The MNY Spotlight
Meet Lauren Dudley Stephens, CEO + Co-Founder of Dudley Stephens
Lauren Dudley Stephens, CEO + Co-Founder of Dudley Stephens
Photo credit: Julia Dags
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!
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.
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!
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.
Photo credit: Julia Dags
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!
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.