Mon | May 25, 2020

Lauren Campbell – basking in shades of creativity

Published:Sunday | April 26, 2020 | 12:00 AMSade Gardner - Contributor
Lauren Campbell
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She’s what you’d term the consummate creative – through the sensory ‘dry land tourist’ tales of her ‘Right Roun Di Corna’ blog to the pieces in her JadeLauren eyewear brand, Lauren Campbell is colouring the world with beauty, life, and bomb aesthetic.

The 23-year-old had her eyes set on the fashion industry and came pretty close to treading that path after she graduated from St Andrew’s High School for Girls five years ago.

“I would shadow many fashion designers and artists in high school, volunteer at fashion events, and typically attend mingles for creative professionals because I wanted to be a fashion designer and/or fashion marketer,” Campbell said.

“I got into fashion school in the United States, but at that time, many variables affected me attending. As a result, I needed to choose a degree that would keep me creative but also something I could genuinely enjoy here in Jamaica.”

Her search for the right programme to complement her interests ended in 2015 when she started the Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) at the Caribbean School of Media and Communication, The University of the West Indies, Mona.

“It was attractive to me because it is multifaceted,” Campbell said. “I also believed the programme would prepare me for the direction the world of media and communication is going, requiring me to be more creative and strategic, as opposed to a regular marketing degree. I was always passionate about creating and conceptualising things, and I always believed I had a voice, and the degree seemed as if it would’ve created that path for me.”

Campbell said she was right.

Cultural Studies

Capitalising on the diverse courses offered by the university’s Faculty of Humanities and Education, she also ventured into Cultural Studies (offered by the Institute of Caribbean Studies) during her three-year study. It’s a move, she said, that “contributed to my knowledge, experience and growth, both scholastically and personally …” Campbell also dabbled in organising planning, including the ‘Tribal: LuminArt Fest’ in 2017, which earned her a certificate in event planning.

Her academic journey was not a bed of roses – having to deal with family emergencies and also dealing with the death of her grandparents, who, she says, were a source of inspiration.

“It affected me greatly,” she said. “My grandparents are both people that I looked up to for various reasons, mainly for their strength in living unapologetically and staying true to who they were and their beliefs,” Campbell said. “I also lost a very good friend through a tragic accident, which required a lot of patience with myself in coping with that as well.”

Determined to graduate at the top of her class, Campbell persevered with the support of family and friends and found her balance among study sessions, pizza parties, and the IMC programme.

“That fast-pace nature is what I believe helped me attain my first-class honours, because it kept me busy so I never had much time to be too consumed by what was happening.”

Campbell later went to Kanagawa, Japan, where she lived and worked for six months. Now back home, Campbell is in entrepreneurial mode.

“I started my blog in 2017 because I believe we should appreciate more of what our country has to offer. I also love discovering Jamaica, and I wanted to share it to aid in normalising the concept of being a ‘dry-land tourist’ so we can learn more about our country.”

Eyewear line

Her eyewear line was born two years later and encourages self-love and self-expression.

“I have always wanted a platform that communicated those messages because the opportunity to be ourselves really grants us true freedom, and I thought the best way for me to do that was through my love for fashion.”

She added that her IMC study has been critical in helping her understand consumers by allowing her to “delve into the psychology of how people feel about certain products, and then use that to give them a product that really suits not only their needs, but also their wants”.

“I also realised the power of transforming how consumers could relate to a product that you plan to introduce. Within the world today, with consumers being bombarded with many different products and brands, consumers need to feel connected to the brand. Therefore, I make an effort for my consumers to feel something while interacting with the JadeLauren brand and the movement of self-love that it stands for.”

With a mantra like ‘soif de vivre’ (thirst for life), Campbell aspires to live her dreams and encourages others to follow suit.

“I plan to pursue more of what the world has to offer. I plan to travel even more and continue to meet people from many walks of life,” she said. “I also intend to delve further into the fashion industry in my own way and also do my master’s … . My degree serves as a great foundation that has prepared me for any industry, and I don’t regret doing it at all.”

- This article is one in a series that seeks to promote and highlight the impact of the arts and humanities on the individual’s personal development and career path. Please send feedback to fhe@uwimona.edu.jm.