Lauren Ashford, owner of Untaint. c/o Lauren Ashford.
Supported by an extensive career in fashion and retail, Lauren Ashford uses her SCAD-developed skills to reinvigorate wardrobes and declutter cramped closets. In this segment, the stylist discusses her experience in the fashion industry and her new venture to save closets.
The blogosphere is saturated with how-to sites serving information on a plethora of topics, but many are merely vying to dig in your pockets or worse, luring readers in only to provide sub-par tips that aren’t actually applicable to their lives. One stylist, Lauren Ashford of Untaint – a newly published blog that allocates effective closet organizational tools – is out to end the era of sparingly shared, yet much-needed fashion help. As her background proves, it’s an undying love for fashion that drives her business: “As long as I can remember, I have always had an interest in visual arts. I always considered myself as a trendsetter because I have always wanted to look good [and] had a thing for making others look good,” says the Atlanta native. Further proving my theory that high school fashion shows have a non-contested record of igniting the desire to pursue fashion, Ashford cites her school’s show as the event that sparked her eureka moment. Unlike a number fashion obsessed teens too afraid to follow through on their hunch (cues the parent fave “fashion isn’t a reliable career”), Lauren plunged into studying and mastering the field. She says, “After completing high school I enrolled in Clark Atlanta University where I studied Fashion Merchandising. Attending an institute within the AUC was like attending a fashion show each and every day. I would just sit on the promenade between classes watching students sporting their own personal trends, good and bad.”
Luckily (for destitute wardrobes everywhere), a Bachelor’s in Fashion Merchandising was just the beginning, as the stylist followed up with a Master’s in Luxury and Fashion Management from one of the most respected institutes for creative careers, Savannah College of Art and Design. “While there I gained an awesome insight on the fashion industry and I developed a strong liking for wardrobe styling. Being around all of my talented, creative peers encouraged me to take my talents to a different level.”
With her blog, don’t expect baseless bouts of “do this or you’ll die” posts. Instead, you get to soak up healthy fashion juices flavored with posts like “Limbo Land,” dedicated to the rules of shopping for transitional pieces; or the Bible verse on how to curate a “feel-good closet.” By now, the implication that there are psychological connections to how we dress is conventional wisdom, and Lauren’s approach restates that. She travels beyond how to achieve a functional closet by prying into the whys and graciously encourages clients to sport an unpolluted self image. Read on for more snippets from our chat.
Lauren’s career has prepped her for Untaint:
“Throughout my journey [in] the fashion retail industry I have worked for companies such as, Jcpenney, Sears, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nine West, Macys, and also Forever 21. Within these companies, I have held various positions such as: sales associate, visual merchandiser, pricing and merchandising lead, senior sales leader, and also sales manager in training. Working for these companies helped me to acquire solid experience and knowledge that I use towards my ventures into entrepreneurship.”
The inception and motivations behind her brand:
“Untaint came about while I was transitioning my own personal closet. I wanted my closet to exemplify the life of a minimalist. I got rid of so much junk that I no longer needed, or wanted. I hated my closet with a passion. Mentally I had outgrown my wardrobe identity but physically I was still trapped wearing clothing that I absolutely hated. I did not want to purchase a new wardrobe until I took charge of my health and lost some weight. But I procrastinated until I couldn’t take it anymore. I hated my style but my friends, coworkers, and associates, loved my style. I knew I had to make changes, and it had to be soon. Untaint was created to help assist with one of the most hated and most difficult home projects; closet organization. My mission is to assist my clients with improving their closets, while also improving their personal lives.”
Photos c/o Lauren Ashford