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Meet Lauren Walter of Creatures of Color in Palm Springs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Walter.

Lauren, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m a third-generation Angelino, raised in the sunny suburb of Brentwood. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to follow in my Grandpa’s (Papa’s) footsteps and work in the hotel industry. He used to take my cousins, sister, and me to his properties and introduce us to the entire staff. Many of those sweet memories are only preserved through old photos, but one vivid detail that will never fade is the way he made people feel.

While working as a community manager for the coworking office, Industrious Los Angeles, I realized hospitality is not limited just to the hotel space. It is integral to all businesses, regardless of size, tenure, or industry. I could see how taking care of people in the smallest way had a rippling, wave-like effect on the company. Celebrating work anniversaries, remembering favorite snacks, bringing tea to a sick teammate, could make the difference between a successful quarter and a struggling one. This got me excited about running my own business, with a focus on small but powerful human connections. In October, my husband and I moved from our home in Los Angeles to Palm Springs to start our dream project; a bed and breakfast.

Unfortunately, We had to put our project on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s a disappointing setback, but I know many business owners and their employees are struggling with more immediate and pressing needs like putting food on the table and paying bills. Even though I’m new to Palm Springs, I had my papa’s sentiments ingrained in my mind-I wanted to help. Tie-dying is a hobby of mine, so I turned a pastime that brings me joy into an e-commerce shop to raise money for Palm Springs businesses and their employees affected by the shutdown.

We might not have all the creature comforts we’re accustomed to right now, but I find joy in knowing my actions are helping others in the community; and of course I hope people can lounge in comfort and style with the satisfaction that their purchases help those in need. My husband and I still hope to open our bed and breakfast, but for now I’m happy creating and sharing Creatures of Color with all you, as a reminder to treat each other like family.

Has it been a smooth road?
This has been an interesting time to start something new, never mind that I never imagined myself working in retail and have no formal training or prior work history in e-commerce. I’ve always been a part of a team so working solo, without anyone to bounce ideas off of, has been a challenge. That said, this is a time to be creative and learn to be comfortable trying new things. Before my first Creatures of Color Instagram post, I waited hours before hitting the ”post” button. It was terrifying. However, incredible support and encouragement from my friends and family helped me realize I wasn’t in this alone, and any effort is the right effort. I started weekly “Motivation Monday” calls with a good friend. We set goals and hold each other accountable. My husband became my creative director and edits my photos. A talented student from UCLA fell in love with my mission, and despite an already overloaded school schedule agreed to help me build a website. Together we’ll be launching the new online home of Creatures of Color. I’m grateful not just for her assistance but for all the overwhelming help and support I’ve received along the way. It’s been a wonderful reminder that we’re stronger together, and we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Creatures of Color – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Creatures of Color is an online clothing store, with all proceeds going to my local Palm Springs hospitality community. All designs are one-of-a-kind, tie-dyed and handled with love. As I mentioned, tie-dying was a hobby I started after my move to Palm Springs and fell in love with the peace and tranquility of the process. I began gifting my creations to friends and family, and when I saw the joy these gifts brought, it reminded me of the simple pleasure of working in hospitality making people happy. Creatures of Color specializes in loungewear sets to help bring the bright creature comforts that people might be missing at this time in their lives. Our goal is to bring some light to people during this time whether it is through the color themselves, by people giving them to friends, or by being a part of a bigger community. Creatures of Color is a movement to bring people together when we’re physically apart.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
The desert sun is my favorite thing about living in Palm Springs! It dictates how I spend my days, flooding my room every morning to nudge me awake, and reminding me to be active and take advantage of the beautiful weather. It forces me to work hard because I know I only have a small window to be outside until I am humbled by its strength. At dusk, the sunset casts a majestic light on the San Jacinto Mountains, and the shift in light also reflects a break in my day’s work. During this magic hour, I’m able to slow down and soak in the view with gratitude.

Moving to the desert has been a very transformative process. Life moves slower outside the hustle and bustle of the big city, and I love taking the time to celebrate the ordinary and enjoy the things I rushed through while living in LA. The desert climate has taken some getting used to and there was a steep learning curve adapting to new routines of self-care and hydration. Among others, I’ve taken to using Moringa powder. Moringa plants are rich in antioxidants, a great source of vitamins, and allow the body to retain hydration. My husband even sneaks a scoop into our morning smoothies!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Lauren Walter, Camille Modesto, Andrew Conte, Scot Lawrie, Shelby Lea

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