Meet Lauren + Randi, the hard-working, gutsy founders behind Every Ella! Every Ella is a lifestyle brand for girls with a mission to empower and unite through fashion and community. With an overwhelmingly positive message, not only does Every Ella spread confidence and love, but proceeds from each purchase are donated to charities around the world devoted to women and children.
This is a brand with a mission that we at BYOM can really get behind. Lauren and Randi are both hustlers — despite working full-time jobs to pay the bills, they’ve channelled all of their good intentions, positive energy, and resources into creating a place for girls to celebrate not only themselves, but each other. By emphasizing the powerful potential of all girls, Every Ella is a true testament to the positive, tangible change that girl power is capable of — from providing university scholarships to girls in Rwanda to facilitating healthy communication on American college campuses. Now let’s get started!
The Basics: Lauren
- Location: Los Angeles, CA
- Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of South Florida + Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Westminster in London
- Field of Interest: Entrepreneurship, girl power, writing, fashion, filmmaking and acting… I like a lot of things 🙂
- What Is Your Favorite Thing About Yourself? My passion. There are so many things I care about, people I want to meet, experiences I’d like to have, causes I feel strongly about. As a kid, I hated going to sleep and would have major temper tantrums at bedtime; I didn’t want to miss anything! In a way, I’m still like that as an adult, except no more temper tantrums at bedtime.
- What Inspired You Today? Running Every Ella each day inspires me. Seeing that you are making a positive impact in a girl’s life is the best feeling. Whether she has confidence issues or is being bullied at school or battling cancer, spreading the message of love, empowerment and sisterhood really does make a difference.
- What Are You Currently Reading + Listening To? I’m reading The Year of Yes by Shonda Rimes right now. As for music, I’m constantly changing it up, but I’ve been listening (crying) to the new Adele lately.
- Are You Working On Anything You’re Really Excited About? Oh yeah! I am excited about our new products coming soon, our ambassador program, new charity partnerships and hopefully a great year of GIVEBACK AND GROWTH!
The Basics: Randi
- Location: Los Angeles, CA
- Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Communication + Media Arts from Western Connecticut State University
- Field of Interest: I went to school for acting, which I am still pursuing, and of course, Every Ella!
- What Is Your Favorite Thing About Yourself? I’d have to say my “gutsiness.” Basically, I’m willing to try anything and do anything. I guess you could say that I am outgoing and bold.
- What Inspired You Today? Honestly, my work. When you’re working on a passion project with the knowledge that you’re changing lives, it doesn’t feel like work at all. It inspires you to keep going and to keep working.
- What Are You Currently Reading + Listening To? I’m currently reading the seventh Harry Potter book. I know… I’m a little behind on the times, but I owe it to a friend. And I’m listening to the new Justin Bieber album. Don’t judge. It’s really good. 🙂
- Are You Working On Anything That You’re Really Excited About? Yes! With Every Ella, we constantly have so many exciting projects we’re working on. Right now, we are focusing on our ambassador program, which has been amazing talking to all of these girls who are so excited about the brand and helping spread our message!
Questions + Answers
Every Ella acts as a platform for girls centered around love, support and all-around female badassness. What would having a community like this have meant to you as young girls?
Oh gosh, it would’ve meant so much. Being a young girl can be tough. We are constantly dealing with the pressure to be perfect, the idea that our body is more valued than our mind, preconceived gender notions, competition and comparisons with other girls and so much more. It’s easy to feel alone and full of insecurity and doubt.
As a kid, Lauren dreamed of being a football coach (don’t laugh) and became discouraged when she realized there weren’t ANY female coaches. Obviously, Lauren changed her mind, but if Every Ella was around then, maybe Lauren would have said WHO CARES, I’m a girl and I can do it!
$3 of each Every Ella purchase is donated to charities serving children and women, and the charity of choice changes every three months. There are so many amazing, impactful causes out there – it seems like a tough decision! Do these choices seem like rational ones, or do you find yourselves just following your gut instincts?
A bit of both for sure! The first two charities we’ve partnered with are small non-profits run by young women. It’s always exciting to see girls taking charge and wanting to make a difference. The more passionate they are about their cause, the more we want to help. We do a lot of research on the charities to find out who is behind them, what their mission is, the programs they offer and where the money goes. We like to look at a variety of causes and help in as many different areas as we can. For instance, our first charity partner sends girls to college in Rwanda and our current charity is a support group for college women in the US.. We also get a lot of charity recommendations from our followers and customers. and we love that too! Sometimes they put a charity on our radar that we would have never known about.
All of the phrases on your products are original, written by the two of you! We think that’s so neat. How do you come up with these sayings?
Thank you! We’re both definitely right-brained individuals, meaning we love the arts and to be creative. Sometimes we’re influenced by a personal experience and sometimes it’s just a certain word or feeling or idea that inspires us… We want to write messages that make people feel something – whether it’s empowerment or confidence or laughter. We love messages that make people think, too. There are so many issues that girls and women face and we hope Every Ella provides them with a voice to be heard.
Every Ella aims to spread positivity, love, confidence, and empowerment to every girl out there because EVERY GIRL MATTERS. Although the majority of social media users would probably say they had similarly positive intentions, it’s becoming more and more common for social media, particularly Instagram, to lead to insecurity and comparisons. What would you say to a girl struggling with this?
Don’t buy it. Forget all the heavy makeup, flattering poses, duck lips, perfect lighting and misleading filters… no one looks like that. It’s a silly illusion and certainly not real life. Let go of that pressure, because you are absolutely beautiful. Every flaw or imperfection makes you YOU. Own it. Love it. Embrace it.
How did the two of you find yourselves founding this community together?
Lauren was frustrated with her acting career (i.e. struggling artist) and felt she was wasting her time and potential. After many months of soul searching, she decided that if her new dream job didn’t exist, she was going to create it. And that’s when the idea of Every Ella began — a company centered around girl power and giving back.
When Lauren was getting it up and running, she told Randi about the idea and she immediately wanted to be involved. That led to many late nights, busy days, LOTS of coffee dates and the birth of Every Ella!
What has been the biggest obstacle in founding Every Ella?
The biggest obstacle is limited resources. We don’t have outside investors and are completely self-financed. Lauren worked for a year delivering food at night to save up for the launch, and we both still work other full-time jobs to get by. So when you’re on a limited budget, you have to be creative with ways to offer a great product and clear branding without breaking the bank. Patience is important. There are so many products we hope to offer one day, but it takes time.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
The best business advice we’ve been given is to not be afraid to make mistakes and don’t be afraid to change things. See what works. See what doesn’t. It’s okay if you don’t have it all figured out right away. If you do make mistakes, make them when you’re small. Work out the kinks first, then focus on growth.
What personal accomplishments are you most proud of? (Besides founding Every Ella, of course.)
Lauren: My education. I started college when I was 16 and had my Masters Degree at 20. And I worked full-time at a law firm from the time I was 16. My graduation cap said “4 U MOM” … which still makes me smile thinking about it. My mom always stressed the importance of education and that was my gift to her. She was a single mom who worked hard to make ends meet. No child support. No help. Everything I do, I do it for her.
And also, in a bizarre way, I’m extremely proud of my failed acting career. Okay, maybe failed is a strong word, but I’m certainly not where I hoped to be. Even still, I’ve grown so much throughout the last several years. I am wiser. I am tougher. I am a better person because of it. I had the guts to go for it and for that, I am proud. I’ve also had a few small victories (bookings) along the way that will be cool to show my grandkids one day.
Randi: For the past 2 years I have run a self-created charity event called “Project Backpacks.” I, with the help of Lauren and other amazing volunteers, have collected over 400 used and new backpacks, as well as food, water, clothing, hats, gloves, etc. to fill the backpacks and personally hand-deliver them to the homeless on the week of Christmas. It is a very rewarding and humbling experience to make a difference in their lives.
+ DO YOU KNOW ANY HARD-WORKING FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS WE SHOULD FEATURE? INTRODUCE US TO THEM IN THE COMMENTS!