When curiosity, creativity, and ethics determine your career path with Palm Sunday’s Lauren Jennings

Lauren Jennings dreamed of having her fashion designs in high end brands, and after graduating from Parsons School of Design, she was on the right path. She found a job working at a large commercial fasion house in New York City – but it was there that she discovered how her designs were actually made – and she wasn’t happy about it.

Now, Lauren’s Palm Sunday focuses on creating custom jewelry that’s sustainable and ethical.

Transcript

Dana: Welcome to Hustle and Gather, a podcast about inspiring the everyday entrepreneur to take the leap. I’m Dana, 

Courtney: and I’m Courtney, 

Dana: and we’re two sisters who love business. On this show, we talk about the ups and downs with the hustle and the reward at the end of the journey 

Courtney: And we know all the challenges that come with starting a business. Between operating our wedding venue, doing speaking and consulting, and starting our luxury wedding planning company, we wake up and hustle every day.

Dana: But we love what we do. And today we’re talking to Lauren Jennings, owner of Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is an in-house handmade bespoke jewelry brand, specializing in rings of intention based in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Lauren, welcome to Hustle and Gather. 

Lauren: Thanks so much for having me. 

Dana: Yeah. We’re so excited to have you today.

Courtney: By the way, for those of you that are listening today, we are drinking a Cardinal. As always, you can find the recipe in the show notes.

Dana: Well, thank you so much for being here today. We’re super excited. We are huge fans in general of your work. 

Lauren:  Thank you. 

Dana: But originally from North Carolina and you’ve really had quite the journey quite literally all over the world, and then eventually came back here, but we want to hear a little bit about what originally sparked your interest to leave North Carolina and start a career in fashion and design. 

Lauren: So, I’m from Goldsboro, born and raised, and it’s a small air force town in Eastern North Carolina. And ever since I was a little kid, I was pretty messy and creative. My mom used to say I left piles around the house. She’d call them Lauren piles. So, I was always getting into something and had a really hard time cleaning up after myself.

So, just in general making stuff all the time. Um, when I was in high school, I got really interested in fashion. I took a summer course in California at Otis and just fell in love with it and knew that I wanted to do that for a living. My plan originally was to go to business school first and then go into fashion.

I felt like that was the responsible move, but I didn’t get into the business school I wanted. So I went straight to Parsons, which was in New York and yeah, it was quite the awakening for me to move from small eastern rural town to New York City. But that’s what I did when I was 18, and I studied at Parsons for four years, which is incredibly rigorous. Taught me so much and then was in New York for a couple of years after that, working in the fashion industry.

Dana: Wow. That is crazy. I can’t imagine because I know Goldsboro is a pretty small town going from there to New York City. Like, did you have like a friend that was there or do you just like randomly find a roommate or like, how did you even make that transition?

Lauren: It’s funny, my friend that convinced me to go got into NYU and she’s also from Goldsboro. She’s one of my longest friends. And she’s probably the reason why I ended up going, because I was very nervous and very scared because she’s like, we’ll have each other, I’ll be right down the street. You know, she was at a different university, but we were both really close in the village.

And, uh, I ended up living in a space called Marlton house, which at the time was a dorm for Parsons, but historically was, um, a boarding house for creatives in the west village. So, Dame Judi, Dench lived there. Jimmy Hendricks studio is across the street. A lot of really important creative people live there, but it was tiny.

It was a learning experience. Cause you’re, you know, its college, you’re matched with somebody you don’t know, and you’re in a tiny little space, then you are both adjusting. So, my friend was from also a really small town and we just, it was an adventure together for that first year.

Courtney: Yeah. So, take us down your career path. So, you’re at Parsons, you graduate, like, what did you end up doing after that?

Lauren: So, I had all ideas of working in high fashion. I wanted to either move to Paris or London worked for like Chanel or Alexander McQueen. But I graduated in 2009, so right in the middle of the recession and there just weren’t any jobs.

And I was very intimidated to move at that point. So, I ended up taking a job at a really well known large commercial fashion house in New York. And it was a great job. I had quite the learning experience there, but it was with the most kind and, I guess the fashion industry has a reputation for not being very nice when you work at places and it can be very intimidating.

This is around the time of Devil Wears Prada, and but this job was a great introduction without the intimidation, and I learned a ton. I was working there first a paid intern, and then I was promoted to an associate designer and, uh, the more I got experienced with what I was working on, which at the time was casuals and denim the more I was a little jaded by the fashion industry and the processes. 

So, the more responsibility I got, the more, I was able to see how the things that I was designing are actually made. So, I went to denim mills, I went to denim factories. I went to the wash houses where the denim was actually processed.

And you get to see firsthand all the chemicals that are used. You get to see all of the dyes and the processes and the water that’s used. And it just, the more I saw them more I was little like, I don’t know if this is for me, you know, the whole fashion industry in general, because sustainability wasn’t really a word at the time.

That was just like an emerging industry and the fashion industry. And I think I just was a little overwhelmed after being at this company for three years. 

Dana: Was there like a specific moment, like where you standing in a denim warehouse and maybe you saw something and you were like, and that’s when you kind of knew like the tides had changed for you? Like, I don’t want to be here. This is not what I want to be doing.

Lauren: Yeah, it definitely started when I took a course in the washes for denim, cause I don’t think the general public understands that when you buy denim off the rack and it looks like it’s been worn and it looks really soft.

Like that’s not what’s denim looks like when it’s made, it looks like black cardboard when it comes off the mill, when it comes off the loom. And to get it to look really soft and really worn in, you have to do a million different things to it, different washes, different chemicals. There are people that are hand sanding it and they’re ripping it by hand.

There’s just a lot that goes into it. And I remember taking a course in actually learning how to do those things so that I could instruct the people that I’m working with in factories overseas to do it. And I just thought this is insane. This is insane that we’re paying hundreds of dollars for jeans to have all this done to it.

And then it eventually ends up in a landfill when we’re done with it. So that was the moment

Dana: I can imagine that being kind of jarring. I’ve never thought about where my jeans came from, like at all.

Lauren: Yeah. At that point. I hadn’t either, it was all about design to me. It was about making a statement and expression and you know, but then you see the behind the scenes and you’re like, oh wow.

Courtney: That explains some of the costs. And it must be like, I can’t imagine these people who are doing this are making very much because denim ranges in price from, you know, little to nothing to hundreds of nothing to dollars.

Lauren: They definitely don’t get to see the bulk of the profit.

Courtney: So, it seems like ethics was kind of like the main push for you starting your next leg of your journey. So how did that go? Like how did that start and where did it lead you?

Lauren: Once I had that realization that I just felt like I couldn’t sleep at night when I was working in denim, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. It honestly was like an overall jaded feeling with the fashion industry, knowing that whatever I was designing was turning into 30,000 of something like our jeans that we were designing, I think were usually made into 20,000 or 30,000 items.

And that was all I knew of the fashion industry. And I just felt like that wasn’t the place for me, and I didn’t really know where to turn after that. So, I just decided to re-immerse myself in what did feel good at the time, which was nature and just trying to figure out, you know, how I could give myself some space to breathe and maybe figure out what the next step was going to be.

So, I decided to join an organization called WWOOF, it stands for willing workers on organic farms. And I just happened to, um, find out about it through the internet and a friend, I think I tried it. And basically, you can go anywhere throughout the world, wherever there’s farms, and you become somebody who helps on the farm and trade for room and board and food.

So, it’s a great way to travel the world with little to no money. So, what I did was I joined the subscription for the Hawaii chapter, which I think at the time was $25. Then you just gained access to a list of people who are looking for help. So, I found a family that lived on the north shore of Oahu and moved in with them for a couple of months and then decided to stay there for a while and work with them, work on the farm, work in their bakery.

And then after that, I just continued on to New Zealand and Australia and Bali doing the same thing. And I just gave myself about a year to figure out what it was that I wanted to do and how I wanted to reenter the creative space without doing more harm than good. 

Dana: What did your family think of this? Like my, I think my mom would be like, what are you doing?

Courtney: You’re like, I’m WWOOFing. What do you mean what am I doing?

Lauren: It sounds crazy. They, I remember making the call outside my apartment in New York and saying, look, I know that you guys sacrificed a lot for me to attend Parsons. It’s not cheap, but I don’t think New York is the place for me. I was expecting to have to make the case and feel really terrible, but they kind of just fully supported me and actually said, oh, we didn’t expect you to last that long. 

They’re like, we knew it wasn’t the right place for you, we were just waiting for you to figure it out. And I was like, okay. So, yeah, and then when I told them I wanted to travel, they’re both really into traveling. They were a hundred percent supportive of it. And I’m so thankful for that.

Courtney: That sounds amazing. It kind of sounds a little like Melissa Gilbert, like Eat, Pray, Love. 

Dana: yeah. 

Lauren: I think getting outside your comfort zone and just traveling really helps to ease your mind and expand your mind to try and figure out where your place is in the world. 

Dana: Yeah, that’s so true. I think sometimes it is hard because I think, especially I say this all the time, like how is an 18-year-old supposed to know what they want to do?

Like you’re asking them to pick this path in life and they haven’t even fully matured. They haven’t been fully developed and who they want to be, don’t even know what they want. And, I really hope that my kids, maybe they take a gap year. Maybe they travel some and they figure out, or they, or they pick a generic degree that can like apply, you know, multiple ways.

Courtney: like that business degree?

Dana: like that business degree, yeah.

Courtney: I think about that all the time. I’m like Dana, why didn’t one of us get a business degree? It would have been so much more helpful.

Dana: I know, but it’s so true. I think that once you put yourself in a position where you’re uncomfortable and you get out of that comfort zone, I think you start to really figure out who you are and where you should be, because you start getting out of those boxes that people have put you in.

And because it’s comfortable when people expect you to act a certain way or to say a certain thing, or to do a certain thing, that there’s a lot of comfort in that. But when you start like, I don’t want to do that it becomes uncomfortable it’s like, I think when you start figuring out who you are. 

Lauren: Yeah, and it takes a long time. I think most people just expect to know by their mid-twenties what their career going to look like. And for me at 25, I think I was 26 when I left New York, it was such a jarring, scary feeling to feel like I was the only one that graduated from Parsons that didn’t want to be in fashion anymore.

And that made me feel like there’s something wrong with me, made me feel like I wasn’t cut out for it. I think Parsons instilled such a rigorous and cutthroat, um, work ethic. But when you don’t really feel like you’re doing the right thing with your life and you want to step outside, that it can feel like you’re the outsider for sure.

But I think people need to realize that like you can be in your forties and not know what your calling is and, you know, figure it out a little bit after that. But yeah, you just have to be honest with yourself. 

Dana: That’s so wise.

Courtney: Yeah. It’s hard to be honest with yourself, especially when you’ve like invested in a path to in that path. It’s like, it’s hard.

Lauren: Yeah. And I, I mean, I have to acknowledge that I had a lot of privilege behind me. I had a way to do this and shift gears that didn’t put me behind financially. I didn’t have student loans. So, I just want to say that I know it’s a lot harder for people who have that debt in that weight behind them. It can be so much more difficult, but for me it was just a decision.

Courtney: So, you’re WWOOFing at this point and yeah, which, I mean, I think we should start that for the event industry, WWOOFing. I’ll make some little cottages. Anyway, how did you end up back to where you are now? Like, where did you end and how’d you make it back to, cause you’re in Goldsboro now?

Lauren: It feels like a boomerang. So, when I finished WWOOFing, and I just knew it was kind of time to come back home, I was itching to do something. While I was out working in the islands, I realized that there was a way to create sustainable fashion. You just kind of had to work for yourself and start it from the ground up.

I had some friends in that space that were really inspiring. My friend, Laura Siegel, was kind of a pioneer in that. And she just taught me that you can build your own niche in the industry. You don’t have to go work for a huge commercial conglomerate. So, what I decided I was going to do when I came back was start a company called Palm Sunday, and it was going to be inspired by the clothing that I had packed in my backpack that I carried with me for a year around the world, because it was just essentials and it was stuff that could be used to working on the farm and then going out for drinks later, going to bonfires on the beach, all of that, it was just versatile kind of resort wear.

And the name Palm Sunday came to me because obviously the tropics and then also Sunday was our day off from working on the farm. So, it’s the day that we went and did stuff kind of like a day of leisure and relaxation. So that was the plan when I came back and I was going to start it in Goldsboro.

Out of nowhere, I got a phone call from my art teacher that had taught me all the way from middle all the way up to high school and was hugely instrumental into getting me into Parsons, saying that she had started the school year, but because of health problems she needed to step down and she needed a replacement urgently.

And she knew that I had just moved back and that I knew a curriculum and asked if I wanted the job. And honestly, teaching, the thought of teaching terrified me more than leaving New York and traveling. I just felt like there was no way that I could do that when I had no experience, but she said, just come try it, see how you like it.

So, I went for a week of shadowing her and really loved it. And it’s kind of was a light bulb that went off in my head, that teaching is a great way to exercise your creativity without producing a product. So, it’s like the ultimate way to practice sustainable art, and it was really, really fulfilling and fun.

So, I ended up doing that for three years and put my ideas of starting my clothing line to the side and just thought, oh, I can do that, you know, on my summer break or in the afternoons, and you know, if you’re a teacher, you know that there really isn’t as much free time as you think there is. It’s one of those myths that teachers have all this free time because they end their day at three o’clock, which is not. 

I was able to work on the jewelry for the collection, cause that was something that I could take with me into my classroom and work at my desk, like in between classes on. So, I was still operating a business called Palm Sunday. It was just more like boho, earrings, necklaces, things like that. But I could make and sell in my free time. 

Courtney: All right.

Dana: How did you, so was jewelry making something and like working with metals, essentially, something that you learned at Parsons or was this like a self-taught skill?

Lauren: Yeah, I wish I had learned about it at Parsons that would have made my life a lot easier.

Um, I didn’t take a single jewelry or metals or even an accessories class at Parsons. What happened was when I was making the necklaces and the earrings, I realized that I, myself just wasn’t wearing the jewelry that I was making. like I said, I’m a very creative, messy person, so I don’t typically put on a lot of accessories, but the one thing that I’ve always worn throughout my life is rings.

And I’ve had quite a few passed down to me from my grandmothers, my mom, and the only reason I wasn’t making them is because I didn’t know how. You can’t really bead a ring. So, I just was like, well, I’m just kind of curious to see if I could figure out how to do this.

And I took a weekend metal smithing workshop in Hillsborough at a studio called accusers. And it was, yeah, the lightening moment that happened when I knew I needed to leave. New York kind of happened again. When I saw somebody solder, pick up a torch, work with metals for the first time. It was like an immediate, this is what I want to do with my life.

It just looked so magical. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen metal ball up when it gets heated into like little spheres and then it gets soldered and spreads back out. It just seems like something that, you know, it’s an age-old trade, but it was fascinating to me. So, I just decided I would start making some rings for Palm Sunday, like as an addition to the earrings and necklaces. 

And it just went from there, took some other classes at the same studio and then with other workshops and just taught myself through YouTube through Instagram. That’s part of the reason why I do some of those process videos is because that’s how I learned. And I want other people who are maybe beginners, where I was a couple of years ago to see it and be able to figure out a couple of different, easier ways to do things because without the internet, I definitely would not be able to do what I’m doing.

Courtney: I know we’ve heard that before on podcasts that you should just enroll yourself in YouTube university. You can learn almost anything.

Lauren: It’s really amazing, yeah. 

Dana: It’s true. But I think you were talking about how you felt about rings. And I feel so our grandmother gets a ring, I think every Christmas from my grandfather, and every time she gets a ring, she updates her will, which I find to be super morbid.

Courtney: Like who is getting that ring.

Dana: Or like which granddaughter is going to be getting it, or great granddaughter. 

Lauren: My mom always says let’s play funeral whenever she’s got to like update who’s getting what. It’s a little game in our house,

Dana: But I think, when I graduated college, she gave me her black Onyx like stud earrings and she’s has a black Onyx ring. And she said, you know this ring is yours when I pass away or whatever, which I was like, I’d rather have you, but that’s fine. But I feel like every time I wear those earrings, there’s so much like emotion behind it because of what it, of what I think, I think of my grandmother. And I love that about jewelry.

And I love that connection that you were talking about like that ring, how much history and loving the meaning behind it, because I feel like that’s what your collections emote. 

Lauren: I agree. I think jewelry is something that you wear with you in the shower, is something that you hardly ever take off specific items. So, in a way it’s like the most intimate thing that you have in your closet. Clothes you change daily, but there’s a lot of jewelry that I wear every single day. So, it has a lot more meaning, especially if it comes from somebody in your family, maybe somebody that you’ve lost. It’s a way to remind yourself of somebody. It’s a way to keep something close to you that maybe you wouldn’t otherwise be able to, unless you were to look like a photograph of them every day.

So that’s, I think the way that I’ve tried to build my brand around an idea that like you can be intentional about the things that you buy, especially with jewelry, because it’s going to be passed down hopefully to somebody someday, and it should have a meaning behind it. It shouldn’t just be something that you frivolously bought, although I’m guilty of that too.

But yeah, I try to work sustainability into it in that way. Although there really isn’t a way to do sustainable jewelry and we can talk about that later, but it’s just a way of saying. Well, let’s buy something with intention. Let’s not just buy something without any meaning. 

Dana: I would assume that you probably come up against that pretty hard, because I feel like you have the product that is really great, right? And then they’re like, here’s a dupe of that product. Here’s, here’s how you can get it cheaper. Here’s someone who made it cheaper, and whether it’s because they were made not sustainably, or they were made with people who aren’t getting paid enough or whatever the case may be.

That’s a huge trend where people are saying like, don’t buy this, you know, $150 pair of shorts buy this $10 pair of shorts from Walmart. They look almost identical. And so how do you combat that? Because I do feel like you are someone who is at least, you know, on your Instagram, is intentional about where you get your stones.

Therefore, they cost a little bit more than maybe someone who got them, you know, not ethically. And we know as Courtney said, the time it takes to make it. So, your time is obviously or something. So how do you combat that value, to what it is the cost?

Lauren: I think it just comes to educating your customer. Instagram’s a great platform for that. I think before Instagram, you really need to be in people’s physical space to tell them about your jewelry, or you had to be in a shop or somebody who’s really educated about the process behind it. Whereas now with Instagram, I can just, you know, film an IG TV, talk about the process and where I get my stones and why it’s so important to consider where you get things from.

And if people see that enough, maybe the next time they reached to buy something from an online source that I won’t name names, that knocks artists off daily, they’ll reconsider just because they are armed with the facts now, like they know what the cost of unethical labor is. Commercial gold mining is terrible for the environment.

And then also gem mining is equally so. So, I’m not saying I’m perfect. It’s definitely a learning process. It’s something that I’m going to dedicate my summer to is reworking my, um, sourcing and where I get my gold. Because up until this point, I was under the intention that recycled gold is probably the best way to go.

But I’m learning that, you know, even if you’re recycling something and you’re not using anything, that’s new, you’re still not changing the way the new stuff is mined. So, for instance, it’s kind of avoidance in a way. Um, it’s not terrible. And I come in to people who choose recycled gold or using gold that they already have in their drawers to make new jewelry.

I think that’s better than, you know, going to the store and buying something completely new. But at the same time, it doesn’t direct money towards new and better ways of doing things. So, it’s got to be a balance of the both.

Courtney: So, did you ever have a moment, we like to ask all of our guests this, like throughout your journey, whether it was like teaching full time or starting Palm Sunday that you thought is this really what I should be doing? It’s like what we call our oh, shit moment. Did you a moment where like, oh shit, what am I doing?

Lauren: I definitely had that, as we talked about, in the fashion industry. I don’t know that I ever had it teaching. I really enjoy teaching and honestly would still be doing it if it wasn’t for the time. My new company is taking. But I have that feeling every day. And I think it’s important for people to know that, like, even though you think you’ve found your career path, what lights you up and fulfills you every day, it’s still going to be a struggle. I mean, just yesterday I was sitting at the bench and I don’t know if you’ve seen this tool that I use, but it’s called a flex shaft.

And its basically a, Dremel like, it’s a rotating drill and you can use it for drilling or you can use it for polishing. And I had a polishing wheel on it and I was just having one of those off days. And the polishing wheel got tangled up in my hair and like wound up all the way to my scalp. And it’s took me a good 45 minutes to undo it.

And afterwards, you know, you just have to fight back tears. I’m self-taught like, I don’t know if what I’m doing is what I’m meant to be doing quotes, but it’s also, you know, what makes me happy most of the time. And I think that’s really all you can consider is the majority of the time where you happy doing it.

But there’s definitely going to be moments where I feel like, um, I’m not cut out for it. I’m not educated for it. I don’t have enough experience, et cetera, but you just have to roll with those moments. That was definitely, I, I mean, I think I said out loud oh shit, like, is awful.

Dana: Yeah. I feel that I, I felt like I felt 2020 was a lot of that, like where it was just a lot of like, oh, this is never ending, never ending. But what is something you would say that you have learned about yourself starting Palm Sunday?

Lauren: I think I’ve learned that being curious really comes in handy. Like if you just stay open to possibilities and you’re not afraid to ask questions, I think before in fashion school, I was easily intimidated.

I didn’t want to go up to opportunities or to people, cause I felt like it was such a clique-ish industry. And like, who was, I just, I really young students even asked to be part of this company or this initiative. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that like, you have to be ambitious. You have to be able to approach people who you may think are out of your league or, you know, not going to be open to speaking with you, but 9 times out of 10 people are so kind and you just have to have a little bit of bravery to approach people and ask questions, especially if you’re self-taught. I know on social media. I try and be an open book to some degree when people ask me questions about how to do things, because I just know the courage that it takes to just even work up the ability to ask somebody a question. So, I’ve learned about myself that I can be a little bit more extroverted in a way than I ever thought I was.

And that that’s really necessary if you want to make your business thrive. Like those podcasts, for instance, like this is something, you know, would have me drenched in sweat before, but now it’s kind of like you just have to have faith in yourself that you’re going to be able to get through, but nobody’s going to be judging you too harshly, you know, you’re your own worst critic and that’s for sure.

Dana: That’s really great advice because I feel like that’s so true for business is being your own advocate and kind of getting over yourself in a way. 

Lauren: Yeah, definitely. Nobody’s going to be judging you worse than you’re touching yourself. So just ask for the thing you need to ask for. Obviously, you need to be polite about it and don’t ask for somebody’s entire handbook of how they make something.

But you know, if you’ve got a specific question on something that you’ve been struggling with, and you’re very honest about it and you’re not out to steal anyone’s creativity, a lot of that also online. If you’re not looking to take somebody’s art for your own, you just need a specific tip. Like, you know, can’t hurt to ask.

Courtney: Yeah. What’s the worst that could happen. No?

Dana: Yeah. They’d say no. Yeah, it’s proprietary or they have to pay for or refer you to something else.

Lauren: I mean, if I don’t know the answer, I’ll just tell somebody, you know, this is the YouTube video where I learned it from. And if somebody says, no, just know that they’re not saying no because they don’t like you or don’t want you to succeed. It’s probably just because it took them so long to figure out something proprietary and then that’s how they’re protecting their business. And, you know, I say no all the time, too, when it’s something where somebody is asking too much, right.

You just have to understand that that’s the reason why, like, somebody is just trying to thrive in a very saturated market, and sometimes you just have to do the research yourself. 

Dana: Yeah. I think that’s so true, and so glad you said that because I feel like me and Courtney have always said we’re an open book and we’ve never been afraid to give information to people have never been afraid to encourage them, but there are some things that, like, I just that’s, that is proprietary to us, that we have sat in a room for hours and hours and hours have created like specific words or the way we do things or our processes, our systems.

And it’s not that I look at it and I’m like, I don’t want to, I don’t want you to be successful. It’s just that it’s very personal. It’s mine, like, you know, like it’s not something I’m ready to share with you and it, and when you, when you say that out loud and when you’re talking to somebody, you’re like, man, I sound like, kind of like an ass because I don’t want to share this information, but I don’t know.

It’s something that I feel like has never really talked about, like the emotional part of owning a business and how it’s really just an extension of who you are and you don’t, you don’t share who you are with just any old Joe that walks up the street. You know,

Courtney: Yeah. I agree with that. I mean, on some levels for sure. I mean, but I think when people ask too much, it feels like they’re devaluing what you’ve done, right. They’re like asking for the shortcut to get to where, what took you years to get to.

Lauren: And they’ll learn that the shortcut doesn’t work. They just have to try one time and realize, oh, there’s so much more effort involved in this than I thought.

And I think that the people who are asking for too much, or for asking for proprietary information, they’ll learn that there’s no room for copycats in the industry anymore, the wedding industry or the jewelry industry or any other, like you have to have something unique about you. That is something that you can own.

That’s really authentic to who you are in order to survive, because if you’re just trying to become, you know, the next C&D events, and you’re copying their verbiage or copying their style, you’re copying how they operate. You’re never going to win. Like you’re just going to always be second fiddle to the people who have made it, you know, an extension of themselves. So, you just have to keep that in mind.

Courtney: Yeah. So, what’s next for Palm Sunday? I know you have a new collection that’s dropping, but anything else coming down the pipeline to share with our audience? 

Lauren: Yeah. So, that collection that is dropping is something I’ve been working on for a couple months and I’m really excited about it.

Um, and then I’m just going to close up shop for the summer. And I’m also really excited about that, equally excited about stopping, because I just want to retool everything as far as, you know, what I started with, which was a lot of materials that I sourced without knowing any information about where they came from, or how they got to me.

So, I think I want to just take some time to rework everything and know that, by next year, what I offer, I’ll be able to say, this is the exact mine it came from, and I may know the name of the person who mined it. I’ll be able to assure people that they’re getting a stone or gold that, was produced in a fair way and not just in a fair way, but in a way that does some good for the community as well.

Um, cause I think that’s desperately needed in the jewelry industry and it’s not easy to do. There’s not a lot of transparency in the industry right now. You’ve got to do a lot of digging, but there is a group called ethical metalsmiths. If anybody’s listening to this, that is in the jewelry trade, where we’re sharing the information that we find, and we’re trying to make it more open source. So that anybody who’s interested in transforming the terrible traditions that we’ve inherited, you can go there and find out more information. So that’s what I’ll be working on.

Courtney: I think it’s amazing to see somebody entering in to an industry and then wanting to make it better. Right. You know, leave it better for the next wave of people that come in. Right. Make it more accessible, demystifying it a little bit. 

Lauren: Yeah. There’s a lot of mystery to demystify that’s for sure. 

Dana: Well, I want to end on one final question, cause I feel like this totally kind of embodies your story that, I think you can recognize that sometimes takes a really long time and a real true authentic journey to really get to where you are and where you’re supposed to be.

And you kind of touched on this a little bit, but what advice would you give those to who feel stuck and old torn that maybe it’s too late to start over or they just don’t know where to go? 

Lauren: Hmm, that’s a great question. I was just trying to think of what I told myself when I left New York, was that there will be a pathway for me, even though I can’t really see it at the time. You just have to be curious and stay open to possibilities, say yes, a lot, even when you’re not sure. If an opportunity comes your way, like even if that specific thing isn’t what you had in mind at that moment, it might lead to something else.

friend of mine who I just spoke to last night lives in New York and she was like, should I work remotely in Hawaii? I feel like I’m just, I’ve been here for the whole pandemic and I’m stuck, and all I could say was go, just go. Don’t even think about it. Just go. Like, if you have the opportunity and you can change your surroundings and get some perspective, that’s like the healthiest thing to do.

So, I guess my advice would be figure it out, which doesn’t sound very helpful, but it’s true. Yeah. Well, he’s just have to keep following those little threads of information and only go where your gut tells you is the right place to go.

Courtney: Thanks everyone for gathering with us today to talk about the hustle. To learn more about Lauren Jennings and her business Palm Sunday, visit palm-sunday.com or follow her on Instagram at @palm__sunday.

Dana: And to learn more about our hustles visit canddevents.com, thebradfordnc.com, and hustleandgather.com or follow us on Instagram @canddevents, @thebradfordnc, and @hustleandgather. If you liked the show, be sure to subscribe and leave us a rating and a review.

Courtney: This podcast is a production of Earfluence. I’m Courtney,

Dana: and I’m Dana,

Courtney: And we’ll talk to you next time on Hustle and Gather

Full Episode Transcript

If you’re drinking along, you’re having a Cardinal.

Hustle and Gather is hosted by Courtney Hopper and Dana Kadwell, and is produced by Earfluence.  Courtney and Dana’s hustles include C&D Events, Hustle and Gather, and The Bradford Wedding Venue.

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