Lauren Bush Lauren, the co-founder and CEO of FEED, the fashion line and organization focused on raising awareness and providing meals to children in impoverished countries, has had one of those remarkable milestone years. “One of my proudest moments was when we hit the milestone of having given over 90 million meals this January,” says Lauren, who also welcomed her first child, a baby boy just a few months before. “Becoming a mom six months ago has been a life-changing and amazing experience,” she adds.
Since then, Lauren has been enjoying life with her baby boy and family but also keeping up with the day-to-days of her company and as a honorary spokesperson for the World Food Programme. Now just in time for summer, she is debuting her High Tide collection of totes, pouches, and bags that make for chic summer accessories while furthering FEED’s simple mission to aid world hunger.
We recently caught up with Lauren about the collection, life as a new mom, and what’s on the horizon for FEED as she took us to some of her favorite NYC spots.
Tell us about the new High Tide FEED bag collection.
“The collection was inspired by the image of cruising down Highway 1, stealing glimpses of the water. That horizon line really influenced our designs, which you can see in the horizontal stripes and contrast color-blocking. As for the name: You know that moment when the tide washes up to shore without warning and you forgot to move your stuff? That carefree feeling of losing track of time on the beach is what we were channeling when thinking about this collection. The base of the bag is water resistant, so we thought ‘High Tide’ as a name was playful and fun.”
What were big inspirations for you when designing the new bags?
“Clean coastal lines and the colors you see from your beach towel: natural tones of sand, the yellow pop of an umbrella, the deep blues of the ocean.”
Any highlights for FEED and yourself in the past year?
“At FEED, the launch of our first straw collection and the release of some very special limited-edition products with artisan groups in Peru and El Salvador. And personally, becoming a mom six months ago has been a life-changing and amazing experience.”
How many meals has FEED provided to date?
“I am so proud to say that we have provided over 94 million meals in the past nine years. While many of those meals helped families here in America, the majority went to children in need around the world, through the World Food Programme’s school meal initiative.”
There are so many worthy causes out there, but we are in business to give meals. The biggest challenge over the years has been tuning out all distractions—even worthy ones.
What have been some challenges as your business has evolved and grown?
“There are so many worthy causes out there, but we are in business to give meals. The biggest challenge over the years has been tuning out all distractions—even worthy ones.”
What’s something you quickly learned when you started your business?
“People connect with authentic stories above flashy marketing.”
What’s next for FEED?
“My team and I are very excited about some big launches we have coming out this fall. We’re also heading into year three of FEED Supper this September. The 30 days of dinner parties for good around FEED Supper is my favorite time of year!”
What are three things you would say every self-starting entrepreneur needs?
“A problem to solve. Passion to solve it. And the resilience to keep solving it when it seems impossible.”
Since launching FEED now just about 10 years ago, what are some of your proudest moments looking back?
“One of my proudest moments was when we hit the milestone of having given over 90 million meals this January. It took me aback when I stopped to think about what that meant to the many lives around the world that don’t have access to something as basic as food. It makes me and my team want to work even harder to reach and surpass 100 million meals.”
What are you most looking forward to this summer?
“I am most looking forward to spending relaxed, quality time with my baby, family and friends. Nothing like a few lazy beach days to make me feel replenished and happy.”
Where are you taking your FEED bag this summer?
“My FEED bags will be coming with me to Maine, Montauk, and Colorado.”
For someone who’s always on the go, what are essentials you carry?
“I travel with my FEED pouch inside my FEED tote to keep organized. I find that, especially with a baby, the more thoughtful I can organize the inside of my bag, the easier it is to travel or make my way around NYC without hassle.”
Your work uniform?
“Jeans and a blazer, or an oversized blousy dress.”
How do you balance it all—work, family, travel?
“I really love being engaged in work and obviously I love my family, so I am somewhat resigned to the fact that I will always feel the tug of one or the other.”
How do you make time for yourself?
“I love to read before I go to bed. It is a nice way for me to decompress from the day and relax into sleep.”
I am more focused now on trying to be grateful and present with all the different facets of my life that I get to juggle than being stressed about finding the right balance.
Lauren’s Favorite NYC Spots
Living and working in downtown NYC, Lauren considers herself lucky to be surrounded by some of the city’s best tucked-away gems. “Where to begin… There are so many amazing stores, coffee shops, and restaurants,” she says. Below, a few that top her list.
Kava (on Washington Street)—“great coffee”
The Elk—“for the scrambled eggs”
Bluestone Bakery—“for flat whites and baked eggs”
Magnolia Bakery—“for the occasional cupcake”
Club Monaco (on Bleecker Street)—“beautiful clothes and accessories”
Three Lives & Company (on West 10th Street)—“a wonderfully edited selection”
Greenwich Letterpress (on Christopher Street)—“beautiful letterpress stationery”
Yoga 216 (off of the High Line)—“for instant zen”