Lauren Elise Marston, Hospitality and Community Maker
Everywhere we look, we're floored by the fierce, funny, and fabulous female voices that make up our community. On the streets, in coffee shops, and all over Instagram, these women inspire us and challenge us to be our best selves. They are bakers, makers, and shakers, with big projects and infectious passion.
In recognition of these women and in celebration of their accomplishments, every Wednesday we'll be posting interviews with one badass Boston girlboss we can learn from, laugh with, and lean on. We couldn't think of a better person to kickoff this new feature than Lauren Elise Marston, one of the most energizing female forces we know!
BWM: You have so many projects you pour yourself into, can you tell us a little bit about them?
LM: I sure can. I work on a couple main projects consistently; a food zine and a womxn's creative collective. Let's Shoot: Boston is a community of womxn that support each other on Instagram and at monthly social events where we collaborate on photoshoots as a form of artistic and emotional release. We also raise money for a new charity each month, which is something that is very important to us as it helps to support others outside our group and extend our reach just a bit further. Follow us at @letsshootboston to join our community or attend one of our events! Alongside LSB, I have also been working on a project I've been dreaming of for ten plus years. Sunday Brunch Club is a soon-to-be-printed food zine filled with original vegetarian recipes and food photography, the first edition of a cookbook I've always wanted to create. I work on the zine with two of my best friends, Holly and Greg, and they are the best creative partners a girl could ask for. I am so in love with what we have been working on and I can't wait to get it into the hands of all our family and friends. We hope to sell the first printing at an upcoming Boston Women's Market, so I hope I can meet every last one of you lovely ladies! Follow us at @sundayisforbrunch to stay up to date on our zine launch, coming soon!
BWM: With so many awesome projects in the work, how do you keep yourself energized and inspired?
LM: Honestly, it can be a lot sometimes! It's so easy to fall into the patterns of "doing the work" rather than truly creating, so I try to keep on my toes and look around for inspiration at all times. I have definitely fallen prey to the drudgery of running many projects at once, but on the other hand I know that it can't all be glamorous. As above, so below, right? My favorite way to stay energized and inspired by what you are doing is going to your community and asking thoughtful and important questions. For Let's Shoot: Boston, it can be hard to reinvent the wheel each month with a new spin on a portrait event. How do you keep everyone happy? How do you make the events exciting? My answer is to ask what the people want! A lot of our best events have come from feedback from our community members. And when all else fails, it's always 100% okay to ask for help and collaborate with another willing party to find a new solution to what ails ya!
BWM: Any advice for other women wanting to kickstart their passions?
LM: Yes, and I've thought about this a lot. My biggest lesson to you is trust your intuition. Truly. Beyond a doubt, it is the most powerful tool you have, especially as a woman. I can't count the number of times that I almost did something big, but held back because a friend didn't agree, the decision was too scary, or I got caught in the comparison game. If you care about something, really and truly, you will manifest it no matter what. On the other hand, if you don't take a moment to check yourself, girl, you can wreck yourself. My best practice when it comes to honing intuition is to ask the following question: how does starting this project make me feel, deep down to my core? If the answer is "excited AF", go after that goal with the passion of a thousand burning suns! If the answer is a negative one, ask yourself what is standing in the way and write down some actionable steps you could take to make it happen. If that list gets exhaustive and doesn't inspire you, trash it. If making that list only makes you more determined, push yourself toward your goal one small step at a time because it will be well worth it.
BWM: What characteristics do you most admire in other creative women?
LM: I love that creative women are always aiming to prop each other up. Honestly, that may be my favorite thing about women in general. When you are a creative that works hard for yourself, but also hard for others, you're winning the game. For example, for every female artist, there is someone who inspired her, and she'll be sure to tell you who! It makes me feel a surge of energy when women share one anothers' work to the masses and say "this is amazing! do you know about this person's work? you should and here's why". There is room for so much comradery and collaboration in art and sharing that good energy is so, so inspiring. Keep it up ladies, you're doing right by each other, and that's creating community. Stick with each other and we all succeed.
BWM: In moments of self-doubt or adversity how do you build yourself back up?
LM: The trick here is to have an unshakable belief about yourself that you see as an ultimate truth. This means you believe it no matter what and no one can ever sway you from it. Choosing a personal mantra is a great way to do this. I've never admitted it before, but mine is "I am fierce". Whenever I feel down, inadequate, or hit a rough patch, I take a moment to sit with myself and think "I am fierce", and let any associated thoughts of power flow from there. "I am fierce" soon becomes "I am unstoppable. I am the victor. I will overcome. I will show them what I'm made of" and so much more. Choose your power-phrase and use it as a jumping-off point when the cards are down. Whatever it is you choose, make it memorable, and keep it close to your heart. When times get dark, bring that mantra out and use it as your guiding light to clear away the cobwebs and uncertainty surrounding your situation. Another way to do this is to pick a favorite outfit or a favorite song, something that makes you feel like your strongest self. When you know you have to overcome difficult odds, put on that clothing or play that record. Adorn yourself and surround yourself with what makes you feel most in power, and it will become second nature to you to turn that feeling on when you need it most. Above all, don't let your inner demons get you down. If you need help dealing with this, phone a friend and ask them to tell you what they love about you. That's sure to stoke a fire inside you!
BWM: In the name of shining light on the women who make us stronger, who inspires you?
LM: SO MANY WOMEN! In the name of Boston Women's Market, I'd like to answer this question at a local level. Women who run their own businesses get me off. (Can I say that? Will you print that? Please print that). To name a few, I adore Jay Adams and Katie Doyle of BRASS, an ethically manufactured clothing company located in South Boston. You should all check out their duds! Another is Lauren Abda of Branchfood, who runs an incubator space for small food startups. You should all go to their events and monthly community chats to get involved in supporting our local food system. Yet another is Jacqueline Dole of The Parlor Ice Cream Co, a company she spun up herself based on her passion for community and ice cream. Check out her amazing flavors featuring other local products, from Taza Chocolate to Trillium Brewing Co and so many others in between. You women rock my world and I am so inspired by you!