We've been avid fans of The Lifestyle Edit since it launched in 2015 and have spent many a lunch-break pouring over the careers, fashion, food and wellness pages. Founded by former fashion editor Naomi Mdudu, TLE is a hub for creative, career-minded women with regular features delving behind-the-scenes of businesses run by empowering female figures.
From the trials and tribulations of start-up brands to savvy, sustainable shopping guides, TLE is an influential and comprehensive 'toolkit' for working women. Naomi divides her time between New York (where she's based 70% of the time) and London, working with a whole host of inspiring individuals. We couldn't wait to catch up with her on her last visit to the UK to discover how she finds balance and calm with such a hectic schedule...
"The great thing about my job is that it encompasses so many different areas. First and foremost, I’m the editor of our digital publication, The Lifestyle Edit, where I produce all of our features and interviews. Under The Lifestyle Edit umbrella is our consultancy business, TLE Studio where I work with small to medium sized business on multi-channel content and social media strategies, as well as photography, styling, marketing and influencer initiatives and brand partnerships too.
I started my career as a styling assistant to some incredible stylists based in London working on everything from ad campaigns and commercials to editorials in all the big glossies. After doing that for a few years, I made the move to newspapers starting out as the fashion editor of financial paper City AM before panning all the fashion and beauty content at Metro.
The Lifestyle Edit was born because I wanted to create a new way of thinking about fashion and lifestyle. After listening to friends and colleagues complaining that there wasn’t a place on the Internet that covered all of their interests, I really wanted to create a destination that spoke to all of the lifestyle touch points they love. Loving fashion, doesn’t mean you don’t love anything else. In fact, the opposite is true. It’s because you’re interested in style that that permeates into everything you do, from the places you go out to eat or travel; to the interiors in your home, the fitness classes you attend, your approach to health and exercise and the beauty products you swear by.
I also felt like there wasn’t a place that covered the other areas that are important like how to get your finances in check and climbing the career ladder. That’s why we speak to women across the industry who all share their stories and the lessons they’ve learned along the way in our interview series.
It was always my mission to create a space that celebrated incredible women and that gives readers friendly advice on the tips and tricks they’ve learnt along the way. We’re not about being preachy. My team is full of twenty and thirty-something year olds trying to figure things out just like our readers.
No matter how busy I am, I always allocate at least 10 minutes every morning for a quick meditation session. It’s the only thing that keeps me sane and grounded, especially when things are super hectic. I’m also a big breakfast person. I’m usually in breakfast meetings two or three times a week (hello avo on toast!) but if I’m office bound, I’ll always make myself a bowl of Qnola or something healthy but hearty to get me going. I’m a serious early bird so am typically ready, dressed and at my desk in my office at home by around 5.30am. I love writing in absolute silence before everyone else is awake and on email. A lot of our consulting clients are based in New York so it also gives me the opportunity to catch up on emails sent while I was asleep because of the five-hour time difference.
I weekend well by switching off from work and being present with friends and family. Weekends usually involve brunch catch up with friends where I’m not as disciplined as I am during the week. Bacon, pancakes are usually involved… I travel so much for work and am now based out of New York so nothing beats being back home in London at my mum’s house and waking up to the smell of her making a traditional English.
When I’m travelling, I always check my diary for the next day so I can put an appropriate outfit aside so I’m not stressing out about what to wear in the morning. I try and pack my bag and gym kit the night before and put it by the door so it’s ready to go. I’ve got into the habit of lighting a Diptique candle before jumping into a hot shower before I go to bed too. When I get back into my room it smells incredible and totally relaxes me. I swear by This Works’ Deep Sleep Spray – it really works.
I wake up well when I’ve had at least a solid seven hours sleep. The earliest I’ve ever woken is 2am for an early airport run and the latest is 2pm from jet lag! The most amazing place I’ve ever woken is Jumby Bay in Antigua; it’s one of my favourite places in the world.
My best piece of morning advice would be to take 5 - 10 minutes for yourself just to ground you before hitting the ground running. Whether that’s stretching or meditating, it honestly makes a huge difference. My favourite flavour Qnola is Ginger & Goji – it’s healthy without compromising on taste: what’s not to love?"