How Interior Decorator Lauren Egan Built Her Biz From The Ground Up

Behind any small business founder, you’ll find passion, creativity, and a healthy dose of trial and error.

This was the case for Lauren Egan, who left her career as a food scientist to pursue her long-time passion for interior decoration in 2018.

‘I was always one of those kids that moved their bedroom around on weekends and actually wanted to apply for a degree in architecture when I finished school, but found myself on another path,’ Lauren says. ‘There’s just something about the way we live that interests me, and I guess I finally connected to that through interior decoration.’

Her work is all about those important ‘finishing touches’ that make a house feel like a home — from overseeing a project’s furniture, curtains, rugs, art, to something as small as advising what colour you should paint your walls.

One of the biggest challenges of her job is managing all the practical things that come with being a sole trader — including learning the art of social media and marketing — which is how Lauren’s business really began to take off!

Lauren shares more of the highs and lows of her journey with us below.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

My aesthetic is welcoming, layered and has a confident use of colour. I’m drawn to the Scandinavian and Japanese sentiments of simplicity and purpose, but I also love to mix in sleek modern European elements. I love contrast, so the interest that comes from simplicity of a well balanced, calming room with the ‘wowza’ of an eye-catching piece really floats my boat.

What’s one of the highlights of your career so far?

It would have to be the success I saw with my Victoria St residence that was nominated for The Design Files Awards in 2021! That was a real confidence boost in the early stages of my business. I feel the same this year with the Hamilton House project that has just been nominated in the Dulux Colour Awards — it’s been fun to get a project (that’s been in the works for so long) out into the world.

What do you love most about interior decoration?

I love the ‘big ideas’ phase. It’s a chance to really tap into who my client is and how they use their home. I usually meet with a client in their home in the initial stages and while I’m there I will pick up on a few nuggets of their personality that I can weave into the concept. While I always try to bring my aesthetic to a project, it’s not about me, it’s about the client and how I can make their space unique to them.

Why did you choose Squarespace as your website building platform?

I need my website to be super simple to use and grow with my business, so Squarespace was really accessible for me. It was important for me to have a highly visual website, and I found that all Squarespace’s templates and examples helped me see what the final version of my website could look like.

Imagery is key to my website being useful to potential clients, so the ability for me to update the site with new imagery is vital. I love that I can do this myself rather than going back and forth with a website developer.

As a sole practitioner, you wear a lot of hats in your business. How do you approach marketing your business and finding new clients?

Marketing is so tricky! My business is my name, so I do have an internal battle with how much of myself to share online. I guess ultimately I’ve found that it’s got to be 90 per cent about the work, so having a completed projects photographed and shared is essential for me to communicate what I do. The other 10 per cent is about who I am, because my client and I will know each other for a good stick of time and they have to feel like they trust me enough to go on a journey together.

What advice would you give to someone else who might be keen to pursue a career in interior decoration?

For me, it was important to be verging on obsessed with interiors and how people live, before moving into this industry. It’s really hard setting up a business from zilch and then contending with some knocks along the way (hello COVID), but there’s really been no alternative because I’m so driven by the outcome.

If there wasn’t that desire and love for how our homes make us feel I don’t think I would have been able to stick it out. If you have that obsession and drive you should go for it, there are no second chances at life!

Squarespace provides entrepreneurs and small business owners with the tools they need to bring their creative ideas to life, online. Using their all-in-one platform, you can claim a domain, build a website, sell online, and market your brand.

Use code ‘thedesignfiles’ for 10% off an annual subscription — learn more here.

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