Introduce yourself and tell us what you do!
Hi, my name is Lauren Ludwig, I am originally from Vancouver, Canada but I currently live in Austin, Texas with my husband Alexander and our two dogs, Yam and Roo. I am the founder of Their - a gender-neutral jewelry company made from recycled materials, that focuses on creating pieces that celebrate who you are.
What are your non-negotiable morning rituals Before Life Happens?
Upon waking, the first thing I do is take our dogs out and feed them breakfast. After they are taken care of (because they absolutely would not have it any other way), it’s time for me. Personal hygiene and self care have always been a priority of mine and I have a pretty in-depth morning skincare routine that I like to do every day, and of course, part of that is using my new favorite toothpaste from Before.
After that, I usually sit down at the kitchen counter with a cup of coffee and write down my goals for the day. I find that If I don’t take the time to visualize what I need to accomplish for the day, I am not as effective at prioritizing my time. Then, whether I’m ready or not, life begins. Most mornings, I try to get a workout in early, but as we all know, sometimes things get in the way. But as long as I get a workout in at some point in the day, I’m happy.
Tell us more about your sustainable jewelry brand, Their. How did it come to be? How is Their different?
Their was founded around the idea of creating pieces that can be passed down from one generation to the next, without having to use up our global resources to do it. Jewelry has always held a special place in my heart. I love the storytelling aspect of it, I love that we can wear pieces that our loved ones gave us or family heirlooms that tell a story. Their was born from my realization that most jewelry companies on average markup their products 250-300%. It was from this discovery that I realized that though there are many different jewelry companies out there, few have been able to create quality pieces that are reasonably priced. That coupled with my love of design and my desire to create a company that tries to use the most suitable practices possible, lead to the birth of Their.
Did you always imagine an entrepreneurial life for yourself?
For as long as I can remember, I have had this drive inside of me to create something, and to give back in my own way. I always knew I wanted to work for myself and create a company to stand the test of time. I never knew exactly what that company was going to be, and there were a lot of ideas that never came to fruition, but I believe it took those to lead me here.
What do you feel are some of the most challenging parts of being a creative/entrepreneur?
Self-discipline and managing uncertainty. It takes discipline to be able to force yourself to sit down and work on something that you aren't even sure people will respond to. Initially, all you are going off of is your own gut feeling, knowing that this is something you appreciate, and this is something you would buy. But as time goes on you make changes, you learn, and you grow. The hardest part is coming to the conclusion that there is only so much you can control. You can’t rush this process, step by step, it grows. Patience, consistency, and hard work are all required to deal with the day-to-day challenges of being an entrepreneur.
What are you excited to get into or do next, or what are you looking forward to this year?
I am excited to see where this first full year of business will take us. We are still such a new company, but every day we are reaching new people and the response has been tremendous. When I started this company it was never about making a quick buck, it was about the long game; creating something that stands the test of time. So we are really just in the inception phase but it is so exciting that people have been loving what we are doing and we hope that continues!
What other self-care practices do you have that support you in feeling your best?
Getting a daily sweat whether it be walking the dogs, doing an at-home workout or getting my ass kicked in a workout class is number one for me. I fell in love with fitness, not just for the physical aspect but for my mental health. I’ve always believed discipline starts with the body and mind and works its way out from there. As I get older I realize how important it is to take time for myself and incorporate other daily practices that help me feel my most grounded. Whether it is using an ice roller on my face in the morning, cooking a meal that inspires me or reading a few pages of a good book, these things seem so minimal at first but they reflect a kind of love for myself that I want to project onto everything else I do and create. Lastly, nutrition is very important to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love myself a slice of pizza, or five…but when I am eating well, that makes me feel my best and it is when I am at my most effective.
How do you end your day?
To be completely honest, I’ve created such a great morning routine for myself but my nightly routine has a long way to go. I’ve come to learn that your mornings really start the night before. How your day goes and how productive you are is completely dependent on how much sleep - and the quality of that sleep - you have gotten the night before. In order to get my best night's sleep, I need to put my phone and computer away at least 30 minutes before bed, light some candles, and use that time to wind down and maybe read a book instead of staring at a screen. I am working on trying to do this as often as possible, but sometimes life happens, or a new episode of my favorite show comes out - I am a sucker for a good tv show. It’s a work in progress, like everything, but I’ll keep you posted.