HOMETOWN HEROES: FOUNDER OF FEMINIST GOODS CO., LAUREN HARBURY
Working a full-time job, running a full-on business and keeping yourself fulfilled? It’s a lot to juggle. Enter Charlotte-based Hometown Hero Lauren Harbury, who manages to do it all and do it well. We love her inspiring, inclusive clothes and accessories, so we had to chat with the woman behind them. Learn about Lauren’s take on maintaining a work-life balance, the origin story of Feminist Goods Co., her must-follow Instagram accounts, plus more.
Hi Lauren! First things first, tell us a bit about yourself.
Hey there! I’m a native of Charlotte, NC, and have also lived in Boston, New York, Portland (Oregon) and Edinburgh, Scotland. I have two wonderful rescue dogs named Snugs and Fig. Storytelling and design are my obsessions. I also love learning how to do new things (yes, I did buy roller skates during quarantine). [Editor’s note: We’re very into this idea.]
We know you have a ton going on—how do you stay productive while still finding a healthy balance?
What is balance? We don’t know her. Somewhat kidding. I would be lying if I said that I had it figured out, but I think the best I can do is to be intentional with my time. Your girl loves a to-do list and a physical planner—I like to be able to see what I need to do and then check it off. I’ve accepted that I cannot do everything in a day, a week or even a year and that is perfectly okay. I’m working on asking for help when I need it too.
I also try to build in time outside of a business and a job (I work full-time in addition to running FGC). I share some tips on how to do this here and there on Instagram, but my best advice for how to be a human is to get outside. I take my dogs on a long walk down the greenway in Charlotte every day it isn’t raining. I’m lucky to have a covered front porch, so even when it rains, I’ll take a book outside and read.
Speaking of, how did Feminist Goods Co. begin?
I have always wanted to create connections and safe spaces for womxn. I am always looking to build people up and make them feel loved, valued, wanted and heard.
This has taken a few creative forms over the years, starting with writing for publications and launching my own, which led to the birth of FGC. I love writing and found that I spent the most time writing about the same themes: belonging, using your voice to change things, creating a fulfilling life, recovering from trauma, finding your people and learning how to build together. I realized I wanted to make things that also had to do with those themes.
That was almost four years ago and here we are, still learning and doing.
What inspires you these days? Anything you’ve been reading/watching/following/listening to for a little creative push?
I am surrounded by wonderful, creative human beings, which is a massive source of inspiration.
I also consume lots of media that I find inspiring–I love the Boob Sweat podcast from Katie Sturino. How amazing is the combination of real world and surreal on Lovecraft Country? I will read anything by Roxane Gay, Cheryl Strayed and Chelsea Cain until the covers fall off. Carrie Brownstein on Portlandia slays me no matter how many times I watch it. I love following Nicolette Mason, Jessica Torres and Alex Michael May on Instagram for pretending I live in different cities.
I have an aunt who has worked in civil and human rights since before I was born and I consider her the kind of person I want to be. When the world feels its darkest I look to people like AOC, Michelle Obama, Erika Andiola and Sarah McBride.
Thanks so much, Lauren. Shop her feminist-friendly wares plus more from other Hometown Heroes here.