From NASCAR Pioneer to Design Maven, Shawna Robinson is Rewriting History Once Again

Shawna Robinson paved the way for women in NASCAR as the second and last woman ever to start and finish the Daytona 500. Now, as she turns her focus to design, her trailblazing Happy Chairs are poised to transform the world of interior design.

As the second and last female of all time to start and finish the Daytona 500, ex-NASCAR driver Shawna Robinson is no stranger to the annals of NASCAR history. Having spent nearly twenty years battling for position on the track, Robinson emerged as a true leader, paving the way for future female greats such as the now-notorious Danica Patrick. Yet, after a long and successful racing career, Robinson has switched gears and is leading the field once again through her ground-breaking chair design company, Happy Chair. ( (

When Robinson retired from NASCAR in 2005 to spend more time with her children, she began exploring her love and extreme talent for interior decorating. Throughout the next several years as word of her talent quickly spread, Robinson found herself decorating the homes and race shops of many NASCAR notables including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip and Martin Truex Jr., and rapidly emerged as one of North Carolina’s most sought-after interior designers. “After years of trailblazing success on the race track, I wanted to make a statement with this next chapter in my life as well,” states Robinson.

Yet one day while perusing for furnishings in a national furniture chain, Robinson found herself ogling over a display chair that was covered in an eclectic patchwork of fabric. “I looked at that chair and the light switch inside of me flipped on. I looked it and knew that not only could I replicate it, but that I could make one that was even better. At that moment I knew that I had found my second calling in life,” exclaims Robinson.

From that day forward, Robinson has parlayed her knack for interior design and leadership into a line of trendsetting chair designs that are taking the design world by storm, with one online magazine calling them “one of our favorite things ever.” As one happy customer states, “Shawna’s designs are truly breathtaking. I am an interior decorator myself and have never seen designs so transformational and awe-inspiring. A Happy Chair is the very first item that I purchase for each of my jobs and, without fail, every one of my customers thanks me endlessly for bringing it into their home. They are legendary!”

Robinson begins the process by searching for older chairs that may look ratty and beat up on the outside but that have great structure and architectural design on the inside. She then tears them down to their bare bones and begins the process or rebuilding them, one arm, one leg and one piece of fabric at a time. Using her uncanny ability to piece together unique pattern, color and texture combinations, Robinson literally creates a work of art with every chair. “My mind constantly races with ideas, colors and shapes. I want each chair to have a life of its own; to be the perfect combination of elegant, funky and fun so that it will truly make you happy every time you look at it or sit in it.”

By combining designs such as human-sized fabric cut outs of trees and flowers with fabrics such as faux fur, polka dots, stripes, and feathers, each chair is a true masterpiece and the centerpiece of any home. Says one happy customer, “Shawna’s Happy Chairs are absolutely gorgeous and famously fun. There is not a day that goes by when I don’t look at my own and thank the heavens that I found Shawna. Her chairs are truly and amazing and I can’t wait to watch her as she conquers the design world!”

“People love color and fun, but aren’t always sure how to bring it into their homes. That is what I’m here for; to make your home beautiful while also making you smile,” says Robinson. (


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