We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Franks and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lauren, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I think work life balance is an interesting concept especially now given the additional challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. When I was single, I had very little work life balance. I had a tendency to work all of the time. After I got married, I started to “play” more. I married a stand-up comedian who prioritizes fun over all else which helped restore some life into my otherwise work-all-the-time style. Having children changes the whole game, their needs become most important and this tends to tip the scale making life take up much more of the time and work is forced to take a backseat. My children are 5 and 1 and in March 2020 the pandemic hit. With no outside childcare help and the responsibility of virtually homeschooling a kindergartener, life took over. It is a constant struggle but ultimately I thrive with life and work split 50/50. I need work to feel connected to the world otherwise too many nursery rhymes, snacks, and scooter rides numb my brain.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Thinking of my children, it is very important to me to take care of the environment for the sake of their future. We use high quality, eco-friendly, recycled gold in our fine jewelry. Metal mining can be devastating to the environment. Mining companies generate about 20 tons of toxic waste for every 0.333 ounce gold ring. This toxic waste can pollute the soil and contaminate drinking water endangering the health of people and ecosystems. In addition, gold miners are subject to dangerous working conditions and low wages. We believe it is our environmental responsibility to choose recycled gold in an attempt to reduce the need for newly mined gold. Recycled gold can then be considered a naturally renewable resource. There is no difference between recycled gold and newly mined gold. Gold is gold. Recycled gold is the ethical choice. Our diamonds are conflict free and originate from ethically responsible sources that follow all labor, trade, and environmental standards. Our solitaire stones come with a diamond certificate issued by an accredited independent gemological laboratory. This report contains a full scientific and unbiased assessment of your diamond. We want you to know exactly what you are buying. Many jewelers outsource their production to countries with little or no standards for a safe and fair work environment. All of our jewelry is created in house from start to finish in our Los Angeles creation space which is attached to our showroom. Our master craftsmen create in a happy, safe, fair work environment. Schedule an appointment to visit our showroom. We would love to give you a guided tour of our manufacturing process. Both as a Fashion Stylist and Jewelry Designer, my style is classic but edgy. My designs promise to deliver a point of difference. When I was younger, I always knew I wanted to work in an industry where I could be surrounded by beautiful things every day. This lead me to explore a career in fashion styling and creative consulting. After over ten years, of styling wardrobes, props, and events throughout America and the Asia-Pacific, in 2015, I was approached to start my own jewelry line. Inspired by my own black engagement ring the I designed for my own engagement, I started designing custom celebratory rings for friends and family. In 2017, with the opening of our fine jewelry store in downtown Los Angeles, I launched my first official collection of wedding and engagement rings followed by an everyday collection, both centered around a palette of black, brown, and grey diamonds. Today, in addition to creating beautiful jewelry, I enjoy helping my clients reinvent and reorganize their wardrobes offering personal styling and shopping services. I experience such joy when I can help make others feel beautiful.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Friday: Lunch on the rooftop of the Nomad hotel in downtown Los Angles followed by a visit to the Lauren Franks Fine Jewelry showroom with a guided tour of our manufacturing process.

Saturday: A morning walk on Zuma Beach because I can’t get enough of the sand and the sea followed by brunch at Little Beach House in Malibu- the location can’t be beat.
Saturday Afternoon: Malibu Wine Safari for some fun animal encounters and beautiful views of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Sunday Afternoon: Hike through Malibu Creek State Park – feels like you are in a scene out of Jurassic Park.
Sunday Sunset: cocktails on the roof of the Surfrider hotel in Malibu- a cozy place to take in all of the Malibu vibes.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have been very fortunate to have many visionaries come into my life and change me for the better. For about 18 months I was honored to be a part of a new project created by a wonderful woman named Heidi Kujawa. The project was focused on bringing awareness to new fashion labels and helping young designers launch their brands. Since this project, Heidi has gone on to create the brilliant Environmental Conservation company, BiFusion which reshapes plastic waste into building blocks.

Website: laurenfranks.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lauren_franks/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurenfranks/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurenfranksfashionstylist/
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/lauren-franks-venice-2
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA0uoCGXHOlbPOUJCPa–Jg

Image Credits
Anagram Photo ReneeFariasPhoto

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.