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Interview from Lemon Dear copied below:
Today we meet Stacey Lauren, who loves basics and followed her dad’s advise: “be independently wealthy, while helping others” and combined her love for animals with her graphic designer knowledge to open RIC, a wonderful t-shirt shop with a message: We talk about her collections and how they benefit different worthwhile causes such as helping animals, music for kids and the end of extreme poverty. Also, she advises sellers how to raise money for causes they are passionate about and takes us on a walk in a day of her creative life. Enjoy!
First, I love basics. On any given day, you’ll likely find me in a t-shirt and jeans, or a long sleeve shirt and jeans, or a tank top and jeans.. you get the point. I wear jeans a lot. But I really love comfy, easy-to-wear t-shirts. If I could afford to own every item from LnA Clothing, I totally would.
Second, when I graduated college and still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, my father told me to “be independently wealthy, while helping others”. While that’s easier said than done, I believe I’ve stumbled on my niche to make it happen. I am a graphic designer and an animal lover, and I decided to combine these two passions and put them on the other love of mine, clothing. My dad loved the idea and encouraged me to achieve success with it. He took days off of work to come to meetings with me, and even offered to try selling my shirts door-to-door. Sadly, he lost his battle with prostate cancer last year. His name was Ric (always signed in all caps). I have changed the name of the line to his name so that he can always be a part of this adventure. I now believe he helps me in ways he never could before.
Could you tell us more about the causes you support through your shop?
The ROCK Collection is for music lovers. I grew up listening to rock ‘n roll, and played a couple different instruments in school. I believe a song can instantly change your mood. Also, my husband runs a music business, putting band programs into schools that don’t have them. He told me about the Fender Music Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising money for kids’ music programs across America. A portion of the proceeds from the ROCK collection is donated to this cause.
The LIVE Collection consists of life quotes and inspirational messages, encouraging wearers to make the most of every day and live life to the fullest. My dad was an avid believer in pursuing your dreams, and so am I. I want to encourage others to do the same! A portion of the proceeds from this collection is donated to The Adventure Project to help end extreme poverty. This organization was established to “increase investments in positive social enterprises around the world”, contributing to projects that “spur economic opportunity, promote dignity, & save lives”. Who wouldn’t want to support them?
Could you please share some advise to fellow Etsians who would like to raise money for good causes?
Anyone can do it! Once you’ve picked a cause that means something to you, you have a couple of options. You can donate a portion of all of your proceeds to that cause, or a portion of the proceeds from any particular item you sell. Many organizations accept donations through PayPal, which makes it very simple for Etsy sellers to do, since that’s where most of your income goes.
On top of the good feeling you get for supporting a cause that’s dear to you, your customers get to know you a little better by learning what’s important to you. And it adds an extra special meaning to their purchases.
A lot of your creations are organic, why?
I print many of my designs on Alternative Apparel blanks because the quality is amazing and their fabrics are super soft (the most important feature in any t-shirt). They offer so many organic styles, and they’re all amazingly soft and flattering! Being good for the environment is a fabulous bonus. But not every style I use is organic.
Could you walk us through a day in your creative life?
Um.. it’s different every day, but usually goes something like this: Walk and feed Theo, gym (sometimes), breakfast, purchase blanks for incoming orders, print shirts that arrived that day, a trip to the post office, freelance graphic work (still a freelance graphic designer as well), upload things to Blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, Theo rings his bell to be walked again, play fetch with him for a little, call my husband to see how his day is going, design a new shirt, read articles about entrepreneurship, photograph some samples, volunteer at the local rescue center (on Tuesdays), hubby comes home, maybe cook but probably take out something, watch reality tv, then go to bed and dream about the day I’m selling in Bloomingdale’s.
What is your favourite RIC item?
The pink Pit Bull Tank Top. I don’t know why I haven’t made one for myself yet.
What are the future plans for RIC?
Selling in retail stores and designing my own line of basics to print on.
Where can we find you and RIC?
Stacey Lauren, facebook, twitter, and of course, etsy! Thank you!