We had the good fortune of connecting with Lulu LaFortune and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lulu, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Launching my own brand has been a thought that has danced around my head for many years, at least since high school. It has always been something that I knew I was going to do it was just a matter of when. After college I seriously considered going right into my own work, but if I was being honest with myself I didn’t know the first thing about starting or running a furniture business. School teaches you to find your creative voice and how to execute your idea but you don’t learn to negotiate prices on materials or cut a PO.  So with the advise from my mother, who always knows best, I decided to go ahead and get a job in the industry. Two years of understanding the business was crucial to be able to launch a business solo. Learning to go to factories and discuss the details of a design with craftsmen and learning to design for a specific target market are just a couple important skills I picked up. While it can be hard to work for someone when all you want to do is launch your own brand I am very grateful that I did and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.

While I continued to work in the industry I began to see design styles pop into magazines that I thought were long gone. I began to see the trends of wanting more color, floral sofas, big curtains and colored carpets. Mid century furniture and white walls were leaving the pages and something grand was coming into play. This exciting new style was really speaking to me and every time a magazine published photos of this new, emerging style I felt like I was missing my moment. Because fringe, pattern, color, colored glass is my design language. So, to make a long story short.. when covid-19 hit the United States I was immediately furloughed from my job. So on March 23rd I had a huge decision to make and I decided to just say “Go”. I put all my designs into construction documents, reached out to craftsmen who were anxious to keep projects coming in their doors and I had my collection made and sitting in front of me by August 23rd. It was a lot of work and I tried not to think about the fact that I was spending my savings during the most uncertain time of my life but this was my decision and the only way is forward. Now design magazines discuss Grandmillennial Style, Maximalism, and the importance of Craftsmanship and everyday I am glad I decided to start my own business in a time where my brand might catch some attention. So I guess to answer the question, my thought process ended up being “It is now or never.”

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I specialize in bringing hand crafted techniques into modern 21st century furniture design. I believe that craftsmanship within home decor should be heavily considered as it is integral to the longevity and timelessness of any design. My brand, Lulu LaFortune Limited is dedicated to designing your next heirloom. Starting with craftsmanship, each piece is a balance of unique materials, impeccable fabrication, and bold design. All furniture is designed with the classics in mind and infused with youthful energy, a juxtaposition that allows the pieces to stand out today while also standing the test of time. All products are made in the United States of America. With this in mind I am most proud that I was able to take all these elements of design that I believe in and unite them with my unique personal style. I know my furniture is not for everyone but I hope it brings people joy when they see it.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When a family or friend comes to visit LA I think it is best to spend each day in one area of town. So let’s say we start West and move East. I would recommend visiting the Hotel Proper in Santa Monica. I was fortunate enough to work at Kelly Wearstler while this hotel was being designed and installed so I would love to show my friends some of the pieces of furniture I designed there and tell them about all the amazing artists that worked on custom pieces for the space. I would spend some time checking out the beaches on the drive up to Malibu. While on the Westside I would take a trip to the Getty Villa or to the Getty to review their amazing 18th century french collections. As we move east, I would visit Chateau Marmont for some coffee or gelato. Later into the trip I would focus more on downtown and go to The Nomad  cocktails. I love the beautifully designed lobby or the great rooftop view! While downtown, I would also take them to the flower market and then spend the afternoon looking at inspiration photos and putting together insane bouquets for the house. Finally, I would spend some time in Highland park visiting the Owl Bureau looking at their incredible selection of design books.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to thank my amazing family, they are nothing but supportive and I couldn’t have done this with out their love and encouragement. I am also so grateful to have Cameron Ross in my life, he always reminds me that I can do what ever I set my mind to. <3

Website: www.lululafortune.com
Instagram: lulu.lafortune
Linkedin: Lulu Lafortune

Image Credits

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