naomi mdudu overt nyc west villageA woman that created a business to tell the “real life” stories of kick-ass female entrepreneurs, business babes + other hustlers is a woman we consider a friend.

As a Fashion Editor in London, Naomi Mdudu was working with some of the world’s most progressive and forward-thinking businesses. After meeting the women “behind the scenes” of these operations, she was motivated to leave her corporate life and start The Lifestyle Edit, a platform to celebrate the professional journey of the women she had met. Since launching in 2015, TSE has expanded to offer a full business coaching program, a podcast station and a series of events to connect the army of “doers and dreamers” she has amassed over the last few years.

The Lifestyle Edit is a digital “library” for the ambitious, offering real-life examples of success, failure, and growth, as told by an impressive group of CEO’s, founders, designers and more. From how to ask for a promotion, to negotiating terms in a capital raise or learning how to delegate and take control of your life – Naomi has it covered.

So, when Naomi reached out OVERT to learn more about the brand and our community of hustlers, we were thrilled at the opportunity to meet her and are even more thrilled to share her story with you, as one of our own City Girls.

Say hello, Naomi, and get ready for a kick up the butt, in the very best way.


LIVES //
New York City + London

CITY GIRL MINDSET // naomi mdudu overt nyc west village noho bag backpack
It’s only having left London that I really just how fortunate enough I was to grow up there. Everything about London inspires me. The food, the architecture, the art, the fact that it’s a real melting pot of cultures. And in New York, anything feels possible. Being here has definitely pushed me to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. But equally, it’s shown me that balance is important too. In such a fast-moving city, it’s easy to quickly feel like you’re being dragged along; that you’re not taking advantage of the city if you’re not out every night and meeting new people. I’m constantly trying to find a healthy balance.

CITY LIVING //
I’m still a bit of a nomad so haven’t really been able to start building roots anywhere but that’s about to change because I’m currently on the hunt for an apartment to buy here in New York. I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally feel settled in one place, and of course, start decorating!

LONDON //
In London, we have more of a commuting, local culture. Everything is busy and densely populated in the heart of the city but people commute back to their neighborhoods, where things are generally slower. It feels like you have a haven to retreat to, away from the busyness of the work week. Everything just feels more local and community-orientated. You know everyone at your corner store and your local pub. We cook at home rather than ordering in all the time; we have people over rather than always eating out.

NYC //
Coming from that and moving to New York was a big culture shock. I step out of my front door and I have a taxi charging past. You’re slap bang in the thick of things. I remember when I used to stay with one of my girlfriends. I’d step into her apartment and there would be nothing but a bottle of champagne in the fridge and her rationale would always be that, living in New York City, you have everything on your doorstep. You want coffee, you walk across the road to Starbucks. You want a quick snack, there’s something less than a block away. It’s very different.

THE NOHO BAG //
On any given day I can be out and about in meetings, shooting new content for the site, conducting a podcast interview and popping into a work-out class. I need a bag that’s practical enough to carry everything I need but is also stylish enough that it allows me to put my best foot forward without having to think about it.

THE HUSTLE //
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 reflects some of my life experiences.

naomi mdudu overt nyc west village noho bag backpackAS AN ENTREPRENEUR //
There’s nothing I love more than connecting with like-minded women. Still today, I can’t believe I get to call that my job.

The things I value more than anything else is having the time to really invest and be present with the people I love, and entrepreneurship has definitely played a big part in making that a reality.

There’s something empowering about having the ability to actively design your life rather than living by default. As a business owner, I’m creating a definition of success on my own terms. I’m free to pivot and allow that definition to change just as often I am.

 

 

 

 

LESSONS LEARNT //

I really began to make a shift in my business when I started becoming clear on distinguishing between ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to have’. I started honing in the jobs that I was uniquely positioned to do and built a team around everything else.

naomi mdudu overt nyc the elk cafe

 

It took me years to invest in outsourcing and I wish I’d done it sooner rather than struggling to do everything myself. I know, I know, you’re afraid of spending a lot of money, but the truth is, the more time you have to work ‘on’ your business, the more time you have to earn money for your business. If you’re doing everything, chances are, you’re dropping the ball on certain things and even if new business was to come along, you wouldn’t be able to take it on. When I finally invested in people, I started to enjoy a level of freedom I just hadn’t experienced before. In that freedom, I was able to think creatively again.

The more I outsource to people who are experts in the areas that I’m not, the more my business grows. Now, I’m constantly thinking about ways I can expand my team to add people who are passionate about the areas that most impact our bottom line.

Today, my days are guided by how I want to feel and not just feeling a slave to a to-do-list. I carve time for myself to pray, exercise, meditate, listen to podcasts and enjoy a cup of tea in the morning before even thinking about touching my phone. I make time for all of the things that make me feel good and balanced, which then makes me far better at my job.

ON THE “TREND” OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP //

Entrepreneurship has definitely become a lot sexier than it used to be. The challenge is that I don’t always think people get a realistic sense of what entrepreneur life really looks like. That’s why it’s so important for me to interview people for the site that are willing to talk holistically about what it looks like to run a business – the highs and the lows, the peaks and the troughs.

But otherwise, I think it could only be a good thing. I wish entrepreneurship was more visible when I started my career. I think it would have given me the confidence to take the plunge a lot earlier than I did.

A DAY IN THE LIFE //

naomi mdudu overt nyc west village noho bag backpack
WEARING // J Brand jeans | Iris & Ink knit from The Outnet | Thomas Pink shirt | ASOS scarf | Next boots |Parker London coat

The great thing about what I do is that there’s no such thing as a typical day. I love to block work – it makes it easy to get ahead with tasks without having to switch to something else. On Mondays, I work on content and work with my 1:1 coaching clients. Tuesdays are for podcast recordings and editing. Wednesday for content and conference calls. Thursdays for shooting new content and Fridays for coaching sessions, accounts, and big picture business strategy.

I try my best to be as intentional with my days as possible, mixing in work with self-care and exercise too.

I carve time for myself to pray, exercise, meditate, listen to podcasts and enjoy a cup of tea in the morning before even thinking about touching my phone. I make time for all the things that make me feel good and balanced, which then makes me far better at my job.

 

overt nyc west village new york photography

THE VILLAGE //
The West Village always has a special place in my heart. It was the first night out I had on my first visit to New York. We started the night off at Barbuto and ended up in a hole in the wall bar down the road, dancing until they kicked us out a closing. Barbuto is now my favorite place to eat in the city. I always joke and say that I need shares because I’m there at least once a week and I love taking friends there when they’re in New York from out of town. I always order the kale salad (it’s not always on the menu so ask them and they’ll make it for you), the meatballs and the rosemary potatoes.


THE WEEKEND AGENDA 

naomi mdudu overt nyc west village noho bag backpack

Friday night – Dinner at Barbuto with friends

Saturday – Brunch at AbcV followed by a stroll upstairs at ABC Carpet & Home and a wander around the latest exhibition at The MetBrauer. I love that place! Oh, and oysters at Catfish in Brooklyn. They do the best oysters in the city!

Sunday – Soul Cycle class with a friend followed by a walk through Central Park on the way home catching up with some of my favorite podcasts.


WHERE WE WENT //

THE ELK – I usually work from home but when I’m between meetings and shoots, I always camp out at The Elk. It’s perfectly hidden away, the food is amazing, there’s always a great mix of creative people and they just leave you to it. It was founded by another female entrepreneur, Claire Chan, who we’ve featured on the site so I always try to support.

GO-TO // Their lunch menu is amazing. I love the Market Rice Bowl.

 

naomi mdudu overt nyc west village

naomi mdudu overt nyc the elk cafe coffee west villagethe elk cafe coffee overt nyc west villagenaomi mdudu overt nyc the elk cafe

CAP BEAUTY – I’ve made huge changes to my diet and skincare this past year so CAP Beauty is my one-stop-shop for getting everything I need from my natural skincare products to probiotics, supplements and things like teas too.

ON MAKING THE NATURAL SWITCH //

I’ve suffered from a lot of health issues over the past few years and the more I read and investigated, the more I realized how the food and products I was consuming was contributing to those issues. I think we forget that our skin is our largest organ and we absorb up to 80% of what we put on it. When you think about it like that, it only makes sense that, as we get more conscious about what we’re eating, we start looking at our beauty bags too.

I absolutely love Tata Harper. There are so many brands who claim they’re natural but aren’t so it’s refreshing to know that anything I buy from Tata Harper is 100% natural, without nasties. I also love the fact that their natural credentials don’t mean that they compromise on results. I suffer from large pores so I love using their Purifying Cleanser and I love their Rejuvenating Serum and Beautifying Face Oil too.

naomi mdudu overt nyc cap beauty west village

naomi mdudu overt nyc cap beauty noho bag backpack

overt nyc cap beauty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GETTING THE “CLEAN” FACTS //
My friend is actually in the midst of creating a multi-brand online store that sells natural skincare products so I’ve been really lucky to learn from her about which ingredients to avoid and which brands I can feel confident about buying.

I also follow Amanda from Organic Bunny on Instagram. She’s 100% committed to championing natural products so I know that anything she recommends is worth looking into.

naomi mdudu overt nyc cap beauty noho bag backpack

WHAT’S NEXT //

The core of what The Lifestyle Edit is will remain the same but I see our offerings scaling into more categories and in more locations. Right now, we’re concentrated on our New York and London core but we’re committed to bringing The Lifestyle Edit to women in different countries around the world.

This year we’re really expanding our IRL experiences. I started a Supper Club informally in New York two years and it’s grown beyond my wildest expectations. It’s just a great opportunity for likeminded female founders to connect over amazing food and wine, so we’ll definitely be scaling that up this year. We’re hosting our next one in London to mark International Women’s Day, and will bringing it back to New York this spring and expanding to different cities, which I’m really excited about.

One of the things our community has been asking us to launch for so long is online courses so we have an ambitious line up of courses that we’re currently working on to delve deeper into the key areas business owners need to think about when launching or scaling a business. Our first course launches this month is all about how to create a PR, Marketing and Brand Partnerships strategy that converts so watch this space!

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….

naomi mdudu overt nyc west village noho bag backpack


You can follow her @naomimdudu  + discover the profiles of some of the leading modern women in business right now by listening to her podcast, reading them here and, following @thelifestyleedit.

Plus, we invite you to Shop The Noho Bag (Naomi wears the Classic Leather/Nylon design) and use the code OVERTGIRL for 20% off.

Later this week – Speed Dating with Naomi.