Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Burns.
Hi Lauren, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my story and how my business started and has evolved today.
My story begins when I became the mother of one young son while I was a consistent top sales producer in the country for a global provider of business outsourcing solutions. Becoming a mother was an eye-opening realization that after a nine years of focus working in a corporate setting, I no longer had the drive I always had. That passion shifted to being a mother and raising my son full time, knowing that we also wanted to expand our family further in the near future. I was fortunate enough at that time to be able to quit my career to become a stay-at-home mom. One thing I am not good at is relaxing or not having goals. Knowing this, I started to think about what I could do that would allow me the flexibility to be present for my children and to balance a work passion. Interior Design was something I was always interested in and had helped friends with design advice. I decided to enroll and start school at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design in Washington, DC the same month I quit my sales job. I remember having trouble making the mental shift that I was not making my own money anymore and not able to contribute financially like I always had, but knew that this was a choice we made for the benefit of our family.
Over the next five years, we moved to two different states and had two more children. My interior design passion was put on hold to put our family first and I was grateful to be at home with our kids. In 2016, I was faced with a difficult and life-changing challenge for my kids and me. I was suddenly a single mom of three young children with no viable career. My focus was to create a new normal for my children and to be there for them during such a traumatic time in their lives. I considered going back into sales for the best potential for financial stability but realized that I needed to put their needs first. I also had been out of the corporate workforce for so many years. I decided to give it my best shot at making what had been a hobby into a viable new career and started my own Interior Design business, Lauren Burns Interiors.
My business started very small with just two clients. I was referred to another client and then very slowly, and by word of mouth, I gained a few more clients. The biggest struggle I had with my divorce was that I never signed up to be a part-time Mom and to not be able to see my children every single day. I spent the majority of the time when my kids were with their dad working and building my business. Weekends, evenings and all day. It was initially a way for me to cope with not being able to be with my children, but I unknowingly was working so hard that my business began to grow quickly. Two friends and I tried to get an e-commerce business off the ground that was something I had wanted to do a few years earlier. This venture didn’t work out because of the time needed to dedicate to this business as I was still needing the income from my small interior design business.
I was tapped by a local magazine to feature one of my clients in their magazine. This gave me some exposure locally, but even more impactful was that I also had met two people who have become instrumental to my interior design career because they believed in me. One referred me for an interview on HGTV’s hit show, Love It or List It, where I became a part of the design team. This was an unbelievable experience for me and I am grateful to work with so many talented people on the show. Another incredible businessman who believed in me helped to connect me in other business ventures but the timing didn’t work out. Other opportunities opened up and I was featured in other magazines. I was voted as an honorable mention and second place for Best Interior Design Firm by Cary Magazine. In 2020 and 2021, I won first place by the votes of readers. Another local magazine selected me as one of eight other area businesswomen in 2019 as Cary’s businesswomen of the year. I am still in awe that I was one of the women who they selected. I am so grateful for the support of my clients, the community, my family and friends. Running a small business is challenging on many fronts. There isn’t really an “off” switch and your reputation is everything. In my type of business, things aren’t always run smoothly and things can happen that are out of your control. The beauty of having my own business is that I can still do what I am most passionate about, which is to be able to have the flexibility to be present for my children when they need me.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The struggles along the way have been plenty. Along the way, I questioned myself sometimes and wondered where I can take my business from here to expand. Should I expand and in what way? Should I go back into sales where there is financial safety to a degree with benefits like I experienced in my first sales career? My mind has so many ideas for my interior design business and branding myself more. My goal is to take my business to the next level. I continue to have a passion to continue to create beautiful and unique spaces for my clients to be proud of and to enjoy for years to come. I have something else that is driving me to know that there is something more to my business if I work to develop something even bigger. My current challenge is to have a better balance with everything in my life. It’s a work in progress and I have a long way to go, but I believe that I can achieve more with my career.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Lauren Burns Interiors works with both residential and commercial clients. We offer services from selections and helping to design homes and spaces to full turn-key interior design. We also work with many clients on home and office renovations.
I design spaces that are timeless with a balanced mix of styles, from traditional to contemporary. I love turning spaces that need an overhaul into layered, sophisticated and usable living spaces for clients. I am able to quickly understand a client’s desire for their home and I combine this with my passion for design to create spaces they are proud to live in, spaces that feel effortlessly chic and purposeful. By layering textures, along with mixing new with vintage pieces, I am known for creating signature interiors with sophisticated simplicity.
What sets us apart from others is that we offer a wide range of services and we custom fit the experience to a client’s needs. We have a team who truly cares about each one of our clients and we go above and beyond to make sure our clients are happy. I am most proud of the different business experiences I have been given the opportunity to design in ways that express my creativity.
How do you define success?
Success to me is when I have a client who sees how much time and effort goes into bringing their vision to life. Being able to walk into a space or business that I have designed and seeing the true happiness that the space brings to them is one of the most rewarding to me.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.laurenburnsinteriors.com
- Instagram: @laurenburnsinteriors and @collectedbylaurenburns
- Facebook: Lauren Burns Interiors
Photographer: Catherine Nguyen Photography