The MNY Spotlight

Meet Lauren Dudley Stephens, CEO + Co-Founder of Dudley Stephens

Introduce yourself!

Lauren Dudley Stephens, CEO + Co-Founder of Dudley Stephens 

Lauren Dudley Stephens

Follow along at @dudley_stephens @laurendudleystephens 

Photo credit: Julia Dags

What first inspired you to create Dudley Stephens with your mom and sister?

 In 2015, my sister, Kaki, and my mom, Bonnie, and I felt there was a gap in the market for cute, tailored fleece clothing. My sister and I were in the midst of starting our families and felt that what was currently available just did not fit our modern, busy lives. We also were determined to use all recycled fabrics in our designs, something that is now written into the DNA of our brand. 

I spent over 12 years working in New York City in the advertising, fashion and beauty industries, with the bulk of my time spent working in Celebrity Public Relations. I felt that my background and experience in fashion and business could be implemented in launching our own retail business. My sister has a background in event and loyalty marketing, and our mom is our ultimate style and design guru – the 3 of us had differing backgrounds and skills and we all came together to launch our family business. It helps that we love spending time together and working together as well! 

What advice would you give your younger self when starting out with your own business?

We say this a lot at Dudley Stephens: don’t try to be perfect! Taking action is better than taking no action, any decision is better than no decision. Go for it, make the decision, and follow your gut instinct.

What does self-care mean to you and how do you practice it? 

Staying physical is the most important thing for my mental health and how I practice self-care. Whether it is doing a mat workout in my home office, going for a run on a nice sunny day, or even just a long walk while listening to a podcast, I can’t operate at 100% when one of these things does not happen. I am a better mom, business-woman, friend, daughter, sister, and all the things, when I stay physical and active throughout the week. I try to do something physical every day, but of course that does not always happen! 

Where do you draw inspiration from? 

I draw inspiration from the women in my life, my mom, my sister, and my other extended family members. I also am constantly reading and researching iconic female entrepreneurs. I am fascinated and feel like a sponge absorbing information about other companies run by female executives. I constantly want to know how they are doing it and what they have learned along their journey.

founder of Dudley Stephens

Lauren wears the Giselle Midi Dress and Piña Drop Earrings

Photo credit: Julia Dags

What are you most looking forward to in 2022?

I hate to jinx the progress that we’ve made this year with Covid, but I am extremely excited about in-person events and get togethers, and traveling with my family. My children are entering into this sweet spot of life where they are getting much easier to travel with, and they are so excited to see and experience new things. Even just the simple act of going to the airport with our kids is exciting for them! We took them to Disney World in January and it was one of our most memorable weekends together as a family. I am really looking forward to creating more memories like that!

What draws you to the Mestiza brand? 

I love that it is female-founded, and that the dresses are elegant, yet very cool. There is a sophistication level that Mestiza achieves in their designs that makes me feel put together and dressed up! Of which I hope to do more of this year. 

Where are you wearing your Mestiza piece and how are you styling it? Any notes on how your Mestiza piece makes you feel?!
I wore my Giselle Midi Dress in NYC at a recent photoshoot we had for Dudley Stephens, it was so chic! I paired it with our new Five Mile River recycled Terry Fleece scarf which will launch on our site right before Mother’s Day, new Sam Edeleman heels and Mestiza pineapple earrings. I will be wearing this entire look this summer to outdoor cocktail parties or even just a girls night out!

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