Many people have changed their lives by making the most out of 2020 despite the pandemic. One of them is 18-year-old Lauren Boden, who decided to turn her passion into a business. What’s it like launching your brand during these uncertain times while also being a first-year university student? Lauren tells us all about it.
Lauren Boden, from Telford, studies Zoo Biology at Nottingham Trent University and is also the owner of a small business called Lawless Lips that offers a selection of handmade vegan cruelty free lip glosses and scrubs that are made with Wheatgerm oil and are high in vitamin E. The brand offers very good quality products for affordable prices, starting from only £2.50.
Lauren got the idea from seeing other people start selling their creations during first lockdown.
It was a time when she was really struggling with her mental health, to the point that she didn’t even find motivation to take care of herself, but seeing other people turning their hobbies into businesses was something that really inspired her. Once she got this idea into her head, she couldn’t stop thinking about it.
She said: “I’m not very good at artsy things, but I have a massive imagination, I always come up with ideas and impulsively do them.
“The only idea that I felt I could be excited about was making lip glosses and lip care products, because I love make up and even on a natural day you won’t catch me without lip gloss.”
After deciding what she wanted her brand to focus on, she did about a week of research and was determined to give this a try. She spent her last bit of savings to get all the products and started working on her dream.
Lauren studied about what ingredients go into lip products and explored her possibilities. She decided to use Wheatgerm Oil for her glosses because it contains important compounds such as vitamin B6, vitamin E and fatty acids, which help to nourish, revitalise and boost the lips’ appearance. Wheatgerm is also a lip cleanser that eliminates toxins whilst keeping the lips moist.
Lauren said: “When you buy from store, the products are usually good quality, but they are all the same. Whereas, when you buy from a small business, every product has so much hard work, love and passion gone into making them that you just can’t replicate.”
Lawless Lips is still a very fresh business, but it’s growing quickly and Lauren is constantly perfecting her existing products. The biggest upcoming improvements will be with the formula.
Keeping the glosses consistent can be difficult, because it’s not easy to get the same base each time due to price changes when you buy from single sellers. Lauren is also working on some new and exciting launches. New lip balms, lip oils and accessories can be expected very soon.
Lauren is working on the business all by herself while also carrying on her university studies, but she says she has very supportive friends who try to help her however they can. Her flatmates have been there to share her excitement from the moment when she first told them about the idea.
Being an undergrad herself, one of Lauren’s goals was to make the business student friendly, creating quality products on a budget. Lawless Lips has prices ranging from £2.50 to £6 and shipping within UK is only £1.
Lauren says that being able to ask such a little price for her glosses and scrubs shows that you don’t need all the complicated ingredients to make good quality products.
Olivia Rose Perks, 18, is a university student, who had a fantastic experience with the company, because the purchasing process was very easy and there were plenty of pictures and videos available of the products. The main selling points for her were that the products were cruelty free, vegan and homemade.
She said: “You get a much more authentic experience, rather than buying from a big brand that make them on mass, without the added care and time.
“The products arrived within a few days and I was so, so pleased by how beautifully packaged they were, you could really tell love went into every step.”
Packing orders is one of Lauren’s favourite things and she puts a lot of effort into how the products arrive to the customers. In addition, everything about the packaging is reusable or recyclable including bubble mailers, Organza bags and stickers.
Because the orders come in such beautiful packaging, they’re great for when you want to send someone a present as you don’t need to waste time on gift-wrapping yourself.
Olivia Rose was also very satisfied with what she ordered: “The glosses themselves are hydrating and gentle on the lips, I’ve found the light tints and sparkle matches any look I wear.
“The glosses went straight into my everyday makeup routine and I couldn’t recommend more.”
Lauren says that she is still on a learning curve when it comes to managing a business, but she absolutely loves that she has the opportunity to create products that she’s proud of and feels happy to have her very own little creation.
Keeping up a business while being in university definitely makes her schedule quite hectic, but it keeps her mind busy, which is good for her mental health.
Although the pandemic has brought a lot of sorrow, disappointment and distress, maybe one good thing about it is that it has made us come out of our comfort zones and given us a chance to take this time to fully rethink and re-evaluate what we want from our lives.
Maybe it’s the perfect time to follow Lauren’s footsteps and finally make the necessary changes to start living our lives to the fullest.
By Kirke Viira
Images credit: Lauren Boden