When that moment hits you that you know you’re ready to be an entrepreneur, where do you go? Naomi Mdudu, Founder of The Lifestyle Edit had the same question when she left her job. Instead of searching elsewhere she built her own platform to help women find and create the business they love.
1. The mission of Lifestyle Edit is “to create a life and business you love on your own terms” what does that mean to you and how are you accomplishing that with running The Lifestyle Edit?
For me, that means having choices. The most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur is the ability to be the architect of your own destiny. There’s something empowering about having the ability to actively design your life rather than living by default. As a business owner, I have the space to create a business that serves the kind of life I want to lead and not the other way around. I have the space to create a definition of success on my own terms and I’m free to pivot and allow that definition to change just as often I do.
2. Having walked away from the fashion editor world, how was your life changed since starting the Lifestyle Edit and what was that moment you knew you had to walk away?
I was fortunate enough to land my dream job weeks after graduating and a fast forward a few years, there was nobody around me whose jobs I inspired to grow into and I found myself asking what next? I love fashion but I realised that what most inspires me are the stories about how fashion and lifestyle businesses have launched and scaled. It’s that business story that’s always captivated me.
The Lifestyle Edit was born because I wanted to create a platform that firstly, celebrates the incredibly dynamic female founders and executives that make things happen behind the scenes at the many of the businesses we all know and love. But more importantly, I wanted to create a space where these women could talk candidly about their journeys and share actionable advice that our community can take away and immediately action in their lives.
Looking back, entrepreneurship was always on the cards for me but when I decided to take the leap, there was nowhere for me to turn. At the time, there were fantastic resources for women in the fashion realm – but when it came to unpacking the careers of prominent women and talking in-depth about the factors that have influenced their life choices – I couldn’t find anything out there. I wanted to know how these women navigated the professional realm but I also wanted to know how their approach to wellness and both physical and mental health feeds into that. I wanted to read stories that were honest and that reflect some of my life experiences.
3. You’re behind the wheel with the Lifestyle Edit and help women through so many channels like your career stories, podcast and coaching. What other ways do you help women and do you have any transformational stories you can share?
There are so many things I’m proud of but hands down the most rewarding thing for me has been servicing this community. It was always my mission to create a platform that not only inspires women to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions, but also walks them through the ‘how’, so it’s been incredible to see that mission transcend beyond the site to The Lifestyle Edit Podcast and the work we do with female founders through our consulting agency and one-on-one coaching services.
Reading emails from our community about how a story on the site sparked them to leave an unfulfilling 9 to 5 and go full time with their side hustle, or how a podcast episode helped them secure funding for their business is something I’ll never tire of.
It’s a really exciting time to be a female founder right now: women are taking the helm of some of the most influential companies in the world; we’re receiving more private investment than ever before, and there’s a general spirit of optimism and community amongst female founders that’s really exciting. Hopefully that will only continue in the coming years. I’m certainly going to try to play my part.
4. Between splitting your life between NYC and London you live the life of the ultimate Jetsetter! What other cities do you hope to conquer?
Right now I’d love to explore more of the US – cities like Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles… the list goes on.
5. Now that you’ve been working on The Lifestyle Edit for a few years now, what’s your next step in world domination and one day when we say “we knew her when” what will you be doing?
The core of what The Lifestyle Edit is – a platform that inspires and supports creative women – will remain the same but I see our offerings scaling into more categories and in more locations. Right now, we’re really focused on our one-on-one coaching services and also on expanding our event offering through workshops and our supper clubs. It feels natural to create IRL experiences for our community to connect off-line too.
I’m very ambitious and have always been future focused but I’m learning to loosen my grip a little. Some of the biggest transformations for me have been when I allow myself to be open to new opportunities which, might feel like a deviation from the original plan, but end up taking me to exactly where I needed to be….