Success is not always a clear or set path. And that is why Lauren Woodard is so good at adapting.
The co-owner of Lavish Body and Home set out in her college years to obtain a degree in family counseling and become a therapist.
“By constantly adapting to the different situations and opportunities that came my way I became an esthetician, a manager and then an owner of an incredible hybrid business,” Woodard said. “I have a business that we have grown and are in love with in a community that supports us tremendously.”
She co-owns the business with her husband, Micah Woodard, and they have had the opportunity to develop training/mentorship programs within the salon for students still enrolled in beauty school. This allows the students time in the salon to shadow and learn from experienced stylists before beginning their careers.
“We find ourselves in a unique opportunity with owning a retail-based salon/shop to be able to donate and support numerous charities in their fundraising efforts,” Woodard said. “From gift certificates to basket donations we are able to support far more organizations then we could physically be a part of including Marley’s Mission, VAC, Boys and Girls Club of NEPA, The Everhart Museum and more.”
The entrepreneur is in charge of putting in place and overseeing a management team that support the business and its staff. She trains and oversees the front desk employee service team, is a buyer for clothing and décor and performs trend casting in both interior design, fashion and salon industry.
Woodard is in her third year of chairing the Coaches vs. Cancer Gala with her husband. The couple initially became involved because their son is both a basketball player and a survivor.
“I find myself naturally drawn to cancer-based charities having walked through a cancer diagnosis and battle with my son early on in his life,” she explained.
Staying at home with their daughter, Kylie, and son, Phoenix, during his treatment, which was experimental and required the family to be at CHOP 16 days out of every month, the mom was unable to work at that time. After her son completed treatment, she decided to become licensed as an esthetician because of the flexibility that the salon/spa industry gives to mothers with their schedules. She was hired at LAVISH as an esthetician in 2008.
As she worked in the spa, she was given the opportunity to use her past retail experience in the store and quickly developed into a manager. During this time, she was proud to be able to complete her bachelor’s degree in family counseling as a full-time working mom. Taking on additional responsibilities she was included in the buying and merchandising for the store as well as the daily bookkeeping.
In the summer of 2014, she and her husband had the opportunity to purchase the business. “While having no past experience as business owners we were confident that our combined retail, management, marketing, sales and spa experience would prove us to be successful,” she said. “Since 2014 we have been able to fully renovate the space and proudly add in 11 new jobs.”
The strongest mentorship the businesswoman has received in her career was from Matt Drace and Jonathan Chernes.
“They taught me how to take my passion for retail and design and practically apply it,” she said. “They taught me to be constantly looking at the business and evaluating how the market is constantly changing and how to change with it. It was their confidence in our abilities that gave us the confidence in buying and running the business.”
Her husband is also her teammate.
“We handle the business and our family as a team and could not do it without each other,” she said.
Woodard is a member of Scranton Tomorrow, which focuses on the downtown business and living revitalization.