Hello, my name is Gretchen.
As a kid growing up in Puerto Rico, the only other Gretchen I knew was the German Shepherd who lived down the street. The house I think of as my childhood home was my grandparents’ place on a street named Amethyst, located in a metropolitan neighborhood near San Juan, Puerto Rico called Golden Gate. Every street around there was named after a precious stone. I began as Gretchen Lizzette Rosario Artau when I came to the United States to live the American Dream and eventually became who I am now; Gretchen Schauffler. I created a paint company and named it Devine Color because nothing is ordinary about color or life, and that’s an extraordinary thing.
When you grow up on a tropical island, you can’t help but look at the rest of the world in a different light. In Puerto Rico, color saturates the senses, it permeates way down into your soul. It is inescapable, and lasting impressions of this beautiful place never leave a person. When you grow up with jewel-toned oceans and azure skies, soft and rolling green hills, you can’t help but mirror that nature and become one with its reflection. You see yourself in the landscape of your past; bright, sparkling, and full of vitality. Even your name sounds more colorful.
When I first came to visit my mother shortly after she moved to Portland, Oregon, I was 12 years old. July 4th, 1973. The gray, stormy skies and mossy greens of the Pacific Northwest felt so foreign that it was impossible for me to stay permanently (or so I thought back then). Over the next decade, I divided my time and my heart between two places, traveling back and forth between here and Puerto Rico until I finally settled for good in Portland. That was in 1980 and I’ve lived here ever since!
The mild, rich, green and gray winters, the purple mountains and pumpkin desserts, the wild and as-yet-untamed Coast Range and glorious blooming summers finally touched me. My bright, sparkling Heritage became an original blend — a unique color palette. Once I had recognized this, my personal transformation manifested itself as a paint brand, Devine Color, which launched in 2001. In six short years it went from a figment of my imagination to a regional, then national, and finally, international paint brand sold through independent paint dealers with a 12 million dollar word-of-mouth business.
I did all this while being a stay-at-home mom.
I have other business stories as well and I’m always working on something, reaching for the next project, the next idea, the next thing to devote my time and energy towards. Now, you can find me right here, sharing stories about how the impossible happens when you set the course towards a destination by the light of your dreams. Your Life as a Color is where I collect my thoughts and ideas, and make connections between all of the wonderful and unexpected things that happen every single day, all over the world.
Join me in this adventure!