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A Conversation with Lauren Hooker

I am super thrilled to be launching a new blog series interviewing some women that have been inspiring to me in different aspects of life. I was interviewed by Lauren over on her amazing blog Elle and Co. a few months ago, so it is so fun that she is going to be the first interview in the new Conversations series. I am not sure how I stumbled upon Lauren on instagram, but her feed is one of my favorites. She blogs a lot for bloggers and entrepreneurs, and I always look forward to reading her daily posts. She is a talented graphic designer, blogger, and woman of faith. I hope you enjoy getting to know her!

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I truly don’t remember a time where I wasn’t finding joy in creating and organizing. I was the little girl who could stay occupied for hours with a box of crayons and blank copy paper and practiced my handwriting often. I never grew out of it, and I followed my passion all the way to a graphic design degree and now my very own design business, Elle & Company. I spend my days creating brands and websites for creative entrepreneurs, and I blog each weekday about design, blogging, and entrepreneurship. I love what I do and I’m blessed to call one of my greatest loves my day job. When I’m not coming up with something for Elle & Company, you can usually find me exploring Charlotte with my husband, hanging out at the coffee shop, or snuggling up on the couch to watch one of our favorite shows.
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2. What does a typical day look like for you?
Each morning, without fail, I wake up to our Heidi cat laying on my chest and purring loudly in my face. Once she’s fed and the bed is made, Jake makes coffee and we spend some time in the Word and in prayer together. Our simple morning routine is my favorite part of the day; it always gets our schedules off on the right start. Once Jake leaves for class or work at the seminary, I get to work answering emails, blogging, meeting clients at the coffee shop or on Skype, and getting lost for hours in design projects. No two days are the same, and it’s one of the things I enjoy most about my job; the variety is good for my creativity and productivity! Once Jake gets home in the evening we make dinner together, head out the door for church or hanging out with friends, and then watch a rerun or two of The Office or Parks and Rec before bed.
3. What helps you stay organized?
My planner, countless to-do lists, Google Drive, and a type-A, perfectionist personality that just can’t feel at ease until everything is in it’s proper place! I probably take it to an extreme in some cases (like my color-coordinated closet) but I’ve found that creating a system for things is key. I work much better when things are in order.
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4. You blog a lot for bloggers, what is your biggest blogging advice?
Content. When I first started blogging, it was a way for me to journal about my season of life (graduating from college, starting a 9 to 5 job, and getting married). I began adding in my design work when I started my business, but my blogging style never changed; I still focused mainly on my life, my goals, my projects, etc. Not only did I have trouble gaining new blog followers, but my readership started to decrease because there wasn’t anything in it for my audience – it was all centered mostly on me. It wasn’t until I started providing helpful content for my readers that my blog began to gain more of a footing. I’ve since learned that high quality content is key to blogging success. My husband, Jake, recently guest posted on my blog about this very topic and the post is full of great insight on content!
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5. You have designed a planner, how do you use it to stay organized? Any tips for balancing life?
Because I love having a system for staying organized, I’ve always taken great joy in finding a great planner. But it seemed like I could never find one that fit my needs to a T, so I designed one! My Ellebook Planner has plenty of white space, to-lists, and sections for me to organize all of the parts of my day, week, and month. I also designed worksheets so the planner could be customized, and I make great use out of my day planner, menu planner, client detail sheets, and blog calendar. I’ve found that keeping everything all in one place has helped me stay organized and helps my productivity.
As far as tips for balance, I still struggle in that area. I’m a yes-girl and a people pleaser, and I tend to take on too many things at once. I’ve learned that I can’t do anything well when I’m trying to do everything; one of the keys to balancing is saying “no.” I’m still working on that one!
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6. What is the biggest thing God has been teaching you this year?
God has really been impressing His trustworthiness and faithfulness on my heart during this season. I’m reading the bookTrusting God by Jerry Bridges with another women in my church, and I’ve been reminded of God’s will and purpose: His glory and our good. I’m amazed and comforted to know that He never sacrifices one for the other. Learning more about God’s sovereignty, love, and wisdom in Scripture has made it easier to trust Him, even when my circumstances aren’t what I had planned.
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7. What are your must have products?
I’m an Apple fan through and through, and I would be lost without my MacBook for design work. I also love Staedtler pens, peppermint Chapstick, Herbal Essences shampoo, large Yankee candles, and I’m a sucker for Martha Stewart office supplies.
Follow along with Lauren
Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter
 Photos by Andrea Pesce Photography and Jessica Mae Photography.
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I’m honored to be your first feature in this series! Thanks so much for having me, Kristin. I can’t wait to keep up with your Conversation posts!

This was a great post! I love following along with both of your blogs. Can’t wait to read more Conversation posts. It will be good.
– Katie Fleming
Cotton Belt Press

Elda Ortiz

Awesome interview…this has inspired me to get organized at home! Will start with my closet. GOD give me the strength!

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