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Meet Laura Lee Imhoff of Made By Laura Lee in Austin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Lee Imhoff.

Laura Lee, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Where to begin?! I never, ever thought I would be where I am today. I just completed my first cookbook, I’m full-filling several custom orders a week of embroidery and refinished furniture.

In 2008, I moved to Texas to pursue music, but in more recent years, I found myself gravitating back to the visual arts. I picked up embroidery and canning has a hobby which quickly transpired into crafting/lifestyle blog. Later, I took up refinishing furniture thus quickly becoming a “Jane of All Trades.”

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
If it were a smooth road, I think I would be in a different point in my journey and I certainly don’t think I’ve learned half of what I have about starting a business or myself. One of the struggles that I’ve combatted along the way has been self-doubt. I believe that most artists have this narrative playing in the background of “I’m not good enough” or “What if I fail?” Of course, there are always people along the way that tell you shouldn’t pursue your dreams because a whole myriad of reasons most likely based on their own fears, but then again, there are always the ones that believe in you that help you get through. You cannot stop believing in yourself.

Another struggle has been balancing work, life, and starting your own business. In other words, time management and money. Ha! I’m sure this doesn’t sound surprising at all. In all seriousness, this has been my biggest struggle. Taking the jump from my day job into made by laura lee was absolutely terrifying, but I managed. There have been times I’ve picked up part-time work in between and learning to be okay with that has been a struggle too.

Please tell us about Made By Laura Lee.
My blog, made by laura lee, launched in 2013 as a way to share my creative process, completed projects, and even artistic dry spells with my friends and family. It was clear after a couple of years, people wanted more and, quite frankly, so did I. It was the joke for a while that I wanted to be the next Martha Stewart, without the felony. Between the music, embroidering, canning, recipes, how-to’s, furniture, and, now, homesteading… it’s hard to say what I’m most known for. I guess it would depend on who you ask…. Hmmm, maybe I should send out a survey! I’ll add that to my to-do list.

With the ongoing blog, the successful completion of a $10K Kickstarter, the hot of the press cookbook (ok, ok, it’s electronic), It’s hard to tell what I’m the proudest of. I mean, I think the cookbook as of right now. It was a very difficult undertaking, at times it seemed impossible. I had no idea what I was taking on, but I did it.

I think what sets me apart from the rest is that I am genuine. Let me be perfectly clear that is not to say that others aren’t. What I mean is that I don’t always share the most perfect picture of my life all the time. I make sure to keep my writing causal and relatable, as well as incorporating personal stories: including my bad days, creative dry spells, and failures. I don’t think Martha does that.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck? I guess I never really thought of luck having anything to do with it. I grew up on a farm. Hard work has been part of who I am pretty much since I learned to walk. You get out what you put in, always give your best, never give up, if you do all those things, you won’t ever really have to worry about if you get lucky or have to rely on luck.

I suppose though, I am so lucky to have parents, friends, and a community who have been absolutely nothing but loving and supportive. Of course, I’ve had my share of naysayers too, but I’m lucky for all the love.

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Image Credit:
Laura Lee Imhoff, Mitch Catlett (took pic of me), Geof Duncan (bio image)

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