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Life and Work with Laura Madden

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Madden.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Growing up in Boston, MA, I have always been a lover of fashion for as far back as I can remember. Though after struggling with a weight problem for much of my childhood, and turning to exercise and diet changes to lose almost 60 lbs., my interests changed around adolescence. I gained a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from the University of New Hampshire and worked in the fitness industry for 15 years, personal training, teaching yoga and fitness classes and writing. I also started modeling in college to fund my college degree, and have been doing it ever since. I’ve also worked as a life coach, whole foods cooking instructor, gluten-free cookie baker, personal shopper and stylist, and have made a few shortstops in the retail world while moving around the country for my husband’s work. Today, I’m back in Phoenix, hopefully, to stay, and I am currently working as a fashion advocate, model, and run Laura Madden Lifestyle, a Lifestyle brand and blog that inspires a life of style, sustainability and self-esteem for a modern girl in a material world.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Yes and no. The hardest thing I’ve had to face has been relocating around the country numerous times for my husband’s work- which has been fun in many ways, but also challenging as I’ve become a slightly different person in every different city we’ve resided. Trusting myself and making difficult decisions, such as leaving perfectly practical jobs that weren’t fulfilling to me have been a few challenges I’ve had to face – following my gut and heart over my head. Your heart will never steer you in the wrong direction although it may not always make sense to other people in your life. Also, believing in myself and my talents- still a work in progress. I believe asking for help, whether it’s from a trusted friend or mentor, or hiring a coach to guide you with difficult life decisions, is always a good idea.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with LAURA MADDEN LIFESTYLE – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am HUGE fashion lover and am extremely passionate about protecting the planet- a rather tricky mix of interests seeing that the Fashion industry is the second largest polluter of the Earth, after oil. So, today I advocate for fashion- done sustainably and responsibly and am doing what I can to make sustainable fashion stylish and cool- and to help it become mainstream- not some specialty category you have to search high & low for or avoid for fear of looking like a burlap sack. After recently relocating (again) from San Francisco to Phoenix, my work life is still taking form. I still work as a model, locally with Agency AZ, who I’ve worked with for many years, and various agencies around the country. I feel I am a stylist at my core though that is not something I’m exactly offering as a service at the moment. I also run a lifestyle brand and a blog, where I promote brands and shops that are doing fashion in a sustainably responsible way and write about the intersection of style, sustainability, and self-esteem. I am very active on social media, mainly Instagram, and create content to promote self-esteem, a sustainable wardrobe, and lifestyle, and to show women they don’t have to sacrifice style for a more sustainable lifestyle.

Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
For sure! I feel that this is our time! There is SO MUCH support I am feeling among women today. We all want to succeed and feel empowered. It feels better to help someone out and help them get to where they want to go instead of trying to cut someone down or being negative. Especially, with social media being so widespread as it is today. We can connect with women all over the World at any time of day! At the same time, look around – we have the stage. We have the power to speak out about what is important to us and talk about the world we want to create. At least, I like to think about it that way – I want to be the painter of my life and world, and I intend for the content I share to be like my paintbrush, creating that picture, however, I like for it to looking feel. I know that may sound a little Pollyanna-ish to some, but hey, it feels better than thinking we don’t have control to create the lives we want to live.

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Image Credit:

Kate Moore, Runners World Magazine, Jessie Cagliero, Cansu Bulgu, Michelle Lee, Becca Sabot

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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