Why Small Businesses Matter
Shop small, do big things for your community
Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!
You're IT Studio 162!
Four questions with Lauren Clayton, founder of Studio 162.
Why did you start your business?
I started my business because the opportunity aligned with my passions for art and design. Fresh from graduating with my Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Cooper Union School of Art, I had no debt. In the fall after interning at an amazing graphic design company, Milton Glaser Studio, I was inspired to launch Studio 162. I visualized a business that would marry my passion for graphic design and fine arts. At the start of business, that vision took shape in the form of books. I custom-designed and hand-bound books that told personal stories about my client’s childhood, courtship, or a special trip. The books were so well received, that those clients kept referring me to new clients. This allowed me to grow my business to the scale it is today. That was 20 years ago. Today, I reflect on the freedom it has allowed me to explore my passions and find purpose in my work.
What is your best-selling product/service?
In twenty years of business, my best-selling service has evolved from designing books to painting murals. I now paint about 3-4 murals a year. The most recent large-scale mural was for GE’s new maker space in their new factory CoCreate in Stamford. The mural is of a robot, named FirstBuild breaking into Stamford spray-painting his mark on the city. I’ve also found great success in designing websites, most recently for Playtex and Stayfree. My passion lies in working with nonprofit organizations that use the power of art and design to elevate their fundraising efforts and missions.
I started my business in Downtown Stamford in a home studio. I’ve leaned on various local businesses to print, produce, and supply my passions over the years. Recently, I’ve collaborated work with Stamford’s Speed Printing and Graphics, Custom Sign Solutions, photographer Don Hamerman, event designer Sebastian of Sebass Events, and videographer Byron of Alli Inka Creative Media.
Have you "reimagined" your small business?
My business evolved to mirror my creative interests. I look for support from the community to evaluate the viability of pursuing these interests. I have always imagined Studio 162 to be a hub for my creativity. I’d like to ultimately share that idea publicly at scale, opening my studio for collaborative mural projects, art exhibitions, workshops, and a storefront in downtown Stamford.
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!