Hello, and welcome to the third and final installment of Creative Crush: Light Lab! We hope you’ve enjoyed the photos from our styled shoot!
Today, we present to you an interview with the co-owners of Light Lab, Anne and Caroline. Jackie sat down with them prior to the shoot to learn more about them and how Light Lab came to life!
Jackie: How did you meet?
Anne: 6 AM in a hotel room in Vegas.
Jackie: (laughter; thinking, ‘This is gonna be a good story!)
Anne: I was working with an online magazine at the time. Caroline and Jayden happened to win a contest to shoot for the same magazine! We immediately clicked and quickly discovered we had very similar humor and values.
Jackie: How did Light Lab come to life?
Anne: In 2011, we were both working from home and had hit a ceiling. Our intentions aligned—we wanted to create a physical space to open doors for each of our various endeavors. We each have really diverse interests but still wanted to create our own niches, so we put it into the universe that we were looking to create a space that is “Instagram-able” from every angle. We wanted to open the “energetic door.”
Caroline: I totally agree with Anne—we wanted a space to open doors and let creativity flow. It was a year-long process of simply learning what works and what doesn’t. Not only were we designers, but we also became contractors.
Jackie: What are your other endeavors?
Anne: Blogging, Instagram, styling for other brands, social consulting… I wrote a book on interiors that was published in 2015, other writing stuff, and various design projects.
Caroline: Jayden and I are professional photographers (@teamwoodnote)—we shoot weddings, lifestyle, fashion, and occasionally interiors. We also founded Coco Carpets and are involved in a couple of non-profit organizations. I work hard to be an influencer and am interested in branded content. Jayden is mainly a composer and musician. He can fix anything; he learned a lot growing up in the countryside. He made our custom neon sign in the living room, as well as did all of the tiling here at Light Lab, which gets complimented regularly. People ask him to tile for them, but he hates it! Hah.
Jackie: Why did you choose Atwater Village for your location?
Caroline: I had a buddy who had a space in Highland Park. I called every other week, saying, “Let me have it!” I kept nagging until he finally said, “Why don’t you use my old space? It’s even closer to you, in Atwater Village. I think it’s vacant.” When we discovered the space, it was a dump. It literally had squatters and holes in the walls. Executing our vision took a lot of patience.
Anne: Yeah—if you want something done, assign it to Caroline!
Jackie: Describe the warehouse renovation.
Caroline: I’m still alive.
Anne: It was a test of vision over circumstance.
Jackie: What was the most challenging part about the renovation?
Anne: It was a totally unknown process, so we just had to dive in. We didn’t know things like putting in the base board before installing the toilet. The learning curve was so steep. We became contractors. We poured concrete and solved electrical issues. This space is so atypical. For example, we learned the slope of the space from here to there (points across room) is more than three inches. We had to figure out how to make the kitchen island seem level! We didn’t take out any loans, either. That feels so long ago… Now, the space is truly reflective of our personalities. For me, it’s purely functional. I get done here what I can’t get done from home. It serves a logical purpose. We’ve created something here like a magazine—a platform for people to come and be creative. I’m just facilitating; I connect other creatives, then step away.
Caroline: Having the space opens the door to so many ideas, like hosting a personality workshop. It’s become a part of my lifestyle as a whole. I exercise here (dance, yoga), shoot, work, develop ideas, and continue my creative flow.
Jackie: What are some of your favorite decor styles?
Caroline: Eighties. No—more like 1978 to 1982… Yeah!
Anne: Minimalist modern. Neutral. Tonal. Texture instead of pattern. Dynamic visual experiences with unexpected components. I’m all about subtlety. The aesthetics of Light Lab are a Venn diagram of our styles!
Jackie: Describe Light Lab in three words.
Anne + Caroline: Vibrant. Inviting. Quirky.
Jackie: How did you come to curate your collection of furniture and decor items?
Anne: All of our design choices run through the filter of, What is the love child of both of our styles? Many of our items were acquired by trading services with products from vendor partners.
Caroline: The collection of carpets we have here are from Coco Carpets, one of the businesses I started with my husband. It is an ever-evolving collection. Our other pieces were chosen for work or function. They’re eclectic—some are clean and crisp and some aren’t. In the lounge, we first brought in this custom couch with Crypton fabric. Then, we made the coffee table. After we panicked that it was too neutral, we brought in the prints and the rug. Now we love it.
Jackie: Why should people consider your space for their gathering?
Anne: We rent for corporate or commercial events only. Though we’re open to bridal showers, engagement parties, and influencer events, we don’t rent for purely private, social events, like weddings. In the past, we’ve facilitated industry cocktail events, workshops, product or collection launches, pop-up shops, brunches, book releases, fashion line premieres, and trunk shows—anything with an eclectic, modern vibe. The kitchen is totally functional for caterers and the like.
Jackie: What’s the most valuable thing you have learned as event space owners?
Anne + Caroline: Even if it seems obvious, over-communicate!! Never assume anything.
Jackie: What are your future plans?
Anne + Caroline: We’re living in the moment. We’re going to keep using the space while we’ve got it. We say to ourselves, ‘If we want to learn something, do it now.’
If you haven’t seen parts one and two, here they are!
A final thank you to our awesome team, linked below… and thanks to YOU for joining us!
Venue | Light Lab
Photographer | Woodnote Photography
Gowns | Trish Peng
Florals | Dillon Nauert
Calligraphy | Fawn Lettering
Makeup + Hair | Maggie Cathey
Model | Holly Hicks
Carpets | Coco Carpets