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The Art of Lauren | The Art of Her Project (Tucson, Arizona

November 18, 202311 min read

The Art of Lauren | The Art of Her Project

Lauren's story has many layers to it, as do many of our stories. Experiences from a young age, huge unexpected life change that she not only overcame but kicked ass to become the woman she is today. Many would describe Lauren as kind, loving, generous, and supportive. I would also describe her as strong, powerful and extraordinary.

Her experience caused her to have to relearn a lot of things in life, and have to completely shift her directions in life. Experiences like this sometimes feel easier to give up, but Lauren is also incredibly determined.

Through it all, She rose.

This is the Art of Lauren.

This is the Art of Her.

Lauren Rising up

Interview with Lauren Smith

Jessica: Tell us about you, The woman.

Lauren: I am from Santa Rosa, California. I was emancipated on my 17th birthday. Born and raised in Southern California then spent later teen years in Oklahoma and Texas. I was honored to get married and moved to the beautiful Old Pueblo where I have lived for multiple decades and is truly where I call home. I have worked in the real estate industry since 1989 working in advertising with Homes Illustrated to working for multiple real estate title companies running their sales teams to being a marketing representative. My love of my job is the ability to help REALTORS, lenders and investors be truly served with their escrow and title needs where each benefits both personally and professionally. Protecting private property rights is paramount to what I do. I've been blessed with being a Tucson Association of REALTORS (TAR) Affiliate member the entire time and honored to be a valued member that has contributed to my industry. I've been TAR Board of Director to a committee chairperson to a committee member to winning awards and more. I truly love what I do and my industry. I'm active in the Women's Council of REALTORS Tucson Network since 1989. Active in Business Networking International's Copper Connection chapter. I've held President position of Pantano Rotary Club twice. My commitment is to when I leave this planet to make a difference with those I serve and where I live and to help those who cannot help themselves. I'm all about being healthy. I walk 30-40 miles per week and workout with a personal trainer 3 times a week.

Jessica: Tells us about Your Story.

Lauren: In 2004, I was in a near fatal car accident at the intersection of Speedway and Kolb. I was induced into a coma and remained in same for close to six weeks. From the car accident I had a head trauma of brain shear of which less than 2% turn out to be like I am today. My co-workers, clients and real estate industry play a huge part in my recovery from my learning to walk and speak again to starting my life over to have me remain active in leadership positions even when my speaking, thought processes and physical abilities were not what they were prior to the accident. I've been blessed with speaking to doctors and nurses about my experience to share what I remember from being in a coma to me being called into hospitals by health care workers to family parents that need/want me to speak to a patient or family member that has been faced with head trauma, stroke, dementia and more. Actually, my accident has truly been a gift to me in more ways than not.

Jessica: Tell me about a specific experience as it surrounds your story of what you had to endure or work through as you pushed to rise?

Lauren: From me being a self-sufficient strong female climbing the corporate ladder to me being housed in a small locked and protected department at Healthsouth to recover and to learn to walk, speak, drive, take care of myself and more was not an easy task. Yet, the strength within myself with the love and support from family, friends, clients, co-workers, competitors and the real estate industry played a big role in my recovery. I am blessed well beyond measure.

Jessica: What surprised you about yourself in the moments surrounding the event?  

Lauren: In being on my own at such a young age, I had to rely completely on others to help me. I had to ask for help. One of my memories from HealthSouth was when I was in the protected and watched department, I was waking up out of my coma and thought of course I can walk. I knew I was at least I remembered that I was a marathon runner....well, I tried to get out of bed and fell flat on my face. The nurses were firm with me and as loving as they come.

Lauren Smith Art of Her Tucson

Jessica: What surprised you about others as it is connected to your event?

Lauren: The Tucson Association of REALTORS and Multiple Listing Service had asked others to not come to the hospital. I was told that dozens and dozens of people waited in the waiting room. Where the accident occurred, dozens of people in their parked cars to see if the vehicle was mine and/or did I survive - was I going to make it. The real estate industry gets blasted all the time and my accident shows and reminds me daily that we are truly an amazing group of people and we care about those that are a part of it. When I came back to work nine months later all I worked closely with knew or they knew of me were so gracious, supportive and kind to me at a time when all of it didn't make complete sense to me. In many ways I acted very infantile and others looked and encouraged me to be better.

Jessica: Do you feel being a woman had any significant bearing on this event?

Lauren: Yes, I needed the strength of a women to get me through it and I needed tenderness, empathy, determination and my word to get to where I am now. The heights of my strength needed to be matched with my depth of love for myself and others to get to the other side. To keep me above blaming, it was done to me and so on. It was another hurdle in my life to overcome and later to share my experience with others to help them rise above their conditions that set them back. This experience set me back and it doesn't own me. I want others to be empowered about more experience so their lives are better.

Jessica: What would you say you learned about yourself or others during or since this event?

Lauren: much! I learned to always pay it forward, always give more than I receive, many people have it far worse than me and I have the ability to encourage others to rise above what is occurring in their lives. People are truly beautiful just give them the opportunity before you decide how it is for them. That my family is very small yet my son, his family, my friends, my co-workers, my competitors and more all played a part in my beautiful recovery. I am forever grateful.

 Jessica: How did this change you?

Lauren: Before the event I was on the route in corporate America to be a super star - I had a plan and nothing was going to stop me. After the event I learned so much about humility and to really listen to those around me - to stop and ask others if they need help, a hand, or an encouraging word. It's not that I wouldn't be like this before - it's that I really became present to what matters to me and what really matters to others. And, my life had a detour that I could have complained about and it was done to me. The detour has led me down roads, journeys I would have missed before. I am grateful for what occurred and how turning it around has brought more love, health, beauty and more into my life.

Jessica: Have your values changed since the event?

Lauren: Completely! I take more time now to be present to enjoy the moment. To really enjoy those around me. I was very tough on myself before the accident. I was my most critical voice I heard and listened to. I learned and came present to loving myself the way I am now and the differences I can and will make. That imperfections truly have more meaning and beauty in them. To not hold a grudge to truly listen to ask more questions and to be present here and now.

Jessica: What is the one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

Lauren: Oh, don't be so hard on yourself. Take the harsh words with a grain of salt. Give, give and give a little more. Imperfections are beautiful. Listen and listen more for everyone is trying to be heard.

Jessica: What would you say has helped you along your healing journey?

Lauren: Being kind to myself. Allowing others to help me. Ask for help and being grateful. Never giving up - ever. Many times the recovery wasn't how I expected it to be and that is perfectly okay.

Jessica: What is your story of now?

Lauren: I have overcome it. I am a vessel here to help others. I inspire others that knew me before, or they heard the story from someone else that inspired them to be stronger or better at something in their lives. I am a Mom and a Grandma - I have more living to do. I will not cower or be afraid - I conquered this I can conquer anything. I encourage others and always will.

Jessica: How would you like people to describe you?

Lauren: Lauren is strong, kind, empowered and someone you can enjoy, trust and learn from. Why, when my time is done on this earth I want to be exhausted and used up on making a difference for others and on our planet. My journey is full for a reason - so help others.

Jessica: When in your life, so far, have you felt the most confident?

Lauren: I was a single Mom working in management for a title company being active as a team Mom for my kids, training for Ms. Fitness Arizona and just about to compete. I was healthy, taking care of my family, as for as I could be and ready to take on anything.

Lauren Smith Art of Her Tucson

Jessica: Describe when you have felt most attractive.

Lauren: That's easy, when I gave birth to the only child I could have, Taylor. It took 18 hours to give birth and when I held Taylor the world stopped and I was at the prettiest I've ever been both inside and out.

Jessica: Have your perceptions of what being 'attractive' means changed over time?

Lauren: Yes, being a person who trains to have your body look a certain way - physical beauty is what you see first. Attractive now is helping others to be more attractive, mentoring others in being more attractive/successful in their personal and professional life. Kindness is attractive. Beauty I see on a deeper level now.

Jessica: What is an ongoing challenge you face?

Lauren: Oh, this is painful - perfection will always be my challenge. With perfection comes forgiveness and kindness. I am imperfect for I speak some times incorrectly, I'm color blind so colors don't match, my short term memory is not the best, this list could go on and what I've learned through the above experience is I am not pefect nor is anyone else. All of us want to feel wanted and that we contributed in some way. That's where I go to reside when the challenge comes on strong.

Jessica: It would be really interesting to hear about any ambitions you have for the future?

Lauren: To write a book and be on Oprah or a talk show host such as she. The book is started. I want to complete it and impact the lives of many like me and those that take care of them. I have an idea that I was to make a business in real estate - its close.

Jessica: Do you believe growing up female affected these ambitions?

Lauren: Yes, being female has given me the courage and strength to get to where I am and to conquer my upbringing and the trying journeys that have tested my soul and heart

Jessica: Are there any myths you would like to bust about growing up as a female?

Lauren: The myth that was around me growing up is that we are to be seen not heard. I dissolved this one at a younger age. Its been important for me to be heard and for those strong women around me for their voices to be heard.

Jessica: If you could talk to advertisers right now about advertising to women, what advice would you give them?

Lauren: Speak to me directly. I can hear what you are marketing - don't go in the gray with your expressions when speaking to me. Empower and be direct with me.

Jessica: What do you wish other women or young girls knew about themselves?

Lauren: That the moment you are in this world you are stronger than you could ever imagine. Never lose that or forget it.


Creative Credits:

Photography by Jessica Korff Studios

Makeup by: Renee Lanz | Radiate with ReneeJ

Dress Draping: Dresses draped and created by: Jessica Korff

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Jessica Korff

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