Instead of Ashes is a paperie specializing in Art Prints, Greeting Cards, Postcards, and other papergoods.
IOA is owned and operated by Lauren Taylor, starting out in Durham, North Carolina, and now in New York City! She has loved all things creative for as long as she can remember. Growing up, Lauren would make handmade birthday cards for all of her friends and relatives. She and her sisters spent hours playing dollhouse, and when they got a desk and computer set for the dollhouse, Lauren's dolls would always be using their computer to "design Hallmark cards". She remembers being particularly proud of a hand lettered gift wrap she made for a friend's birthday present in second or third grade. Lauren and her best friend had "handwriting competitions" in elementary school. Later, she was the girl in class with doodles and pretty headings all over her notes. In her senior year of highschool, a friend told her that she should make my handwriting into a font.
After all these years of creativity, Lauren pursued a degree in Furnishings and Interiors from the University of Georgia, and has a love for interior design and decoration. During school she dabbled with the world of Etsy, lettering, and design programs such as InDesign and Photoshop. Today, Lauren loves creating, designing, and sketching works that end up on Greeting Cards, Prints, and more. It is her joy and passion to bring more beauty and love into the world, and she is delighted to make that happen little be little as her designs find themselves in homes and hearts across the world.
The inspiration for the name "Instead of Ashes" comes from Isaiah 61:1-4, which says, " The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations."
Lauren believes that her creative talent is a God given ability, and that God adds beauty to the world through his people and the talents he has given them. So, she hopes to add a bit of beauty to your world with the art she has made.
10% of all profits go to a ministry. Right now, that ministry is Wellspring Living based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Wellspring living seeks to restore and empower girls and women who are survivors of sex trafficking through counseling, therapy, mentoring, education, life skills training and much more.
Oh, and IOA uses recycled materials in many of its products and packaging, and everything is printed in the USA. #merica