Lauren Montgomery: Collective Rentals
What would you do if, after a serious car accident, some neurological issues and brain scans revealed you had a large brain tumor that could potentially derail your life plans?
When confronted with her mortality in 2017, Lauren Montgomery decided the time was now to go after her dreams fearlessly. “I decided that I was never going to work for anyone ever again,” reflected Montgomery. Having spent her earlier 20s as an Interior Designer, focused on designing hotels and restaurants, and eventually taking over the firm she was currently employed at, Montgomery decided to pivot. “I knew that my time was 100% valuable and that I needed to figure out a way to survive in this world without working for someone else to make sure that my time was my own.”
After spending the next month reflecting on her passions for architectural design and interiors while being mindful of the creative and artistic freedom necessary for her to thrive, Montgomery realized that her future career path would mean she would have to build something from scratch. “I had a friend who is an event producer, and I knew that I didn't want to do that because I'm too creative and too artistic to be so rigid,” she shared. “About a year later and many trips overseas and scraping together every penny that I had, I started Collective Rentals design house.” Founded in 2018, Collective Rentals is a furniture rental and interior design company that offers staging, styling, and event design services.
"They had two tents that were brand new, that were set up like an oasis, and I was able to design and produce those two tents with all of our furniture. That is by far my favorite thing that I've ever done."
Montgomery prides herself on her ability to transform a client’s inspiration into a perfectly executed space. “Taking on a client who may not have the design background or the actual vision and being able to translate that in a way that absolutely blows their mind is one of my favorite parts,” she said. “We're 100% there for our clients. I will go and put my hair up in a bun and put a t-shirt on, and I will haul [couches] myself if I need to. There’s no ego.”
When reflecting more on how her journey is impacting her life goals (and with her brain anomaly now under control with no additional medical attention needed), Montgomery is pleased with the progress she’s made. “One of our pillars as a community is that we come together. We celebrate, or we come together, and we mourn, and at the same time, I think there's a deeper aspect to that, which is where my heart is. It's about making sure that the community has the services that they need for mental health and that we are taking care of each other in a way that is lasting because we still have a lot of opposition.”
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