The shorty bio
When Olympic athletes, members of Congress, venture capitalists and CEOs hit a block, they call Lauren Fritsch.
You may know her as a consultant and coach, but really she's a champion for leaders of (mostly) fast-growing companies who want to expand their businesses with grace and love.
Her work has been spotlighted by ABC, Social Media Weeks NYC + DC, South By Southwest, the INC 5000, Let's Talk Live, Design*Sponge, and Katie Couric.
When she's not helping her clients and their teams change the world by doing business, you can find her throwing impromptu solo dance parties, scouring vintage stores around the world for items both sequined and sparkly, leading retreats through sun salutations and designing organic perfume, motivational posters and/or impeccable CX.
Lauren grew up in North Carolina, is a graduate of Phillips Academy and the University of Virginia, and lives in Manhattan with her husband.
A bit more about me, and why it matters for you
You are a leader (even if you don't call yourself that every day). You impact people's lives through your business. (Damn, commerce is a powerful tool.) You are an optimizer. You seek change to improve profitability, culture and the world. Inevitably, our experiences inform our personalities, values, decisions, and I've found that I tend to have something in common with the leaders I work with.
I've operated at the intersection of business and impact my entire adult life. Here's how I got here.
Early signs pointed to entrepreneurship
:: At age five I learned how to sew by hand.
:: At age nine I sold lemonade and birdhouses with my brothers by the side of Highway 54 in Durham, NC.
:: In high school I sold hand made black Kate Spade-ish handbags to classmates at my boarding school.
:: At UVA I made and sold garden party and semi-formal dresses to my sorority sisters.
Skills acquired: trendspotting, production/manufacturing and general chutzpah
The road less traveled
I wasn't completely convinced that rejecting the traditional path was my path. Then the evidence began to add up. Some turning points along the way...
:: Counting by my father's (not small amounts) cash and checks on Saturdays after he returned from a weekend of work.
:: Noting that my self-employed dad picked me up from school most days (unless he forgot!) while all the other dads were working.
:: My first official summer job was 9-5 days at a law firm followed by a 6 to close shift at the Saks 5th Avenue outlet. I fell asleep at the law firm and began to notice what sold (and what didn't) at retail.
:: Reporting to a non-profit board in my first job and then to a Head of School in my second, I realized that I wanted to be calling the shots (at the tender age of 22).
Skills acquired: rapid cash counting, 80 WPM typing timesheets on an IBM Selectric, carrying over 50 garments over one arm while simultaneously smiling and zipping up a customer's too tight dress, the ability to deliver my critique of a system (non-profit or education in my case) without diplomacy
After leaving my first two jobs, armed with a healthy skepticism towards the status quo and the desire to be rewarded for my hard work (and hopefully success), I naturally gravitated towards cleaning toilets and teaching English in a foreign country. And then sales.
My life in sales...
:: I convinced five different brands (most while I was living in Italy) that I could sell their collections in the US. (I had no book of contacts, no sales experience, no car, no samples.)
:: After buying samples and a car, I cold called nearly every women's specialty store on the East Coast. I did not yet know what "the majors" were. This was also pre e-commerce, people.
:: Within six weeks I became a top sales person for most of my brands and was credited with breaking them into the US market.
:: Reporting to often creative-minded designers, I realized that I wanted to be calling the shots (at the tender age of 25).
Skills acquired: cold calling, horrible excel spreadsheeting, exhaustive knowledge of every mid to high-end retail complex from the mid-Atlantic down to Florida, the ability to deliver my critique of a (fashion business) system without diplomacy, a deep love for trade shows of all kinds
The rest is history
With the encouragement and mentorship of my first coach, Heather, I segued from sales into coaching and consulting. Since 2006 I have worked with leaders of government and business, consulted with startups and companies worth over 100 million, designed software in Ohio and handbags in Italy, led retreats attended by thousands of women, written a weekly column in the Richmond Times Dispatch, crafted courses and given talks at General Assembly and SXSW, and even had one of my client companies honored by the INC 5000 three times over (and counting).
I am deeply proud of the work I am blessed to do with my clients and their companies and I look forward to creating more relationships that use business to create value on multiple levels.