Be inspired by the fashion guru that juggles her own 24h business and still finds time to unwind
The Lifestyle Edit is one of our favourite go-to sites for an inspiring lunch break browse. It has everything housed under one roof; fashion, beauty, finances, love, life, tips and advice on how to build your career from some of the most interesting business women, including Balance Me’s Co-Founder Rebecca Hopkins (see full feature here). Former Fashion Editor at The Metro paper, Naomi Mdudud wanted to create a hub that celebrates women’s brains and offers friendly advice on all aspects of life – whether it’s the best place to grab a coffee in London or how to get your finances in check. We couldn’t wait to meet the woman behind this all-encompassing platform, and here she shares some advice on how she squeezes everything into her work-life and still manages to relax…
Firsrly, we’d love to hear how you discovered Balance Me and what led you to love the brand?
I discovered Balance Me in my former life as a fashion and beauty editor. The products first landed on my desk a few years ago and it's been a secret love affair ever since.
I have incredibly sensitive skin so am always drawn to beauty brands that are natural and nasties-free and all of the Balance Me products are so gentle on my skin.
There's this preconception that natural skin care products aren't as effective as the chemical products we're used to. I love the fact that Balance Me is the perfect example that natural products and science-led results-focused formulations aren't mutually exclusive.
Why did you start The Lifestyle Edit?
The Lifestyle Edit was born because I wanted to create a new way of thinking about fashion and lifestyle. I really wanted to create a destination that spoke to all of the lifestyle touch points that my friends and colleagues love. Loving fashion doesn’t mean you don’t love anything else. Actually, the fact that you’re interested in style 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.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
It’s cheesy, but I love everything about it. I believe in each and every story that goes live. I’m inspired by every brand we profile, every woman we feature and all of the incredibly talented writers and photographers we work with to bring the site together every day. It’s seeing the hard work come together each day that keeps me motivated and excited. There’s no denying that setting up your own business is difficult (I can’t remember the last time I had a day off!) but when it’s something you love, it never feels like work. Whether I’m on the train or relaxing in bed, I’m always jotting down story ideas and things I’d love for us to do in future.
Like The LifeStyle Edit, Balance Me strongly believes in empowering women, if you could give one piece of advice to your reader what would it be?
If I've learned anything from the incredible women we feature, it's that it's okay to have wobbly moments and to not get things right the first time. Whether it's with regards to our careers or life in general, it's all about the journey and it's important to be bold and fearless enough to dive head first into every opportunity that presents itself and trust that you're in the place that you're meant to be. Imagine what you could do if you didn't allow fear to hold you back! As Sheryl Sandberg says, 'lean in'!!
How do you juggle your work-life balance?
As any young business owner will attest, the quest for a work-life balance is an on-going one. Especially in the early stages, it's impossible not to switch off, partly because it's your baby and you want to keep in control, but also because you're so excited, your business is all you ever think about.
Recently I've made a point to take time away from my desk during the day by going for a BOOMCycle session at lunchtime and slowly but surely now I give myself at least one day off over the weekend.
One thing I've learnt since setting up The Lifestyle Edit is that taking time off to relax and be inspired is just as important for what I do as the hours spent at my computer. So now I make a point of giving myself treats like a massage or spa day and my favourite past time is spending the afternoon at museums like the V&A. They're always a feast for the eyes and the perfect way to get your creative juices flowing.
And finally, we'd like to know how you best wind down after a busy day?
Nothing relaxes me quite like a Netflix binge session and a glass of vino.
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