We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Reyes Lim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, what do you attribute your success to?
Why my company is so successful is because of the people who have helped me along the way. Becoming an entrepreneur is a very lonely path initially — but I learned very early on that you need the help of others to grow and scale efficiently. While we may still wear many different hats, there still will be tasks or things on our to-do lists that could be trusted to someone else who could probably do it a lot better than you — and that’s completely okay. When I began my journey four years ago, I had freelancers and interns by my side to help me in the places where I just simply could not pull through quickly enough. I still provided all the creative direction so no matter what, my filter and my eyes still saw everything that came in and out. But it is so important to be humble in aspects such as these because it allows you to let go and focus on the bigger picture. Hiring the right people and the right teams essentially help you hone in on what is really important in the long run. I have a small and growing full-time team who have been with me for the past year. It’s been one of my biggest joys working alongside them — and truly, my success would not be here, and I would not be where I am today without my staff — past and present.
What should our readers know about your business?
I founded LVR STUDIOS, a full-service Interior Design boutique firm, in late 2016. It was and still is a small company that was born out of a necessity to create design and art in a public forum, that I could truly call mine. Until that point, I was feeling creatively stuck in my day job (also as an Interior Designer) — so I put it out in the universe and asked around to see if there was anyone who wanted to redo their home. My best friend then connected me with someone who had just purchased their first house. The rest is history! For the last four years, I have been consistently working on many high-end residential and commercial projects in Los Angeles. It has been such a labor of love and a lot of learnings that came with running my own business. I truly am learning every step of the way, and it is a process that I truly find satisfying. It definitely was (and is) not easy. With a lot of the wins we’ve had, we’ve had so many losses and failures too — but I’ve learned to only take everything professionally and not personally. With every obstacle, there is always a solution – you just have to put in the time and find the right mindset to be in. With everything in life and in business, I’ve learned to be super adaptable and flexible to any situation — this was important for us to survive, especially in 2020. Even in this harrowing time, I couldn’t be prouder of how we have managed to stay productive, stay efficient, and to stay busy. If there is one thing I’d want the world to know about our company and my story, it’s that having your own business and being an entrepreneur is not all smoke and mirrors. You really have to put in the time, the money, and the work in order to succeed. The first couple of years for me was full of all-nighters, hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. It is hard but so worth it. We have so many exciting projects that we cannot wait to show you in the upcoming year. Please continue to check in on us online until then!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh man – where do I start? Los Angeles is huge! I live in Chinatown, so the east side is more of my playground. For breakfast, I would take them to JIST Cafe in Little Tokyo – a small mom-and-pop cafe (or more like your grandmother’s cafe, because literally, a grandma is serving your food). They serve the best breakfast comfort food and some super strong coffee. Then we would digest a bit by walking around the Arts District and grab a matcha latte or coffee at the Row. For lunch, I like to opt on the lighter side and to soak up more sun – so we would drive west to Malibu and eat at Malibu Farm Pier Cafe by the ocean. There are so many amazing beaches in Malibu and you are also a drive away from the promenade at Santa Monica as well – so a few quintessential LA stops could be made just by driving down the Pacific Coast Highway alone. While you’re on this side of town, stop by the Santa Monica Proper Hotel for some serious interior design inspiration, and a good cocktail at happy hour also. For dinner – it really depends on our mood! I usually like to head back east and either go to Quarters in Koreatown for amazing Korean barbeque, or to Nightshade in the Arts District if we’re feeling a bit fancy. Both places have amazing vibes in their own way, but the food just always exceeds our expectations. When it’s time for a nightcap, we’ll either end up in EightyTwo for arcade games and drinks or Songbird Cafe, an intimate speakeasy back in Chinatown. I highly recommend any of the hiking trails here, especially before sunset. My then-boyfriend (now husband) took me to the top of the Hollywood sign on our first date many years ago – we shared a couple of beers at the top, people-watched those who came and went, and watched the sunset on our city before heading back down.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband, Edgar Lim, for pushing me into this path of entrepreneurship. Three years ago, he convinced me to cut the cord and dive right in, even when it was probably the most unstable and unadvisable thing to do. I didn’t have any full-time projects or stable income at all. But he saw the bigger picture and he continues to see it for me, even when I don’t. From the beginning, he 100% supported all of my efforts along the way and continues to be my biggest cheerleader.
LVR Studios (personal photo) Teddy Nguyen (portfolio photos)