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Conversations with Lauren Jones

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

Hi Lauren, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’m a mom, an Engineer, and a tie-dye master. I was born and raised in Loveland, Ohio, just outside of Cincinnati. I’m an only child and have always been very close to my parents. I went to college for Materials Engineering, and have worked in the automotive industry and currently the medical device industry. 

Growing up, I was interested in fashion, clothes, and shopping. I didn’t spend much time outdoors. After getting married to my husband TJ in 2015, I began finding love for nature. We went fishing, and the fishing turned into hiking, and hiking slowly evolved into camping. I now thoroughly enjoy camping, hiking, and watersports. We attended a camping music festival in a forest back in 2018, and it was truly a turning point for me with my love for tie-dye. It was so inspiring to see all of the cool tie-dyes and enjoy the company of other free spirits. From that point on, tie-dye began to symbolize being your true self and loving who you truly are to the core. 

My world was turned upside down when my mother passed away from ovarian cancer at age 67 back in January 2021. My biggest points of grief came in waves, and typically in the evenings. With a toddler and a pandemic, leaving my house wasn’t the easiest, so I went looking for a new hobby to occupy my time and my mind. 

After experiencing fun festivals and camping, I really wanted to get my own unique tie-dye. I ordered a geode tie-dye shirt from Etsy, and the wait time was so long before it would ship! I had also recently discovered a couple of TikTok videos explaining the geode tie-dye process and thought I’d give it a try. I went out to purchase powder dye, artificial sinew, soda ash, and a big bag of ice. I loved the results I achieved in my first two shirts. Tie-dye saved me. It filled my evenings with ice and accidental blue fingers, and so much fulfillment. I found I love working for myself. 

Creating those first two shirts gave me a huge feeling of fulfillment that I hadn’t realized I was missing. I knew I wanted to keep going with this, so I decided to commit to my business idea and to myself. At this point, I’m not perfect, but I feel like I’ve achieved a good balance between working my full-time day job, my business, and being a mom. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest challenge I face is organization. Since my product is handmade and often purchased as a made-to-order item, I have to keep an inventory of supplies and it can be difficult to predict the market. I’ve had times when I’d get multiple orders in quick succession of the same size, depleting my inventory faster than expected. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I specialize in geode tie-dye, which is achieved using the ice dye technique. My best-selling product is my blue and copper geode tie-dye shirt. I achieve this look by using fiber-reactive dye and ice. I apply a generous amount of each color, which creates bright, vibrant, permanent colors. The ice transforms all of the colors into these unique patterns. All of my products are dyed in my home studio, on wire cooling racks lined with silicone cake molds and clothespins. Each item is hand-dyed entirely by myself or my husband. 

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
Perseverance. 

I’ve had to learn how to market my business, become a photographer, and writer, and manage my social media, all of this was completely new to me, and I did find myself becoming frustrated at times. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you’re first starting out in a new business. It’s challenging to break down larger tasks into smaller pieces that can be done in the evenings after my toddler goes to bed. 

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Image Credits

Jenn Prine

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