We’re back with another amazing Hey! VINA success story! Lauren and Megan, two creatives who each run their own Etsy shops, connected through their love of art shows, craft fairs, and trying new foods by connecting through our app.
“The friends that I have, I’ve known since I was in kindergarten. But they don’t always like doing things that I’m interested in, or they don’t have time. You know, work, family, newly married life,” said Lauren when asked about what brought her to use the VINA app. “Time can go by so fast before you even notice how long it’s been since you’ve seen your girls. So I was super excited to discover the Hey! VINA app, which changed that for me.”
As for Megan, she “had just moved to Chicago, and I wanted to find new friends and grow a new support network in my new city!”
Making lasting friendships wasn’t always the easiest endeavor for Lauren before she discovered VINA. “Sometimes I would meet a girl that I liked and seemed cool, and it never ended up going anywhere. The connections were a miss.” This, however, changed once she met Megan!
“It was friendship at first bite. We met up at DMK Burger bar during the summer over a year ago, and Megan had a big, bright smile on her face and gave me a huge hug. It was over an hour, it was such a blast because the food was so good as well as the company, and the conversations we were having,” she recalled. “I remember it was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm and lots of laughs, which I love!”
Megan and Lauren discussed their love of blue cheese, being creatives, as well as being kindred spirits. “We just went back to DMK burger yesterday to celebrate Galentine’s Day and to the movies afterward and it was the best! We had so much fun,” Lauren shares.
Their friendship elevated to another level when they found out they both created their own products for their Etsy shops. Along with “talk[ing] shop, guys and everything and nothing every time [they] meet,” the two provide each other with advice “on customer problems, marketing ideas and even photo shoots of our products!”
Megan’s business is called Iris Atelier Couture. When asked about how Lauren has helped her, she said, “Lauren has such a vast about of knowledge from working in a creative company, that I can ask her anything, and I really value her opinion, she’s been selling a lot longer than me and she has her own goals and aspirations for her business that I admire. I think having someone that is going through the same struggle of dealing with an online business has been such a huge help! She’s an amazing and supportive friend. I’ve grown so much, creatively, from having Lauren as one of my best friends!”
Conversely, Lauren weighs in on her business and how Megan has helped her.
“Pineapple Sundays Design Studio is all about celebrating and bringing more positive vibes into your everyday through our products and designs. I started this business back in 2017 after closing my old shop and rebranding.”
“Megan was a big help when I started my first line of products, she was so generous enough to lend me her camera so I could take pictures of my products. She also has modeled for me as well, so we are constantly helping each other out like that, and I love that we have that creative bond,” said Lauren.
“The first line are products that anyone can use in their self-care routine. For me, reading is a form of self-care and one of my favorite me time things to do. I created enamel-chained bookmarks and a metal bookmark in the shape of the golden snitch from Harry Potter, one of my fave reads! This year I’m planning on expanding my line more with additional products centered around self-care; all things I find important when navigating through life.”
Since both girls are “total foodies,” they enjoy checking out new places they find on Instagram.
“During the summer, we love to go to outdoor art fairs like the Renegade Craft fair, Jenny’s to get ice cream and the Lakeview Taco Fest. I was not a beer drinker until I met Megan—I drink it all the time now. She basically says I like beer that doesn’t taste like beer, which is so true,” Lauren said.
Sometimes, the girls vent out their frustrations over brunch and ice cream, while reflecting on how they’ve helped each other grow their creativity.
“Megan is actually the main reason why I took a leap of faith and started to develop my first line of products. Last year, she quit her job and decided to do her business full time. I told myself, ‘if Megan can do that, I can develop and produce my products’— and that’s exactly what I did! She inspired me to go after my dreams as well. When I am working on new designs, I always get her opinion, especially when I’m designing Harry Potter designs because she’s a Potter Head like me,” she added.
As for those who may be too nervous to reach out to other girls on VINA, Megan said, “A friend should like you for who you are! So just be yourself, find someone with similar interest or hobbies and start asking questions, and see if you too would be a good match as friends!”
Lauren chimed in to say, “Just go for it! If you’re afraid, just do it anyways. Since being on the Hey! VINA app, it’s given me more confidence when talking with strangers. Megan and I totally made friends with a girl working at Lush; her vibes were amazing, and we were like: ‘We should totally ask her to be our friend.’ We ended up going out to dinner the next week, so that was really cool. It all starts with a hello and a smiley face.”
Go on Instagram and follow both Megan’s business: @iris.atelier &
Lauren’s business: @pineapple.sundays! And while you’re at it, check out Hey! VINA to find a bestie that will build you up just like Megan and Lauren did for each other.