When Lauren Noel enters a room, you know it. As the founder and namesake of her business, Ladynoel Designs, the Florida native creates pop-inspired images filled with color and bold lines in her new Cleveland Heights home studio. It's easy to see that her loving nature and bright personality flow through her work. Lauren pulses passion into every piece she creates, whether it's painted or printed. After living in Ohio for just one year, she has already made her mark on so much of the Cleveland creative community... from her Autism education benefit and show of paintings created collaboratively with her son, to our reeducation through her ABCs of epic ladies print series. Follow along in out Maker Series below to learn more about the who, what, when, where, why, and how behind Lauren Noel's products!
Cleveland Flea: How would you describe your business in one sentence?
Lauren Noel: My business is about using color and technique to create pieces that bring life into ones life.
CF: What was your path to beginning your business?
LN: I originally had a cake business that was taking off, but still felt like I was missing something. It wasn't till I was commissioned for my first piece in years that the spark was reignited. Then it was the women I met through Instagram that supported my work and helped get me out there.
CF: Why do you love what you do?
LN: For me I believe in God, and he is the ultimate creator. I guess creating artwork is a spiritual process for me. I get to create and that just makes me feel closer to God.
CF: Why does Cleveland need a business like this?
LN: I think Cleveland already does a great job of including and supporting local artists, but I also still feel like there is work to be done. Especially supporting women and men of color.
CF: Why is Cleveland a great place to launch and run a creative business?
LN: I have had more success here in Cleveland than I ever did back home in Florida. Cleveland is so much about community and realizing that when one person succeeds, we all succeed.
CF: What's the best part of running your own business?
LN: For me it's being able to create my own work schedule. I don't get to miss out on much with my kids. I get to show up but also teach them that following your dreams and having something of your own is possible.
CF: What's your biggest struggle from a business standpoint?
LN: I think my biggest struggle is dealing with certain types of people. As an artist I tend to lean more on the introverted side. There are those collectors that can be rude and aggressive and for me it's hard to separate personal and business.
CF: What are your goals for the business this year?
LN: To have my work in every gallery in Cleveland and surrounding Cleveland!
CF: Did you see yourself growing up to be a creative vendor?
LN: I always knew I would be doing some type of job that included art.... whether that was my dream of being a fashion designer to my dream as being a well known artist.
CF: What's the first big moment where you knew you were headed in the right direction with your business?
LN: Honestly it wasn't until I got to Cleveland and was greeted with so much love and acceptance. I've had so many faces greet me at the Flea and say they follow my work on instagram. I get to encourage people with my work and to hear that from others here means the world. Having a show with my youngest who is on the autism spectrum also solidified my feelings as well.
CF: Who inspires you?
LN: Gosh haha so many people in my life and those I've never met... from my girlfriend Krissy in Florida that has this relationship with God that I'm in awe over, to also many of them women I've met here... Stephanie Sheldon, for one–who I just think is one crazy boss lady– to my girlfriend Susie Brown, who oozes strength and humility.... but also my husband, Rian. He works three jobs, barely sleeps, and hardly ever complains. He inspires me to keep moving forward so that one day he can rest and enjoy so much of what I get to with our kids daily. To me he is the ultimate hero in my life.
CF: Have you learned anything about your business by participating in Cleveland Flea?
LN: Man, oh man, have I. The Flea keeps me on my toes and pushes me to constantly create and to not procrastinate. It also has helped me tremdously with my people skills. Like I said I'm a bit of an introvert and you have to check that at the gate when you show up for the Flea.
CF: What's your favorite piece of advice as it relates to your business?
LN: To be honest, just don't give up and be truthful... hope that the people you are selling to are gracious and understanding. I know I've run into problems in the past and I've had to just be honest with my customers. Sometimes it sucks but it's better to just be upfront with them then give them the runaround.
CF: What's one thing people would be surprised to learn about your business?
LN: It's hard to understand what one has never had to experience. Rian and I have a son with autism and it creates tons of obstacles for both of our work. Keegan requires my full attention 99% of the time, yet we still manage to hustle and get work done. It's not easy but somehow we make it all work.
CF: How would you hope to hear your business described by your dream customers?
LN: That they not only fell in love with my work, but also myself.
CF: What's your favorite booth at the Flea?
LN: I love Ampersand, The Vegan Doughnut Company, Wild Foot Studio, and many others. It's kind of hard to decide because I feel like the flea is full of so many great people and quality products.