The Beauty in Movement

By Allie Spletter

Lauren Williams’ work – incredibly unique textile art – is an absolute exercise in relinquishing control to allow each piece of art to become itself fully. Ironically, many of the roads traveled and decisions made in her life have resulted from doing the same…surrendering control to allow her and her family to grow and flourish. The Frisco-based artist’s work has been featured and incorporated into private residences, hotels, and public spaces around the world, and her journey to success is as inspiring as her artwork.

Lauren always loved art, and while she didn’t initially pursue a career in art, she was able to creatively express herself early in her career. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, she moved to Los Angeles (LA) and landed a job as an event planner. In her role, she was able to lean into her creative side as many jobs included elements of interior design, a passion of hers, but the whirlwind world of the Los Angeles entertainment industry didn’t take long to catch up to her. She soon had to take a step back for the sake of her health.

She was able to take time to step back from her career in events. She took a job at a yoga studio, where she ultimately met her husband, James, who, too, was taking a step back from his incredibly busy career as a film and television producer for Mark Burnett. James ended up franchising a new yoga studio and asked Lauren to help him open it. From there, Lauren could, again, tap into her creativity as they planned for their new business.

Though they were both making efforts to slow down, opening and running a new yoga studio together proved to be quite the opposite of slowing down. James and Lauren got married and welcomed their first child during this time, too.

“I mean, it was the most chaotic life,” she recalls laughing. “It was the exact opposite of focusing on health! We knew it wasn’t worth it financially or mentally and physically, so we ended up selling the studio back to the owners.”

After selling the studio, Lauren and James decided to move their young family to Texas, and for the next few years, they each took on various jobs before James accepted a position back out in LA that he couldn’t turn down as they moved to Frisco in 2015. “We knew Frisco was amazing and had amazing schools, so we moved – I had just had my third baby, and [with the new job] James would fly to LA on Monday mornings and come back home Friday night,” Lauren explains.

She and James weren’t ready to pick back up and move back to California for his job, so their schedule remained hectic and challenging for almost a year. “It was really hard, and I needed an outlet. I wanted to make a piece of art for our living room, but my taste for art and my budget for art did not align!” she recalls.

At the time, Lauren wasn’t pursuing art as a career as she was still very much vested in marketing, sales, and public relations, but it was at this time that she accidentally stumbled upon what would ultimately become her calling in textile art.

“I wanted a giant canvas for my living room wall, and I couldn’t even afford a blank canvas, so as I walked through the arts and crafts section, I had the thought to duct tape a couple of wooden dowels together to make a 72-inch-wide piece and get some fabric and rip it up and make this like ‘canvas,’ if you will, and use dyes and paints and something to give it some kind of texture,” she explains.

“I ended up taking a picture of this piece – it’s the first picture on my Instagram, and people were like, ‘Who is the artist? Where did you get it?’ and I was replying to my friends like, ‘Guys, it’s totally me, I made this,” she recalls laughing. “So many friends asked me to make them one, and that’s kind of how this all got started – friends basically asking me to make them.”

Much of Lauren’s earliest work was done during kids’ naps or evenings, and the work done for friends eventually became for friends of friends and others who had found her and reached out on Instagram. She was able to tap back into her love for interior design as she staged pieces around her house to show others how to incorporate the art into their spaces.

“It really took off creatively for me and it just very organically grew. There was one month where I sold enough pieces that came very close to equivalent to what he [James] was making financially, and at that point, I told him that if he came home and helped and he and I did it all together, that we could really do it. So, he said, ‘Yes,’ and he quit his job in LA,” Lauren explains.

As Lauren and James took on her new venture together, the requests kept coming, and her pieces would sell within seconds of her posting a picture. James jumped in head first, helping secure materials vendors to elevate Lauren’s creations even further.

“I started reaching out to interior designers. They started reaching out to me, and I just started developing relationships. Because that’s my passion – I love beautiful spaces. If I see just a ridiculously cool space, I think, ‘What is the perfect piece of art? What would I want to hang on that wall? That’s how I get inspired,” Lauren shares.

Lauren’s love for art in beautiful spaces has only heightened her creativity and her work’s popularity as her and James’ story has come full circle. They’ve made something beautifully successful out of a time in their lives when they just wanted to be home with their kids.

They, very quickly, though, attribute all of it to finding Jesus throughout the changes and movements in their lives. Lauren shares, “We weren’t really ‘church people,’ but we went [to Genesis Metro], and heard this message of being anchored to something that is never going to change. And for us, we could not wait to find something to be anchored to. It has been a really beautiful thing to see how when we are faithful financially, when we’re faithful with our time and our priorities, how God just has blessed this business.”

Social media has played an incredible role in the rise of Lauren’s success as it’s how she reached out to designers across the country. Lauren’s husband and business partner, James, adds, “Lauren had such a vision for where she wanted her art to be. She would reach out to designers across the country and let them know she’d like them to use her pieces, and her visions transcended into being able to work with the best designers.”

While Lauren puts so much time and creative energy into commissioned pieces for high-end businesses and clients, she is still able to put time and creative energy into pieces she turns into collections for online sales through her website. “Every time I have a commission piece, I pretty much put a [separate] piece of art together for the collection, so I’m able to have an outlet,” Lauren says.

Lauren uses dye to create incredible colors and nuances in her textile art, and it’s often that aspect of her art that calls for her to relinquish control as her process often allows the piece to come into its own as planned but sometimes takes it in a different direction.

She explains, “So maybe I’ve mixed this beautiful dye color that is so gorgeous and perfect, but it did not come out exactly the way I wanted it for this commission. So, I think, ‘You know what, I’m going to make a cool piece over here, and just lean into what I want to do with it,’ and then I will continue making the commissioned piece. But at the end of maybe six to eight weeks, I’ve got all my commissions checked off, and I’ve also created a collection of art.”

Her projects have been featured in hospitality projects and public spaces and commissioned for some incredibly formidable people and brands. She just finished up a custom piece for Kim Kardashian’s designer, Jeff Andrews, has worked with Ru Paul’s designer, and you can find one of her custom-commissioned pieces in every Gorjana store in the country. Bobby Burke, interior designer on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, reached out asking if he could put one of her pieces in the show, and she has created for Joanna Gaines.

While her collaboration resume is both incredible and still very quickly growing, Lauren does admit to having some that were “pinch me” moments, including her collaboration with designer Thomas Hayes (the first time Lauren mixed her work with metal), her collection of Lauren Williams Art rugs that are inspired by her artwork (one of which is in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dallas), and her art being purchased by Nicole Hollis.

“I’ve been in a lot of really gorgeous coffee table books where I get to see my artwork, and my work with Nicole Hollis has just been really neat,” Lauren shares. Nicole Hollis is a famed designer and creative director whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, GQ, and other publications.

“When she [Nicole Hollis] reached out, I was a nobody, nothing. No major designer had ever wanted to work with me at that point. She just bought something on my website, and I thought, ‘Wait, this is Nicole Hollis!’ This was years and years ago, and, at that point, I understood that I could be taken seriously and be solidified within the design world.”

Had Lauren and James not moved to Frisco all those years ago, she’s not sure any of this would have happened, as their home garage was where she first set up her business and art studio. “I was in that garage for about six years,” she recalls. “We just had a white wall, so we made it work. Had we not come to Frisco, we would never have been able to grow the business.”

Lauren and her team have since moved to a full studio in the Frisco area, where she can work on multiple pieces at once, stage photos of her work, and where her team has space to help with daily operations. Of her future endeavors, Lauren admits she would love to one day have a gallery – a beautifully designed space where people can tour and visit and see her art in person.

“I have a lot of cool ideas I can’t wait to explore,” she says. Lauren also creates canvas art as she has a deep love for painting, which is an aspect of her craft that she is able to control.

She explains, “[When making the textile/tapestry pieces] you really have to release control when you’re making these pieces of art. I mean, it’s liquid… gravity is a big part. It’s a personal release of control, and it’s been really therapeutic for me. But when I get my hand on a canvas, I’m just like, yes, this will go right here, and it’s not moving. I love seeing my canvas work and my textile art singing together. It’s fun to see that I do have a style. I do have a palette… a version of art that I create that works well together.”

Seeing Lauren’s pieces in person is truly captivating as they seemingly take on a life of their own. Each has its own unique story, textures, colors, and feel. Though it most often hangs stoically, the more extraordinary aspect of the art is when small drafts of air catch the strands, creating a subtle yet incredibly impactful movement that only further breathes life into the art through delicate movement.

Movement has long been part of Lauren’s journey through life moves, travel, career changes, and stumbling on a passion for beautiful spaces and art. Without such sometimes chaotic and exhausting movement and surrendering control to a Plan she was not yet aware would anchor her exactly where she needed to be, Lauren Williams Art would never have come to life. She, her family, and her business are anchored in Frisco, and we’re proud to call her one of our own.

Allie Spletter is the Managing Editor of Frisco STYLE Magazine and is proud to shine light on the people that make Frisco so special.

Skip to content