In our final profile to celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re headed back to Scotland by way of Venezuela to introduce Claudia Padula, whose presence and passion transform a space, both literally and figuratively. She is blending the worlds of interior design and Web3 to create a new experience for her firm’s clientele, while juggling motherhood and being a co-founder with her husband. Claudia was part of our ONE Tech Hub cohort in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Where are you from, and what are you currently working on?
I was born in Caracas, Venezuela, in an Italian family — a super loud and passionate mix. As co-founder and Creative Director at CP Concept Store & Design Studio, I leverage state-of-the-art gaming technology to offer our customers immersive digital interactions. We are developing an innovative online platform that enables our customers to experience immersive 3D, AR & VR with fully embedded home products and virtual spaces without downloading any app, a unique ‘try before you buy’ experience within reach. Imagine CP as a test drive, but instead of testing a car before you buy it, you are testing the design and functionality of home products and spaces.
What excites you most about the future of interior design, and the role your firm can play in that?
Interior Design is all about textures and feeling, and I love it. However, the reality is that as a consequence, the Interior Design industry is one step behind in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality adoption compared to other creative industries. There’s still a lot we can learn, which is exciting and also a great opportunity. At CP, we are accelerating the transfer of skills from the media and entertainment sector to create a better experience for our customers. We make it easy and fun to buy home products or renovate spaces. By helping people take control of their environment and how they feel about it, we will positively influence their physical health, as well as their emotional state of mind and productivity.
What drew you to IMPERIA’s program?
I remember receiving an email from ONE about IMPERIA’s summer program in Scotland. I was dealing then with many challenges, juggling a new business and two small girls and pushing myself to the limit. I saw IMPERIA as an ideal space to share experiences with other women, to provide emotional support and leadership skills to overcome obstacles and build resilience in a world where gender differences remain unremarkable. It was the perfect program at the right time!
What has become possible as a result of your participation in IMPERIA’s summer founder programme at ONE?
There is a big difference between knowing yourself as an individual and knowing yourself as a leader and entrepreneur. I believed that leadership was all about having a passion, sharing your vision, and demonstrating your commitment to making it real. At IMPERIA, I learned that leadership is also about boundaries and surrounding yourself with the right people. Without the program, I was on my way to burnout. Now, I can say NO and set up boundaries. I think of the chats with Jennifer about the uncomfortable silences after those NOs; it makes me smile, and I don’t feel uncomfortable anymore.
What is it like to manage motherhood AND being married to your co-founder? What advice would you offer to other women in this situation?
I consider work-home balance the main challenge of my entrepreneurial journey. I find myself juggling a career and family life, wanting to launch a successful business and to be a supportive wife, involved parent and dedicate time to my two girls. When you are married to your co-founder the lines between work and home become blurry or non-existent, so we have a rule: No work-related discussions at family times. We do talk about our work days, work challenges, and achievements with the girls, but we don’t solve work-related issues at home, or at least we try.
My advice to other women in my situation is COMMUNICATION. I’ve known my husband since we were teenagers, and we’ve been together for 22 years. Communication is the key and the foundation of our relationship as a couple, and now the key to our relationship as business partners.