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Community Highlights: Meet Lauryn Hill of Curated Splash

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauryn Hill.

Hi Lauryn, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’m a Career Coach for Creatives. I help burnt out creatives align with their purpose and make money doing work they love.

I’ve always enjoyed helping people and creating art, so naturally my first business as a child was a greeting card company called “Hillmark”. I didn’t make much money, but it was my earliest taste of entrepreneurship and I loved it!

I went on to pursue a BFA in Illustration from California College of the Arts and graduated in 2009 when the economy was in a recession. I moved back to my parent’s house in Napa and put together a career manifestation journal which was my first foray into career coaching – I was my only and best client at the time.

With zero sales experience, I ended up landing a job as a Fine Art Consultant at a well-established gallery in the Napa Valley. The gallery owner at the time Ira Wolk was in a coma from a horrible bicycle accident and they needed some extra help. I worked for free as an intern, and after he passed away a few days later, they hired me full-time. The gallery was then sold to a new owner who changed the name to Aerena Galleries and opened a few more locations. I went on to sell $4 million dollars worth of art (paintings, sculpture, photography, and antique furniture) during the six years I worked there and was the top salesperson each year. Every once in a while, I think about the previous owner who died, and I feel honored that I was able to keep his tradition alive after his passing.

In 2013, I found myself in the throws of alcohol and drug addiction (even while being at the top of my sales game at work) so in January of 2014, I decided to join Alcoholics Anonymous and get sober. That was a major turning point for me and catapulted me into a new life and love of self-development work.

In 2015 I set out with a dream to move to Los Angeles and was hired as the West Coast Wholesale Rep for the international art book publisher TASCHEN. I had no wholesale experience but convinced them that I knew what I was doing and would be a star… and I was! I sold $13 million in books and fine art prints during my six years there and was the top sales rep for many of those years.

While I was at TASCHEN, I went back to school and got certified as a Holistic Health Coach and Energy Healer. I did Life Coaching on the side for two years and then in 2021, I refined my niche to Career Coaching for Creatives. In June of last year, I took the leap to go all in with my coaching business and leave my corporate job. It’s been the most rewarding career I’ve had yet and I feel so grateful to get to work with such amazing and talented clients.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I mentioned my struggles with drug and alcohol addiction – that was definitely one of the most difficult challenges I faced along the way. I would give myself rules like I would only drink this amount on this day or only this kind of beer and no hard alcohol, but I was never able to stick to my word and I couldn’t figure out why everyone else seemed like they had so much more self-control then me.

Through the experience of getting sober, I discovered a life-changing realization: when you stop making excuses, take 100% responsibility for your life, and humbly reach out for help, life becomes much easier. This is the same philosophy that I teach in my coaching business – it’s very much an empowered way of living life.

And I found this to be true when I was being interviewed for the sales rep position at TASCHEN. For about three months while I was still living in Napa, I was reaching out to some of my favorite and notable galleries in LA to set up meetings to pitch myself and create a job that was not yet available. Nothing was lining up, even after the multiple trips to LA to meet some of these potential galleries and I was feeling very discouraged.

Then one afternoon while working in the gallery in Napa, the sales director of Taschen walked in and introduced herself and gave me her card. She said she was there to meet with our book buyer and she was filling in for the West Coast Rep because they did not have one at the time. I decided to email her my resume the next day.

The incredible thing was that I had randomly met the owner Benedict Taschen a few months prior when he came to visit the gallery. I was introduced to him as the top salesperson of their famous Annie Leibovitz SUMO and a few weeks later, he sent me a book with a handwritten note thanking me for my hard work. That was before I even considered moving to LA.

The sales director got back to me right away and we scheduled multiple interviews. It was down to me and two others and I felt confident I’d be receiving an offer letter soon. Instead, I received an email letting me know that it was a very hard decision, but they decided to go with someone else who had wholesale experience. I was devastated! I thought how could this happen?? How could it get this far and not work out?? I thought maybe I wasn’t meant for LA and that I should just give up on my dream to move there.

I didn’t know how to respond, and because I was so upset I decided to talk to one of my current bosses at the time who was a mentor to me. She did not want to lose me at the gallery but knew a career change and a move to LA was truly what I desired. That evening we were having our quarterly work event and we snuck away to write a response to TASCHEN in her little Mazda Miata. I am forever grateful for her guidance on that letter back to TASCHEN which stated that I was appreciative of the consideration and if anything changed, I’d be happy to discuss the option of working for them again.

Two days later, I received another email from TASCHEN stating that the person they had decided on fell through and that they would like to fly me to LA to interview one more time in person. The rest is history – I was offered the job and moved to LA a month later. If it wasn’t for me asking for help with that response, I sometimes wonder where I would be today!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I’m a Career Coach for Creatives.

I coach 1:1 with creatives who feel stuck and need help on a new business or want to make a career move and are seeking more clarity, confidence and direction to make money doing work that lights them up inside.

I also host creative and meditative workshops and have a IG Live every Thursday at noon where I interview friends, colleagues, and icons about their creative careers.

Because of my background in the Fine Art and Publishing Industries, I have experience and knowledge of the art world that many general career/life coaches don’t have. I speak the same language as artists and I understand firsthand what it feels like to want to perfect your craft and not feel ready or confident to share it with the world.

I was a very shy young girl that never felt like I fit in. I learned how to become a confident, well connected, (almost) extroverted business owner, and I have so much knowledge and insight to share. I’m also a great listener and I have a gift for asking deep questions to get to the root of issues and help bust through mental blocks.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
What I mentioned before: when you stop making excuses, take 100% responsibility for your life and humbly reach out for help, life becomes much easier.

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Image Credits
PixPlum Creative

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