The first skin care product I wished (like wish-for-weeks-after wished), was Summer Friday’s Jetlag Mask. I was far from alone in lusting after the cult favorite skin saver. Even if you weren’t (yet!) a skincare fanatic when Summer Fridays first launched, you saw the mask everywhere. Several years later, Summer Fridays has a full line of must-have skin care products. And while some brands catch the internet in a bright but brief flame that eventually burns out, it’s clear that Summer Fridays have staying power. Co-founder Lauren Ireland is the proof.
Lauren got her start as a blogger just as the influencer industry was taking off. With her best friend Marianna Hewitt, Lauren founded Summer Fridays soon after. The keys to her success? Leaning into her skills, her passions and her willingness to embrace the journey.
Lauren’s morning routine is a fitting example of her tendency to cherish every moment. She practices rituals centered around reflection and the intention to start her day with purpose. It’s a well-crafted mix of stillness and movement—time to stretch, let her mind wander, and move her body before she bonds with her children. This balance is at the heart of her business practices and her daily routines.
From sharing moments of her life on social media to leading team meetings, Lauren’s days often shift between different priorities. But how she spends her morning is a testament to the power of purpose. By creating time alone, Lauren creates space for the magic of everyday life.
Lauren’s focus is balanced by her willingness to embrace change, creating a brand that still captures and encapsulates the cultural zeitgeist. These qualities inspire one hopeful morning routine that can teach us all a little about how to manage priorities even through major changes.
Read on to get an inside look at how Lauren spends her mindful mornings, and prepare to soak up all the wisdom.
Before you launched Summer Fridays, you were an anchor on television. What inspired your career pivot?
The transition happened quite naturally. It felt less like a turning point and more like a natural progression as my options changed.
I started a lifestyle blog (in the early days of blogging!) while working as a news anchor. I fell in love with the idea of sharing my own content and ideas, and the industry around becoming an influencer grew.
What advice would you share with someone looking to grow their social media presence?
It’s easier to grow a community if your message is clear – I think that’s more true now than it’s ever been. And there is always room for more content creators! Even years ago when I started, people said it was “too crowded”. Can you imagine if I listened?
You founded Summer Fridays with your best friend, Marianna Hewitt. What are some tips for working with friends?
Marianna and I worked on the brand for almost two years before the launch. We combined our individual passions and experiences as influencers in both wellness and beauty to launch the brand. Marianna and I work really well together because we are so aligned with our goals for the brand.
As for tips, there are two key ones: 1) Have a very clear vision for the brand, both short-term and long-term, and 2) Put ego aside.
None of us have an ego when it comes to making decisions. Often founders – especially co-founders – can get in the way of their own success because they allow ego to drive their decision making. But when you are able to put feel first, decisions become clearer and easier to make. It’s a remarkable shift, and I recommend it to anyone in all aspects of life—not just business.
What has been your biggest lesson in building a business?
There is so much going on beyond what is possible to show online. I am grateful for an incredible team that helps make much of the magic happen. The biggest lesson in all the setbacks is just that – there will be a lot by them!
A good business is not defined by its setbacks, but by how you handle those disappointments.
Our thinking is, “never a crisis, always a solution.” When you approach everything that way, nothing feels too big to handle. The losses can feel heavier than the victories, so you must remember to celebrate each and every victory, even the small ones.
What advice would you share with your younger self?
Cherish the early days. Yes, they come with stress, pressure and a lot of questions – but it is The magic. Don’t wish the journey away because the journey is why you do it.
Stay focused on building your vision and don’t fear change. Change, when welcomed, will catapult your business in ways you couldn’t have imagined.
Lauren Ireland shares her morning routine
What time is your wake-up call?
I wake up at 6:15, stretch, drink water and set my intentions for the day. At 6:30 I train. I switch between running, pilates app training and my own toning circuits. Typically I have about 30-45 minutes for my daily workout before I have to be there for my kids in the morning.
The work looks different every day. I aim to have specific days focused on my varying work tasks. I am very deadline-focused – which stems from my days as a journalist – so I typically work right up to a deadline. It’s just my nature!
I usually have a work event 2-3 nights a week, and if not, I take an evening shower, do a show, catch up with Jake, and wrap up the work day.
What routines set you up for success?
I love a routine, so I am disciplined in how I take care of my mind and body on a daily basis. When I wake up, I stretch for 5-10 minutes and mentally set intentions for how I want to feel that day and what I want to accomplish. I aim to move my body before the kids wake up.
Morning exercise is by far the biggest factor in my entire day’s output. I am more productive, more positive, more patient and definitely more open when things don’t go as planned.
Describe your morning beauty routine from start to finish.
I use all of our own Summer Fridays products now which is so rewarding!
Lauren Ireland’s makeup routine
What do you eat for breakfast?
I typically have coffee and a smoothie in the morning. For the smoothie I mix together:
- Almond milk
- Almond butter
- Vanilla protein powder
What are your morning media rituals?
I am conscious of not taking in a lot of media early in my day. I check my e-mail no later than 8 for anything that might be urgent, but I aim to not open Instagram until after 8 p.m. 9 so my brain stays as clear as possible until I start my work day. This allows me to stay in a clearer headspace and ready to tackle the day. An exception is on days where I intentionally share some part of my morning routine with my community (ie my workout, smoothie recipe, etc.).
What are your favorite books?
I’ve just read Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less. There are some useful hacks in trying to decide what to say yes or no to, which is a constant struggle for me. I want to be everywhere, but the reality is that I can’t be!
I have to be very present for both my business and my family, which requires an increasing degree of discipline. I have less trouble saying none now if it takes away from my priorities. These priorities include things for myself, like my exercise, nighttime routine and sleep.
What do you always have on your nightstand for a smooth, successful morning?
Water and summer Fridays’ Vanilla Beige Lip Butter Balm.
If you had an extra hour every morning, how would you spend it?
I would honestly use it for more alone time – doing nothing but drinking coffee in the morning and writing my to-do list and intentions for the day.
What do you do every day to live a more joyful life?
Stretch, move my body and reflect on how I want to approach the day by setting intentions.
For example, while working out, I review how I want to feel so I can best handle what the day may bring. “I want to feel patient, I want to find joy in small moments, I want to feel proud of my work, I want to make others feel capable, I want to feel flexible when I get news that I didn’t have expected…” the list goes on.
If you could pin your success down to one thing or one moment, what would it be?
Impossible! Success is always due to a series of decisions. We experience every day wins and losses every day. That’s how we deal both the ups and downs that really define our journey.
We are given the opportunity to make choices every day, and each of those choices ultimately determines our path.
Success looks different for all of us. For me, success is feeling at home in my body, my relationships and my career. I want to feel loved yet challenged, comfortable yet pressured, and endlessly open to self-evolution.
I never leave the house with yout: ours Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask.
If there were more hours in the day, I would: Spend more time alone.
The healthiest morning habit: moving my body.
Worst morning habit: always rushing through my prep routine.
One thing I would like to be known for is: how I make people feel.
The one thing I fear the most is: not be present.
When I feel that fear, I: breathe at the moment so I can feel that.
The most important qualities you need to be successful in life are: kindness, flexibility and an eternal willingness to try.
Bath or shower? Shower! I love Necessaire Body Exfoliator.