#SPREADTHEGIRLPOWER celebrates the creative females I have discovered through instagram, with a focus on those who have recently set up small businesses or passion projects.I've gained so many amazing contacts through instagram and been given some fantastic opportunities, so I'm doing my bit to help others gain new contacts and find out about creatives they might not have come across yet.
This month I chatted to Laura of OUT LOUD Studio, a lifestyle brand focused on female powered merchandise, promoting self-love and celebrating sisterhood. Laura describes herself as a "working in her PJs kind of woman", she's a girl after our own hearts right?
I got chatting to Laura all about her nomadic childhood, what prompted her to set up OUT LOUD Studio and of course Girl Power!
How and when did OUT LOUD start? Was there a particular moment in your life that made you take the plunge and create it or was it just something that was always on the cards?
I initially started this brand because I was missing a piece in my daily routine; I needed to fill a personal gap. I've always been very active aside of my daytime job and in the summer of 2016, after getting married, I felt that in my professional life I was missing a goal. I've followed small businesses that inspired me for ages and was already writing blog posts on the topics so I took the plunge to start something for myself.
We went to Portugal on our honeymoon, the country I grew up in, and we road-tripped for weeks. I experienced a feeling I had not known until then, but all my surroundings were inspiring me to start OUT LOUD. Every day I was writing ideas down on paper and I couldn't sleep cause I was juggling in my mind how exactly I should get it started. It was very exciting!
I loved reading the OUT LOUD Studio zine - what made you want to create something in print alongside your blog and can we expect more any time soon?
Aw thanks! Well the step to launch a zine was a very natural decision to make. I absolutely love buying books, coffee table books, zines, magazines; pretty much anything in print. I find columns and articles easier to read in print than online, but that might be just me! I wanted to translate OUT LOUD's online platform into a physical booklet that people could grab, read and keep as decoration on their own coffee tables.
And YES, you can expect more! I have just begun recruiting writers, illustrators, designers and photographers for our next issue.
Issue one included themes of body confidence, self acceptance and self love - do you have any tips or words of wisdom on how to feel happy in your own skin for those of us who are less confident?
I think me starting the whole discussion surrounding self-love, body acceptance and such topics on OUT LOUD's platform was a big part because I myself am on this journey. I have struggled with my body and had confidence issues, but this is something I'm really learning to switch into something positive. I feel great in my own skin at the moment and we all have our own demons, me included, but I actually love how I look and that gives me such a sense of rest.
I'm not afraid to say positive things about myself out loud; it's such a taboo for women to speak well about themselves cause they will be seen as arrogant, but I don't believe that confidence is linked to arrogance. That took me a while to realise though. I guess my words of wisdom is try not to compare yourself to others; embrace what you have and how you look and accept that people are different and every difference is perfectly perfect and imperfect at the same time.
I love reading your interviews with other creative women - how do you decide who to chat to for the blog/zine and do you have any more interviews lined up?
I basically reach out to people or businesses that inspire me. When I was just beginning and I didn't even have a website, I sent an Instagram message to a singer of one of my favourite Dutch bands; she is a badass performer, artist and a single mother. I explained to her what I was wanting to talk about and she agreed to meet with me for an interview. It was amazing!
I've learned that you can ask anybody, because so many people are wanting to cooperate and collaborate; even though it might feel too highly aimed. I have got some ideas for the next zine regarding interviews - a female tattoo artists and two entrepreneurs. Super stoked on setting up these interviews!
You've lived in a lot of vastly different places in your life - can you tell us a little bit more about the places you've lived and how you think they have affected you? Where do you consider to be "home"?
Well this is a question I have struggled with for a long time. I didn't have a sense of 'home' until recently; we would call ourselves citizens of the world as a joke when people would ask us where we actually came from. I'm the youngest of four kids and we all were born in different countries; my dad works in fashion and he is amazing at what he does so he got a lot of work opportunities abroad.
I was born in Italy and lived there until I was three, then we moved to America where I lived for three years, then we lived in Portugal for ten years. My heart literally broke when we had to move to Holland, the country where both my parents originally come from. I was a teenager and not ready to start a new life all over again. I travelled quite extensively for long periods of time to Asia and got a little settled working in Thailand for a while, but decided to go back to Holland. At that point I met my husband and we built our lives together.
Although travelling is a must for me, ever since I met my husband he is my home. I finally let my guard down and embraced the whole Dutch lifestyle and I honestly don't think I will be ever (never say never though right?) move countries again. The fact that I moved a lot gave me empathy and understanding for different cultures and lifestyles. It also enabled me to adapt to everything and everyone; but that made it difficult for myself to understand who the true me was.
You've collaborated with a number of creative women on your t-shirts and pins - how do you decide who you'd like to work with on these?
It started out with me working with designers and illustrators I knew - so I was using my network. That worked really well for me as I knew a lot of creative people who could help me out setting up. After that my network was getting bigger and bigger and I would also be getting a lot of offers to collaborate so I needed to start filtering what exactly I wanted. I just go with my gut and see if I have a click on a creative level with the designer. Now I actually have someone working as an illustrator for me!
What badass women should be all be following on instagram right now?
I LOVE following Sapphire from both @thecovengirlgang and @theflowerarranger; she is young, sassy, pure and honest! @sophierosebrampton; @musicatapirata; @potyertitsawayluv; @littlebirddoula; OH GOD there are too many!
What does 'Girl Power' mean to you?
For me Girl Power means empowering each other and yourself. Embracing the differences, working together, collaborating, loving each other, promoting each other and standing strong together. As a team we can aim higher and be more successful! And not to forget that this life is to be lived and that we need fun in our lives. Love, fun and understanding!
Thanks to Laura for taking the time to chat to me. Check out her instagram to keep up with what she's up to and visit her website to find her interviews with some super inspiring women and buy empowering merch!