I’m meant to be writing about all sorts of topics on The Lovely Edit blog, but I just love doing these interview posts. I’ve been lucky enough to pick the brains of some really creative and inspirational people so far, and this week is no exception. The wonderful Lauren Aston, who creates unique and gorgeous chunky knits for her brand Lauren Aston Designs, has kindly agreed to be my latest subject and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have spoken to her.
You may recognise Lauren Aston Designs (LAD) from social media where her instagram is full to the brim of fun, aspirational and stylish images of her super chunky knitted creations (and her cute cockapoo Harry). She’s well worth a follow if you don’t already! Armed with her supersized knitting needles, Lauren is conquering the world of soft and cosy knits. The Beckhams even posted a picture of one of her designs in their home at Christmas, so if that isn’t a style seal of approval I don’t know what is!
Lauren has spoken to me about her typical day as a creative entrepreneur, the highs and lows of running her own business, and her top tips for budding start ups.
Just for fun…..What time did you wake up this morning and what was your first thought?
This morning was an early start for me, I normally wake up at 7.30 but this morning was up at 6am because Harry (my cockapoo) was huffing – He gets impatient waiting for me or Alex to wake, so literally just sits there sighing and huffing until we wake up. He’s supposed to sleep on the floor next to us but my first thought is normally ‘why does the dog have more space in the bed than I do’!!
When did you launch Lauren Aston Designs and what was your background before you started the company?
I launched LAD in Feb 2015, I have a degree in fashion and textiles where I specialised in knitwear. I moved to Devon in 2013 and knew that I wanted to develop my own businesses using giant knitting as it was very new then, so I started researching, designing and photographing and was ready to launch early 2015.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
There is no typical day for LAD. It always involves plenty of tea drinking though! It could be anything from knitting up some giant blankets, to working on some new knit kit designs, or photographing products for the website. There is always so much to do, and I tend to concentrate more on the fun stuff than listings for example – which I know isn’t good! I have some amazing helpers that support me with different aspects of the business, so it’s good not to have to do it all on my own.
What’s your favourite thing about running your own business?
For me it’s the freedom, to be able to create what I want, and when I want – but also I am constantly happy that people have my own designs and creations in their homes – I love seeing their images and the knowledge that what I have made or designed makes them happy has to be a good thing!
And your worst thing (if there is anything!)?
Because I work from home and do giant knitting, it does have a tendency to take over everything – the house at Christmas especially is chaos and really disruptive to the rest of the family, but for those few months I know it is worth it. Also the wool gets everywhere – everything is always covered! However, I’m planning on looking for my own premises soon, so hopefully that won’t be an issue anymore!
Finally what advice would you give someone wanting to start up their own creative small business?
Be passionate about what you do! You invest so much into it that you need to absolutely love it. And start something that is totally unique, and own that USP – it’s so important to have a product that stands out, and your customers will love you for it. I’ve written loads about starting a small business on my blog so please do take a read in case there’s anything helpful on there! It’s certainly not an easy option working for yourself but there are so many positives and it’s exciting too!
As always I hope you enjoyed and found that useful. A huge thank you to Lauren for answering my questions and giving us an insight into her business. Take a look at her online shop, her blog, and her instagram and feel inspired!