We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Madden and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I love this question! In fact, every time I am asked this, I learn more about why I decided to start this business- a constant unfolding of self-awareness. Starting ReFashioned Art has been 100% purpose-driven. It was something I always dreamed of… yet didn’t have the courage to admit to myself. I finally decided to start ReFashioned Art in 2019 because I couldn’t outrun it any longer- quite honestly. I had been making my own art my entire adult life. Every time I moved, I made new art to decorate my own homes. After relocating to Arizona, my new home here required a lot of art to fill the vast white walls. It came together very quickly- yet felt like no time at all. It was very challenging, laborious- yet felt like complete playtime. One too many people asked ‘why aren’t you doing this [art business]!?” A good friend invited me to take part in a Popup she was launching to sell my art. That was a defining moment- like the start of ‘The Hero’s Journey.’ I was either going to accept the challenge and figure it out- or decline and forever wonder ‘what if?’ I finally learned to accept myself for the artist that I am, that I always have been, waiting to come and play. ReFashioned Art is also another way for me to demonstrate the merging of sustainability and style, which is a very important message of this brand. I want to encourage people to create a stylish lifestyle for themself. I hope by sharing my art I can get more beauty and style into as many people’s lives and homes as possible.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
ReFashioned Art is on a mission to merge sustainability and style, and to get as much art, beauty & style into as many people’s lives and homes as I can. Getting to where I am today has been a journey, a true work in progress. I have known what I wanted to do for years, but kinda couldn’t get out of my own way- meaning that accepting myself as an artist and creative just seemed too obscure and ‘out there’- which is really hard to say out loud, but it’s true. Once I was able to step into my truth, things have come together much easier than I imagined. So, my challenges have been more internal than external (though I always struggle with logistics- ha!) ReFashioned Art is abstract, modern and sustainable. It is meant to bring a fashionable edge to your home or workspace decor. All of the ReFashioned Art original paintings are made using repurposed materials. I want my art brand to be an example that sustainability- reducing waste, conserving resources, upcycling- can be beautiful and stylish and does not have to look in any way less than. I want to encourage people to make their own art and create a stylish lifestyle for themselves. If not- I hope they will shop my art because I am confident it will elevate their space. ReFashioned Art is here to help change the world. This brand is meant to stand out as cutting edge- both aesthetically and in principle. Beauty matters and this beauty is raising the narrative that we can change the world by looking for beauty where it is not normally found.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, since a large part of my brand is about a stylish life and sustainable shopping, I would first head to my favorite secondhand stores- To Be Continued, Goodwill, My Sister’s Closet, Red Modern, Fashion by Robert Black, Vintage by Misty. If there were any good estate sales or Popups with my favorite resellers, those would be next (looking out for Designer Treasure Hunt, Vintage By Design, Time Capsule Vintage, City Trends Shop). I always like to squeeze in a trip to Phoenix Art Museum- please! Since the desert beauty here is also a huge part of my lifestyle, let’s go hike around Camelback Mountain or The Phoenix Preserve. Eating well in my hood here – always! Sunset views at happy hour at Wrigley Mansion, and dinner at Fat Ox, Sumo Maya, Tarbells or Steak 44. Closing the night at Jade Bar at the Sanctuary- love looking at the twinkling lights of the homes surrounding Mummy Mountain.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Yes!! I give so much credit to my network here in Arizona and afar! The growing Arts & Culture here have been so welcoming and supportive to a newly emerging artist such as myself. Artlink and the Phoenix Art Galleries have generously shown my work, and being so new on the scene here, I am forever grateful to have such a strong start to developing my presence in this space. Serving on the boards of various organizations has been a huge opportunity to give back and contribute value wherever I can- San Francisco Fashion Community Week, Remake, Arizona Costume Institute, Fashion Group International. I am hugely grateful to Tricee Thomas, founder of The Garment League. I was awarded the 2020 Fashion Humanitarian Award, and to be recognized for something so important to me- an advocate making a difference for sustainable fashion- has fueled me to further persevere and continue showing up exactly as I am.
Website: www.shop.iamlauramadden.com + www.iamlauramadden.com
Instagram: @ReFashioned Art (https://www.instagram.com/reFashionedArt/) + @iamlauramadden (https://www.instagram.com/iamlauramadden/)
Claudia Johnstone, Carrilee Fox, Phyllis Lane, Jennifer Brown, King Lawrence