Hi there! My name is Lauren Chism, and I am the owner and designer behind Lauren Chism Fine Papers, a one-woman studio, designing for weddings, babies and lots of little celebrations. In addition to my own business, I also design for some online retailers, like Minted.com, where I am able to exercise a little more creativity and be part of their amazing design community.
I actually started out my career in accounting and discovered my love for design while planning my wedding in 2009. I taught myself the ropes for a few years and took the leap to design full-time in November 2011. I work from my home office in Dallas, Texas, but have been lucky to design for clients all over the country.
My husband, Carter, and my 12 year old dog, Marley, make up my sweet little family. You can see Marley sprinkled throughout my instagram feed. She is too cute for words.
How do you take care of yourself so that you’re physically and mentally prepared to be your best self for others?
When I first started my business, it was all work, work, work. I ate meals at my desk and worked all day and on the weekends and wasn’t really exercising. I am naturally thinish, but being healthy is so much more than that and last year, something snapped me out of that ‘I’m too busy to work out’ mentality. I didn’t realize how good exercise can make you feel physically and mentally. I started by running a few mornings a week and then began going to yoga classes a few days a week. I felt a difference almost immediately. Exercise just clears my mind in a way that working through a to-do list, just doesn’t. I now schedule it into my day and book things for work around it so that it doesn’t get pushed aside when I have a busy day or week.
What is one tradition or routine that’s really important to you / your family? And why?
For now, it’s just my husband and I, and even if we are working a lot, we almost always eat dinner together. I love to cook and it’s a great ending to my day to enjoy dinner, a glass of wine and catch up on our day. We also often take evening walks… really anything that allows us to talk with no distractions like phones or TV is really important to me.
What 6 things (products, services, etc) can you absolutely not live without?
1) Dropbox : I have been using Dropbox for my work-related items for a few years and I am a huge fan. Working from home has allowed me to work on the go a lot and I often am saved by being able to easily access client files from any computer or mobile device. I also love it for the personal side of it – how easy it is to back up iphone photos through their app. It automatically backs up photos when you are connected to the internet so that you can delete them from your device. The perk is that you can still access all your images easily through the app. I love that I never wonder if certain photos have been backed up and I never get that dreaded ‘your device is full’ when trying to snap a great picture.
2) Fresh Sugar Rosé Lip Treatment –I don’t even own lipstick, but I am basically addicted to chapstick. This, to me, is the best of both worlds. It feels like chapstick but has the perfect tint of color. It’s not sticky and has SPF in it.
3) MyGroceries App – social media apps aside, my most used app is probably the MyGroceries app. My husband and I set up lists for all the different stores we shop at – from Central Market, to Target to Home Depot – and can add and remove items as we shop and they always sync, so we can even split the list up at the store. I make plenty of lists in my office, but they never seem to be around when I think ‘we need toothpaste’, but my phone always is!
4 ) BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Gel Cream – I don’t always have the clearest skin, so going without make up isn’t on the top of my list, but when I am not doing too much worth putting on a full face of make-up for, I want to have a quick routine to where I don’t mind if a client stops by or I run out of the house. I have been using BareMinerals for years, but I recently discovered and fell in love with this new product. It’s basically a tinted moisturizer with SPF and just evens your skin tone for that ‘no-makeup’ fresh-faced look. With this, a little mascara and my chapstick, and I am ready to go.
5 ) My husband – My husband, Carter, is easily THE one thing that I couldn’t live without, but that goes without saying. Of course there’s all the normal husband-y things that he brings to my life, but he also plays a small, but very important roll in my business, as my ‘business consultant’ and voice of reason. Running your own business is hugely personal and my emotions are embedded in everything I do. If you haven’t had any business issue come up, you haven’t been in business long enough and when those things happen, whether it’s a huge business decision or just how to respond to a tricky client email, his unemotional perspective always seems to make things clear and simple. Maybe it’s not a husband, but a friend, mom, mentor, colleague… getting another viewpoint is probably my greatest advice because things are so much simpler when you get out of your own head.
6) My iPhone – work, email, camera, podcasts, social media, face-time with my family, navigation… the reasons I need it are endless. I am not sure how we functioned before these tiny computers were in our hands all the time. While I try to limit how frequently I’m just looking at it to look, I can’t deny how much it makes life easier.
Follow along with Lauren: