Presented Without Context: Lauren Murray
When I met Lauren Murray she was speaking on a panel about body positivity at Modcloth’s first brick and mortar location here in Austin, TX. When Lauren walks into a room, the whole place lights up. She’s effervescent, intelligent, and has the most impeccable since of style. My eyes were drawn to her immediately and as she spoke on the panel I soaked up every word. There are things today that she said that I repeat in my head when I get dressed in the morning like “There’s no such thing as the right way to dress for your body type. You get to define what parts of your body you like and you get to decide what makes you feel good.”
I’m so excited to have her on the site today… so here it is! Presented without context: Lauren Murray!
What are a few things that you want us to know about you?
Hi! I’m Lauren and I am a little all over the place in a good way. I currently freelance for a UX app development company running their social media channels & work with small beauty brands to help solidify their brand identity. I dig purpose & passion & do my best to live authentically every day. I have a 7-year-old sassy pup that runs my life and I make a bomb golden milk latte. Get at me.
Do you remember the first time you remember being emotionally affected by failure?
I couldn’t forget it if I tried. In hindsight, I believe it was something a little bit deeper, but this failure affected my relationship with therapy & depression well into my adult years. In the 8th grade, I was the only in my friend group to not make our school’s volleyball team. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is such a trivial failure, but y’all I took this moment as if someone had just died. I cried for weeks! I stopped playing the sport altogether & never went to the games. My disappointment from this steeped over into my school work & I started failing classes I would have otherwise been fine in. I had a total breakdown in the bathroom that year in school & called my mom & told her I was done living. Not soon after, I was placed into an after-school therapy group with 10 other students from my grade, and honestly really wasn’t trying to be there. I am so thankful for my experience though, because I learned how valuable it is to 1. Have a therapist & get out all of those feelings we hold in & 2. How your community can really ride or die for you when they support your healing. Because of my introduction to therapy at such a young age, I have been able to continue my healing well into my adult years with several different therapists.
What’s the biggest accolade you earned while you were in school?
We’re going to go with high-school for this one. Being selected to be a part of my school’s National Honor Society was pretty awesome. Not only because I made it and I wasn’t in the Top 10% of my class, but also because I was one of like 4 black students that made it and we had 40 people in my NHS cohort. High school Lauren was a BOSS.
What does your day to day look like in your occupation?
Right now, I am freelancing so my day looks like lots of coffee, lots of email, & lots of riding around to find the good coffee shops with plenty of plugs & WIFI. I am on Slack with my team & reading UX design blogs to craft the best copy for my platforms.
What does your morning routine look like?
I am my best in the mornings. They start slow with a nice cup of coffee, a playlist (currently jamming Masego) and a beautiful candle. I take my dog out afterwards for a quick walk and then I ease into my work & map out my plan for the day.
Right now, my mornings are starting a little earlier as my manager is based in Berlin & we chat about work deadlines around 6:00 AM, but the routine stays the same.
If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?
To slow down & it’s ok if you’re not everything for everyone. Do all of the things you love to do! Explore the unfamiliar. Make so much art. Keep ruining your parents’ carpet with your crafts.
Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?
Lol this question is the bane of my existence, but only because my answers change every 30 minutes it seems like. At this point in my life, I see myself with my MBA and working for a beauty incubator that is practicing innovation in technology & diversity & providing VC funding for minority entrepreneurs. I would love to be a part of their acquisition strategy or consumer insights team & create diverse marketing campaigns that speak to more than cis-white able-bodied people.
It’s a random Tuesday and you have the day off and no plans, what do you do to fill those hours?
First things first, I’m headed out to get a bomb breakfast! Vibrant in Houston has my whole heart right now, so I’ll definitely be going there & ordering their amazing Matcha Potion! Next, I am going to hang out at Ikea for a few hours. Hahaha. I love going to check out what new collections they have out & imagining what I can do to my current space to make it more functional. Ikea has some dope collabs coming out soon with Saint Heron & Adidas, so I feel like I’m going to be spending a lot more time there in the future. *not ashamed*
If you’re comfortable, would you mind sharing one failure from the six months?
Oh yes! About 4 months ago I was fired from my “dream job”. Not let go, fired. At first, I was super angry about what happened and immediately dove into the deepest of rabbit holes filled with a ton of negative self-talk, feelings of inadequacy, & just general disdain for the industry I was in. Being let go is one thing but being fired truly affected my psyche in a way I am not proud of. It reinforced to me the power that ego can have over your decision making, humbled my desire to affect change on a grand & impatient level, and showed me ways I can be better in my next workplace.
If you’re comfortable, would you mind sharing one success from the past year?
I think this is the hardest to answer because for a long time my success has been wrapped up in career moves or excelling at something. Now, I am being forced to look at success in a different, much softer light. My biggest success of this year has been me learning to stand up for myself, even if I’m standing up to me against me. Whether that’s advocating for my voice with my family or recognizing that I am a flawed human being, but still worthy of living a good life, my success has been my growth in my self-awareness.
Who is the most ‘successful’ person you know?
The most successful person I know would have to be my cousin. She is not only majorly #careergoals, but also an ode to the type of presence I want to carry when I walk into a room. From watching her own every single moment, cherish her womanhood first, create an amazing relationship with her husband, be a fabulous mom, travel the world like a boss, start an amazing global event production company and still be incredibly family oriented, she is straight up walking magic.
What do you think makes them ‘successful’?
I definitely think her faith makes her successful, but also her determination. I have seen her exude no fear when it comes to challenges & stressful moments, but also exude a grace & power combination that you can only get from a woman who knows what she brings to the table. She is very self-aware & unafraid to take risks.
Describe your relationship with failure?
It would be remiss of me to say that the thought of failure doesn’t keep me up at night, but it does. I’m a worrywart till the day I die, and the fear of failure is my number one, right up there with Beyoncé quitting her music career. My relationship with failure is not pretty as I am constantly on the edge with new projects & driven to an insane level of perfectionism. This isn’t to say I don’t make mistakes though. Sometimes the anxiety is too much, and then I’m forced to say “Fuck It.” “What if this actually works out?” “What if I don’t fail at something?”
Describe your relationship with success?
LOL! See above. Just kidding, but my relationship to success is very parallel to my fear of failure. While I am a very driven person, I do get scared of success pretty often & then here comes the anxiety. This is something I am actively working on trying to cope with though, because I don’t want to regret not chasing an opportunity because I was scared of success.
What parting words do you have for us?
You don’t have to be the leader all of the time. Being the follower can be just as beautiful.
Where can I get a good slice of pizza? (can be as many as you want and can be anywhere geographically!)
OOOH! Café Brasil in Houston has a Fig & Prosciutto pizza that makes me question my whole life.
Lauren is a freelance copywriter for InVision & wannabe creative. She believes in inclusive beauty campaigns & works with small brands to craft their brand identity. When she isn't obsessively scrolling on Instagram, she is most likely curating a playlist on Spotify or in someone's thrift store. Want to see what's she's up to? Catch her irl @heyhellolauren on the 'gram.