The reality TV star, fashion designer and bestselling author talks about her unusual career path and how she reinvented herself as one of the entertainment industry’s most successful brand names.
It wasn’t too long ago that Lauren Conrad became a household name as the star of two MTV hit reality shows: Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County and its spin-off series, The Hills. Yet, just when audiences were embracing Lauren as a TV star, she left the show to embark upon a new and uncertain future.
“When I was starting out, I always kind of wanted to do my own thing,” Lauren says. “I didn’t really want to pattern my career after one person or someone I looked up to, in terms of how they branded themselves. I always wanted to do it my own way.”
Those who assumed she would jump into another TV show were surprised when no such thing happened. In fact, except for a few cameos on shows like America’s Next Top Model, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Family Guy, Lauren really hasn’t focused her attentions on an acting career at all.
“I make it a rule to never say never,” she says, “but I’m not looking to get back on television. I’m really content with where I left it. But who knows?”
Today, Lauren Conrad—the woman and the brand—is one of the most recognized in the fashion and entertainment industry. Going from reality TV to becoming a successful fashion designer and bestselling author may not be the most conventional career path, but for Lauren, reinventing herself to pursue her many interests seemed perfectly natural.
“I think it’s important to be an individual,” she says. “I don’t know if this is how it works for everybody or if it’s just the way it worked for me, but it’s important to do what you want and do it the way you like. Whether you’re successful or not, you’ll be happier that way.”
Through her collaboration with Kohl’s, Lauren now designs for her own hugely successful fashion line, the aptly-named LC Lauren Conrad. She has also expanded her other business ventures, including her website, laurenconrad.com, and Paper Crown. And, just as her fashion career began to take off in 2009, Lauren somehow found time to write her first of eight books: the New York Times bestseller, L.A. Candy.
Yet, even her writing career is the result of some typical twists and turns. Lauren reveals that she was initially interested in writing a book about dating. “It wasn’t so much of a ‘How To’ that I was picturing, but more of a ‘How to NOT,’” she says with a laugh.
Her publishers, however, were more interested in Lauren’s own life story. Lauren put aside her writing ideas and, instead, used her personal experiences on reality TV to write the L.A. Candy trilogy and the subsequent Fame Game series—the final installment of which, Infamous, was released in June. Juicy, lively and engrossing, it’s no surprise the books have made Lauren a bestseller many times over.
With such a hectic schedule, it’s difficult to fathom her even having time to write. “It’s a lot of writing where I can, when I can,” she admits with a laugh.
Her advice for aspiring writers comes as no surprise: Work hard. Have passion. Find balance. “Hard work is important,” she says. “Having a passion is important. But,” she adds, “you need to be satisfied with all the different parts of your life.”
For younger fans who are just deciding what they’d like to do and where they’d like their futures to take them, she offers encouragement and a bit of hard-earned wisdom. “I think that when you’re younger, little things seem very important; little things seem very dramatic,” she says. “It’s important to remember the bigger picture and what you’re working toward.”