Lauren grew up on the SC coast, moving to the upstate to attend Clemson University for graphic communications…and then changed her major to Language and International Trade…and then changed it again eventually earned a degree in Communications with a minor in Advertising.
Having used all three of those study areas and garnering experience in small business, the service industry, non-profit and international manufacturing, she has loved most and learned from all experiences. The Olive Shoe, a serving dish given to the artist by her grandmother, inspired a side hustle that has now become Lauren’s full time gig.
“I have always been passionate about art and design, beginning by painting with watercolor and drawing with pastels in early childhood, pursuing my blossoming interest in graphic design as early as middle and high school on serving both newspaper and yearbook staffs and freelancing for several local business owners”. The Olive Shoe began as a blog, a creative outlet after a particularly adverse time in the artists life. She then created a baby shower invitation for a friend, then a wedding suite for another friend, then some notecards for another…and people just kept asking. So she kept creating. She used what she had learned in other positions and industries to build a small business, and in March of 2019, she left her corporate position of nearly a decade at lunch on a Friday afternoon. Her ribbon cutting at The Olive Shoe Paperie and Goods was at 3 PM that same afternoon. In 2018, she produced over 18,000 pieces of stationery and has worked with 300+ clients over the last five years.
A self-proclaimed “creativity crusader”, Lauren believes everyone has the ability to be creative. She enjoys watercolor painting, dabbling in acrylic and other mediums, and graphic design. She loves supporting small businesses and co-hosts the “Pink Door Podcast” with her landlord and fellow small business owner, Stephanie Irby, owner of Smoore.Designs.
She is an active member of First Presbyterian Church, and enjoys serving her local community through the Junior League of Anderson County, the Anderson Arts Center, and United Way. No “About” section would be complete without also mentioning her marriage to the love of her life, Van James, as well as her love for hostessing – especially family and ‘framily’ gatherings, cheering on her Clemson tigers, and getting into DIY projects at home.