LAUREN LILLY + YELLOW 108
My brother hit me up the other day suggesting I meet and interview a friend of his, who (his words) "owns a rad hat company and is a total girl boss"... of course I wanted to know more! Long story short I was presented with an opportunity to spend an afternoon with Lauren Lilly. Now this is a first for the project, in that, all of my previous interviews/shoots have been with people I've known for quite a while. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons the project originated was due to an epiphany that I know a ton of very talented, fascinating people following their dreams and doing what they love. I wanted to sit down with ALL of them and find out how they discovered what it is they wanted to do, nay were born to do and secondly (which is the harder part I believe) how they pulled it off and have prospered. Coincidentally, I was having a similar conversation with a friend on a rooftop in Santa Monica not to long ago about just that. Out of the 7.125 billion people on this planet, how incredible is it that some of us are so fortunate not just to have a job we hate, or a job at all for that matter (imagine living in a third world country) but we get to do something we love and get paid for it. That's AAAAMAZING!!! (Louie CK voice) That being said how blessed am I, to be surround; practically my entire adult life, by accomplished, innovative, and prosperous people. High five.
After I took a tour of the the space Yellow 108/Howl calls home, Lauren Lilly and I snapped a few photos and got to know one another. It's a cool experience to meet, photograph and interview someone as extraordinary as her. I felt truly inspired, motivated and encouraged to follow my dreams. Hopefully reading this interview and checking out her work will cause you to have the same response. Once again, cheers guys and thanks for taking a moment to scroll through this one. Then go do what you're suppose to do!
JOSH: Who you are, what do you do? LAUREN LILLY: My name is Lauren Lilly and I am the owner and founder of Yellow 108 & Howl.
Tell me about Yellow 108. Yellow 108 is a Los Angeles based headwear company specializing in sustainable hats and accessories made from salvaged and recycled materials. Salvaged = Saved. Yellow 108 represents authentic American heritage, quality & timeless aesthetic.
Tell me about Howl. Howl Adventure Guide is a visual record dedicated to inspiring adventure through people, places, things and ideas. Howl promotes and supports authentic creators and businesses that embody positive living. Howl believes adventure can start in your own backyard.
What’s it like working out of downtown long beach? In my opinion we have one of the most amazing buildings in the city to work out of, so it’s very creatively inspiring!
Do you also live in the LBC? I do, I live in Downtown Long beach.
Favorite thing to do on a day off? I’m totally solar powered so if the sun is out I will certainly try to be outside for as long as possible. I’m always looking for events to attend (music, community events, artisan events). Ride my motorcycle. Go for a hike with my dog. Farmers Market. In the summer I like to get in the water and paddle board. Staying active and connected to other people is very inspiring.
Worst meal ever? Funny I only remember the best meals ever! There is a lot of bad food out there and I’m particular so I’d say in the USA that list is long…
How did you get started? I guess I was born. =) I’ve always been really motivated creatively. I can’t live any other way. I’m certainly a doer. I think and do pretty quickly.
Any interesting walmart stories? I will not step foot in a walmart. period.
Tell me about how far your products have reached? US? Internationally? Currently we ship all over the world. Mostly USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Europe, and Australia.
What does salvaged mean? Salvaged = Saved. We work directly with textile mills to take their scrap and waste and re-purpose it into our line. Which creates a limited edition product and also assists factories in minimizing their waste and increasing their recycling.
Why salvaged? The fashion industry is the 3rd largest pollutive category environmentally. So you’ve gotta start somewhere...
Who/what inspires you? People and sunshine.
How did yellow 108 begin? We began designing products specifically for the Whole Foods Market clientele.
You have this amazing beautiful upstairs space you rent out. Tell me about that. Howl is a space for gathering, celebrating, and collaborating. It’s a recently renovated early 1900s building that hosts a wide range of community events from pop up retail events, live music, art exhibits, and weddings. The private outdoor courtyard in conjunction with a 2,500 sq ft indoor open floor plan that features exposed brick, hardwood floors, and original window frames create a uniquely visual space for any type of event.
Coffee or Tea? Yerba Mate actually =) so tea.
Best meal for under $10? Kale Salad or cold pressed juice.
Yellow 108 and Howl collaborate with lots of people, can you name a few? Currently Yellow 108 is collaborating with Eileen Fisher, Whole Foods Market, Banana Republic, Taylor Stitch, Huckberry to name a few. The howl collaboration list is very long! With our blog and publication that contributions are ever flowing and everyone involved is equally amazing.
What’s it like being the boss? I’m going to assume it’s a FULL time job. Tell me about it. I prefer to think of it as being a leader. Guiding instead of bossing. It’s more than a full time job, it’s my life. It’s challenging and fulfilling in the same thought. You have to be cut from a certain cloth to make it work.
What are your thoughts on lawn flamingos? Zero thoughts about that.
What did you go to school for? Does it having anything to do with what you do now? I went to school at the Academy of Art San Francisco for Photography. Yes, I’m all about that visual composition and definitely still take photographs daily.
Do you own any pets? Dog names Ginger. She is the sweetest.
Do you collect anything? Plants. I basically live in a greenhouse.
Any up and coming projects you can tell me about? We will be turning the Yellow 108 office into a retail store this summer and I’m very excited about that!
Thank you so much Lauren Lilly for taking a moment and showing me around your beautiful space in Downtown Long Beach. I had a blast snapping photos and getting to know you. I'm excited to visit the retail store that's opening so soon!
In the mean check out the links below to purchase some headwear and be sure and follow her instagram(s). Cheers and thanks for reading!
You know the drill:
all photographs and interview questions by joshua caine