Lauren Gund likes to tell people she is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up, but the reality is she is doing what she wants to be doing – dabbling in different industries, making each day different, keeping it new and interesting and maintaining flexibility.
Currently she is a graphic designer, property developer and marketing consultant with clients that range from yoga instructors to engineering firms.
“I enjoy helping small businesses succeed and be competitive against the bigger guys,” Gund explained. “I do everything from logo and website design to strategic planning for business development. I try to be a one stop shop for marketing needs.”
When she inherited some money when her mother died, Gund wanted to do something that would make her mom proud, so she purchased land in North Hill.
She remembers thinking, “What am I doing? I literally just bought dirt.”
Now she owns a development called Hello Desoto at the corner of West Desoto and A Street. Two homes have been completed and two more are planned for later this year.
“It’s the scariest yet most exciting and fulfilling thing I’ve ever done, and I believe this is just the beginning of my real estate journey,” Gund said.
Gund describes her husband, Michael, as “the most incredible man…the yin to my yang, my grounding force, my sounding board, my best friend.”
They have two rescues from the Humane Society: a dog named Luke, and a cat they call Winston. Gund loves Pensacola for all the metro perks – walkability, restaurants, events and the most beautiful beaches around – without the traffic, trash and high taxes of other metro areas.
“I also love the people here,” she said. “I have met so many incredible humans. They are kind, passionate, generous and driven. They inspire me to be creative, work hard and play harder. They inspire me to give myself to my community the way they do. This is why Pensacola is so great because of the collective giving of a passionate and supportive community.”
Controlling her own business interests allows Gund to be actively engaged in the community.
“I am a proud member of IMPACT 100, which is one of the most incredible organizations and groups of women I have ever seen. I am blessed to serve alongside inspiring women on the board and nearly 1,200 ladies in the community,” she said.
She is president-elect of Cordova Rotary Club and the co-chair of Bands on the Bayou, a free concert series in East Hill that raises money for local non-profits. She also volunteers on the Rally Shopping Soiree committee for Rally Gulf Coast to raise money for childhood cancer research and family services in Pensacola and surrounding areas.
She also loves fashion.
“I love the way an outfit can be an instant confidence boost. There’s so much power in clothing. I feel like you can really get a read on someone by what they choose to wear. It’s not as much about name brands and the latest trends for me. It’s about feeling good and expressing myself. I notice that when I’m in an especially good mood, I wear bright colors. When I’m feeling down, I gravitate to more blacks and neutrals. Which is all fine! My point is we get to express ourselves through fashion, which is a real gift.”
Gund says she is also her mother’s daughter and loves a good sale!
“Dillard’s and TJ Maxx are my go-tos, but I also love all the boutiques we have around town,” she explained. “I own a bunch of neat vintage pieces. Most of them I got from my mom and were passed down generations. A lot is costume jewelry, but I have some special pieces like this gold cameo ring that I always wear. Trends come and go, so it’s most important to choose styles that you love and that flatter your own body.”
“I love the way an outfit can be an instant confidence boost. There’s so much power in clothing… It’s about feeling good and expressing myself … we get to express ourselves through fashion, which is a real gift.”
— Lauren Gund