Lauren de Vries
It's me LDV
Exploring, creating, experimenting & doing since 1987.
I have always been very curious about the world and why things are the way they are, not being afraid to challenge the norms. I think my parents would describe me as determined, independent, stubborn and maybe a little bossy!
As someone who under performed at school, with no interest in college and moving from one job to another due to the lack of stimulation to grow but also to continue to challenge my own ability and push my boundaries. One thing that has been very consistent is the urge to go it alone and have my own business.
Having more recently experienced life changing situations my mind has shifted from being super career focused to a drive for self awareness, which I believe must come first in order to create the lifestyle your desire, then followed by the things to make that happen, i.e. starting your own business.
In 2019 the LDV brand was born, an idea that has evolved over time however the fundamental principle hasn't changed. To live in a world more personally and business aware, leaving a positive impact on others whilst creating a more fulfilled life.
The LDV Story
Born in Holland
Moved to England
Attempting college for just 3 months before deciding to become a full time florist, wanting to earn and explore.
Moving on and setting out in retail, becoming one of the youngest (at the time) retail store managers at a clothing retailer.
Breaking up from a mentally challenging relationship of 8 years, moving back into my parents home, sleeping on a single blow up bed in the coldest conservatory, could it get any worse. I felt like I had taken so many steps backwards.
(On the plus side, with the environment change my anxiety attacks had improved.)
I was diagnosed with the very early stages of Cervical Cancer, a simple screening test I had been putting off, had now saved my life! A life changing moment...
Given the all clear in October, with regular follow ups still ongoing... I was incredibly lucky, something I never take for granted and am forever grateful for.
Deciding I wanted my own independence based on previous experiences and wanting to get out of the spare room at my parents house, I bought my next house on my own.
January we move house and a week later our beautiful baby boy Oliver is born! Having heart surgery at just 5 days old with many complications to follow we stayed in hospital together for 5 weeks, with nothing else on our minds other than health and how we get our little boy home. Supported by the most incredible people and charities, we are so thankful.
With once again a whole new perspective on life and the importance of happiness and lifestyle over anything, I decided to leave the security of my corporate career and started to mentor small start up businesses. Something most people saw as a crazy thing to do, why would you leave all that for the unknown.
The very first LDV connects networking event happened, after pushing through all the fears and what ifs. 13 local business owners attended and it felt amazing!
Exploring the world of entrepreneurship selling home made mixed tapes, paintings, plants and anything else I could imagine, whilst regularly going to business meetings with my dad.
The year I left secondary school, a challenging experience for all involved :)
As someone who was capable but lacking interest and mental stimulation, I ended leaving with ok grades but experience in teaching dance across the year groups.
Entering the world of estate agency...
Looking for a faster, more challenging environment. Allowing me to buy my first house in Fareham.
Decided to rent our current house, looking to buy a second property, got engaged, started a new career supporting adults with learning difficulties and starting my side hustle in beauty. (Yep, beauty... something so far away from my interests)
Life was going exactly the way it should be.
I then started to struggle with anxiety attacks, getting CBT support and experiencing my worst moments on holiday in Mexico where even just leaving the hotel room was a struggle.
Time to get back things back on track. Seeing an advert for a job that was earning £10k more than I had ever earned previously, thinking I would never get it... but I went for it anyway, what was the worst that could happen and life's too short not to.
Within 1.5 years I was the European Sales Director heading up a team of 80 field based sales consultants working for the largest global brand in the industry.
I also found my better half - Ashley!
I'm pregnant! Excited, scared and more... heart breakingly miscarrying on my 30th birthday, a feeling unexplainable. Soon becoming pregnant again, yet finding out that our little baby had a heart condition called TGA. A condition which means that the 2 main arteries are the wrong way round and would need to be switched.
I decided to stop the LDV elite mentoring membership, it became something different to what I had initially planned and I wanted to take the time to re-establish it's purpose.
I also found out I was pregnant with baby #2, something completely unrelated to my decision above, however news that was both super exciting but something I also needed to get my head round... how would we manage with both myself and Ashley being self employed.
(Ashley owns One Gardener)
Bought my second house as an investment and spent the next 3 months getting the house ready for rental, lots of learning along the way, and plenty of mistakes.
A speaker at the sell out LinkedIn local Portsmouth event! Something I would love to explore further and do more of.
Our 1 year LDV connects anniversary and the first time we sold out of tickets, with 100 attendees, 5 sponsors and 2 partners, such an amazing way to have celebrated!
Thank you everyone.
March saw the re-opening of LDV hub, the new and evolved version of the previous membership platform. Launching with 20 founding members across various industries all looking to grow both personally and in their business.
What's to come?
Stay tuned to see what's next for LDV!
A growing family (baby #2 due 1st May)
A growing brand with 2 businesses - LDV events & LDV hub
Hope to find out more about your story too and how we can all support each other!