They say everyone deserves a second chance, but Noa Santos may be pressing his luck. The entrepreneur is back with another interior design startup that somewhat resembles his last: Homepolish, the VC-backed company that crumbled in 2019, leaving designers unpaid — some owed as much as $32,000. “Behind the company’s glossy Instagram feed was a much messier reality,” wrote Marker contributor Courtney Rubin, when she documented the company’s spectacular fall.
Santos’s new venture, Freddie, is a membership-based network for interior designers. “Freddie is grounded in the idea of herd intellect,” he told Architectural Digest, “We all lift each other up.” That certainly wasn’t the vibe on Instagram after Santos repurposed Homepolish’s old account for Freddie, drawing many angry replies. “Simple question,” wrote one commenter, “how do you go about creating a community FOR designers when you screwed over so many designers [at Homepolish]?”