One Nine Design Co is the culmination of all of my artistic endeavors packaged (somewhat) neatly in One Creative Studio. But how did it come to be and where is it headed? Bear with me, this is a bit long-winded...
As a child, I was always intrigued with all aspects of art, be it fine art, design, architecture, and even music! My first dream was to be a singer, but I quickly realized that being a visual artist was much more attainable, so I eventually decided to just focus on that. But don't be fooled y'all I still do my fair share of singing in the shower, jamming out in the car, and serenading my babies with sweet lullabies!
I remember the first few times I actually did my best to draw---not just scribbling in color books---was sometime in elementary school. And I was obsessed with drawing one thing starting out...DragonBall Z. Shocking, right?! Well its actually because I would watch the sagas with my older brother and watch him draw Goku and Vegeta. So, I guess I owe him a bit of gratitude!
From there, I became obsessed with architecture in middle school. I was that kid that watched HGTV, specifically House Hunters, every night! I would collect house plan books and magazines and redraw the houses and plans on graph paper, and sometimes create my own. And don't even get me started on how many hours I spent playing the Sims, specifically building and designing the houses!
In high school, I strayed away from architecture after taking Honors Geometry as a freshman. Too much math, y'all! I loved math---I even took AP Calculus as a senior---but geometry and me do not compute (pun intended)! My focus shifted toward fashion design, in which I competed in my high school's fashion shows as a Junior and Senior. I had a general knowledge of sewing thanks to my expert grandmother! Though I had a blast designing clothes and won a few of the awards at the fashion shows, I realized that fashion was just a bit too much for me! Real talk though: I've never missed an episode of Project Runway!
During my Senior year, I took AP Art with my awesome teacher, Ms. Anderegg (now Wilson), who is currently a bad ass ceramic artist in California! She really pushed my creativity, ultimately leading me to realize that I could have a future in the Illustration field. At the same time, I was the Vice President of the National Art Honors Society for our school and was grateful to receive the "Most Artistic" Senior Superlative award, the Cathy Leaf Art Scholarship, and an Academic Scholarship from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), my alma mater.
Fast forward to college at SCAD, which I will never regret doing, but boy did it have its ups and downs. I grew up in the country, so driving in downtown Savannah by myself was a bit scary, more so the parking, or lack there of. I had a few changes of heart while in college, but I always ended up back at Illustration. I also went through a lot of life changes early on at SCAD: getting married, buying a house, and losing some special people in my family. Needless to say, I had a lot of gigantic priorities outside of just being a student. I definitely did not have the typical college experience, but it was still a valuable experience because I learned what it would be like trying to balance it all after graduation. After finishing all of my credits, getting a couple of my illustrations published, and creating Lauren Rich Illustration, I finally graduated in November 2013.
Being extremely burnt out with creating, I decided to take some time off, which turned into way more time than I intended. My husband, Cam, and I decided to start growing our family, and our beautiful baby boy, Cuinn Alexander, was born on January 9, 2015. I then became a stay-at-home mom and focused all of my attention on family. It was one of the best seasons of my life, but I still longed for something more, something that was missing. I needed to have that creative outlet again, so after another move and Cuinn's first birthday, I created One Nine Design Co (named after his birthday) in April of 2015.
It started out strictly as a custom chalkboard and sign business, but all the while I was still trying to manage Lauren Rich Illustration simultaneously. One Nine wasn't really growing as fast as I would have liked, so I put more time into my illustrations. In the late summer/early fall of 2016 I created a poster design for the Savannah Food and Wine Festival, and ended up winning! It was a huge boost to my business and I met a lot of great people in the process.
Shortly after that, like literally a week after the festival, I found out I was pregnant with our second little nugget (totally not planned)! We were super excited, but I was entirely overwhelmed at the thought of raising 2 kids under 3 and maintaining a business. The momentum of my growing business quickly slowed down, until I was introduced to an amazing group of creative entrepreneurs, The Rising Tide Society, by my good friend, Rachel Strickland of Rachel Strickland Photography.
It was there I met Sarah Crook, the owner and lead designer of Alisabeth Designs. I did a short internship with her, which really opened my eyes to the world of branding and web design. We currently still work on projects together, and I consider her a great mentor when it comes to graphic design.
After lots of advice and encouragement, I decided to merge Lauren Rich Illustration with One Nine Design Co into One Creative Studio. Since then, I have seen a lot of growth and expanded my services to meet the needs of my clients.
We also had our gorgeous little baby girl, Lark Ashley, on July 18, 2017. And while I'm still trying to balance it all, I wouldn't trade this life for anything!