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Small Business Spotlight: Lauren Smith

One of the greatest privileges of running a small business is the opportunity to support other small businesses. From the time I began Hazen at the age of 9, I have encountered many people who have supported me in my work and the pursuit of my aspirations for this business. Those are the individuals who have forever influenced and shaped my life by instilling in me the courage to pursue my dreams, and oftentimes, opening the doors through which I could best pursue those dreams. 


My hope for our Small Business Spotlight series is to open doors for other small business owners who are hustling daily to grow their businesses. I am confident that they believe their products bring life, creativity and joy to both themselves and their customers, and I hope we not only encourage them through this series but also nurture their success using the tools and opportunities we have graciously been given.  


Taylor Turner

Q: When did you develop a love for painting?

A: Growing up, I always assumed that because I couldn't sit down and draw a sketch of a person's face or really any realistic subject matter, that I wasn't artistic. My mom pushed me to take an art class my senior year of high school and I really developed a love for art then. I learned that the word, art, meant so many things and could be so many things. It wasn't just about drawing a sketch of an object and it looking accurate. So, I went to college and majored in Graphic Arts. Our core curriculum included fine art classes, figure drawing, color theory, oil painting and art history. I learned to work with different mediums and push my own boundaries. Sometimes being forced out of your comfort zone in pursuit of a good grade is just what you need to find out what you're capable of doing.

Q: What materials do you use in your work? Paints, canvas, paper, etc?

A: My abstract landscape pieces are typically on canvas, sometimes paper. I use acrylics for those and add some oil pastels for a good pop. My ink-washes are always on watercolor paper and I use india ink.

Q: From where do you draw your inspiration?

A: I'm always inspired by a color balance or composition balance. I'm usually more interested in the composition of a piece than the subject matter. My background being in graphic design adds an interesting element to my pieces. Graphic arts are painstakingly precise and so that's always lingering in my subconscious. I'm not happy with a piece until it feels balanced, either in composition or in color. My pieces are whimsical and happy but there's an underlying order that makes them feel calm.

Q: Playing with colors and textures excites us when designing jewelry. What excites you when painting?

I have a physiological response when I'm painting and typically that's when I know a painting is finished. It all lands just right somehow in the end and it makes my pulse quicken. It's the craziest thing! That rush always leaves me coming back for more!

Q: Any business leaders or artists that inspire or influence you and your brand?

I love everything about interior design so I'm constantly interested in the latest home design trends. I feel like my brand has a little something to appeal to all styles. Whether it's my inkwash landscapes which trend a little more traditional or my colorful landscapes, it all fits in somewhere. I love everything Sarah Hargrave with The Collective Dallas touches. Talk about a breath of fresh air, her store is one that makes me want to move in and live in it! Sarah's designs are so fresh and chic, she always know what's coming next in the design world and she delivers! I'm always inspired by Aryn Guillory at Oyster Creek Studios in Houston. Her use of color and pattern amazes me and I hope my paintings evoke the same feeling her interiors provide, comfortable and approachable but with an edge. If Paloma and Co in Houston ever reached out to me I would lose my mind. Their
style is so refined and sophisticated but the edginess is definitely there. I love that. Currently, I'm loving everything by Gina Julian, Hilary Howorth, Hannah Dean, Faye Bell, Erin Lato and Lauren Padian. There are really too many artists to count. I'm hoping if I pay close attention I can learn something from each of them.

Q: What can we look forward to seeing from your brand in the near future?

A: Honestly, I have no idea! I just pray everyday for God to lead this little venture where he wants it to go. I keep putting one artist foot in front of the other and waiting until He opens the doors for me to my next adventure. So far, it's been more than I could've imagined. God exceeds my expectations everyday!

Works at @thecollectivedallas @gautreaugallery @poppysmonograms@thecollectiveruston @oliveandhome @themoppetshoppe @thepoppysociety

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