SD Voyager Magazine | Check Out Lauren Cornell’s Story

SD Voyager Magazine | Check Out Lauren Cornell’s Story

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Check Out Lauren Cornell’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren “Lo” Cornell.

Hi Lo, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I like to say my story has two beginnings; first, with birth, second, with a desire to heal. 

My artistic side came on as a young child- drawing, painting, sculpting, dabbling in film photography as the years went on, and eventually finding my way to metalsmithing in college. My second beginning was one post-trauma in my late teens/early twenties- I was in a desperate search for grounding, connection, and healing my soul, and my creative self was able to carry me through to the other side. Thus- Think Unique was born. 

Think Unique is an intention and a manifestation I put into the world. The mission: Share an accessible path to alternative healing, help others overcome their hardest days through conscious manifestation, and bring the beauty of the natural world into the hands of my fellow human. Through connection with the natural world (gemstones, natural woods, & metals), connection with my spirit (meditation, breath-work, yoga), and connection with others (consultation, story sharing, and the exchange of energy and products) I have found a path that aligns with my purpose, and am now able to share that healing journey with others, and help them as they find their own way forward. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
The journey has been rocky at best, but that’s made it that much more rewarding. The first major obstacle was recognizing my own trauma and seeking help – therapy, sobriety, and an understanding that I wasn’t alone through the #metoo movement. The second- was learning how to actually run my own business! 

Some major obstacles I encountered early-on were my lack of knowledge, seeking solutions and education on my own, and teaching myself what I needed to know. This included a myriad of things- front-end web development, small business licensing and taxes, product photography, email marketing, branding, and graphic design, event planning, retail sales, social media marketing, the list goes on… Luckily, the internet, and my surrounding communities, provided a wonderful and accessible way to learn all of these topics, paired with a healthy dose of trial and error. At the end of the day, I truly believe the best way to learn is by doing, and to keep failing and doing until you get the result you’re looking for. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My brand hosts a variety of lifestyle goods- handmade jewelry, hand-dyed apparel, up-cycled leather handbags, Turkish cotton towels, aromatherapy tools, crystals, stickers, etc.; but my heart and soul lives in my jewelry. 

I’m a silversmith by trade, having studied both Photography and Metalsmithing at Indiana University, Bloomington. I absolutely love the process of working with silver and gemstones and even other metals- brass, gold, copper. I find that the pieces I create that are crafted from these materials take the most of my attention, and are the highest level of energy exchange I offer. 

The love, the mistakes, the restarts, and the fine detail of each ring, each pendant, and each creation I put forth really is a representation of my spirit and soul, and I think these pieces also connect the deepest with my clients. 

I am most proud of a newer product I’ve been working on for a two years or so- the Infinite Healing Companion. They are my most labor-intensive work, and one I look forward to sharing with my community in the near future. Each necklace is hand-beaded on silk thread, with a unique collection of ethically sourced gemstones and Palo Santo wood. They are part jewelry, part aromatherapy tool, part meditation partner. They are inspired by the traditional Mala necklaces of India, the prayer/rosemary beads found in many global faiths, and the Palo Santo beads they feature can be used to diffuse one of my custom essential oil blends, or one of your own choosing. Just thinking about them brings a smile to my face, and I look forward to igniting that smile within those who choose to adopt them. 

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
I think the best way to convey this is through a story… 

One day, young Lo took it upon herself to start a business. (I think I was maybe 8 years old?) 

I decided I wanted to be a fashion designer. I had seen my mom sew clothes for my dolls and make all of my Halloween costumes and knew our family history was strong with seamstresses. I used to play around on my grandmother’s old sewing machine and make little things, bags, scarves, dresses, etc. These were by no means high-end garments but I wasn’t even 10 years old so I was doing my best. I decided it was time to take things to the next level. My friend Eryn came over and we came up with an idea. We were going to start a “high-end” fashion brand. 

And thus, EL Façions was born. We did the cédille because we thought French was fancier and therefore, better. How this came to the mind of an 8-year-old I will never know. 

We sewed a collection of garments, made a few bags, a top and skirt set, and a full-length dress with a slit inlay (again, this is 8-year-old quality but I felt like Coco Channel at the time). We made a catalog using some early-tech kids’ program intended for making CD covers. I also made business cards complete with accent stickers in the corners because stickers were the coolest. We handed out the business cards (my dad still has his) and gave our parents a catalog and held a little fashion show. 

This was my first business.

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