Lauren Phelps is an accomplished creative entrepreneur. I first knew Lauren as she achieved great success with her clothing line LEONA then as a client when I had the opportunity to photograph several seasonal lookbooks of her fashion designs.

“But for me the art is like my sacred place, and I don’t want it to ever not be because that’s when it becomes something I don’t want it to be in my life.”

~Lauren Phelps

She has continued her creative endeavors since then and now lives in New York where she continued her work in fashion then turned into an even deeper creative direction, which, of course, we talk about here.

And as always, we feature a Non-Profit Spotlight selected by our guest. Kick back and enjoy this conversation with Lauren Phelps.




  • 0:02:20 Nashville Fashion Week “Nashville Fashion Forward Fund” award
  • 0:08:58 Where Lauren’s creativity comes from
  • 0:13:03 CEO as a title
  • 0:20:20 Closing LEONA
  • 0:23:14 Sweet home Alabama
  • 0:28:28 Alabama to Nashville to New York
  • 0:31:10 Why Paris
  • 0:31:34 COO of Brandon Maxwell
  • 0:34:37 Non-Profit Spotlight: Samual Waxman Cancer Research Foundation
  • 0:36:59 Lauren’s mother
  • 0:43:32 How motherhood has impacted Lauren’s work and world
  • 0:47:17 “Each baby brings its own loaf of bread”
  • 0:49:26 Motherhood and mothering without a mother
  • 0:54:16 Moving to visual arts
  • 0:58:21 Choosing materials for mixed media pieces
  • 0:59:40 Lauren’s creative process
  • 1:02:37 Monochromania
  • 1:05:37 My creative envy
  • 1:08:03 Conversation as an audio portrait
  • 1:11:03 “If you could have one more conversation with your Mom…”
  • 1:12:44 Closing remarks


Learn more about Lauren Phelps at these links
Official Website | Instagram | Facebook


Here’s a small sampling of pieces from Lauren’s clothing line LEONA, discussed in this episode from 0:02:20 – 0:23:14. Over a two-year period, Lauren created 350+ pieces.




Lauren Phelps photographed in her art studio. Photo courtesy of Lauren Phelps.


“Origin” mixed media by Lauren Phelps


“Interface” mixed media by Lauren Phelps


Finally, toward the end of our conversation (at 1:09:13), the topic turns to the give-and-take exchange that makes a good conversation as described in the give-and-take exchange of a photographic portrait session. Here are two film clips from Somewhere In Time with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. First clip below sets the scene…

…and this clip delivers the magic. Enjoy.


This episode’s Non-Profit Spotlight supports Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. The mission of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF) is to eradicate cancer by funding collaborative cross-institutional research that identifies and corrects abnormal gene function that causes cancer. This research is the basis for developing minimally toxic treatments for patients, which is particularly crucial for children and seniors battling cancer.

Learn more about Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation at


For more conversations in this series, follow Collected Clan at these online destinations:


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