In a time of “slash careers” (model/photographer/part-time tarot card reader), it’s rare to find authentic creative fulfillment — and success — in more than one industry. It’s especially rare when you haven’t yet hit 25. For Lauren Bencivengo, age is just a number and design is just a very, very broad industry…that she is already conquering on several fronts.
The 23-year-old designer graduated from college and was brought on as an interior designer at Delawie Architects in San Diego, jumping right into furniture and fabric curation. Never confining herself to one medium in particular, she always fluctuated between painting, drawing, and interior design, remaining open to whatever opportunities present themselves — during and after hours.
When she came across a competition hosted by Bed Bath & Beyond and Cloth & Company, seeking young textile designers to be featured in Cloth & Company’s upcoming furniture line, she knew a foray into textiles wasn’t too far out of her reach. And so, a side hustle was born.
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“When given the prompt for the collection, I Immediately felt that the patterns I created needed to have an essence of timeless design but still fun and fresh,” she says. “I didn’t look for inspiration from existing ‘timeless’ patterns. I challenged myself to find inspiration from other areas that exhibit timeless design, through architecture, fashion, and everyday objects.”
After sifting through hundreds of entries, Bencivengo’s was chosen as the winner, and her collection was launched at Bed Bath & Beyond in October. It’s always a defining moment as a young designer to see your work in a major retailer, but her primary focus is still on learning more creative skills and broadening her design practices.
“My priority right now is to work towards becoming a licensed interior designer. I have dreams of maybe having my own line of designed goods one day,” she says. “Growing up I have always loved painting, so I’ve been teaching myself hand lettering and illustration on the side and making custom greeting cards and wedding invitations. I enjoy anything creative that allows me to change up and try something outside of my day job work.”
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The one piece of advice she would give other young designers? “I would say just getting out there and taking on new challenges,” she says. “Even if you don’t know how to do it. Figure it out as you go. You will grow from each experience you have.” And grow she will, ever so naturally.
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