Imagine being in high school, running a food Instagram, and being involved in tons of extracurricular activities, all while running a business?!? We know that seems almost impossible, but Lauryn Smith, CEO and Founder of Lauryn Taylor Designs, is doing just that! She is our newest feature and we are just obsessed with her and all of her designs. Check her out below, on Instagram @lauryntaylordesigns, on Facebook @LaurynTaylorDesigns , and on RedBubble at http://www.redbubble.com/people/lt-designs?ref=side-nav-account&asc=u.
What exactly is Lauryn Taylor Designs?
Lauryn Taylor Designs is my business where I sell original, custom-made accessories for any college, camp, or sorority! My products range from pillows to pouches to stickers to phone cases, and everything in between. My gifts make the perfect designs for girls of all ages and can be made to fit the needs of any of my customers!
Where did you get the idea for Lauryn Taylor Designs?
Earlier this year, I began to take notice of so many businesses throughout social media for all kinds of purposes, some of them even my own friends! I have always been into editing since I was in middle school, and I would always make different designs for numerous occasions. Then one day, it just clicked. I realized I could combine my love for college and camp as well as my skills of designing and turn into something more. From there, I began designing samples and it then generated great feedback from my family and friends. And finally in early January 2017, Lauryn Taylor Designs was officially launched!
Where do you get your inspiration?
With social media, I am so fortunate to have so many positive role models and people with great ideas to look up to. Our generation is often frowned upon for over usage and dependency upon technology and social media, but I can say with confidence that I definitely would not have the success with my business that I have today without it. I am constantly searching Instagram or other social media platforms for new inspiration for my designs to make them even better. Whether it’s other young entrepreneurs products, or even the stylish trends of tailgate season, I am always finding new styles and ways to make my products more innovative!
How did you start Lauryn Taylor Designs?
Even though I had began designing products earlier in the school year, my business officially launched in January after months of begging my parents. I originally partnered with RedBubble to help turn my designs into product as I do not possess the proper printing equipment to make them myself. However, one day as I was thinking of ways to develop more revenue, I realized that there was more I could do myself. I began to hand draw my designs onto pillows and I was extremely surprised by the amount of positive feedback I received. With the combination of my hand drawn products as well as my RedBubble designs, I now have a wide range of options that can be suited for all of my customers! Although I am just starting out, I hope that in the future I will be able to possess the money and equipment to be able to create an even larger impact for my business!
What was your business breakthrough moment?
My business breakthrough moment was probably the moment I started to design pillows. Within the first few weeks of my business, I was frustrated with the lack of orders I had gotten. However, when my mom gave me the idea to design hand drawn pillows, everything changed for me. I was hesitant at first because I honestly did not think I was a good enough artist for people to even be interested in buying them, but I tried it out anyway. So when I posted my first pillow design onto Instagram and Facebook, I was blown away by the amount of positive feedback I had received. From there, I learned that I am capable of more than I could have ever imagined and my business could expand to greater horizons than I ever thought it could.
What is your favorite part of running Lauryn Taylor Designs?
My favorite part of running Lauryn Taylor Designs is definitely the community that I have established. The environment I have set for myself is so inviting and makes me extremely happy to log on to see new followers, new comments, and new requests for my designs. As much as I love making the products and making sales, seeing my products come to life is an absolutely amazing feeling. It is incredible to see countless people showing interest in my designs and the growth that I have developed so quickly, and I cannot wait to continue expanding my business in the future.
What is the hardest part of running Lauryn Taylor Designs?
Definitely the most challenging part of running my business is managing my time. If I could, I would spend all day designing, marketing, and creating. However, with school, extracurricular activities, and making time for my family, friends, and most importantly myself, there is absolutely no way to make that happen. It can definitely be frustrating, especially at the beginning when I at first had practically no customers and all I wanted to do was to spend my time trying to gain popularity. But I promise that it comes with time. If you love what you do, then it does not feel like work. I am so fortunate to have such a great support system from my family as well as my friends who are always willing to help me and constantly push me to be my best.
Where do you go to school and what are you studying?
I know it is crazy but I actually am in high school! I am a junior at Stevenson High School, which is located in the suburbs of Chicago. However, when I go away to college, I will potentially major in something related to my business, either graphic design or marketing.
How would your best friends describe you?
My best friends would describe me as sociable, determined, and hardworking.
Describe yourself in one word.
What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is probably my love for old TV shows. I have seen every episode of Full House, The Brady Bunch, Zoey 101, and Hannah Montana more times than I can event count! I know each of these shows so well that I can tell you the exact name of the episode based solely upon the first ten seconds of it.
What do you do for fun?
When I am not designing, school definitely consumes a ton of my time. I’m also a member of Best Buddies, Student Council, BBYO, and the National Honor Society within school and my local community. But of course I always try to make time for myself. Besides Lauryn Taylor Designs, I am an avid foodie and guilty of running a food account, @chicagofoods! I’m always driving around Chicago and the suburbs to find the latest and trendiest restaurants. I love watching Netflix of course, listening to my girl Beyoncé, and spending time with my friends. But above all else, my family is extremely important to me and I always ensure that I have time to spend with them.
Thanks Lauryn! We think you are awesome.