LA-based cult-coveted (pun-intended) label For Love & Lemons, has been on our radar for years. If you’re not familiar with the brand, one look at their line-up of intricate lace detailed bralettes and breezy dresses will win you over. Their signature clean and delicate aesthetic has been stirring up buzz with their devoted fans and loyal blogger ambassadors – we get the sense that there are some exciting projects in the works.
For Love & Lemons designer duo and childhood friends Gillian Mahin and Laura Hall met in elementary school in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. While both maintained an interest in fashion and design, it was a study abroad trip to Australia that inspired them to take the plunge and build their
business empire. We’re suckers for a good passion project, and these gals know how to work their vision.
Laura & Gill invited us in for a tour of their rad DTLA digs, and gave us the scoop on what it’s like running a business as besties. Their inviting space, full of light, beautiful textiles and inspiration, reflects their eye for design and embodies the airy aesthetic of their collection. The open studio even offers adorable office mascots Killer and Bandit space to roam free.
Get to know the babes behind the brand and check out the photos of their dreamy design space below!
CULT: Tell us a bit about yourselves! How did the two of you meet?
Gillian: We meet in 6th grade, in Mr. Millers’ class, on Laura’s first day of school in Jackson. She had just moved from Minnesota with her family and I was born and raised in Jackson Hole. Since day one we have been attached at the hip.
CULT: How/when was For Love & Lemons born?
Gillian: For Love & Lemons was born out of friendship and started to take off when we were abroad in Australia. Laura was interning for One Teaspoon and I was working for Bec & Bridge. The experience down under added fuel to the fire and helped grow our passion for designing and fashion. As soon as we got back to US we began creating our first collection.
CULT: Do you feel that growing up in the Midwest has shaped your values? How has travel – from Australia to LA – shaped the business, as well as both of you, personally?
Laura: I have always thought that growing up in the Midwest has given me a great foundation. I have been fortunate enough to travel and live abroad, which I feel it is important.
The ability to see what else is out there and broaden your understanding of other people, cultures and ways of thinking is invaluable.
Traveling and my childhood has shaped me personally and helps in my decision making for FL&L.
Gillian: Growing up in Jackson was amazing. My dad owned a restaurant and a few businesses in Jackson, so growing up I was taught what it took to own/run your own business. That work ethic has really shaped who I am and how we approach everyday at For Love & Lemons.
CULT: As both best friends and business partners are there any difficulties working collaboratively while maintaining your friendship? How do you keep work and play separate?
Laura: We have been inseparable for 15 years, so it was something that has been very natural. Of course there has been minor turbulence, but that is to be expected. We have different strengths and weakness. We complement each other very well.
CULT: As a designing duo, what are some of your individual strengths and weaknesses? What do you feel that you each contribute to the collection?
Gillian: I am the head designer/creative director for the brand, but Laura and I have a collective vision. She has a lot of yes & no contribution to designing and I actually put pen to paper and sketch. It is a great system we have and works because of our strong shared vision. We are left and right brains and that is how we run our business.
Laura: I focus a lot of my time on the production/business side of the business, while Gillian in addition to designing works with our PR team.
CULT: What are some things that you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Trust your gut
CULT: Where do you look to for sources of inspiration?
Gillian: Style as well as traveling. There is so much beauty in the world, it is a never ending inspiration.
CULT: Two things that few people know about you:
Laura: 1) I love children and I am a “big sister” to a 9 year old girl name Angela here in LA. 2) My nickname as a infant was “the Biscut,” after a football player on the Chicago Bears whose nickname was ‘the fridge,” because he was said to be 1 biscuit short of 350 lbs.
Gillian: 1) I grew up on a boat in the Bahamas and would spend 6 months a year there with my family. 2) I have a freckle in my eye.
CULT: Your favorite DTLA hang spots:
CULT: Words to live by:
“Three rules to live by – 1. If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. 2. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. 3. If you don’t step forward, you will always be in the same spot.”
Photography: Robby Mueller