Lauren Kelp is a Chicago-based lifestyle blogger, stylist and an expert on thoughtful living without the pressure of being perfect. She created her business looking to make unique experiences and content for her partners and readers and changed the scene for freelance creators like her. By creating Lauren Kelp, LLC, she proved that your side job could be a real business.
- What made you create your business? Where did your inspiration come from?
I created Lauren Kelp, LLC because I wanted to start taking my styling, entertaining, and content creation work to the next level. Our brand is all about creating thoughtful content that celebrates imperfection, applauds community, and embraces entertaining with open arms.
- How did you start and what was your thought process?
Truthfully, I started my company after I signed my first big styling client. After we had a phone call about signing the deal and working together in the future, there was this moment when I realized that I really needed to get things together. I called everyone I knew who had companies, who had creative businesses or had friends who started companies. I took them out to breakfast, lunch, coffee, drinks, whatever worked, & picked their brains to the nth degree.
- What was the biggest challenge for you?
I had a very hard time figuring out how to navigate contracts & legal advice as a Creative. The majority of starting your own business is figuring out what to google, understanding a comprehensive list of what to file, when and where to file, etc. Navigating all of that as a Creative was a bit hard as it’s not always logically laid out or straightforward, hence the confusion.
- Did you create a business plan and strategies before launching?
Lord, no! I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Luckily, I had friends, family, and mentors that are much smarter than I am that came alongside this little dream of mine and helped make it float. Bringing on experts that believe in you & your vision is phenomenally important.
- What’s the most valuable piece of advice for other entrepreneurs?
Know your strengths, but know your weaknesses better. Once you know those weaknesses, hire people better and smarter than you. My parents taught me that at a very young age, and it’s been some of the best advice I have ever been given.
- What’s your biggest achievement so far?
Ooh, great question! That is, truthfully, very hard to answer. I think starting your own business is accomplishment enough but being able to add people to the payroll, have a Rolodex of clients, and being able to make your side hustle your day job is a feeling you can’t shake. That, and really kickass business cards 😉