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The Advice That Helped Them Get There: Lauryn Schneider

What it Takes for Success

The path to success is hardly ever traveled alone, and rarely comes without a few bumps in the road. There’s often a multitude of factors that play into one person’s climb to the top of their ranks. We spoke with a handful of determined and successful people with ties to the Fargo-Moorhead area regarding what, and who, they believe helped them find success in the area we’re proud to call home. Join us as we introduce these individuals over the coming months.

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Lauryn Schneider, Owner of Gatherings Collective

Lauryn Schneider began her entrepreneurial journey in 2016 as an Associate and Assistant Manager at Maurices. For two years, she grew within the company and decided to pursue a degree at NDSU in apparel, retail merchandising and design, while minoring in business administration and entrepreneurship.

When Schneider moved to Fargo in 2018, she “fell in love with the downtown Fargo community and its support and love for small businesses.” This love for Fargo has grown into Gatherings Collective, a storefront that combines the sustainability and affordability of a thrift store with the experience and service of a boutique for a unique, one-of-a-kind shopping experience for the customer.

“I became a passionate advocate for shopping locally and spending more time downtown,” Schneider said. “I also loved that my program taught a lot about the impact of the fashion industry on sustainability movements and what the future looks like if we continue to create and consume in the same way we have been. They encouraged us to be forward thinkers and innovators within the field to solve sustainability problems and make changes for the better in the industry.” Schneider said.

I love vintage anything. I really appreciate historical fashion and love to bring previous eras back to life through clothing.”

– Lauryn Schneider


Associate of Apparel and Gift at the NDSU Bookstore

“I got the chance to work directly under the collegiate apparel buyer and get an in-depth background of what it’s like to be an apparel buyer. I acted as her assistant and learned more from her than anyone! She brought me to buying appointments and even allowed me to take over parts of appointments to plan parts of the lines. She taught me a lot about target markets and back-office tasks like paperwork and profit margins. I also was given the opportunity to assist in managing a team of employees, sales and merchandising for our off-site sales at NDSU football games. Lastly, I was given free rein in visual merchandising on the sales floor, which gave me a lot of creative freedom to create displays that helped drive sales, which led to my passion for merchandising.”


Associate and Business Intern at Primp Boutique in Minneapolis, Minnesota

“I started off working as an associate during my first summer and was able to intern at their studio office in Northeast Minneapolis during my second summer to see the behindthe-scenes operations of a small fashion business chain. I assisted in operational efficiency, inventory management, order packaging, marketing and more. I was able to be incredibly hands-on with the team at the studio and learn a lot from the incredible women who worked there.”


Business Intern and Marketing Manager for Shirts From Fargo

“At Shirts From Fargo, I did a competitive analysis of other businesses in the area that worked in the same industry, worked to manage client projects and eventually became the overall marketing manager! I did a lot of website work, email marketing, photography and client communication.”


Associate at O’Day Cache and Proper

“I decided to take a step back and take on an in-store associate role at these local businesses. This gave me the opportunity to reconnect with customers face-to-face and hone my selling techniques. I was able to do visual merchandising again and have lower responsibility outside of my shifts, which allowed me to start my own business online.”

August 2021:

Online Thrift Store

“While still working two other part-time jobs, I stored secondhand clothes, took photos and listed them on my own website, which I designed. In February and March of 2022, I hosted a pop-up shop in downtown Fargo on weekends to get my name out there and make more sales.”

March 2022:

Gatherings Collective

“Last year, I dove headfirst into becoming a business owner by going full-time with my own business. All I had was a dream, which I turned into a 50+ page business plan. My passion for what I was doing sold my idea to the right people and secured me a small business loan, which I used to open my storefront in downtown Fargo.”

Lauryn Schneider’s Tips for Success

#1 Ask For Help!

This is really hard because 99% of the time I have no idea what I need help with. The simple act of saying “I need help” and then talking through where you’re at with someone will give you the clarity you need to keep going.

#2 Don’t Believe Everyone.

In the beginning, I had huge, unrealistic plans and made projections based on dreams, rather than facts. People around me, who were supposed to be guiding me, were telling me that what I was thinking was doable and reasonable, only to be crushed when it didn’t work out. Find people who will be honest with you. Once I found people who started telling me the truth instead of what I wanted to hear, things started to happen and I was able to open my storefront.

#3 Be scared, but do it anyway.

Everything is really scary whether you’re doing it or not. I’m constantly nervous that I’m going to fail tomorrow, but here I am a year and a half later still going. If I wasn’t doing this, I would be scared to start. Now that I am doing it, I’m still scared anyways, so I might as well be doing it.

#4 It’s Okay to Make Mistakes and Fail.

Going back to #2, I had a plan and a dream for an entirely different storefront space that I failed to make happen, which was absolutely devastating. Now, I’ve realized that wasn’t what I needed to happen anyways. I have days all the time where I don’t accomplish what I want or expect, but I have to go back the next day anyway. Once I got over always feeling crushed at any small failure, I realized that I could always just keep going.

#5 Business Isn’t just About Money.

Of course, you have to have money to both start and stay in business and blah blah blah… to me that’s whatever. I’m organized and track my finances like a business owner needs to, but I prioritize making connections, building a loyal group of people to support me and trying to integrate myself into the community. Do I constantly feel like I’m going to run out of money at any second? Absolutely. But then a big group of customers will come in who are so excited to update their wardrobe together. I watch them build each other up as they try on pieces, or a loyal customer who’s become my friend comes in just to see me and hang out or someone new discovers my store on social media and tells me how excited they are to have a unique business in the area. Those are the things that I want to be paid in.

Many things won’t work before something starts to work. You just have to keep trying and doing it/ Also. all exposure is good exposure, and every little sale deserves to be celebrated.”

– Lauryn Schneider
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What are the biggest challenges that you’ve had to overcome to date?

#1 Getting realistic about how fast this would become successful in exposure and sales. I have about 600 followers on Instagram, 400 on Facebook and 200 on TikTok. You always see people talking about “blowing up” or “going viral,” but that doesn’t happen for 99% of people. It’s usually going to take a long time to build up the momentum you need from the community to be successful.

#2 Having no money. Running a business by yourself is expensive, and it’s challenging to get money and funding. You have to push through and get connected with the right people before it will happen.

#3 Wanting to do it on my own. I’m still a one-woman show, but I’ve gotten a lot better about reaching out to other people and other businesses for help. It’s hard to admit you can’t do it all, and it’s easy to get caught up in the fact that what you’re doing isn’t working. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes you don’t even need someone to physically help you do something. All you need is someone to bounce ideas off of and listen to you ramble on about something until you form a plan.

Who are your biggest mentors to whom you can attribute some of your successes?

My mom is always my biggest supporter and always cheers me on. I grew up always watching her work really hard. She was a social worker and always prioritized making connections and helping people. She encouraged me to be passionate about the things I care about and supported me if I made mistakes or changed my mind about something. She is truly, genuinely my biggest fan, but is still honest with me about my lofty dreams if I need to be more realistic. She’s the best supporter I know.

Mary Sivertson is the senior collegiate apparel buyer at the NDSU Bookstore and was my boss while I worked there. She took me under her wing and fostered my passion for retail to teach me everything she knows. She was always ready with a compliment and a smile to show support for my work. She gave me opportunities to grow and develop my skills in many areas of retail. I loved working at the NDSU Bookstore because she was so supportive of her students and loved to help them succeed.

Courtney Schur is the owner of Carmine & Hayworth vintage store in downtown Fargo and I have admired her for a very long time. She brought such a unique and fun store to the area that soon became my favorite. She also always makes time to have conversations with her customers, gives great customer service and has built a loyal customer base and business connections because of it. When I started a store, she was incredibly encouraging and so ready to jump in and work with me. Some business owners see new businesses as competitors and aren’t necessarily supportive, but Courtney cares about the downtown community and is excited to welcome and work with people. I really admire her passion, care and fun personality, and I aspire I to be like her!

Did You Know?

“My shop has six vintage sewing machines that I treasure and are all inherited. I’ve been sewing since I was eight years old. My grandma was one of the people who taught me how to sew, and three of the machines were hers. My favorite one is a portable 1952 Singer that she got as a graduation present in 1968 from her mom (my great grandma) who bought it at a local shop in the tiny town of McIntosh, MN, where my grandparents grew up. I still have the receipt for it even. It’s the most special to me because she gave it to me herself and told me about it in person before she died, and then I inherited the others after. The antique treadle sewing machine was my great-great grandma’s as well.”

– Lauryn Schneider
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Support Gatherings Collective

Website: gatheringscollective.com
Facebook: /gatheringscollective
Instagram: @gatheringscollective
Twitter: @gatheringscollective
Address:12 Broadway N Fargo, ND 58102
Tuesday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Written by Grant Ayers

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