Interior designers and event planners are known to create memorable moments for their clients. Award-winning interior designer Lauren Ashley Stevens, CEO of LA Weddings and Interior, can attest to that and all the hard work it takes to make people’s dreams come true.
Since 2015 Stevens had strategically managed his events and design business while working full time. After growing her business, she decided to take a leap of faith at the start of the pandemic and quit her job to pursue her dreams full time. And she said it was one of the best decisions she made. The other decision she’s made that has set her business apart is to be visible and actively engaged online and on social media.
The one-piece challenge
Following the series of national civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd, Stevens participated in The one-piece challenge as a way to create space for yourself as a black woman and designer. It was also important for her to manage a sacred space where others could feel safe, seen, and warm just by looking at her.
“I wanted to express myself the only way I know how, through design. For this particular project, I used as many African American vendors as possible. I used Claire Paint, which got Beyoncé’s stamp of approval, and I used black art. I wanted to introduce myself in design for African Americans, ”Stevens said.
In a blog post on the challenge that revealed the new room, Stevens wrote, “The One Room Challenge 2020 took me on a journey of empowerment and professional growth. I found my own voice and showed myself the capacity I have for excellence and social justice. I am grateful that I can inspire others through my passions and every day I wake up to a life I love!
Stevens also wrote: “If I only touch one person and push them to use their voice and passion to talk about issues and / or research why it’s so important, then I did. my part.”
Creating a sacred space for Gianna Floyd
To her surprise, she had touched more people than she thought. Including George Floyd’s family who contacted her on Instagram to entrust her with the design of Gianna Floyd’s bedroom. “The circle was closed for me,” Stevens said. “It was surreal. Out of all the designers in Houston, Texas, they chose me. For this reason, I wanted to make sure it was a job well done.
She went on to share, “I wanted a space where she can be a little girl and where she can become the young woman she’s about to become too,” Stevens said. “It’s also what I think about for all my clients when I design. I don’t want you necessarily calling me a year or two later and saying, “Lauren, that has to change.” I want them to be able to evolve in a classic and sustainable space. ”
The inspiration for Gianna’s bedroom was Betsy Johnson with a modern twist.
“Seeing her face when she walked into the room and saying it was ‘so pretty’ was my ‘job well done’,” Stevens said.
Designing a future in industry
In addition to her work as an interior designer and event planner, Stevens has designed a line of pillows, LA Warm & Fuzzy. The pillows in the collection are named after important women in her life and explain how she builds relationships with her clients.
“I must have warm and hazy feelings from all of my clients because we’re going to be in business for a long time. I think you work best when you relate to people rather than being transactional, ”Stevens said.
The pillow that lights up Stevens’ face is named after his late mother Joyce who gracefully fought breast cancer.
As Stevens prepares for another successful year in business, his advice to other entrepreneurs is, “Don’t let unexpected lessons stop you. Sometimes they are not necessarily for you. Maybe it’s up to you to help the next person. But don’t let that get in your way. Keep on going.”