We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Fuhr and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I have learned a lot about balance through the past couple years of running this business on the side of a full time job, social life, weekend travel, spending time with family, being a dog mom (Wilson has seen it all), and now planning a wedding. But the first thing I’ll say is that because I love what I do for work, both my full-time day job and my side business don’t really feel like work. So as a result, I think about the balance as a little bit more fluid than some. But even so, prioritizing is key every day. On a professional level, my full time job always comes first and it takes up all of my 8am-6pm days during the week. Since it is equally creative, designing digital branding for a watch and accessories company, it is a joy to put it first everyday and I love it. On a personal level, my people always come first. My fiance, friends, and family are the most important to me and although they are patient with me when I sometimes have my laptop out working during movies, paint while we hang out, and make them model my products for me, it is usually easy for me to keep work and quality time with them separate. I like a flexible but full schedule and thrive under deadlines. So as long as I make deadlines for myself and my clients and stick to them, the time in between is for me to delegate however I want. Sometimes this means full days at my day job followed by time with my people and then late nights working on my business with very little sleep. But it always feels worth it to me, especially in this stage of life. I recharge with slow mornings and relaxing weekends. The bulk of my business comes after that. And it’s seemed to work out great for me. I still meet deadlines, I still stay inspired, I still grow as a business. I am able to run the majority of my business during the week from my phone in the in-between moments in my life, fulfilling orders, posting on Instagram, making shop updates through my site’s app. I usually delete my Instagram app regularly in the course of the week, and my incredible intern does a lot of the captions, replying to dms, and other upkeep.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is a reflection of my personal style and the way I see the world. I love getting to bring multiple dimensions to my brand to create not only art, but a creative, beautiful, and purposeful lifestyle. I think that’s part of what sets me apart as an artist– I make abstract and landscape paintings for your homes, but also design products so you can take art everywhere you go. I also love interior design and fashion and I find inspiration in soft, neutral textiles, rugged textures, and bright pops of color. I also love being outside, and my years going to college in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains inspire my work as well. I love how all of these elements combine to create a classic, adventurous, effortless, fun, and modern style. I am most proud of the way my business has been rooted in community. Having deep relationships with other creative, wonderful, inspiring people has sharpened me and encouraged me, and they invite me to do the same for them. These people consistently remind me of my purpose, keep me from letting my work become my identity, and help me recharge so that I don’t burnout. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to continue pushing through when it feels like you are unequipped to start or run a business. My first tax season, I got so overwhelmed figuring out how to do the not-fun, organized, financial part of running a business, I thought about quitting. And then I thought about it again the next tax season. Keep asking people around you for help, keep bravely stepping into the unknown, keep creating even when you feel uninspired, keep figuring out what makes work fun again for you, and don’t compare yourself to others and their skill sets.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Denver is one of my favorite cities. I would take them to explore around LoHi and get green tea ice cream at Little Man’s, sit at Cheeseman Park, shop and eat at the Dairy Block. I’d also stop at my favorite Denver boutique and home to some of my paintings, Miller Lane Mercantile. I’d take them to hike at Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. The week would of course include a trip to Fort Collins, a picnic at my favorite spot at Horsetooth, a Sippin Pretty sour at New Belgium, and shopping at my favorite Fort Collins boutiques, Heyday and Sunday Supply. Then coffee at my favorite homework spot in college, Starry Night, and a glass of wine at Sunset Lounge rooftop, overlooking the best view of the city and mountains.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I believe that this work is a gift from the Lord and I wouldn’t be able to do it without the bigger purpose I find everyday in Him. My family, fiance, and friends have been my biggest support systems and I wouldn’t be here without them. My parents have always encouraged me to pursue a career in art and design, and our house growing up constantly fostered creativity. My grandpa was an incredible painter and gave me all of his paints, art box, and brushes. My sister is also a talented creative and I followed her every move growing up. I wanted to be just like her and still do today, so I attribute a huge part of who I am today to following in her footsteps. My fiance is the best teammate in life and my business. He’s the hardest worker I know and I couldn’t run this shop without his constant support, creative ideas, and steady character.
Abigail Newton, @arrah.photography_