When is it time to quit your day job? Lauren James shares all on how she started her own creative business in the all-new Sophisticated Professional Podcast. In less than five years, she went from taking a couple orders from friends to owning a micro retail storefront. Nothing stopped Lauren from achieving her dream. She faced ups and downs, but ultimately pushed on to create a successful company. Click below to hear the full podcast:

Who is Lauren James?

Lauren James attended Clemson University in South Carolina and studied three different majors during her time there. After college, she started working in small business and non-profit and international manufacturing. She loved working in this area and learned many valuable lessons during her time. From a young age, Lauren has loved art and design and was always working on little projects on the side of her day job. In the interview, Lauren speaks about her past five years as she began to establish her own business.  

Creating The Olive Shoe

Lauren got the idea for the Olive Shoe from a precious heirloom passed down to her from her grandmother. It was a green plate shaped like a shoe. Lauren, a lover of shoes, took this unique piece and built a brand. 

So, how did she go from just a concept to actually starting her business?

She tells us she started with doing design work for free- all they had to pay for was the printing! Lauren shares that his helped her to build her network. She began to receive more and more orders from customers who would return year after year. 

When did she know it was time to quit her full-time job with great benefits to work for herself?

“We were there! I couldn’t believe it!”

Lauren says that her husband, who works in finance, helped her with tracking the progress of The Olive Shoe. One day, she says, “We were there! I could’t believe it!”

“The best small business loan is a full time job.”

She poured nearly every penny of her spending money into funding the business, which is a reason Lauren states that she now runs a debt-free small business. How inspiring is that! She left us with some advice that fueled her journey: “The best small business loan is a full time job.”

This interview gave us a peek into the life of a business owner. She gave a lot of advice that can inspire and encourage those dreaming of starting their own business. She not only spoke on the positives of her journey, but revealed the realities. This is something we can all learn from. Turning your dream into a reality is not always as simple as it looks from the outside. However, Lauren got emotional when stating “when people receive my work and it brings a smile to their face, I know it is all worth it.” 

Connect with The Olive Shoe!

Connect with The Olive Shoe online by checking out her online shop! You can find some great holiday, wedding, and birthday ideas on The Olive Shoe Blog! Find Lauren on Instagram (@theoliveshoe) and Facebook (The Olive Shoe Paperie and Goods). Be sure to swing by her microretail space on Main Street in Anderson, SC. If you’re lucky, you might even find her at a trade show along the east coast!

Leave us a comment and tell us how YOU quit your day job to pursue self-employment!