Hi, Lindsey! Can you walk us through your path? What kind of stops were on the way to where you are now?
I feel like my path has always pointed in the same general direction, but it’s definitely been a bit windy. When I was young, I was really into art and fashion and ended up going to art school and majoring in Fibers. It was a textile program that was under the umbrella of the Sculpture department. That experience really created a foundation for me to think sculpturally and see value and meaning in material choices.
Can you tell us about getting up-and-running with the aid of Kickstarter? Would you recommend this approach?
Launching with Kickstarter was great, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who is interested in starting a business! The video component is really important (if not the most important thing) with Kickstarter. I had a lot of help creating mine. A close friend, who is a talented film director here in LA (and had already shot videos for other successful Kickstarter campaigns) really went the extra mile to help me out. It was because of my Kickstarter that I was able to do two production runs without having to front all of the cost myself.
Starting a business is scary, and a lot of people talk about starting one but never do. Where did you find the confidence and drive to take the plunge?
I won’t lie. When I started my business, I was terrified. I’m very much an introvert, and when you start a business, you become so exposed and vulnerable to the outside world. You open yourself up to judgment and criticism. It can also be overwhelming because you quickly realize how many hats you have to wear. You have to be ready to learn a lot of new skills (quickly!) most of which are totally foreign! It took a little time, but I found myself loving the challenge of having to get outside my comfort zone and put my product (and myself) out there. I decided to take the plunge after being creatively unfulfilled at a day job and feeling compelled to express an aesthetic and vision that had been bottled up for too long.
As a business owner, what advice would you share with someone interested in starting a company?
The beginning is the hardest, so just start. Even if you’re not sure what you’re doing. Once you’ve created a little momentum, it gets easier.
How do you envision the lifestyle of your brand?
I got my start in fashion in New York, and I will always be pulled in by the sense of elevated and sophisticated fashion in that people in that city have. But I left NY and have been living in Los Angeles for the past seven years and have never lived anywhere longer. Maybe it was inevitable, but I feel pulled in by the relaxed, laid-back sensibility that LA has. I think Larsen & Lund is a reflection of that hybrid of New York’s sophisticated fashion sensibility and LA’s effortless one.
Tell us about the process of designing a collection. Where do you start?
Almost all our new developments start with the material! I think the most successful and beautiful products are those that are the perfect balance between shape and texture. My design process starts with a need. I think about what products are lacking in my life, that would make life easier or more efficient. I usually already have a material in mind, and then start sketching out ideas. Once I have a clear idea of a silhouette, I then move onto having a prototype made. It usually takes about three samples until I can get it right.
What is "Wabi-Sabi" and how is it presented in your brand ethos?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition is “a philosophy of aesthetics that emphasizes the beauty of the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.” I decided from the company’s beginning that by using a natural product like leather as my primary material, that I was going to accept a certain level of imperfection in the material as being part of its intrinsic beauty. There is a uniqueness to a flaw or imperfection that can be beautiful. I try and embrace that.