Meet Lauren Wilkey. The girl is busy. She runs A Wild Tonic blog and vintage shop, and Wanderlust Print Co. handmade shop (one of my favorite print shops). You can find Lauren on Instagram here and here and trust me you are going to want to - she just got the cutest, tiniest baby kitten. (Go! Hurry! Before she grows!)
Lauren, who hails from the great and powerful state of New Jersey (not that I'm biased or anything), was kind enough to be the first ever interview in the new series Mustard Seed Sessions. Scroll down to check it out!
KF: What's a day in your life like?
LW: At the moment, my life is pretty hectic. I work 6 days a week at a clothing store, and two nights a week as a bartender. Every other moment is jam-packed with shop/blog work, hanging out with friends and family, or sleeping. I try really hard to maximize my time, which means I make a lot of lists and get little sleep. I'm not complaining, though! I love being busy and working hard towards my goals.
KF: What prompted you to start your blog and shops?
LW: I started selling vintage because I had some vintage in my closet that I didn't wear anymore. Etsy seemed to be a better fit than eBay, and now (over four years later) I send beautiful vintage to new homes every week. I started my blog because it was just a thing to do. I started Wanderlust Print Co. because of my dad! He had some old maps he was going to throw away "unless you can think of something to do with them?" That's when I started printing wanderlust-inspired quotes on old map paper. Thanks, Dad!
KF: Is your business/art your full time job? If not, what else do you do?
LW: Unfortunately at this moment and like I mentioned earlier, my online life isn't my full-time job. I've been working towards being self-employed for a while, and I have a little bit more time to put in before I can make the switch. Hopefully it's sooner rather than later. ;)
KF: What would you tell your 20-year old self?
LW: Start paying off your student loans and spend less money at Forever 21.
KF: What's the worst job you've ever had?
LW: I know it's uncouth to talk about this kind of stuff, so I'll keep it brief. It was my first job out of college, and the lady I worked for treated me very poorly. I was only there for a few months, but the whole experience taught me a lot so it wasn't a total wash.
KF: What's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten?
LW: My favorite advice is something my grandma always used to say, though I never remember hearing her say it, "I listen to everyone, but I do what I want." I think it's really smart to ask for advice or feedback, but ultimately go with your own instincts.
KF: What's the hardest part about pursuing a "non-traditional" career? The best part?
LW: The hardest part is shutting off. I find it almost impossible to not think about my blog or one of my shops at any given moment. The best part is that I never want to stop thinking about it. I love what I do.
KF: What inspires you?
LW: So many things: walking around thrift stores, blogs, boredom and anger (sounds weird, but it's true), travel, my mom, the new "Explore" tab on Instagram, my friends who are also creative and small-business-oriented, movies, vintage photographs. The list could go on for days, but I'll stop here. :)
Thanks Lauren! Make sure to check out her blog and shops for more of this great lady!