Meet the Team: Lauren Oldenburg

Meet the Team: Lauren Oldenburg

Welcome to another installment of Meet the Team! This month, we would like you to meet Lauren Oldenburg. Lauren has been with us since 2017 as an Interior Designer, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Architecture in the evenings! While at Aria, she has been instrumental in developing brands such as Tortazo, Carve American Grille, Sunny Bowls, Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, and Buddy’s Pizza just to name a few. Although Lauren puts all her effort into each project, the first Carve and Buddy’s locations stand out for her as she was able to help develop the design for each brand and see them through to completion. On Carve: “It was the first time I had seen a design I worked on come to fruition and it was really a surreal experience for me.” To learn more about Lauren, continue reading on below!

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Canton, Massachusetts. It is a town just south of Boston.

What did you want to be when you grew up and why? For a while I think I was interested in being a teacher until my high school career planning classes kept placing me in a creative sector of the job market. This is when I decided to take after my mom and pursue design.

Meet the Team: Lauren Oldenburg Sox & Sunny BowlsLauren proudly displaying her hometown roots next to the Red Sox mascot (left).  Lauren posing next to the Sunny Bowl’s location in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart (right).

How many siblings do you have and are they anything like you? I have 3 siblings. My older brother by two years, Michael, my younger sister by 6 years, Beth, and my baby brother by 25 years, Oscar. Michael, Beth and I are extremely close and all three of us are very similar to each other, with me probably being the loudest of the bunch. Oscar is our little surprise sibling we were gifted just a year-and-a-half ago by our Dad and Step-Mom. He is the cutest thing in the world.

Meet the Team: Lauren familyLauren with her father and three siblings.

Share an interesting story about one of your first jobs. One of my first, and still to this day one of my favorite jobs (next to Aria of course), was working at a Christmas tree farm in my town. Canton has this small tree farm where everyone comes to buy their trees during the holidays. It was fun helping people pick out trees, serving cookies and hot chocolate and making my own garland and wreath arrangements to sell. I loved it.

What is your unreasonably unfounded fear (like getting stuck in quicksand)? Gymnasium foam pits. I LOATHE these. Aside from the fact that they’re disgusting and infested with germs these horrifying pits of foam blocks also suck you in like quick sand. When I was young I did gymnastics and I found myself at one point stuck deep in the foam pit not knowing which way was up or down until my instructor reached in and pulled me out – safe to say I will never go near one again.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? I’d probably have to go with my mom’s homemade meatballs and spaghetti. My mom’s recipe has been handed down and tweaked over a couple generations of Italian’s on her side of the family, and I believe my mom’s version to be the best of any meatballs I’ve ever had. I could eat these for every meal and never get sick of them.

What’s your current favorite book? This is a tough one. I think I would go with Water for Elephants, though. I read this book a number of years ago but still to this day I remember the feeling of reading it for the first time and being so enamored by the emotional story.

Meet the Team: Lauren OldenburgLauren hanging out with her recently adopted kitten, Rocket (left).  Lauren and her boyfriend dressed as Guardians of the Galaxy for Halloween (right).

Do you have any pets? How many, what kind, names/ages? I do! I recently adopted a kitten who I named Rocket from a coworker at Aria who had been fostering him. He started his journey in life being dumped at a fire station, and after jumping a couple of foster homes he wound up stuck with me. He’s a delightful, energetic, hysterical kitten who loves getting into trouble. A true Rocket, if you will.

What’s your current favorite movie? I am a big Marvel fan, and I think one of my favorite movies, and definitely my favorite from the Marvel realm is Guardians of the Galaxy. My boyfriend and I even recently dressed as Peter Quill and Gamora for Halloween!

What’s your current favorite TV show? My current favorite TV show is Yellowstone. My boyfriend and I have been steadily making it through the past seasons to hopefully catch up to the live episodes soon. It is highly addicting!

Favorite restaurant in Chicago? Why? This has steadily remained Etta for the past couple of years. I have tried lots of restaurants around the city and some are even better than Etta for sure, but overall I really love their food, their atmosphere, the drinks, and the convenience of it being located just a couple blocks from me in my neighborhood, Wicker Park. Second favorite would have to be Giant in Logan Square.

What is your ideal “I think I’ll call in sick today” day? My ideal “sick day” would consist of a long morning walk that ended with picking up a coffee from a local coffee shop, cooking a good breakfast and eating it while bingeing some Yellowstone on TV with my cat. Doing some mid-day baking or cooking while blasting music in my apartment and then I would wrap up the day with trying a new restaurant in the city and experiencing some good food, drinks, and company.

Check out other editions of Meet the Team on our Blog!