Lauren and her husband Steve had sailed extensively through the Caribbean islands in their early married life. In fact they bought their first newborn baby Carley home to the boat in St.Lucia when she was only 2 weeks old. Here is a photo of Lauren passing their tiny baby up to Steve on the bow of their boat.... can you even imagine what she said to him as she handed over such precious cargo?
Lauren has so many amazing sailing photos of her young family, its hard to decide which ones to share, but I do love this one of her with baby Carley and a lobster that is bigger than the baby.
I will never forget my first phone call from St.Maarten to Lauren in Florida, back in 2008. I guess it was supposed to be an interview, but we had so much in common, that when I hung up I felt more as though I had an instant friend.
Our first Surf Expo together was in a tiny 10x10 booth, we were so busy, we were trying to show the line to several buyers at once, we were always trying to get our hands on the same samples at the same time, at times we had a crowd of buyers blocking the aisles, and we ran out of line sheets! It was so exciting.
Lauren has been with me for 10 years now and not just as a Sales Manager and an amazing friend, but also always there to go above and beyond for West Indies Wear. When we first started selling into USA, I had to move the inventory from my spare room in St.Maarten, Caribbean, up to Florida. We got started with a warehouse company who was used to shipping medical supplies, not fashion. There were SO MANY mistakes that season, that it was nearly a disastrous end for West Indies Wear.... so what does Lauren do? She finds a little warehouse space in her little town and organizes everything to move us down there, where she can keep a closer eye on things.
Then there was the season that the BULK shipment was due to arrive at 11am, and as she is on her way to the warehouse to receive the goods, she discovers that there is a gas leak in the neighborhood and the whole warehouse area is in lock-down..... so what does Lauren do? She has the truck make the delivery into her own garage and then has to move it one by one over to the warehouse over the coming months. Here is a cute photo of her dog ScooterBoy wagging his tail at the boxes.
Lauren has a wonderful close family and they have always been there to help at any time. Here is her husband Steve setting up the booth for a Trendz show on his day off.
And here is Lauren with her son Jack, who while at school in Orlando, was recruited every Surf Expo to help us all build and then pack up the booth.
Look at how cute they all are back on the boat in the Bahamas.... Steve, gorgeous Carley, Jack, Lauren and Scooter Boy.
Now I have never been much of a dress girl, always a jeans / shorts / skirt / tunic / sarong kinda girl. For many years Lauren had been pushing me for dresses, and year after year Lauren got Tunics and Tee's. For 2017 however, I finally got my act together when my retailers starting asking for dresses too. It was a challenge to be able to make a dress that Lauren would be happy to call her "house dress". Now when I snoop through her Facebook page, and see her photos of all her different family occasions, it makes me VERY happy to see her (below) with her wonderful parents & sister, wearing our St.Barths Dress in Mint.
And here in the Bahamas celebrating her birthday with friends in our Aquarium Dress.... her new favorite dress.
Lauren is full of fun & laughter. Always the life of the party, always thinking ahead, always the organizer (which this airy fairy designer needs). Thanks for everything Lauren xx
PS. To see Lauren in full flight at SurfExpo September 2018 click here.