Welcome to Lauren Addison, my name is Alyssa, and I am so glad you are here! I am the owner and face behind Lauren Addison Boutique, an online women's clothing and accessories store! I am a mom to a sassy 5 year old daughter, a Coast Guard wife, and I love tacos and chocolate more than anyone probably should!
I was recently asked how the idea of Lauren Addison Boutique came about and what made me decide that I wanted to start a business. It's a topic I love talking about, but it is also a topic that makes me feel very vulnerable. In efforts to be as honest and transparent as possible with you about my journey of becoming a business owner, I have to back up a few years to the very beginning....
I can still remember being a new mom struggling with the idea of staying home or going back to work. It was an internal dilemma that I never really anticipated. I had always believed that I would be a working mom and never really thought much past that. I had graduated college and figured working was what would make the most sense. However, the moment my doctor placed Addison Mae in my arms, I knew there was no way I could go back to a traditional 9-5 job. I know this can be a sensitive topic for many moms and I think it's important that you know I support you no matter what you decide is best for your family. I have been a stay at home, a work at home mom, and a working mom (I will get to this part of the journey shortly) and there is no easy option, they are all HARD. Let me emphasize, being a Mom is HARD.
I felt so blessed that I was able to be home with Addison, but it wasn't long before I dreamed about working again. I even became jealous that my husband got to go to work. At that stage he was on over night duty at a Coast Guard Station for a few days at a time every week and I was up all night and all day nursing a newborn baby. I mean how was that fair? He got to sleep in peace and have adult interaction. Reading that out loud I realize how crazy I sound, but new mom struggles are hard. I craved something that was mine, but I wasn't willing to give up my time at home with Addison.
Basically, I wanted my cake, and you better believe I wanted to eat it too! I was determined to find a way to work from home so I didn't miss out on being home with Addie. Friends, let me tell you that there was not a single job option out there for me to work from home, even with a college degree. I searched everywhere, I re-wrote my resume about four different times and still nothing. Next thing I knew, I found myself in the world of direct sales. I was that person. I hosted parties, I begged my friends and family to host parties for me, I went to vendor events, I ordered more items than I sold. I paid the taxes on all the free products I earned. Looking back I giggle a little about it, but it was an important part in my journey because it taught me to HUSTLE, it taught me that I could achieve goals I set for myself, and even though it wasn't making me a ton of money, I finally had something that was mine outside of being a mom and a wife. It is so easy to lose sight of ourselves when our lives are consumed by motherhood. I truly encourage you, especially if you are a new mom, to make sure that you do something for you each day. Find something that brings you joy and do it without guilt. I promise you will be a better mom because of it.
When Addison was about a year old, I took a major leap of faith and somehow got Lee on board with supporting me in becoming a LuLaRoe consultant. There is now such a stigma about that company and I have my own opinions I may eventually share at some other point, but it is yet another VERY important part of my journey. LuLaRoe was a huge blessing to our family at the time and I am still extremely proud of the things I created and achieved during that season of my life. A lot of people told me "you got in at the right time" and they may have been right, but it was not without A TON of work. There were SO many late nights, there were SO many times I wasn't even present at the dinner table. LuLaRoe consumed my life and for a while I loved it, but I lost sight of what I really wanted. I wanted to be present in my daughter's life while still having something that was mine. It wasn't worth the free cruises to me anymore, and I no longer wanted to create this perfect image on social media that a company was encouraging me to portray.
Eventually I made the decision to translate everything I had learned through my time with LuLaRoe and create my own business and my own brand...that is when I created the beginnings of Lauren Addison Boutique. In case you didn't already know, Lauren comes from my middle name and Addison is my daughter's name. I am still not quite sure I knew exactly what I was getting myself into, but I really am glad I made that decision. I was able to regain balance and focus on the real reasons I wanted to own my own business. Owning a business has always meant so much more to me than trying to make money and contribute financially to our family. To me, it also means having flexibility and control over my schedule so that I can be present and make sure that I am not missing the important things. It was a way for me to connect with people, to build relationships and help encourage women feel good in the clothes they wear.
I find myself working way more hours in a day as a business owner than I ever did in an office job, but I get to choose that, I get to decide what hours they are. Creating Lauren Addison was also exciting for me, it brought about an entirely new set of challenges and learning experiences and I felt so much pride in what I had created!!
About a year into Lauren Addison, we went through a major phase of change with Lee’s career that had him working out of state commuting home on the weekends. I was overwhelmed with juggling a household, motherhood and a business, and somewhere along the way, I burnt myself out. I lost vision for my boutique and needed to focus my energy on other aspects of my life. I felt like I needed to let something take a back burner for my mental health. I was offered an opportunity to go back to work full time and I took it. While I am super grateful for that opportunity, the entire time my heart was longing to be back in my little boutique.
For a while there was also a large part of me that felt disappointed in myself and embarrassed for stepping away. I felt like I would be viewed as a failure. But one day it dawned on me that, it really didn't matter to me what anyone else thought because I know I did what was best for me and my family. I accepted that it's okay to re-evaluate, it's okay to step aside, and it's okay to change directions. I also decided that as cliché as it was, I was going to let my comeback be stronger than any of my setbacks.
Lauren Addison relaunched a few months ago and I have never been happier! I have been so touched by the support and encouragement of my friends and customers and I am so excited to be back. I cannot wait to see what the future holds.
I have found so much freedom in owning an online boutique. I am able to be present in Addison's life and make my own schedule to match hers. I have something that is mine and I love working from home. I get to shop, style outfits, and play dress up. It's so much fun, but it's not always easy and I learn something new everyday. I have watched more youtube how to videos than I care to admit, but Lauren Addison brings me so much joy and I am so thankful you are along on this journey with me!