We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Dike and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My boyfriend and I have always dreamed about running our own business/not working for another person. We wanted to build something where we could be self sufficient and work for ourselves. When covid happened, it was a blessing in disguise for us. We had disposable income and nothing but time. We decided to go all in and see if we could build something like we dreamed about.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Ever since I was a child, I have always been drawn to the weird/odd things of life. I find joy in the odd things. I found that opening a small business during covid, everyone was doing it, and making the same things. I wanted to stand out, so I skewed away from the norm, and started making things that we enjoyed, which is pretty strange. I am most proud of our creativity. Trying to find the people that are interested in the weird things in life, the dark, the horror. It was not easy, but we are finally finding a fan base that is interested and excited about the items we produce. The biggest challenge was building Conflicted Creations from nothing. We had no idea what direction we were going in, or what we were wanting to make. The only thing we knew for sure, was that we wanted to be our own bosses. We overcame this slump by experimenting with things and seeing if they got interest. When they did we just went off that and the feedback of these items and went all in.
We learned that following the crowd will work for some people, but we wanted more exciting work. We found being original is what worked best for us.
We want the world to know that we are weird and proud. Our brand is Conflicted Creations, and with that name, and after seeing our items, you can see why it is called this. We are all over the place, we refuse to have a niche.
We are just a weird couple exercising our right to be unique, and we are proud of our work that we have done, and will continue to do.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I think the basis of a good city is the food and entertainment. I have lived in the valley recently for a few years now, and have experienced some fun places.
Chino Bandidos has been a long time obsession for me. They were featured on Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives in 2008. I discovered them in 2014, and I fell in love. This place is definitely unique, it is a mash of Chinese, Mexican and Jamaican cuisine. This might sound odd, but it is AMAZING. I would recommend this to anyone that visits the Valley.
If you want to grab an oversized cocktail at the best prices, and enjoy some live entertainment, or perhaps play old school video games/arcade games, The Grid is the spot. I have been here a few times and I love every minute! They have local bands that perform and it’s a fun experience to support local artists. The cocktails are massive and the cheapest around. They have a whole room of arcade games, then another room with computer games as well as console games. If you want a nostalgia type feel, this is the place.
Yucca Tap Room is also one of my favorites. I went to a Halloween party a few years back, and it was extremely fun. They also support the local bands and businesses. This is a more punk rock type environment, and it is usually filled with fun unique people. They also have an awesome arcade as well!
If you go around the building, you will find Rocket A GO-GO. This store is ran by an awesome human, and has a very large selection of punk/alternative clothing and accessories. This is a small local business, and it is just an amazing experience every time you go in.
I love the concert scene, visiting The Nile, located in Mesa, is one of my favorite small, local venues. The setting is intimate and the location is perfect. It is downtown Mesa, and there are a lot of neat shops as well as bars located near it. When I go here, I always go early, and check out what is new around the area.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I could not have started this without my partner. He always encourages me to do what I want in life, even if it is risky. He has always believed in me and motivates me to do my best in everything. I have known him for 18 years. We were best friends in middle school, and have been dating for over 3 years now. He is my support and an amazing partner. We strive off each other’s success and we will continue to grow as a team, in business and in our relationship. We would not be where we are if I didn’t have him pushing me.
Other: TikTok: @conflictedcreations