People / Lauren Lance
I love a fearless woman. You know those ones that never back down from their dreams; that see through wild ideas and charge head on into life. Well Lauren Lance in one of those women. Beginning with little experience in botanical matters she has created a one-of-a-kind nursery that not only trades in beautiful greenery but that has also become an oasis for local creatives, photographers and stylists.
The Borrowed Nursery is housed in an industrial warehouse on the Gold Coast. It’s the former residence of a mechanic then market precinct. It’s a place beautifully weathered, with white brick walls, tarnished steels and delicate light. It has a rare vintage quality that in it’s renaissance as a potting shed is serene and beautiful.
It might all seem effortless, but Lauren has worked tirelessly to make this creative existence a reality. There have been sacrifices and hard labour, but she has been unyielding. It’s heartening to see someone create success from nothing; no formal training, no formal investment; nothing but sheer will. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Lauren in the past; though before leaving Australia I was privileged more insight into her story and that I share with you.
1 / What inspires you?
The main driving force behind The Borrowed Nursery was to create something from nothing and to provide a unique experience for our customers. When it started, there were obviously already nurseries out there selling plants as well as existing hire businesses, but we wanted to created something unique that combined those 2 elements but put our own spin on it.
2 / What does the idea of gathering mean to you?
Coming together with friends to share an experience.
3 / Do you think routine has a place in a creative life? Do you have any of your own daily rituals?
Routine is something that comes and goes for me. It’s not something that has been a consistent part of my life. Since leaving school, I have always juggled study with work or had multiple jobs at once. Now that I’m full time in the business, it’s still been a challenge to implement any kind of routine. While the shop hours are consistent the diversity of business makes it hard to have consistency in my week. I think routine is important to help you become more efficient and I guess creative but you need to be able to adapt.
4 / What is your idea of a perfect day?
A Sunday off when I can sleep in, not having to wake up to an alarm, go out for a run get some breaky out and watch a whole lot of TV.
5 / What are your go to resources; books, websites, podcasts or stores?
I wish I could reference podcasts and books, but they definitely aren’t my go to’s. Most of what inspires me is imagery based so I guess instagram is a large part of that. Brands I’m really inspired by are Glasshaus Nursery and Loose Leaf in Melbourne also the Sill and the Plant Shoppe in the US.
6 / Do you tend to choose possessions for function or beauty? Do you have any of special meaning or significance?
If I had to choose I guess I go for aesthetics slightly more. I think if there’s an item that may be at the higher end of your budget but you can see the quality and the timelessness in it then its worth the investment.
7 / Do you think a green thumb is something that people can cultivate? Were you yourself always an avid plant hunter or has it burgeoned with the growth of your business?
It’s something that I myself have definitely been able to cultivate since creating the business. I wasn’t particularly interested in gardening or plants before its definitely something that has been a massive learning curve for me. It has been great gaining knowledge specific to what we are doing here from our growers, the people that live and breath it.
8 / What place do you think plants have in peoples lives? Are they simply pretty decorations or do you think they serve a deeper purpose?
I think to some they provide only an aesthetic appeal though even without intention, plants have a positive influence on us. Whether it be improving air quality or improving productivity, plants definitely make you feel better even if you aren’t consciously aware of it.
9 / What are your go to species? For indoors; for the garden; for weddings; for the table?
For indoors, I love the Monstera for its beautiful emerald green foliage and in the garden; Dragon Trees (Dracaena Draco). They’re amazing and add a striking architectural feature to any garden. For weddings; the Giant Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia Nicolai). It’s a great go to for instant impact and functionally its very hardy so survives transport and handling well. For the table; Calatheas- there are many varieties but they all have amazing foliage that almost looks like its hand painted.
10 / What does success mean to you?
Knowing that I have created something from nothing. I don’t think its an end point as such, its more about enjoying the little wins along the way.
11 / Fear can be a rather potent force in the life of creative people. How do you overcome moments of self doubt or adversity?
I am lucky to have a strong support system of friends and family around me. They are great sounding boards and are always there when I go through rough patches to help bring me out of it. I think its important to have a support network to help you get through challenging times.
12 / The beauty of hindsight is a precious notion. What wisdom would you offer your younger self given the chance?
I went through a very indirect path, studying and working different jobs totally unrelated to plants. There were times that I felt really lost but I don’t regret any of the steps I took. I would just tell myself to not worry about it, you’ll get there.