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Life and Work with Lauren Paez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Paez.

Lauren, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My name is Lauren or Lala for short. I am a third-generation artist, and although I developed my work though basic school courses and additional classes around Phoenix, my mom has been the biggest influence with my art. Art has always been a huge part of my life, it’s even been therapeutic for me at times. As a child, I always loved to draw, paint, and really do anything crafty. I had a crazy imagination that I let run wild in my art which I still use to this day.

I started making jewelry as a chronic Lyme disease patient. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease when I was 16 years old and I was in treatment for a very long time. I’m 20 now and I still have to do a lot of work to maintain my health. I remember making jewelry in the clinic which distracted me from the struggle I was facing and overall, it just made me happier. I quickly learned that staying busy making jewelry helped me manage my anxiety. I would meet others that I care deeply for in the clinic, they inspired me to make gemstone bracelets to help with the healing process or really anything they needed. For those of you who do not know, gemstones can be very healing, with each type of stone having its own unique properties. I would give these bracelets to patients hoping to bring them some joy and seeing their faces light up fueled my passion.

I am now enrolled in college to get a business degree. I am also a certified energy healer, and in turn, I use what I’ve learned in my energy healing training with my gemstone products. I meditate with the stones so that my clients can receive some extra positive energy. Continuing to do that more and more, I finally decided to spread the love and really start doing something with my work. In 2017, I decided to develop my brand and open my shop. I am grateful for the all support my friends and family have given me during this process. I hope you love Lala Lotus Co. as much as I love running it.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I have definitely faced my fair share of challenges. One of the biggest challenges I have faced in my life was learning how to deal with my Lyme disease. I ended up leaving public high school sophomore year and I moved from St. Louis, MO to Phoenix, AZ to receive treatment for it. I became homeschooled and it is one of the best things I could’ve done, though at the time I wasn’t so sure. That change gave me more free time to learn how to create jewelry and to paint, and I also had more time for treatment.

I got through the hard times by doing my best to stay positive and believing in myself. Even if things are hard in the moment I remind myself that it is only temporary. If I am facing a particularly hard challenge, meditation and talking to my loved ones always helps me a lot. I find that writing everything out can help give me a new perspective, so I do a lot of journaling and it helps me relieve my stress and to think clearly. I truly believe that whenever a difficult challenge occurs it is important to believe in yourself, stay motivated and think positive.

Please tell us about Lala Lotus Co.
Lala Lotus Co. gives me a lot of freedom to be creative, which I am grateful for. I have been drawn to crystals from a very young age, and I first started working with gemstone jewelry. I learned the meanings of the different stones and eventually went to energy healing school to learn more. They taught me how to rebalance chakras, give energy healing sessions and distance healings. I also learned how to focus my energy and meditate with the stones so that my customers can carry some extra good energy with them. My Mom and I are both artists, we love to paint and design new things and she has helped me broaden my horizons from jewelry to so much more. She has helped me make paintings, home décor, and even clothing!

I always love working with different crystals and gemstones, there are so many wonderful combinations the possibilities are truly endless! That being said, I do receive a lot of custom orders and those are some of my favorites to work on with my customers. We always put our heads together to come up with something amazing and truly unique. I have a few jewelry displays around Phoenix, one of them is in the Heritage Square Bungalow and mixing with the people there has inspired me to repurpose more vintage items. Most recently, I have been working with the charity Lymewarrior and I love how kind and generous they are to others and myself. A huge part of my mission is to spread Lyme disease awareness and to help my fellow Lyme warriors.

Who have you been inspired by?
My mom has always been a huge inspiration to me. I’ve seen her go through so much and she’s never once given up. She’s always encouraged me to follow my dreams despite the odds and along with being a huge source of inspiration for me, she is also my rock. She’s always been very supportive and helpful with my business. She designed some of the paintings and a clothing line! Her background in graphic design has helped me tremendously and she helped me create my logo for Lala Lotus Co. Another woman who has inspired both my mom and me was my grandma. My grandma was an extremely creative and wonderful artist. We recently discovered that my grandma actually ran a gemstone jewelry business as well. Her business was called Lorelei, how crazy is that? Great minds think alike! It was amazing to learn those female entrepreneurs run in the family and I’m proud to say that I’m a 3rd generation artist and entrepreneur.

Pricing:

  • Geode paintings are $35 a piece
  • Unclench shirts are $24 a piece
  • Herkimer diamond necklace is $25

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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