Feature Interview: Lauren Mancke

I have been a fan of Lauren’s design work for quite a while now, and was so grateful that I was able to get in touch with her. She is an amazing example of finding something you are passionate about and then going for it 110%.

Lauren is the Principal and Creative Director of Northbound Design, a design agency that specializes in Art Direction and Visual Design, Branding and Copywriting, Front-end Development, WordPress Consulting and Development, and User Interface Design.

1)   Tell me about your background, what you do currently, and how you got to where you are.

I was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina and attended the University of South Carolina Honors College. This is where I began my freelance business, Northbound Design, in 2003. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in Media Arts, and working at a small consulting firm for almost 2 years, I decided to take Northbound Design to a full-scale company. After having somewhat immediate success, my husband joined me to focus our full energies on growing the company. We currently employ a small staff and continue to expand, servicing local, national, and international clients.

2)   Did you always know that you wanted to go into design?

I can’t say that I knew I wanted to go into design specifically but I always wanted to have a career in a creative field. I was an imaginative and artistic child, always building or creating something and it seemed to me that, if you’re passionate about that, why go and pursue anything else. I am fortunate to come from a family that believes in setting your mind and seeing your goals to completion so I always had the drive. Once I realized I could create a solid product while maintaining my creativity, it was an easy decision to focus on design and development.

3)   Where do you find inspiration in your life?

Everywhere. I know is sounds a bit reductionist but it’s really true. What I love about this world is the fact that there is always something happening and there is always plenty of inspiration to be found.

4)   What is your favorite part of your current job?

I have to say that I love the control and the flexibility. One of my greatest fears when I was first considering a career path was the fact that I could end up tied down in a large office situation. Running my own business puts my future in my own hands and allows me to work when I am ready to work, travel when I want to, and spend time with friends and family far more than if I was working for someone else.

5)   What is the biggest struggle you have experienced in getting to where you are today?

They say that it’s the anticipation that often trips people up. I have to agree. Once you make up your mind, running your own business (or doing pretty much anything else for that matter) is not that much of a struggle, largely because once you’ve started, you are constantly moving, whether that movement is forward of back, it’s always movement. But getting that start, taking that first step toward something you want that is the real challenge.

6)   What advice do you have for women in business?

Be yourself, never apologize for your gender. Insert yourself into areas women are not expected to participate in, and then outshine everyone.



  1. says

    Our cooking studio host a monthly cooking class for professional women. The class is called “Wild Women” we are looking for featured speakers in the Greater Columbia South Carolina Area to speak to the class on varoius topics of interest for women. “Services and Products for Women in Business or doing business with women” We have hosted real estate ladies, financial planners,jewlery companies, non profit oragnizations etc. If you are interested in teaming up please contact us.

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