23: Lauren Bush Lauren from FEED
We are so excited to have Lauren Bush Lauren on the show today. Lauren is a social entrepreneur who has helped provide over 100 million meals for the hungry. She is a model, designer, actress, entrepreneur, mother, and Doro’s niece. In college, she worked with the UN World Food Program and saw the effects of poverty and world hunger firsthand.
She also has a love for design. By founding FEED, she was able to merge her love of design, fashion, and entrepreneurship with the important cause of alleviating childhood hunger. She is married to David Lauren and is also a mother. In this episode, we talk about how work and life aren’t separate, how being a mother is different than she expected, what FEED is doing now, and more.
More From Lauren Bush Lauren
[00:54] Lauren has been a mother for 2 years, and she is expecting another baby.
[01:11] Being a mother is one of the biggest blessings in Lauren's life.
[01:31] She loves watching her son James and his learning experiences.
[02:32] Everyone's motherhood experience is different, and there are things that constantly surprise Lauren.
[03:17] Lauren worked right up until the time that she gave birth. She didn't expect the experience to throw her as much as it die. With this pregnancy, she is giving herself more time off.
[03:53] The fifth trimester is after you've recovered from childbirth, and begin to go back to work.
[04:43] Lauren is as present as she can be with her son whenever she is with him. This is actually giving her work more meaning.
[05:01] Her work is about kids and nutrition and making sure that kids wherever they are have basic human rights and food.
[05:43] Lauren has provided 100 million meals with her organization FEED.
[06:01] As a sophomore in college, she traveled with the UN World Food Programme. After seeing poverty and malnutrition firsthand, Lauren wanted to do something about it.
[07:17] Over 800 million people are chronically hungry.
[07:40] Lauren also loved fashion and design. She contemplated her different life paths as a humanitarian aid worker and a designer in the fashion world.
[08:23] She had the aha moment to create the FEED bag. With world hunger we can help today. Building a donation into a product like a bag is a great billboard and conversation starter.
[09:13] She took a year to design her first bag and discover how to go from designing to manufacturing to selling.
[09:34] The first retailer was Amazon.com and they built a boutique page for her that explained the mission.
[10:06] The first bag which they still sell today feeds one child in school for one year.
[10:21] Consumers can impact a child's life for an entire year by buying a bag.
[10:43] Feeding kids in school is such a no-brainer, because it gets them to go to school and to stay in school and it encourages their family to send them to school.
[11:09] It's an empowerment tool for education as well as a means for kids to get fed every day.
[11:36] They purchase locally from farmers to feed locally in schools.
[11:56] In America, their main giving partner is Share Our Strength and the No Kid Hungry program.
[12:55] FEED started about six months after Toms Shoes and the RED campaign was just starting. Lauren was one of the first social entrepreneurs, even thought at the time she didn't call it that.
[13:45] FEED is based in New York City and has about 17 employees.
[15:00] They are now designing something new almost every month.
[15:45] Muhammad Yunus the pioneer of microfinance is one of Lauren's inspirations. He used businesses for charity by giving women in India microloans to start businesses.
[16:51] Lauren is married to David Lauren. They aren't trying to chase trends, but want to put great products out.
[18:36] They also partnered with Target at one point. They have also have other large brand and design niche collaborations.
[20:45] Lauren loves what she does, and every day is different. Lauren and her team love having an impact on kids around the world.
[22:52] Lauren is always working and thinking of ideas as she lives her life.
[23:51] Lauren tries to work out two or three times a week, and she has been a vegetarian since she was five.
[25:56] Lauren's rapid fire questions.
Links and Resources:
“Don't get discouraged when you're trying to do something a little different. Follow that guiding light and don't get too distracted by positive or negative influences from other people in the outside world.” Lauren Bush Lauren
“I am as present as I can be with my son on weekends, nights, and in the morning.” Lauren Bush Lauren
“Seeing firsthand the issues of poverty and chronic malnutrition around the world made me want to do something about it.” Lauren Bush Lauren