From laser technician and skin consultant, to owner of her own creative e-commerce shop, Laura Derksen has truly leapt between worlds in order to find her dream career. Now, as the founder of Arrow & Lace Designs, she is able to fully indulge in her love and passion for crafting whimsical children’s accessories on a daily (and nightly!) basis.
Laura’s success happened rather organically following the birth of her first child, a daughter named Ariella. After hand-making headband accessories for her little girl, Laura’s friends started to pick up on her talent, and word-of-mouth demand eventually gave way to a brand. Today, Arrow & Lace offers everything from girls’ headbands to boys’ bow ties, and everything is linked by the beautiful metallic and vintage-inspired aesthetic that Laura loves.
Below, we invite you to click through for a tour of Laura’s dreamy, bright white studio space where the Arrow & Lace collections come to life! And as an added bonus from today’s feature, Laura is offering Glitter Guide readers an exclusive 30 percent discount on regularly priced items with coupon code “GG30.”
Photography by Ashley Martens Photography
Hair and makeup by Wedded Bliss
Furniture and décor by IKEA, HomeSense, Kate Spade, Indigo, Anthropologie, Target
Tell us the story behind Arrow & Lace! When did the idea to open shop occur to you, and how has it grown since the beginning?
Before Arrow & Lace, I worked as a laser technician and skin consultant. I had my daughter, Ariella, in May of 2010 and after a year of maternity leave, I couldn’t bear the thought of working full time again. Having my daughter opened my eyes to the rather large world of childrens’ accessories, and since I had already been making them for Ariella and friends, the demand quickly grew.
Starting a business was very new and fun for me, but also a challenging and great learning experience. After building my original company, Crystal Clear Boutique, I learned so much that a rebrand was in order. In August of 2013, my son, Kenton, was born. Six months later, I launched Arrow & Lace Designs after spending a great deal of time planning, researching and creating a new business from all the lessons I had learned from my previous business.
Arrow & Lace has grown quickly, and for that I am so grateful! I really enjoy the networking aspect of running a business, which has helped in the growth department. Right now there are so many new designs in the works—I can’t wait to share them!
Describe your style in three words. Would the same words apply to Arrow & Lace? How is your personal aesthetic reflected in the brand?
Thinking about three words makes me realize how funny they seem together, but vintage, modern and feminine would have to be the best ones to describe my style! These words are definitely reflected in the brand. For example, the Ariella Headband has vintage lace and is a modern knot bow. Other products—like the satin floral crowns and bow ties for the boys—reflect my style as well.
How do you manage to juggle your business and motherhood?
It’s actually rather simple, although there are still many times when I feel stressed and the work load seems too much. I typically work two to three days a week, and I try my best to stick to that schedule. The days I have off are devoted to my children—in the past I found it stressful to check emails or answer calls with them around. I want my children to remember me being there for them—not thinking I was distracted and on my phone.
What’s an average day (or week, if there is no average day!) like for you? What are your strategies for staying organized?
When I work, I get my children ready for the day, drop Ariella off at preschool and then leave my son at my mom’s home (I’m so blessed to have so much family support). Afterwards, I head home to my studio where I check emails and make a list of what I need to get done that day. By mid-afternoon, the kidlets are home and we start making dinner and enjoying our evening together.
For the days I don’t have work scheduled, it’s really quite low key. I’m not a morning person (like, not at all), so the mornings are slow and I run errands in the late morning. Somehow those days always seem to go so fast between children’s naps, meal times and catching up on cleaning—bedtime comes quick.
In terms of organization, we hired Becky about six months ago to make a lot of the headbands and hair clips, which allows me to concentrate on other business duties. Previously, I would be up very late in the night (between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m.) making headbands to keep up with the demand. My husband is absolutely amazing and has been my biggest supporter. He’s been up with me on those late nights helping make headbands (he’s a keeper!). Also, I can’t forget my amazing planner from Design Love Co., which helps me stay organized!
How has your love for fashion, interior design, thrifting and crafting played a part in running and designing your business?
The biggest part about accessories is keeping up with the trends. Taking inspiration from interior design and fashion magazines helps me keep up-to-date.
How do you choose what to sell in your shop?
When an item is launched, it’s usually taken quite some time to get there. I draw ideas and do some research (to make sure my designs are original) before making samples. I then test the products on my daughter and son to make sure the quality is there! Finally, we get busy making hundreds of products before one is officially released. Sometimes my head has so many ideas that I have to go back to what inspired Arrow & Lace and make sure it fits the brand’s aesthetic.
Spill! What’s in your beauty bag?
Having previously been a skin consultant, my beauty bag is quite full. My favorite makeup line is Jane Iredale because the makeup is made with natural minerals. Eco Diva is another great source for amazing skin care products. And my favorite product would have to be The Problem Solver from May Lindstrom Skin.
What is your favorite product in the Arrow & Lace inventory?
Definitely the “LOVE” headband. I handwrote “love” and had rhinestones and beads sewn together to create this beautiful headband. All of our headbands are handmade with a ring and slider, making them adjustable to fit anyone from preemies to adults.