even in the water-based paints we were using. Our search for healthier paint options pointed us to the vibrant green building community – a grassroots community that is about sharing knowledge and pushing the envelope on building materials that are better for us and the planet.

We learned how to make our own paint with clay and rice paste. As artists we loved this process, but for our business it was costly, time consuming, and unpredictable to offer clients. As painters, paint quality and performance are very important to us. We started talking to chemists, both paint chemists and green chemists, about building a paint formula that had the performance qualities we wanted as painters, without all the chemicals found in traditional paints. This is where the adventure of YOLO Colorhouse began, and it has been enriching our lives with amazing people, healthier options, and beautiful color ever since! We truly believe the world can be more colorful and less volatile. Do you?