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Female Disruptors: Lauren Ross Of Lauren Ross Design On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

The first one is “Be Yourself”. We hear this phrase fairly often but I have grown to understood why it is crucial. Everyone has unique skill sets/abilities and if you are trying to be a different version of what your strengths are you will never experience your full potential and that unfortunately not only affects the quality of your life, but of those around you as well.

As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lauren Ross.

Lauren Ross Design is a global art and luxury lifestyle brand that blends contemporary design with the heartbeat of antiquities. The company was created to fill a need in the art and luxury goods industry. The process begins with a painting created by Lauren. The paintings are intricately designed to tell a story, and start intriguing conversations. Each piece is crafted with symbolism and esoteric meanings that can take time to unravel. The paintings are then used to design luxury lifestyle products. Every product has a story to be told, a history to be revealed. Lauren’s background is an immersion of art and luxury fashion. Her formative years growing up in the country side developed her passion and keen eye for creating art in all forms. She went on to study at some of the most elite fashion academies, the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and Polimoda in Florence Italy. After traveling Italy and Europe for a year Lauren knew her calling was in the luxury space. She went on to work with Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC in Planning and Buying for over a decade with brands under LVMH and Kering. After years of creating strategies, financial plans and fine tuning her craft Lauren stepped away and started Lauren Ross Design. Her motto “Life is Art” stems from her truth that everything from paintings to luxury fashion, beauty, and home comes from art.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Well, I grew up in a rural part of New Jersey, but my parents would frequent New York City. I think that experiencing both worlds at a young age helped fuel my creativity. My mother, who is also a lover of fashion and design, was a subscriber of every major fashion magazine. I would spend hours flipping through the pages of those magazines at a very young age and I know that had a role in forming my perspective. I eventually then went off to study in NYC and Italy, afterwards working for the Saks Fifth Avenue corporate office for a decade. So, you could say my history is deeply rooted in fashion and art.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Absolutely, from a consumers perspective I have always loved art and fashion, and actually view them as the same. However I have never seen a brand blend them seamlessly together. I created Lauren Ross Design to fill a void and start something new and exciting in the luxury market. Our clients can come to us for unique art and luxury products that are all designed from art. Brand legacy is also of vital importance to me. I believe in high quality and pieces that can be a long term investment.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Yes, this is not a recent story, but I have a humorous one from back in college when I first moved to NYC. I was walking from the back of the cafeteria, where we just finished breakfast, to the front exit where you would drop off the tray etc. As soon as I made it to the front, I managed to slip on some type of liquid, flipped backwards and threw the tray and everything that was on it all over the floor. At the moment, I was horrified that it had happened in front of hundreds of new students. But, that moment taught me early on that anything can happen at any given moment and the best thing you can do is laugh, pick yourself back up, and keep moving.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I have been fortunate to have many mentors over the years. But there is one moment I think your readers would appreciate. I received a card from someone who had accepted an opportunity that came their way to relocate and start a new exciting project. And in the card was a written quote by C.S. Lewis that read, “You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.” That quote and moment in time has stayed with me for years, and can be applied to many situations.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

That is a beautiful question, and because of its complexity we could discuss that concept for hours. So, let me share with you the best way I can put it in short form. Being disruptive is in essence trying to shock the system. Without shocking the system it can be very difficult to implement change within a short timeframe. With that said, yes, disruption could be good or the complete opposite. Unfortunately, good or bad, for some people is simply a matter of opinion. I think the important question to ask when being disruptive or shocking the system is what is the end goal and are you improving the lives of others. Lastly, the one thing that has truly withstood the test of time is found within nature. If a person or company is looking for ideas or strategies, nature is a good starting point.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

Yes, the first one is “Be Yourself”. We hear this phrase fairly often but I have grown to understood why it is crucial. Everyone has unique skill sets/abilities and if you are trying to be a different version of what your strengths are you will never experience your full potential and that unfortunately not only affects the quality of your life, but of those around you as well. The second is, “If you are doing what is true and authentic to you, don’t give up, it will happen”. Unfortunately many people give up on a dream or goal not knowing that if they had kept going it would have come to fruition. I know this is easier said than done, but sometimes that is the one thing someone needs to hear. And lastly, “You cannot reap a harvest without planting seeds”. My husband and I remind each other of this phrase many times to gain perspective. It does not matter what topic you are discussing, if you are not doing or ‘planting seeds’ to produce an expected outcome or ‘harvest’ it would be hard to imagine something working. So I like to say, plant good seeds without ceasing and you will produce a harvest.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

Well, I cannot announce details at this point, but we are fully expanding. Lauren Ross Design is becoming a full creative house, from fashion to art and film.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

I would say the cohesive ability to come together and work towards a goal. This is changing, but we’re not there yet.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

I absolutely love to read. Especially when it comes to topics on ancient history, religions and societies. In fact, most of the paintings I create are inspired by the topics I read and study. With that said, the story of Alice In Wonderland has made a lasting impression on me for years. The amount of metaphors and analogies that can be pulled and formed from the story are numerous. But I will leave you with this. The story highlights that not only do we need to pave our own path, but if we cannot imagine the world the differently, or how we would like to see it, it will be impossible to change our surroundings or develop new inventions. And that can only be achieved through a personal journey.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I am very passionate when it comes to the topic of providing food and clean water. There are many organizations that are setup to help fight hunger and provide clean water, but we clearly have a ways to go. I find it horrific that still today with all of the resources we have, there are still people without food and access to clean water. This is a topic we have been discussing internally and I would like to make an impact here.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Well, for me this verse is an important daily reminder of how to view life and the lessons we encounter. In Genesis 1:3 it says, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light”. I think this is a strong reminder that there is light and goodness surrounding us constantly. There is wisdom and life lessons to seek and understand on a daily basis, and inevitably we will find the truth, or light in the matter.

How can our readers follow you online?

They can find us on laurenrossdesign.com , as well as our profile name Lauren Ross Design on every major social media platform.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis

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Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.