Lauren and Bec from The Confidence Collective

Lauren Devine and Bec Lawson joined forces to create a series of workshops called The Confidence Collective, all about finding your inner confidence and channelling it externally. Combining their skills as life coach and make-up artist, among other cool things, they realised the key thing lacking from their clients’ lives was CONFIDENCE.

I came across The Confidence Collective on Facebook when a friend of mine liked their page and, like the stalker I am, started following the posts and journeys of Lauren Devine and Bec Lawson’s lives. Stalking got me so far as booking myself (and three friends) a ticket to their very first The Confidence Collective workshop – held in Newcastle last month. But I couldn’t wait until the workshop to hear what it was all about… I met with the ladies a couple of weeks beforehand to pick their brains about one of the coolest ideas I’ve ever heard.

Lauren and Bec were good friends in high school who lost touch for almost a decade when their lives lead them in different paths and different countries. These were the days before Facebook made it easy to stay in touch. After reconnecting a few years ago at a party, the two became fast friends again, and have probably seen each other every day since.

"The Confidence Collective is about creating opportunities for women to connect and build out their social network. If they don’t have immediate access or confidence to step away from negative people in their life, here’s a ready-made group of women to support you."

So this is how it went down… Lauren invited Bec for coffee, and Bec suggested espresso martinis. As they say, all good ideas are shared over alcohol. (I might’ve just made that up, but it sounds good!) Lauren had been mulling over the idea of running some sort of inner confidence workshop, and floated the idea with Bec. As it turns out, many of Bec’s makeup clients had been asking her to run workshops or lessons in the art of everyday makeup, to help them feel more confident. Like yin and yang, what was missing for the girls’ clients formed The Confidence Collective.

Having coffee with Lauren and Bec was just as awesome as the workshop itself – they’re so full of light, love and inspiration, not to mention infectious laughter. The workshop was no different; the down-to-earth, open personalities of them both made the day run smoothly, with lots of laughter. They worked the room like pros. The day was held at Lime Hair and Body in Cardiff, and we were greeted with champagne, cupcakes, nibbles and the sweet tunes of Kylie Jane. The first hour saw Bec run a makeup lesson to highlight your natural features and feel confident in how you look, and in the second hour Lauren talked about inner confidence, battling confidence killers, negative self-talk and shared some neuro-linguistic programming tips. We also went home with a bag of free stuff, including a copy of The Collective magazine and lots of vouchers. What’s not to love?

It’s obvious these two are incredibly passionate about their chosen paths. ‘We complement each other well in business,’ says Lauren. ‘I’m very ideas-driven and Bec’s like, let’s just do it. It really works!’ Bec chimes in, ‘I have to go, okay Lauren, this way, let’s look at the big picture here. Turn some music on, dance, then get back to work.’

Image by  Mrs Daggy

Image by Mrs Daggy

"I wouldn’t be doing makeup if it wasn’t for Lauren. I’d still be thinking I wasn’t good enough. There’s always an excuse. But when you do it, there’s a wave of love and support. Especially if you surround yourself with a tribe of beautiful, positive, empowering women who aren’t going to bring each other down."

- Bec Lawson

You’re probably wondering about the backgrounds of these two, and you’re not alone. I was curious to know and it’s the first thing I asked. Bec moved to America after school to become a snowboard instructor and ended up being a trainer for other instructors, with a focus on girls and women. In 2009 she came home with ‘a ridiculous dream’ to be a flight attendant, and so it happened. Lauren’s story is not too dissimilar, in some ways. She did a degree in Communications and PR, was working in marketing for real estate before moving to London with her husband for a couple of years. Upon return, she worked in digital marketing for The Herald. ‘Something wasn’t quite right. I was middle management and couldn’t get to the top, so I started doing Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching studies and putting myself through a whole nine months of full-on personal development and training. I was a course junkie.’ From that, she quit her full-time job and launched her own life coaching business – The Devine Life.

‘My business niches around confidence. Even if women come to me for something completely different, the underlying concept is really about confidence. Which is how this workshop was born. I uncovered my clients had an issue with it, and so did Bec’s.’ Meanwhile, Bec had visited The Devine Life for coaching and ended up doing a make-up course while on maternity leave, making the brave decision to launch Rebecca Lawson Makeup Artistry. Phew. What a whirlwind of a journey, but they’ve both found their feet and are determined to help others do the same.

So, why confidence? Why do you think so many women lack it?

Lauren: It’s one of those things. We naturally have it, but it gets lost with all the other BS that goes on. The Confidence Collective is really about finding out what confidence is for these women and how they can build on it. We get caught up in the comparison, which brings us down. It’s about working to apply confidence to our lives, empowering and growing women through the workshops, and being the examples.

Bec: I always go back to the same snowboard instructor who I idolised and looked up to and I wanted her approval, I wanted to train. So I said, ‘what do you think?’ and she said ‘don’t waste your money. Don’t do it.’ I was totally devastated. In my snowboard career, I always went to the girls ‘you’re doing a good job’ because I knew how they felt. Boys don’t need it. They think they’re three times better than they are, and women think they’re three times worse. It’s a thing women have!

L: We can change that.

image from Mrs Daggy blog post

image from Mrs Daggy blog post

How did you gain sponsorship for the workshop?

L: We approached people through friends and acquaintances to support local business, targeting female entrepreneurs and start-ups. We sat down to have coffee and tell them what we were doing, offer social media shout-outs.

B: Even still, they were excited and wanted to throw stuff at us for the goodie bags. We’ve been overwhelmed with support.

L: Some of them even want to be a bigger part of it down the track. We wanted to form a tribe and a community. It’s really been effortless.

B: That’s a good word. It’s been so easy and organic! I think that’s what the surprise is, that it’s evolved almost by itself. Like a snowball running down a hill.

What’s most rewarding about what you do?

B: Seeing people’s confidence grow. After each workshop there’s a private Facebook group so the women can stay in touch.

L: That’s really what we want out of this, for people to walk away and take something from it and apply it. A lot of people go to these events and get all pumped up but then carry on with their lives. The message is to take something. The results will show. You infiltrate that into your social groups. If you can be the change, brilliant. That’s the outcome we want. The Facebook group is to get people to share what they’re doing, so there’s a sense of accountability and celebration.

B: A support group.

What’s the future of the workshops? Do you have big plans?

B: I’m already sitting on Oprah’s couch! [both laugh] I always talk about The Today Show… ‘oh, that’d be good for The Today Show, remember that!’

L: We’ve sold out of the first one (25 tickets) and there’s up to 10 on the waitlist.

B: We were expecting to have it in our backyard, 10 girls, mainly our friends and family. We were obviously excited but we would’ve been happy to have 10.

L: We’ve also had requests to do a private one for a business – a team of women. So we’re looking at expanding to corporate bonding scenarios, baby showers, hen’s parties.

B: There’s so much room for this. It blows our minds. The interest, chatter, talk, likes. Everything. We realised we have something here.

L: We’re at the point where, even if the first workshop was a complete flop, we’d keep going, and keep learning.

What are you most passionate about in life and work?

B: Love, family, having fun, friends. Beach, dog… I could go on! What am I not passionate about?!

L: My own personal mission is to make the concept of personal development cool. The way I do my coaching is as a lifestyle. It’s not a sign of weakness or something to be embarrassed about. There’s a misconception that life coaching is for the weak, but no, it’s because we want to be stronger. You should be congratulating yourself.

Who’s the coolest person you know?

B: Jimi Hendrix is pretty cool but I don’t know him. I think I knew him in a past life.

L: I know someone but he’s not human. Woody Balboa, the dog from The Lair.

B: My daughter is pretty cool. She’s one. She teachers herself everything, I just supervise! She’s definitely been here before… I guess just everyone doing their own thing, showing their personality through clothes, art, whatever. That’s cool.

"You’re the average of the five people you hang out with the most. You’re the average of the five people you hang out with the most – their beliefs, attitude, income – you absorb it all and become the average. It’s about shifting and looking for influences that get you results."

- LAUREN DEVINE

This awesome video is by Sophie of Brightside Media x