Bantam Business | Daily Gems

Hi Lovely!
I haven’t done a Bantam Business post for a while but I’m going to  try to get back into them. If you have a small business and would like to be featured let me know!!
Alright, today’s post isn’t about that. Today I’m introducing you to the amazing creator behind Daily Gems, Laura! I first met Laura on Instagram. I immediately fell in love with her style and loved seeing all of her adorable posts. Laura and I started commenting back and forth and about a year ago and I made a little trip to Portland to meet her and test out Lolita. Laura is seriously an awesome person. Not only does she have killer style, as you’ll see from her photos, but she’s a super talented designer. I’m so thankful I can call her a friend and be able to share her work with you. So, without further ado, let’s meet Laura!
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m a UX Designer living in Portland, OR. I like to design pins and do a bit of fashion Instagramming/blogging in my spare time. I grew up in Michigan and moved out to Portland in 2008 after graduating with a BFA at the University of Michigan.
Q: I know you wear lolita. When did you first start and how has your style changed over the years?
I first started wearing lolita in 2008, officially. I wanted to get into it sooner but it was difficult to buy back then and also I was a poor college student. My first pieces were from Bodyline and mostly sweet. I used to make more of my clothing when I first got into it because I had more time and less money. I most wear Angelic Pretty now and I think my style has changed in the sense that I’m better at figuring out what’s flattering on me. I also put more of an emphasis on buying pieces that are more versatile rather than impulse buys. I try to incorporate my lolita pieces into my daily wardrobe more often.
Q: Does your lolita style influence your small business? If so, how?
A: Yes, definitely. I got started making pins because I wanted to make lolita inspired pins. My first one was a kawaii illuminati all-seeing-eye and my friend Katie came up with the term “Frilluminati”. Lolita fashion has evolved into a unique culture in America and other English speaking countries and it’s fun to poke fun at ourselves.
Q: What is your favorite part of owning your own business?
A: My favorite part is that it’s an outlet to do design just for myself and actually have a finished tangible product in the end. I design interfaces all day work and so I don’t often get a chance to work on things that will live outside of a computer screen.
Q: When not wearing cute clothes or making adorable items for your Etsy shop, how do you spend your free time?
A: In the past year I’ve gotten really into yoga. I like to take “me time” and go to class at least 3-5x a week. I also love watching anime and TV shows in general.
Q: What is your favorite anime?
A: This is a really hard question! I’ve been watching anime since I was 9 years old and I have so many favorites. Currently I’m obsessed with Steins;Gate. I really love the time travel and conspiracy theory parts of the plot. I actually binge watched it all over a weekend last fall when I was home sick. Recently I got sucked back in when I started playing the visual novel and discovered parts of the plot are based on real events!
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: I find inspiration in artwork, fashion, tv shows/movies, music, anime, Instagram, and so many other places. I’ve tried to make my apartment a shrine to the things I love and things that inspire me. One of my favorite pieces is the “Feels good to get some stuff done” print (by my friend Mary Kate McDevitt) hanging on my wall. I’ve hung it up in every workspace I’ve had since I bought it!
Q:  What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
A: Another one of my hobbies is video editing and I really enjoy making anime music videos. My resolution last year was to win an AMV contest and I ended up winning my first one (which was a live editing contest) in October at Kumoricon!
Q: What is your favorite dessert?
I thought about this question for way too long. I really like desserts! I go out of my way to order vegan macarons from a bakery in NYC when I want to treat myself. Portland also has some bakeries that make incredible cupcakes. But if I’m being real and basing it on what I eat most often, it’s probably raw cookie dough!
 Isn’t Laura just amazing?! Be sure to check out her Etsy shop and follower her on all of her social sites!

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