Name: Lauren Isbell
City: Nashville, Tennessee
Side Hustle: Owner/Designer of Lauren Antoinette Designs. Handmade 14K gold-filled jewelry found online and inside my mobile boutique #LADonWheels
How did you get started?: It all started by accident. After breaking a necklace my father gave me, two women in a jewelry design studio in Mobile, Alabama, walked me through a quick fix, leading me to a passion I never knew existed. I worked for them in high school soaking up all their knowledge. In college I worked for another local design studio in Auburn, Alabama, fine tuning my skills and validating my love of jewelry design. Upon graduation I moved to Nashville to focus on my career in the corporate world. After a couple years, I discovered that I was neglecting my creative side. In 2015 the side hustle was born and just this past year I launched my mobile boutique: LAD on Wheels.
When/where do you work?: I work out of my home studio and most of the events I participate in are on Saturdays.
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?:
Right now it is a balancing act: balancing my time and energy between my “side hustle,” my day job, family, and friends. Oh and there is sleep. Sometimes I try to sleep.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: Watching someone get as excited (or at least somewhat as excited) as I am about the collection or just a piece. There is nothing like seeing the joy in people who come into the Mobile Boutique to shop. Spreading that happiness is what drives me.
Who is your greatest supporter?: I have been grateful to have many supporters. It truly takes a village, and each and every one of them has a special, supporting role. Whether that is helping me at all my markets (Katie- best friend), talking through financial and business decisions (Daniel- boyfriend), or selling the pieces right off of them (Karen – Mom and #1 fan), they all have had a big part of moving my business forward.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: My mother. I have a quote from her in the boutique: “Oh, she just needed a little happy”. That phrase and her tenacity is what I built the business around. A collection of “little happies.”
Have you received recognition for your work? If so, please toot your horn below so we can include these details in your profile.: The best recognition is when I see someone wearing my pieces either on social media or in public. It is especially rewarding when I see people wearing #ladhappies in person. Honestly it takes everything I have not to run up to them and yell “Oh my gosh, thank you! I made that. You’re the best!” I have to remind myself that not everyone wants a crazy person “fan-girling” over them and interrupting their day.
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: My dream is to cultivate “little happies” from other makers/artisans and host workshops and events at my very own shop. The idea is that you can come in and grab a little happy from my collection or from other makers and/or you can learn new things through maker’s workshops.
My main goal has always been to celebrate other makers/artisans and build a collaborative environment. And by doing so, maybe I can inspire a young woman to chase her dreams too.
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
Keep going, but be smart about it. There will be doubts and many other things swirling in your head, but don’t give up. If you are smart about your goals and how you can achieve them, you will get there.
Images by Kelli Barnette Photography