When Lauren Conrad decided to leave her era-defining MTV series, The Hills, in 2009, she got a lot of pushback. One person who was unequivocally in Conrad’s corner, however, was her mother. Not only was the elder Conrad supportive, but she also apparently has a knack for predicting business success: Her daughter’s pivot from reality(-ish) TV to lifestyle brand owner was a huge hit.

In the intervening years, Lauren Conrad has had a hand in everything from clothing lines to books, cultivating a uniform aesthetic along the way. More recently, she has focused on the nonprofit she founded with best friend Hannah Skvarla, The Little Market. The women-empowering company works with female artisans all over the world, especially in areas where women have more restricted rights, to help them sell their wares, which range from handbags and accessories to home goods and baby gear. It’s a business model Conrad could better appreciate after hitting a recent milestone in life.


“We’ve, in the last few years, become mothers and that’s only motivated us more,” Conrad says, referring to herself and Skvarla. “Because when we’re talking to women, their number one is always ‘Take care of my children,’ ‘Send my children to school,’ ‘I want only good things for my children,’ and I think we just understand that so much more now.”

The Little Market founder recently talked with Fast Company‘s Chris Allen about finding a balance between what your head and heart say, and other topics, for our new video series, Passion Project. New episodes of the series will be available every week on our site and YouTube channel.


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