[quote style=”boxed”]If you can be present with what you’re doing at this very moment, you’ll perform better and your work will improve.[/quote]
Stacey Lauren is the founder of Kind Label, a hand-printed line of eco-friendly clothing that supports various charities. She is a self-taught graphic designer with a passion for helping animals. Through her line of graphic tees, she has combined her design skills with her love of animals and fashion.
What are you working on right now?
I’m continuing to add new designs to my shop, and I’m preparing for the holidays. I’m also working on making my line available for wholesale for boutiques and online retailers.
Where did the idea for Kind Label come from?
After college, I knew I wanted to incorporate my love for animals into my career somehow. As I was honing my skills as a graphic designer, the idea of making graphic tees that donated to animal welfare came to me, and it seemed like the perfect solution.
What does your typical day look like?
I wake up, feed my rescue pup, Theo, and take him outside. Then I have a cup of coffee and check my email. I spend most of my day printing and shipping orders. I keep a running list of new design ideas, and when I have time, I work on creating them. I photograph new samples, and post them to my shop and social media. I also spend time looking for inspiration for new designs.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I write all of my ideas down in a note on my iPhone as they come to me. When I design a new tee, I refer to my list and pick my favorite. Then I open up Illustrator and get to work! The hardest part is deciding when it’s done. I always feel like it could use a tweak here and there, and eventually I have to stop and tell myself it’s perfect.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The increase in the number of people who are following their dreams. I think with job security out the window, people are looking for new opportunities and are finding creative ways to make a living. Often, these entrepreneurs start with their passions. It’s so inspiring to see how many young entrepreneurs are popping up! My cousin, who just graduated from high school, already knows that he wants to run his own fashion business. It’s amazing!
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
My first job when I was 14 involved working at a local food market. Many things in the shop were expired. The place was run terribly, and I wasn’t allowed to sit behind the counter—for the entire day. From that job, I learned that quitting was okay and that doing so meant bigger and better things were yet to come. My next job at a clothing store was great!
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t do anything differently, because everything I’ve done has lead me to where I am, which is exactly where I want to be. I could say that I wish I had gone to fashion school or studied graphic design in college, but I don’t know that I would be in a better position than I am now. I may not have met my husband, who is my best friend and my biggest cheerleader.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Keep trying. When sales slow down and I get worried, I design a new tee, add more options and refuse to give up.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Before selling on Etsy, I tried opening my own online shop. I had no idea how to drive traffic to it, and it was a huge waste of money. I had to shut it down. Then I found Etsy, which is an amazing marketplace for those who are just starting out. They make it very user-friendly and it’s extremely affordable to list one item (only $0.20). It’s great for testing your ideas!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
It may seem obvious, but having a Facebook fan page is a no-brainer for every business. I’ve seen how small businesses can grow a following and connect with their customers instantaneously. It’s also a great tool for getting your customers involved. I post new designs and ask for feedback. I’ve adjusted my designs based on what my fans have said.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I would make it so there would be no animal cruelty—by designing clothing that speak for animals and support organizations dedicated to their welfare. And I’m already doing it!
Tell us a secret.
Mermaids are for real.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
- Pinterest. I use it for promotion and inspiration. But it can suck you in for hours.
- Facebook. The connection to customers and fans is awesome.
- Etsy. For me, obviously, it is my bread and butter.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I’ve read so many, so it’s hard to pick one. I recently read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It’s amazing to notice how much your mind wanders away from the moment without you even realizing it. If you can be present with what you’re doing at this very moment, you’ll perform better and your work will improve.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
- @DanielleLaPorte is so inspiring.
- @DalaiLama give you daily wisdom.
- @chrissyteigen is hysterically funny—like, laugh out loud funny—and she writes a food blog that is equally as funny.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Just now, reading one of @chrissyteigen’s tweets. She wrote, “I sensed bulldog was gonna poo a wet one so I caught it right in the bag from his butthole. You’re welcome, 5th street.” Hehe.
Who is your hero?
I have two: my dad and my husband.
Who’s your favorite blogger?
What’s your biggest weakness?
Kind Label on Twitter: @kindlabel
Kind Label on Facebook: facebook.com/kindlabel
Shop Kind Label: kindlabel.etsy.com
Kind Label’s blog: staceylauren.com
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.