April 18, 2024

Lifestyle Brand Trailblazer Robin Wilson to Speak and Receive Alumni Award at 2024 NYU SPS Graduate Convocation

At May 17th's Radio City Music Hall NYU SPS Graduate Convocation, CLEAN DESIGN HOME® founder and NYU SPS graduate Robin Wilson will address the Class of '24 and receive the 2024 NYU SPS Distinguished Alumni Award.

Wilson is the founder of CLEAN DESIGN HOME, a brand committed to bringing allergen aware consumers a lifestyle option of chic, non-toxic, sustainable linens, towels, candles, and mattress selections.

As a mother and someone who has struggled with asthma and allergies throughout her life, Wilson cites her pan-allergic childhood as the impetus for creating the CLEAN DESIGN HOME brand, which is available at Macy's, BELK, Wayfair, and Bed Bath & Beyond, and every brand of the military. She credits NYU SPS for helping her prepare for the post-graduation job market, noting, "NYU has tremendous alumni resources for jobs, charitable endeavors, and board service."

"Being a graduate student at NYU was at a pivotal moment in my life," says Wilson, a career changer who pivoted from the corporate world to being the first Black woman founder of a global allergen-aware lifestyle brand. "The connections and networks I made with fellow alumni continue to make a difference in my career," she adds. "I also met several professors who mentored me through the years."

One of those mentors was adjunct instructor Matthew Sheehy, who recently passed away. "He always encouraged me to stay focused on my dream and to make a difference," says Wilson. "My advice to the Class of '24 is for each of them to take one step every day toward their goals—but first set a goal, and then think about each step to achieve that vision."

"I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. At age 29, I enrolled at NYU SPS. My maternal grandfather and great-grandfather were entrepreneurs—and my paternal grandfather was a sharecropper. Coming from such disparate heritage allowed me to see at a young age that being an entrepreneur has both rewards and challenges."

Wilson was thrust into the spotlight by O Magazine in 2005 and has had multiple media appearances over the years, including the brand launch on the ELLEN Show for their “12 Days of Christmas” giveaway, Wilson has an interior design division that has also completed high-profile design jobs for many residential and commercial spaces, including showcase projects for Good Housekeeping, the White House Fellows Office, and has seen her work published in many magazines. An author of two best-selling books, she was also selected to Inc Magazine’s “Top 100 Female Founders” in 2020.

"To be an entrepreneur means that you learn to be comfortable with discomfort. Entrepreneurship can take you on a rollercoaster journey, and always remember that fear and excitement are the same emotion—it just depends on which way you look at the moment." The entrepreneurial success Wilson has garnered since graduate school affirms that she took the advice of her NYU SPS mentor to heart and continues to "stay focused on a dream and work hard to make a difference."

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