This installment of Fridays with Flea Style features fiber artist Lauren Williams, one of the creatives for our upcoming summer Summit and owner of Boho by Lauren. The Texas gal lives in Frisco with her husband and three boys, but that hasn’t always been the case. After college, she moved to Los Angeles, where she found a previously undiscovered creativity. She’s moved many times since then and says, “Decorating on a budget has always inspired me to create. That is how Boho by Lauren was born.”
The lowdown on Boho by Lauren: It is a modern-bohemian style of fiber art. I make each hanging by hand, attaching more than 400 loose strands to a 72-inch-long wooden dowel, then I add layers of dye for texture. Every piece is one of a kind, and no matter how much I would like to re-create a previous one, its impossible! Believe me, I’ve tried!
A typical workday: I work from home, so once the kids are off to school or down for a nap, I check emails and reply to comments posted on my Instagram photos. One hundred percent of my business is from Instagram — the majority of my work comes from followers ordering custom pieces — so it’s an important part of my workflow. By 10 a.m., I’m out in the garage studio checking on the status of pieces that I worked on the night before. Whether sanding or staining dowels, building the tapestries, prepping the dye or dying the tapestries, there is always something to be done in the studio.
After a tapestry has been completed and is dry, I bring it inside and style it somewhere in my home. I spend about an hour setting up a space and taking pictures of it. I email photos to the client for approval and then post to Instagram. Between loads of laundry, dishes, taking care of the baby or picking up the kids from school, I’m confirming details on new custom orders, invoicing, ordering supplies or shipping completed pieces. It’s not a perfect system, and often I’m playing catch-up on all of this once the kids are asleep for the night. My typical workday has to be pretty flexible as a mom working from home.
How you got started: Boho by Lauren is a style of fiber art that I created out of a need for a large piece of art for one of the homes we lived in. I knew I wanted something big for the wall in the dining room, but a canvas or framed photograph just didn’t seem right for the space. I wanted texture and loved the idea of a macramé hanging. After a trip to a local craft store and a long weekend, I created a “canvas” with strands that hung freely and then added layers of dye for depth. Now, more than 80 tapestries later, it is my full-time job, and I feel so inspired when someone chooses to hang one in their home!
Describe your home style in five words: Modern-bohemian. Creative. Kid friendly.
Favorite places to shop for your digs: Etsy, West Elm, thrift stores, estate sales, Overstock.com and, of course, Flea Style!
Favorite thing in your pad: Our kitchen table. It’s a large, reclaimed-wood table that was custom made. I found an image on Pinterest and had a local artisan create it for me. It’s the center of our home, where everything from art projects to meals happens. It’s also my workstation and even the occasional fort for the boys, when a sheet is laid across it. It is constantly getting new dents, marks and dings, and every one is a memory from our fun and busy home.
Most important nonliving possession: My MacBook Pro! It has so many photos from the last six years of my boys from birth to now. I’ve kept a journal since my oldest was 6 months old, and it has been a running log of all three of my boys’ lives so far. It’s also my “office” and keeps all of my previous and current orders for tapestries. I would freak out if anything happened to it! (Note to self: backup laptop again tonight.)
Wake-up time: 6:30 a.m. (or whenever my husband lays the baby in bed with me to feed him).
Bedtime: Ugh. I wish it was earlier, but most of the time about 11 p.m.
Dream travel destination: Probably a yoga and spa retreat in South America somewhere. I don’t have anything specific in mind, but I could totally use a mind and body detox, cleansing and rejuvenation retreat right about now!
Coffee or tea: I love coffee in the morning, with heavy cream and sugar; decaf tea, nothing added, in the afternoon or at night.
Current playlist: I’ve been working some pretty late nights, so I’m listening to a lot of fast-paced remixes to stay motivated. And I’m totally into some girl power tunes by artists like Kita Alexander, Sophia Black and Emily Warren.
Best concert ever: Coldplay. Mylo Xyloto tour, 2012. OMG. It was so epic. My husband and I had such great seats, and the performance was off the charts. There were light-up wrist bands for everyone in the crowd. The light show was insane.
How you relax: I enjoy moments when I can do a few sun salutations before my kids crawl over my yoga mat to play.
What’s next for you? I am hosting a pop-up shop at West Elm at Mockingbird Station on June 12. This will be the first time I’ve sold my pieces in person! I’m also working to create an inventory so that clients can shop from existing pieces instead of ordering a custom one. I need to move away from doing so many custom orders each month and get back to creating pieces without direction.
Five-year goals: More free time! I’m working nonstop and need to find a better balance. With that said, I plan to grow Boho by Lauren as a brand and offer other modern-bohemian home goods, as well as design services. So, free time and professional growth better find a way to work together!
Words to live by: No regrets! Sounds cliché, but I really believe that everything happens for a reason. Even the mistakes. Even the opportunities not taken. Timing is everything, and if the timing isn’t lined up, then it’s just not right. Looking back, I don’t regret anything because it has brought me right where I’m supposed to be.
Best advice ever received: Pray about it.