6 Degrees of Rachael Ray (Magazine)

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harcar and ondik lounge in a watermelon minnidip pool

If you’ve been keeping up with summer trends, chances are you saw two local residents (one of whom is a graphic designer at OC Creative!) getting some national attention and didn’t even realize it! Laura Harcar (Smoltich) and co-blogger Lauren Ondik (Bourdages) made an appearance in Rachael Ray Magazine’s July/August issue due to a twist of fate, some social media luck, and watermelon.

Minnidip, which calls itself “the first designer inflatable pool,” ended up in the “On Our Radar” section of the magazine, where Ray features news, trends, and fun stuff like adult kiddie pools. While Laura and Lauren didn’t have any formal affiliation with the company, the image chosen for the magazine was of the two friends lounging in a watermelon-print pool eating slices of watermelon on sticks.

watermelon on sticks

Best Friends Blog Together

Laura and Lauren have known each other since grade school at St. Mary’s in DeKalb and have been best friends and DeKalb townies most of their lives. In 2016 they wanted to do something creative outside their normal jobs, so their blog Laur Lore was born. “With the first four letters of our names being the same, and the focus of our blog being on imparting our wisdom, we thought it was a cute play on words,” explains Laura, who works as a designer for OC Creative.

Lauren says the duo has learned a lot about the blogging world since then. “Don’t be fooled—it’s hard work. We both work other full time jobs, so maintaining Laur Lore isn’t easy. But we’re truly excited to post something new every day in order to teach and inspire our readers in all things lifestyle: fashion, home decor, food, friends, family, and more.”

Their passion for the blog and what it stands for is what got them noticed in the first place. Upon hearing about Minnidip, they both thought it was an idea that needed more attention. They got in touch with Emily Vaca, owner of La Vaca, and offered to organize and direct a photo shoot with Vaca’s pools. “She happily obliged,” says Laura, adding, “plus, women supporting women—what’s better than that?”

Getting Noticed

Lauren explains the rush to get things put together. “We managed to very quickly source a photographer, some cute bathing suits, and the most important prop: watermelon. It turns out, we got some pretty good photos, and Emily was over the moon excited and grateful.”

The following year, Vaca used the duo’s photos for her press materials, and one in particular was picked up by Rachael Ray. They agreed that they were fortunate. “It sounds cheesy to say ‘a dream come true,’ but when you start a blog, all you can hope for is that people will see your work, like what you do, and want to see more.”

poolside with watermelon print pool

They added, “We’re excited to see what the future holds, and can’t wait to share more collaborations with our readers. Make sure to check us out @laur.lore on Instagram to keep up to date.”

Check out Laura and Lauren’s pool shoot here. And for fun kiddie pools in any season, check out Minnidip.com.

Maybe it’s time to plan an in-office pool party…