I met Lauren on a Saturday afternoon in my hood, having tea with my then pregnant friend, Shannae. Lauren, who happened to be there, stopped over our table to say hello to Shannae and introduced herself to me. I liked her right away and couldn’t wait to get to know her better. As luck might have had it, Lauren signed up with Forme Fitness, a gym I religiously attend and we got to know each other better there. My initial impression of her was totally right: Lauren is a super talented creative, an entrepreneur, a girl’s girl and a real one who provides her audience with a daily dosage of authenticity, beautiful imagery and thoughtful words.
Getting to know this 33 year old, Beyoncé loving, wine drinking, life loving renegade has been a joy and I can’t wait to see what’s next for her:
Fun fact: Lauren is the person who’s been taking all these amazing shots of me…yup, she’s multi talented!
What do you do, and what are some of the current projects you’re working on?
I have a blog called This Renegade Love, where I share original content that inspires readers to live authentic and fulfilling lives. My blog posts are primarily geared towards creative freelancers, bloggers and small businesses, but my Instagram posts are a little more lifestyle focused – all with a heavy dose of real talk. I’m currently just creating content for This Renegade Love, but have plans to expand to educating bloggers and small businesses on authentic branding.
Could you tell us more about your blog, This Renegade Love?
I started my blog two and a half years ago and haven’t looked back since. I had been working in the UK in PR and wasn’t inspired by the work anymore, but WAS inspired by the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things with their lives – the entrepreneurs, self-starters and do-gooders whom I now call ‘renegades’. At the time, there weren’t too many blog platforms that were telling these stories, so I wanted to create a place for readers to go and be inspired by real stories from real, authentic people. From there it evolved into an online space where I also shared my own life and learnings, and people have really grown to connect to that.
What inspired you to get into your industry, and why?
I’ve always loved the art of storytelling, whether it be through words or images, and I felt like we were moving far away from that. I started my career as an editor at a magazine and then moved my way into PR, so I really missed writing and connecting to people that way. I was also really starting to get interested in photography, which is now a huge part of my brand, so that inspired me as well. I basically just wanted to move away from click-bait content and provide a space for quality writing with a valuable take-away.
The social media sphere is so curated, where people present a highlighted reel of their lives. How do you stay authentic to yourself and to your audience on your social media platforms?
I get asked this question a lot, and for me, I just don’t know any other way to be. It’s EXHAUSTING to try to keep up a facade, or pretend to be someone you’re not… and you’ll get called out. For me, the biggest compliment someone can give me when they meet me in person is; “Oh wow, you’re exactly how you are online.” I speak to my readers and followers the same way I would as a friend, and more than anything, just respect them too much to try to feed them bullsh*t. I’ve always found it’s much better to be relatable than it is to be aspirational.
In your opinion, has digitisation helped you connect/disconnect, and according to you, has technology changed the world for the better or for the worse?
It took me a while to get used to just how frequently online you have to be in this industry – and I still need reminders to step back and put my phone down. I think that technology is incredible and has changed the way we communicate and connect and learn about the world. Someone in small town Alaska has access to information and relationships and communities that they might never have had access to otherwise. We’re more aware and more educated. But with that comes the loss of real communication, face-to-face relationships and social awareness. I do all of my Renegade profiles in person because I want to make that connection with the person I’m speaking to and create a legit relationship.
What are your three fave apps that you can’t live without, and why?
Instagram – I f*cking hate it, but love it too.
CastBox – I start every morning with a podcast. Every day is a learning day, guys! 🙂
Snapseed – The best mobile photo editing program (and it’s free, from Google!)