BABE #57: LAUREN GOLIK,
Associate Art Director @ Bartlett Brands
Lauren was referred to us by one of our lovely readers who had only the most incredible things to say about her work ethic and professional experience. I loved learning about her somewhat last-minute transition from journalism to design, to her transition from the freelance world to the corporate world, to working with handfuls of big-name brands and even co-founding a (genius) dating app. Yep, she's definitely a hustlin' babe. Thanks for chatting with me, Lauren!
Hometown: Miami, FL
Current city: San Francisco, CA
Alma mater: University of Florida
Degree: B.S. in Journalism
Hustle: Associate Art Director @ Bartlett Brands
How do you spend your free time?
Hanging out with my husband and dog, going on walks, reading, spending time with friends and family.
Favorite app, website or blog?
Garance Dore, Trendland, HelloGiggles
Must-have item in your purse?
What would you eat for your very last meal?
Gnocchi with tomato cream sauce.
The Little Mermaid.
Three things we can always find in your fridge?
Pickles, hot sauce, cheese.
Favorite social media account to follow?
I love Brit & Co.
If you could have coffee with anyone in the world, who would it be?
What game/reality show would you win?
I’m pretty good at word games. My mom was a finalist on Wheel of Fortune, and I think I could maybe win it.
Tell us about your hustle:
I am an Associate Art Director at Bartlett Brands. We are a super small (5 employees, all women!) branding agency. On the side, I am the co-founder of the SinglesTable app and a partner on a few other projects as well.
What does your typical workday look like?
My typical day at Bartlett Brands includes communicating and meeting with clients, brainstorming projects with my team, and designing stuff! I physically mock up any packaging projects I work on, so some days I spend time with a ruler and x-acto knife building boxes, and some days I get to attend and help direct client photo shoots, which is so much fun.
What inspired you to make the switch from Journalism to design/branding? What was that transition like?
I realized in my last few semesters of college that I was more passionate about design, typography and layout than I was about writing. At that point, it was too late to change my major, so I took a few design-related electives and continued to learn different design programs after I graduated by watching online tutorials. I’m a big believer in the “fake it till you make it” mentality, and if anything came up that I didn’t know how to do in my first few design jobs, I researched online until I figured it out. Once I had a few clients, it didn’t matter anymore that I didn’t have a degree in design.
What has your journey in design been like so far? What have some of your favorite projects been?
After I graduated, I moved to San Francisco and started freelancing. In the beginning, I would take literally any design job that was offered to me, and took some odd jobs on the side that had nothing to do with design (I worked for a few months at a mens clothing store, which is how I met my husband!). After freelancing for about a year, I landed a contract position at Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals,) designing the ingredient labels on the bottom of makeup components. That was the start of my packaging career. After Bare Escentuals, I worked at Kendo Brands, designing packaging for several beauty brands including Kat Von D, Marc Jacobs Beauty, and Formula X. I especially loved working on the Formula X brand. Nail polish is a fun category and we got to create some really unique packaging for it. After Kendo, I moved to my current agency, which does do beauty, but also touches lots of other categories, like restaurants. I’ve been working on a new Korean restaurant called Saucy Asian for almost a year, and that has to be one of my favorite projects ever.
Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit? Do you attribute this to your upbringing?
Yes! My parents were both entrepreneurs when I was growing up, and the idea of starting businesses out of the house seemed like the normal thing to do. I’ve been experimenting with small business ideas since childhood, and now it’s kind of a compulsion.
Tell us about SinglesTable. What has that co-founding process been like for you?
I co-founded SinglesTable, a dating app for single people attending the same wedding. The idea for SinglesTable was born in 2015 when I was getting married, and two of my closest friends were asking me about the single men who would be attending my wedding. As I started to give them the rundown, we realized that there should be tool for this type of situation… and the idea was born. The process of co-founding an app has been really difficult, but so much fun at the same time. It’s hard to manage a day job plus a side hustle, but when you believe in the idea, you make it work.
What other companies inspire you in terms of their design and brand experience?
Warby Parker, Method, and Rent the Runway.
What is one of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced in your work? How’d you overcome it?
I’m naturally pretty shy, so I have to push myself to be more friendly and outgoing with clients. I also sometimes get nervous giving presentations, but my remedy for that is to over-prepare. If you really know all the background about what you’re presenting, it’s much easier to talk about, and it’s easier to feel confident.
Do you ever struggle in coming up with new ideas? How do you combat creative blocks?
Yes, all the time. I have two methods for overcoming creative blocks. The first is coffee + pinterest. I get a coffee and then do some research online or some searching on Pinterest. The second method is to get out of the office and go somewhere inspiring. This could be a new store, the library, a museum or exhibit. Book stores, candy stores and toy stores are great packaging and design inspiration, even though I don’t work on any of those types of products. And of course a vacation is the ultimate way to recharge and re-inspire. When I’m traveling, I’m constantly seeing inspiration in textures, architecture, patterns, etc.
What’s your ultimate dream job?
This is completely unrelated to my current path, but my dream is to open a dog rescue organization. Dogs make me happier than almost anything, and I would love to be able to rescue and rehabilitate dogs and help them find homes. And of course, I would keep designing and being creative in some capacity.
What is your advice for Babes who are starting their careers in the freelance world?
It takes a very disciplined and organized person to freelance full time. I’d recommend getting connected with creative staffing agencies. It’s a great way to try out different types of companies and make lots of connections.
Are you involved with any other community organizations or side projects?
I volunteer in my neighborhood doing cleanups or work days in the park. My team at work also volunteers for an organization called New Door. It’s really amazing. Check them out.
What advice would you give to a Babe trying to break into your industry?
Tell everyone you know what kind of job you’re looking for; if your roommate’s cousin’s neighbor works where you want to work and can refer you, you have a much better chance at getting an interview than just applying through a job site. Don’t have an ego, and don’t rule out every job that isn’t your dream job in the beginning. Apply for an administrative or front desk position at a company you like just to get your foot in the door. Work really hard with a positive attitude, and then apply for other jobs within the company.
What motivates and inspires you?
My clients at work really inspire me. I love that I get to help small businesses get off the ground and develop their brands. Meeting other women entrepreneurs also inspires me. Anytime I go to a networking or pitch event, I leave feeling really motivated and proud to be part of that community.
What helps you wind down and manage stress?
Cuddling with my dog, talking to my mom on the phone, having a glass of wine or a cup of tea after work. When things start to get too stressful and busy, I try to make sure to carve out time to do the things that help me relax. I’m getting better at saying no to things so I don’t overextend.
What’s next for you?
No immediate plans. Enjoying my time at Bartlett Brands, and planning to continue working on my side hustles.
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