Magnolia the Bunny, Charley the
Bear, Eleanor the Bear, Ruthie the
Deer, and Chester the Raccoon.
“I wanted a mix of masculine and
feminine,” she says of the assort-
ment, to which she hopes to add a
cat and a dog.
With her line, Lauren has com-
bined the qualities of a rag doll
and a traditional stuffed animal.
Although she is a capable sewer,
“production sewing”—or sewing
large quantities of an item—was
new to her. So she enlisted the
help of more experienced local
seamstresses who helped her refine
her talents and overall efficiency.
But Lauren is always the first and
the final stop in the process: she
cuts every piece of wool used to
make the animals, and later stuffs
and closes each one to finish them.
Prior to establishing her own
business, Lauren worked in col-
lege admissions. In early 2011,
soon after giving birth to Henry,
she was determined to find a way
to quit her job and start a home-
based venture. “With a baby, I
couldn’t do the 50 to 60 hours
that my job required anymore,”
she explains. “And I wanted to do
something more creative.”
The laundry room of her Or-
lando, Florida, home now dou-
bles as the Walnut Animal Society
studio. In September, she began