Often times, we use fairy tales to escape reality. Fairy tales being our “made up” version of how things should be going in our lives and how things should “play out”. It’s come to be found that our fairy tale visions are what sets us up for failure sometimes in life. At some point, we all learn to be more realistic of our expectations in people as well as of ourselves through past experiences.
Our June Ambitious Woman of the Month says her life is the furthest thing from a fairy tale but she believes that she is on the right track to creating the best life for herself.
Meet Lauren Bradford, 29-year-old Detroit native, owner of Lola Bee Studios where the up and coming Fly Heroine brand was born. Both a graphic designer and entrepreneur, Lauren shares what it’s like to live a day in her world.
AM: At what point in your life did you realize that you wanted to be a graphic designer?
LB: I’ve always had a love for art and painting but it wasn’t until my grandmother told me something that would help me make it a career path. When I was a freshman in college, I was majoring in communication. One day, I was showing her some of my art work and she told me “you’re going to miss your calling.” After that, I changed my major to studio art and I haven’t looked back since.
AM: What are some of your favorite things about graphic design and what do you like to create the most?
LB: I really enjoy the process of turning “nothing” into “something”. Initially, I begin with an idea and a blank canvas thus turning that into something beautiful. My favorite thing to design is probably invitations. Wedding, baby shower or whatever. Just because they’re events filled with emotion so I usually get more of a reaction from the client.
AM: How long is the Graphic Design process when it comes to creating things…start to finish?
LB: It depends. I have different turnaround times for different projects but that doesn’t necessarily mean it takes me that long to work on it. For example, I tell people 5-7 days for logos, Not because I’m working on it constantly for that amount of time but because sometimes I just need time to think; No drawing, no computer work, just thinking. The execution is usually simple, yet coming up with the idea is 75% of the battle.
AM: Advice to aspiring Graphic Designers?
LB: Graphic design is a very crowded market so find your niche and run with it. When I left my previous job to go out on my own, I tried to run my company like them and I failed miserably. I had to realize that they are good at what they do because that’s the way their business is structured. I had to really figure out what it was that I was good at and develop my company around that concept. Aspiring GD’s should continue to learn about the industry, be inspired by EVERYTHING, charge what you’re worth and remember it’s ok to say no.
AM: You’re an entrepreneur…What can you say about entrepreneurship and being a business owner?
LB: It’s tough, but worth it and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s weird because a few months ago, I was ready to give it all up. I started looking for jobs and even went on an interview, but it took for me to go through that rough period to know that it’s not always going to be easy and if this is really my dream then it’s worth fighting for.
AM: Your brand Fly Heroine… what should we know about the brand? What is Fly Heroine?
LB: Fly Heroine is a brand that I created for dope women everywhere. It’s the everyday woman who plays superwoman in their lives, whether it’s raising children or running a business. I wanted to represent them in a way that was positive… but not corny. It’s weird because Lola Bee is so cute and dainty while Fly Heroine is street and aggressive; but that was the main point in me creating it (Fly Heroine). Women have so many sides to them so I don’t think just one image should be praised as being “dope”. I was tired of the definition of dope only relating to one kind of woman. It’s not about looks or how much money you make, it’s about confidence and knowing who you are regardless of what anyone else may think.
AM: Independent clothing lines are in. What sets your line aside from the others around the Detroit area?
LB: I design what I feel. I don’t release a ton of designs because I never do something just to do it. I’ve never just wanted to put catchy lines on a t-shirt. It works sometimes and they sell but my hope was always to take that and make something bigger. I know it sounds cliché’, but it really is a movement. My primary goal is to help women develop a real worth within themselves.
AM: Where do you hope to see Fly Heroine in five years?
LB: Designing clothes is a stepping stone to get to the greater idea of building women up. I would hope to have an organization similar to black girl’s rock, where I would honor women (not just celebrities) who give and don’t ask anything in return.
AM: Are there any other designers or lines you’d like to collaborate/work with?
LB: I’m always open to whoever is interested in collaborating with me. As long as I get to design it, lol.
AM: Are there any challenges that come with running a clothing line
LB: There’s a lot of time put into it and a lot of time, I don’t have. Every design doesn’t sell as well as the next but that’s a part of the game. It’s really hard to be the designer and run the business because when people don’t like something, you have to deal with that too. It’s hard not to be sensitive, like “what do you mean you don’t like it”. lol, I’m still working on that.
LB: I always have something to wear lol. If I go out with one of my shirts on and someone says they like it, there’s no better feeling than that.
AM: Anything else we should know?
LB: Running a business alone is hard so running two businesses alone is insane. I always try to remember why I started in the first place. I always had a dream of becoming my own boss and now I’m actually doing it. I used to live in fear a lot. I would come up with 1000 scenarios of why something wouldn’t work and just say forget it. I finally came to a point where I decided I wanted it more than I was afraid of it and now I’m here. My life is the furthest thing from a fairy tale but I know I’m on the right track to creating the best life for me and those I care about around me.
You heard it here.
Stay Ambitious, Stay Motivated!
To purchase your Fly Heroine gear visit http://www.flyheroine.bigcartel.com/
and to stay updated on the brand follow her on IG @Flyheroine and @Lolabeestudio for your graphic design needs