LAUREN FOWLER handcrafted company

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Lauren Fowler is a woodworker who started out creating serving boards as gifts for family and friends, which lead to her creating the Lauren Fowler Handcrafted Company.

We learned about what inspires Lauren and her proudest moment.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.

I am Lauren and I run Lauren Fowler Handcrafted Company. I started just over a year ago after making little wooden serving boards for friends and family as gifts out of my husbands little workshop, where I enjoyed playing about with scrap wood we had lying around. We were fortunate to move further out to the country last year where I was able to set up my own workshop in one of the out buildings which was the start of my little business. Since then we have steadily grown and my husband has even come on board. He has always loved working with metal and together we have been able to collaborate on furniture for clients custom pieces. We try to work with local sustainable wood sources as well as using all natural finishes on our wood products where possible and are always researching and trying to improve on this. I feel very fortunate that we have been able to sell directly as well as through various shops around the country; it has allowed for fantastic friendships, networking opportunities as well as collaboration with other local makers and businesses. 

What or who influences and motivates you?

The world outside and the wood I work with influences me in my work. Using the natural shapes and forms of the wood to enhance what is already there, whether it be the grain, the natural edging, or curvature to create items that work in customer's homes and meet different tastes. I also find it important to make items that I love myself. If I had to make things that I wouldn't have in my own home, or use myself then it wouldn’t allow the creative juices to flow. 
In terms of motivation, I find that other makers motivate me to work hard in the things I make. The culture is improving here for local makers/crafters and I think it’s very important we see this continue to grow, especially for women. There is such a community of support with local makers, as we are all trying to achieve the same thing. Since I started I have found that other makers I have got to know and talked with are open with advice, do's and don’t's of starting a business, even running ideas past each other. 

What has been your biggest hurdle proudest moment or accomplishment in your career?

I think one of my biggest hurdles has been not always believing in myself. Everyday is a school day and I am still very much learning about the craft of woodworking and also what's involved in running a business. I don't think that will ever go away, I will never finish learning, but as I've grown as a maker, working on different projects for different kinds for clients I've started to gain a more confidence in myself and my abilities.
I think my proudest moment will always be making my first sale. That was the moment where everything changed and I wasn't just making wooden goods to gift to friends and family. When I received that first order for one of my live edge serving boards it made me so excited that someone thought they were worth something and that really helped me put myself out there and see where it would take me. 

Could you give some advice for any young, emerging designers?

Do what makes you happy! As scary as that sometimes is, if you are passionate about something make sure you include it in your life. If you get to make your living out of it, always be grateful and never take it for granted. Starting your own business can be hard at times but if you love what you do and work hard to get where you want to be, you'll be living your dream, which not everyone gets to say.