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Exploring Life & Business with Lauren White of White Loft

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren White.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
In 2011, I was a new mom to a baby boy and had a big corporate job – and life was good but increasingly busy with a newborn and a demanding career. I quickly realized that my life and priorities had shifted post-baby, and I returned to work but knew that something had changed. While I valued the equity that I built in my recruiting career, my passion had evolved.

During my son’s first year, I realized that becoming a mom had inspired a newfound creativity that ultimately led me to leave my corporate career. I quit my job, took a step back and dedicated time to unearthing some of my hidden talents – namely, DIY baby and home decor design. At 18 months old, my son was growing fast, and I wanted to preserve memories of his childhood in ways that felt simple and authentic to our family.

So I leaned into my craftiness, first designing a growth chart to measure a child’s yearly growth in the form of a beautiful, portable keepsake. When a friend suggested I sell it, I excitedly expanded my side-hustle into a full-blown business, even dedicating studio space in our new home to set up shop. White Loft was born.

Over time, my business grew exponentially and I developed new products, including baby month markers that are used for monthly photos that captured a baby’s first year in a memorable, nostalgic way.

It’s been so rewarding to pursue this entrepreneurial path while preserving quality time and memories for our family – and helping other families just like ours preserve their most precious moments, too.

Ten years later, White Loft is a female-owned small business dedicated to making artful and heirloom goods that celebrate the joy of childhood and help preserve life’s most precious moments, all of which are handcrafted, made in Austin, TX, and have become treasured heirlooms to families across the country.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Overall, we’ve experienced year over year growth that we’re proud of, but like any anyone building a business, we learn as we go, and some lessons are easier to handle than others.

As a product-based business, we’ve worked hard to perfect our process and end product, which has been the result of years of tweaks and refinements. For example, we’ve endured trial and error as we’ve developed our production process for our canvas growth charts. Years ago, we attempted a screen-printed version instead of our current handmade version, only to realize right before a big market that the canvas wasn’t to scale any longer. That was a stomach-sinking moment.

But it wasn’t the end of the world. The key there was to be solution-oriented – we pulled everything and started from scratch with our tried-and-true method. We overcame the obstacle by being flexible and learning from the experience. Sometimes, a solution can solve a temporary problem, even if in that moment, you know that specific solution won’t be a long-term fix. I’m guided by the mantra, “Be clear in your goals but flexible in your approach” and I try to keep a growth mindset, especially during challenging experiences.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
White Loft is a female-owned small business based in Austin, TX dedicated to making artful + heirloom goods that celebrate the joys of childhood and help preserve life’s most precious moments.

Inspired by my earliest DIY projects for my new baby (who is now 10!), all White Loft products, including handmade growth charts, custom month markers, closet dividers, and more, are all made from sustainable, high-quality materials with a personal touch – and can be customized with a child’s name or monogram.

My heart bursts with joy when I hear from customers about the meaningful role our products play in capturing those fleeting childhood moments. I’ve heard from first-time moms how helpful our month markers are in photographing a baby’s first year, as they quickly realize how fast they grow! I’ve heard stories about how our growth charts are appreciated by families who move to a new home – and can take their charts with all of those special growth milestones with them as they start a new chapter.

From one mom with a love of home design to all parents out there: White Loft decor items are the perfect baby shower gift but also a well-timed staple as little ones begin to walk and turn into big siblings. I believe it’s never too late to start tracking your little one’s growth – it all goes by so fast.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I know a lot of women have left their former jobs during the Great Resignation, and it might feel scary if you’re starting your own business and don’t know what it’s going to look like. I did that ten years ago when I left my corporate career and I remember how uncertain that can feel. My advice to any women starting their own business right now is: you are capable of so much more than you think. You don’t have to have it all figured out right away – most entrepreneurs don’t!

As you get started, seek out a network of people who will have your back and provide you with support on your journey – and help spread the word about your business. And, as you get put up against challenges in your business, don’t dwell on the setbacks. Sometimes, when I’m making a tough decision, I like to think, “what’s the worst that can happen?” If I can deal with that answer, then I know I’m moving in the right direction.

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