Meet our Buying and Merchandising Manager: Laura
This is a continuation of the Lekker profile series where we're getting personal with each member of the team. We hope you enjoy getting to know us.
There is a quiet force about Laura. She's soft-spoken and intentional, always taking in her surroundings before showing her hand. Laura is our buyer, the curator of our vendor relationships, and has one of the most technical jobs in our cloud of creatives.
As a kid, Laura had a proclivity for technical precision – toying with the childhood idea of being a vet, perfecting the craft of horseback riding, and thinking she would pursue dentistry in college. But she eventually learned that she wanted a technical job within a creative industry, and finding that was a whole different game.
Laura started out with the idea that textiles would be her niche.
But through misadventures with sewing classes in college and a job doing quality control for an apparel company – it just didn't stick. But what did, were the principles she learned, now giving her a leg up in understanding the quality and longevity of furniture, especially upholstery. The days she spent testing stretch properties and the piling of clothing has led her to a greater understanding of fabric that goes beyond textbook definitions or knowing double-rub counts. Besides her material expertise, Laura is also a self-proclaimed health nut which helps when making sure that products are actually safe and go beyond just meeting US standards. She's now super conscious of chemical makeup in just about everything.When she's not off at the gym or dosing up some Reishi Mushroom – she's making sure that everything we carry is a good quality product sourced from a reputable vendor.
Her counterpart in the buying world is Natalie, together they act as a ying and yang of analytical and creative philosophies when finding designs that speak to Lekker as a brand. Her favorite buying trip is ICFF – because there is a furniture focus, making it simpler for her to analyze exactly what to choose or pass on. When buying she focuses on filling in portfolio gaps, cutting down or filling out our preexisting categories, and weighing the performance of a new product. Although creatively-minded, admittedly her job requires more of a mathematical execution:“It just can’t be something cool that we can’t ship here or can’t get good pricing on.”
It makes sense that her favorite part of the job is the numbers – margins, delivery, and making sense of peaks and valleys.
Though, she gets some interior inheritance and artistry from her mom who took part in personal interior design projects throughout her life, like designing the entirety of Laura's childhood home or being the lead for redesigning her firm's law office! She had a heavy hand in the plans and furniture choices, sourced ironically enough from our friends at Knoll. Like her mom, Laura has an intimate relationship with design. And that made going from a corporate apparel job to Lekker a few years ago pretty simple: "I don't do this for any other reason other than I love coming to work each day."