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WHAT'S UP WEDNESDAY: Express your interests in subtle ways with Bare Necessities Design Company

Laura Friedrich is recreating minimalism to express otherwise loud and colourful interests

Laura Friedrich, born and raised in Bradford, is a civilian data entry clerk for the OPP. But she has a passion for design.

In November 2021, Friedrich opened the virtual doors of her small business, Bare Necessities Design Company, on Etsy. She creates “customizable home goods that allow you to express your passion in subtle ways.”

Friedrich felt inspired by her own subtle and natural style in combination with her loud interests such as Disney, Marvel and Harry Potter.

“The main inspiration behind my business was to create opportunities to have these passions expressed more subtly,” she says. “Minimalism can be so beautiful but is often not seen in conjunction with a colourful and creative world such as Disney, which led me to always feel that I couldn’t express my passions in a way that was true to me.”

She considers herself to be relatively crafty and creative and decided she would create items to express what she loves in a style that would showcase what she enjoys, and hopes others would enjoy her style as well.

The meaning behind her business name truly expresses her interests as well.

“When I think of anything bare, I think of things that are raw or exposed, which, in a way, I feel expressing our true selves and passion can be a form of vulnerability for some that can leave them feeling exposed,” she says. “And the song The Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book, I figured not only can I be true to what I want the business to represent, but also be a subtle hint at my passion for Disney in the name itself.”

Bare Necessities Design Company offers a variety of wooden signs, but Friedrich’s creative drive doesn’t stop there. She is currently in the design stages of developing clothing and glassware options for her shop and hopes to make her newest additions available by summer.

Currently, Bare Necessities Design Company’s most popular product is its wood circle family sign, which Friedrich says was inspired by her parents’ love for camping. There are many variations of her family signs, including a cottage and beach theme, to allow families to represent their hobbies in a welcoming and inviting way.

Based in Barrie, and with operations solely running out of her Etsy virtual storefront, Friedrich says her products can be shipped anywhere in Canada and the United States. From the initial order placement and processing, she guarantees that their design will be mailed to them in no longer than five to seven business days.

“My goal is to have orders in the mail as soon as possible, as best I can around my current employment, and thankfully I have been able to meet this goal with every order that has been placed,” she says.

With hopes of new designs ahead, Friedrich has a Disney-inspired line she is creating, and she has been working hard to find the best quality and most efficient methods of production before their release — intending to launch them by June.

Friedrich says she can’t name one thing she loves most about creating her products, because she loves it all.

“Being inspired to pick up my iPad and create a design, to determining the best way to have it come to life, to getting to see the full experience of the final product, it’s all so rewarding and fulfilling,” she says. “Not to say it’s all sunshine and daisies, because there has been equal frustration as there has been joy, but that full feeling that I get after seeing it all come together? Priceless.”

Listening to music helps her get into her creative headspace, and she sometimes uses it as a way to cater to the design style she is working on.

“For instance, I was working on a design inspired by Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventure theme park, and I happened to find a playlist that included the background music you’d hear while you’re at the park,” she noted.

Not only does music allow Friedrich to be fully focused on her work, but it gives her further opportunities to be inspired and it helps her clear her head.

Since starting her business, Friedrich says she has learned a lot. She recalls that opening in November, just before Christmas, felt like the perfect opportunity to get her feet wet with some potential buyers. She never felt completely prepared to open her business, and learned a lot along the way about social media and marketing — the importance of creating a strong online presence.

“In the past, I’ve let some fears and hesitations get the best of me, and they discouraged me from sharing what I do and what I love,” she expressed, “and as a result, I did decide to pause on the promotional side of my business until I felt ready to return to it.”

Friedrich says there is no such thing as being 100 per cent prepared, and that realizing that and taking the leap brought her here. She offers words of encouragement, not only for herself but for others.

“Will I ever truly feel ready? Probably not. But I also know that I will never see the potential my business has ... if I don’t at least try.”

You can find the Bare Necessities Design Company Etsy storefront here and on Instagram @BareNecessitiesDesignCo.