A BIG Happy Exciting Life Update!

Lauren Koster Creative

A lot has happened in the last month. A lot of really great things! In September I had been unemployed for two and a half months, we had been living with my in-laws for four months and desperation was starting to sink in. I wouldn’t say I was in a dark place, but I was on my way. The rejection gauntlet of unemployment can be very hurtful to the ego. And I was feeling bruised. And it all felt so naked going through it while living in someone else’s space. Then there was house hunting. finding a house we liked and could also get approved for on one salary was proving to be quite a challenge. So I did the logical thing, I decided to take on renovating my mom’s kitchen as a pet project. Lol. It has occupied my time and taken my mind off feeling less than in the past couple of months.

Then, in late September, a wonderful girl boss reached out to me. She got my resume from an old high school friend who saw a post on Facebook. A post that took a lot of courage for me to write, admitting finding a job in Michigan was much more challenging than I thought it would be, and leaning on my network to help. It worked! Because of that post, Rose found me. The moment I stepped into Conscious Clothing I knew it would be a great fit. I loved everything about the vibes I got. Their clothes are beautiful and their values are honorable. I am now working part time for an amazing company that makes sustainable clothes in a beautiful studio only a 10 minute commute away. I am stretching my legs and working on marketing and creative services. I am so excited because they not only have great product, but also such a good story to tell and I’m honored to help tell it.

Around the time that Rose found me, I wrote to my intuition to ask what I should do next. My intuition told me to reach out to someone I admired. I immediately decided to cold email KLH Custom Homes, an awesomely talented and forward thinking design and building company here in West Michigan. Their work is amazing and totally aligned with my design style. I cobbled together the interior work I have done into a portfolio. And the wonderful people at KLH decided they liked what they saw enough to take a chance on me! I start as an interior design assistant next week!

I am still moving forward with Lauren Koster Creative. I have a few weddings booked for 2019, I just did a bridal show and I am looking to book several more, as well as continuing to build my installation business. It all sounds like a lot and it is, but I used to blog and run my business after working 40+ hours a week and commuting an hour and a half each way. My new schedule is going to allow so much freedom and flexibility to spend time with my family and work on growing my business.

None of this is how I thought it would look. I pictured myself moving here and finding a full time job while keep Lauren Koster Creative as a side hustle for the time being. But I am so happy at the way things are unfolding. I am so thrilled to be stretching my legs in so many directions. And beyond excited to be working with two wonderful family-run local businesses.

Stay tuned for more news coming soon on the house front.

photo by: The Lipstick Lens / jumpsuit: Conscious Clothing / boots: Loeffler Randall

How to Make Friends on the Internet

After making the BIG move from New York to Grand Rapids, all I have to say is "god bless the internet." Making friends as an adult is hard, y'all. I am not from the area, so coming here, I was starting from zero. Of course one of the easiest ways you can make friends is at work, but I don't have a job here yet, and what if you're an entrepreneur, or the boss, or you just don't jive with the people in your office? You can't really go to the bar after work to pick up a new bestie, and there is no Tinder for finding friends (though there totally should be). Finding friends to connect with in adult life may possibly be more challenging than dating. But I have been putting myself out there and enjoying the company of incredible women, while exploring my new city. I am grateful to the internet for making it possible, here are 5 tips for finding friends on the internet. 

5 Tips For Making Friends on the Internet

1. Don't over think it. Just like when you were dating, don't read into texts or take it personally when someone doesn't respond. We've all got jobs, husbands, kids, etc, it's easy to let a message slip though the cracks. 

2. Slide into those DMs. Before I moved, I DMed women who I admired, and I continue to do so now. Find common ground as a reason to message, do they always geo tag your favorite coffee spot? Do you have kids that are the same age? That's your icebreaker. For me, they are usually creative and mostly entrepreneurs of some sort. I love connecting with women who are driven and have goals. 

3. Don't worry about sounding like an idiot. We aren't all lucky enough to have a built in friend group that lives in close proximity to go through life with, you never know who you might click with and who might be looking for a friend too. But, you definitely won't ever know if you don't connect, so send that message! 

4. Use hashtags to your advantage. Search and use hashtags that the type of friends you would want to connect with might use, for example #grandrapidsmom, #chicagoentrepreneur, #westmichiganblogger.

5. Once you've connected, make a date! This is the hard part, because as I've previously noted, we've all got busy lives. But, It takes meeting in person to know if you will be compatible IRL as real friends. As much as I love my internet friendships, finding a friend you can hang with and have a drink with, is even better, and you've got to get together to find out! 

BONUS: if you're new to the area, as I am, ask your "date" to pick their favorite spot, that way you can see more of the city and experience the recommendations of the locals

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Welcome to Lauren Koster Creative!!

Lauren Koster Creative

Welcome readers new and old!  Thank you so much for stopping by!  I am thrilled to launching my new website and blog.  Lauren Koster Creative is a marriage between my two previous endevors, Undeclared Panache and I Love Love Events.  If you haven’t visited either of these sites let me fill you in, I began Undeclared Panache as a fashion blog in 2008.  I blogged daily, tracking all of my inspiration before Pinterest was a thing.  Undeclared Panache morphed from a fashion blog to a lifestyle blog expanding to interiors, DIY and family.  After planning my own wedding I fell in love with the process, the design and the industry, my passion led me to helping friends, which led me to starting I Love Love Events in 2014.  I have been planning weddings and creating custom décor for the past three years under that name.

Today, I am excited to officially become the face of my brand!  I will still plan weddings, create incredible content, and have added styling services under my umbrella, a hat I have already been wearing for many years, but not marketing. 

I want this blog to be a resource for young women from engagement until motherhood.  I will be sharing my own stories, but also connecting you to my favorite bossladies.  I will share entertaining ideas, as well as fashion advice. 

I am grateful you’re here and honored to continue to create content for you!!  Oh! And be sure you sign up for my newsletter for occasional updates to your inbox!

photo: Kathy Davies Photography