At KF, we believe in the power of women. Each month, we'll introduce you to a 'Woman Who Inspires'. These incredible women are entrepreneurs, innovators and makers who are paving their own way in business, education, society, motherhood, and many more aspects of life. Learn how they started their ventures, the challenges they faced along the way and see how they are building their future - all of our futures - while inspiring others.
New York Times Best Selling Author Lauren Layne
'Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than two dozen romantic comedies. Her books have sold over a million copies, in nine languages. Lauren's work has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Glamour, The Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition.' [excerpt from website https://laurenlayne.com/ ]
We have been a fan of Lauren and her books for many years and always fall hard for every storyline she creates. Enjoy meeting this inspiring and successful woman as she talks about listening to her gut, the pressures of the industry and her NYC closet overflowing with black turtlenecks! We like to think of her as our very own bff Carrie Bradshaw.
Hi there! I’m Lauren Layne, a New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies, lifestyle blogger, and all-around girl boss.
Why did you start your own company or brand/ become an entrepreneur/ be your own boss?
It was my childhood dream to be a writer, so that part was sort of a no-brainer, but when I started thinking about writing “for real,” I knew I wanted, not just to write a book, but to build a brand. From the very beginning of my career, I prioritized not so much worrying about my newest/latest being a bestseller, but making sure that every book, every blog post, every Instagram post was “on brand.” It meant for a slower career start than some of my peers who wrote what was popular at the time and ended up at the top of bestseller lists, while my early books floundered in “midlist” territory. But playing the long-game really worked out for me. I feel like I’ve built something very solid, and very me.
What has been your biggest failure in business and what did you learn from it?
Not trusting my gut. It pains me to say it, but even very recently in my career, I’ve let myself be pressured by what other people told me was best for my career, rather than what I knew to be best for me. I end up feeling frustrated and trapped, and learning to stand my ground and say no when something doesn’t feel right or when I’m not being treated well is something I’m always working on.
What is the first thing you do after waking up to jumpstart a successful day?
Does coffee count? I drink two cups of black coffee every single morning out of my Tiffany & Co. mug. Never more, rarely less, and it’s a very cherished part of my routine. But probably the more pivotal/crucial part of my routine is setting up my daily spread in my bullet journal. I follow the Ivy Lee method, in which I write down the six most important tasks that need to get done that day. I don’t do anything else until those six things are done!
What tools (apps, books, podcasts, etc.) would you recommend to anyone trying to start their own business/ makes your work day easier?
Planoly was a huge game-changer for me. It allows me to schedule and regularly post to Instagram without actually being on Instagram, and losing hours to mindless scrolling and liking. I’m also a huge fan of time-tracking, especially if you’re new to making your own schedule. To start, don’t worry too much about forcing yourself into rigid plan for the day; just write down how you spend each hour of the day, every day for a week. Fair warning, it can be a little alarming! I was shocked to realize how much time I lost to unimportant tasks like email, social media, messaging friends, etc. Now, I still write down every hour of the day (on the same page as my to do list mentioned above), but I try to be a little more deliberate of how I want to spend each hour. And I always make sure to do the creative / production tasks first in my day. The “easy” tasks like email and admin stuff can come in the afternoon!
What person in history, living or dead, has inspired you and how?
I’m pretty obsessed with Nora Roberts and JK Rowling. In addition to being excellent writers, they’re just ballsy and confident as hell.
If this wasn’t your job, what’s something else you’ve always wanted to do/start/create?
Great timing with this question, because I’ve actually been thinking about a bit of a career pivot lately. I love writing romance, but the business side of the romance genre has been feeling a little limiting to me lately. I’ve been thinking quite a bit about leaning more heavily into my blog and other types of content. I love inspiring other people to live a more purposeful, passion-filled, and I’d love to put more energy into resources for like-minded women.
Let's Get Deep...
What emoji(s) do you use most when texting?
Straight-face and champagne! 😐🥂 I suppose they represent my two most common moods. One for “THIS nonsense again?” and the other for “Life is amazing, look how fabulous we are!”
Ugh, I used to always say something fancy like a sidecar or champagne (and I do love those), but if I’m being really honest, when it comes to every day (heck yes, I said every day, none of this weekend only nonsense!) I’m pretty basic: white wine. I’m that girl. Though I do love a good cocktail, and I’ve been really into Vespers lately.
What book are you currently reading?
It’s actually a re-read: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s my go-to whenever I need a creative pick me up!
Go-To favorite garment in your closet that always makes you feel amazing?
Black turtlenecks. I have them in every style, from sleeveless to 3/4 length sleeve, big cozy sweaters, sleek and fitted, and of course, most recently, the amazing KF Mixed Media LBD for fall ;-)
What is your signature scent?
It was Chanel Chance for the longest time, but for the past year or so, I’ve been having an affair with Chloe! When this bottle of Chloe’s out, I haven’t decided which of the two I’ll repurchase. I also love a good orange blossom scent, but I’ve yet to find one that lasts (and I’ve tried a lot). It’s why I keep coming back to Chanel and Chloe—I can still smell those lovelies the next day, unlike so many perfumes which are completely gone within the hour!
Early riser or Night owl?
Such an early-riser. I’m almost always up by 5am, and you’ll almost never find me up past 10pm!
You can purchase Lauren's books wherever ebooks are sold.