Hi ladies, it’s Anna from Fash Boulevard again, with another edition of our Ladies Who Laptop interview series. This month’s lady made major headlines around the world in 2011: When Lauren Scruggs accidentally walked into a spinning propeller while exiting a small plane after Christmas-light-gazing with a family friend, her life was instantly changed forever. The accident resulted in the loss of her left eye and hand. In 2013, the former Texan-turned-Cali-girl published her first book, Still LoLo: A Spinning Propeller, a Horrific Accident, a Family’s Journey of Hope, where she chronicled the events of that tragic evening, her days on the set of CW’s Gossip Girl, adapting to life with a Prosthetic eye and arm and all of the inspiring details about her remarkable recovery.
Since then, Lauren has continued to make headlines… From her successful online publication, LoLo Magazine, to her too-sweet-to-handle proposal and wedding to E! News co-host, Jason Kennedy, to the recent release of her second book, “Your Beautiful Heart.” I recently caught up with Lauren to find out how she’s coping with her life-changing injuries, her growing digital footprint, her budding fashion career and everything in between. Here’s what this month’s lady had to say…
What inspired you to pursue a career in fashion?
Art was my go-to stress reliever ever since I was little, and as I started getting older, I became incredibly inspired by editorial photos (even before Instagram!). This all was a pre-starter for my passion, but the real push to start a career in fashion happened when I was at the most conservative, un-artsy university. I was miserable, and gained a clear picture of what made me thrive: creativity. Shortly after, I landed two internships that only expanded my love for style. I was plopped in the middle of the captivating Gossip Girl costume closet, and just previously I was organizing style sheets with Michael Kors’ mom and dressing models during Market Week in the Michael Kors Showroom in NYC. These opportunities led to another dream for me: Reporting for New York, Paris, and Montreal Fashion Weeks. I was bursting with inspiration while challenged to the core, and I felt like I truly found my voice in writing. I finally summed up my loves from all of these experiences (people, business, and creativity) and started LOLO Magazine.
Let’s talk about your digital footprint: Tell us a little about LOLOMag.
I started this online lifestyle hub in September of 2011, about two months before my accident. At that time, there were very few blogging sites on the map, so the response was outrageous. I put my heart and soul into the creation of the site, which led to so much personal growth! I was in this business that relied on trial and error, and the challenge of that was exhilarating! My initial vision was for LOLOMag was for to become a quality print magazine after it grew in viewership, but my accident put this path on hold. It has been fascinating to bring it back to life these last eight months in a new “era” of the blogging business. I hired the loveliest girl to help me run the magazine, and it has been fun to re-evaluate and generate fun changes to make the site interesting, personal, and true to who we are.
While in New York, you suffered from unexplainable internal bleeding, which forced you to return home to Dallas. Soon afterwards, your life was changed forever. What do you remember from the night of your accident?
I remember going to church with my mom (my dad stayed home sick) and some good family friends. We went to a big dinner at our friend’s house who had an airplane hanger in their back yard. I was the first to take up the offer to go on a Christmas light tour in the air, and I remember feeling so frightened during the entire plane ride, which was very rare for my adventurous spirit. We landed, and I remember starting to get out of the plane. I do not recall anything until I was consciously awake and aware two weeks later.
Recovering from the accident took away a lot of your freedom, and regaining your independence in your post-accident life was very important to you. What has been your biggest hurdle?
So true! My biggest hurdle is the struggle of bone-tiredness and extreme exhaustion. Although my brain has no lasting damage from the strike, it takes about five years to fully mend itself, and in return, my energy depletes quite quickly! It has been difficult moving to a new city, attempting to balance my work, decorating a home, being a good wife, traveling, and making new friends with this healing side effect. I am an outgoing introvert, so that has been an everyday battle that I aim to find freedom in rather than be ashamed of it.
What is your mission with LOLO Mag and where do you hope to see it in five years?
My main mission is to stay true to who I am. I always want the site to reflect what I am passion about, whether it’s a brand or a book, an experience or a recipe. I would love to slowly hire a team to grow each section of the site while staying fully involved. And if I am dreaming big… It would be amazing for LOLOMag to one day become a print magazine, but first, I want to cultivate the online existence.
Lets talk about love: After your accident, you were worried you might not ever find that special someone. Can you share with us how you met your husband, E! News co-host, Jason Kennedy?
I came to LA to do an accident-related interview with Giuliana Rancic, who I had the joy of getting to know that year. She suggested I come to set to meet Jason. G was the matchmaker, and we owe her major!
What is the best part of your day? What is the most challenging part?
It sounds so cheesy, but the best part of my day is two fold: I love waking up and falling asleep with my husband. Our mornings and nights are always full of laughter, and he brings so much peace info my life. The current challenges are moments of homesickness and just missing my family and close girlfriends. It’s hard when you start fresh somewhere in your late 20’s. It’s definitely possible to form new deep friendships, but the unfamiliar people around me missed the most formative years of my life, so it takes a lot of intentional effort.
Can you tell us a little bit about the Lauren Scruggs Kennedy Foundation?
I just started the Lauren Scruggs Kennedy Foundation and could not be more excited about it. It provides beautiful prostheses for women, as insurance almost always defines them as a luxury and refuses to provide coverage. The wholeness and healing a prosthesis brings is truly life changing, so I can’t wait to see how this will brighten lives and bring a new sense of restoration.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs who want to pursue a career in the digital landscape?
Develop a clear vision. Do plenty of research. Ask a lot of questions. Make your site pretty and easily accessible. Have confidence in your work. Quality and consistency are so important. Oh, and make sure you enjoy the whole process!
Who would you like to see me interview for my next Ladies Who Laptop?