We had the good fortune of connecting with Lausanne Miller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lausanne, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started off by dipping my toes in slowly at first, doing some research and taking the first steps of getting a domain, taking some metal smithing and other jewelry classes, as well as interviewing other small business owner friends for their advice while at the same time slowly building my own courage to go for it. As I got more and more of those first building blocks into place my conviction and desire to create a special line of modern, affordable luxury jewelry really took over and I fully committed. Believing that you can do it is probably one of the hardest parts in the beginning.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I set out to create high quality jewelry with a unique design perspective and an accessible price point. By working with precious metals only (gold and silver) and using vermeil (which is the heaviest level of gold plating _ bonded over sterling silver) I’m able to achieve that premium quality without the high cost.
It was super important to me to produce jewelry that is of beautiful, long lasting quality that you can also afford to treat yourself to. Every style is designed to celebrate strength in femininity and to be those pieces you keep and wear forever.
With my previous background as fashion designer the creative part was relatively easy to translate into jewelry design and I’m able to follow a similar process model as to what I’m used to for the creative product design and development part which has been a big help.
I also took _ several classes to help gain a better understanding around the art of jewelry making, learn how to work with metals, stones, and different construction methods. The bigger challenges for me have been learning how to run a business, how to market this product you’ve poured everything into creating and find an audience for it. (On a budget.) Those are still a work in progress for me and all I can say is that I’m learning every single day. Sometimes by trial and error and taking risks and crossing my fingers, but I’m learning from mistakes _ and I’m getting better about believing in progress over perfection. (Most days.) I’m also extremely grateful for a wonderful support system for when the struggles are hardest or to help celebrate the little victories.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite things to do with friends visiting LA tend to revolve around spending time outside, eating, drinking, and shopping. I’ll stick to some westside plans to stay out of traffic and enjoy the neighborhood. Start the day with hiking the Los Leones Trail between Santa Monica and Malibu, it has gorgeous view of the ocean from the top and plenty of shade along the way. Follow with brunch at the Malibu Pier and then cruise back to Santa Monica on PCH. Go for sunset drinks at rooftops Elefante or Hotel Erwin, and dinner at Gjelina, Tar & Roses, Uovo, or Margot. Spend some time electric scooting around Santa Monica and Venice, stroll the shops on Abbot Kinney, and stop for ice cream at Salt and Straw or Jenni’s on Rose and get the most amazing hand rolls of your life from Kazu Nori for lunch. Spend and an evening at the beach and grab pizza from Pblc Trade on Main Street with a blanket and wine for sunset. And if it’s not covid, hit up a comedy show at Westside Comedy.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m lucky enough to have a whole squad of support that I’m continuously grateful for. My girls, my family, my main squeeze, a group of fellow female small business owners, and the teachers and fellow students I met at August Axel jewelry studio.