So excited to share my conversation with Lauren Dudley Stephens and Kaki Dudley McGrath. They are two sisters from Greenwich, Connecticut who have a really cool startup story!

Lauren and Kaki found themselves living in fleeces, whether it be on cooler summer nights in Nantucket, on ski trips in Vermont, or on boat rides on the Long Island Sound—they always wore fleeces for that extra warmth. The two kept wondering why fleeces couldn’t be more fashionable! So in 2015, they reimagined fleeces and launched Dudley Stephens—fleeces for women that can be worn casually or dressed up! I bought one back in December and I legit live in it; I find myself throwing it on as I walk to flywheel classes, run errands and go out with my friends. They are so comfortable AND flattering!

During our conversation, the Dudley sisters not only tell us about their entrepreneurial journey since 2015 but also life leading up to it—a testament that everything happens for a reason! Lauren was kind enough to share a personal story of how she and her husband struggled with infertility for two years. The creation of Dudley Stephens was her silver lining during that difficult time. We also talk about the different jobs Lauren and Kaki had leading up to Dudley Stephens and how they now apply those skills to their business (side note: Lauren worked in PR at Calvin Klein and dressed celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow). We talk about juggling the mom life and working full time (Kaki and Lauren both have two small children), what it’s like working with family, and so much more! I hope you guys enjoy my conversation with Lauren and Kaki as much as I did!

 

Books:

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki

Website:

www.dudleystephens.com

Instagram:

@dudley_stephens

 

Photo by Lindsay Madden Photography |@lmaddenphoto (Instagram)

Hi everybody! I am so excited to share my conversation with the renowned Sister Mary Scullion, an incredible hero in Philadelphia who has been fighting to end chronic street homelessness since 1976. Although she is one of the most humble humans I have ever come across, her work has not gone unnoticed. She was named by Time Magazine one of the Most Influential People in the World in 2009 (alongside Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey), received the Laetare Medal from The University of Notre Dame in 2011 (which is the highest award given to an American Catholic), was the Georgetown Commencement Speaker in 2017, and the list goes on!

Sister Mary is most well-known for co-founding Project HOME in 1989 with Joan Dawson McConnon. It is a nationally recognized organization that strives to end the chronic cycle of homelessness. The H stands for Housing, the O for Opportunities for Employment, the M for Medical Care, and the E for Education. The vision is that the homeless need a combination of Housing, Employment, Medical Care and Education to overcome poverty. Throughout our conversation, Mary takes us on the journey of how Project Home came into existence. She was kind enough to share the early setbacks she encountered and how she used grit and perseverance to stay committed.

30 years later, her grit certainly paid off. Project HOME has an established headquarters in Philadelphia, where I interviewed Sister Mary. I loved my time at the building, as it was amazing to see so many people working together to end homelessness. It really inspired me to get more involved! They have over 800 units of affordable and supportive housing: the Stephen Kline Wellness Center (which addresses the medical care for the homeless), the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs (a state of the art four-story building that addresses the education needs), and they just recently partnered with Septa and the city of Philadelphia to open the Hub of Hope in Suburban Station in Philadelphia. It’s a safe place where the homeless can enjoy a warm cup of coffee, take a shower and wash laundry, and begin the process of finding a permanent home.

I also was very curious as to why so many of the homeless are often resistant to come off the streets. Sister Mary explains that, as with anything in life, you can’t force someone to do something—they have to be ready to do it. But if you keep gently shedding light on their significance, it could make the difference. So next time you pass a homeless person on the street, try to offer a smile! It might give them that confidence they need to take the first step in getting off the streets! Hope you guys enjoy!

Hi everybody! I always love when I have the opportunity to interview guests from my high school, Notre Dame Academy in Villanova. So far I have had Martie Gillin who is 82 years old and started the non-profit Speak-Up and I have had September Rinnier Votta who was a year above me and co-founded the online retailer Tuckernuck. And now I’m super excited to share my conversation with Maureen Doron, another Notre Dame Academy alum! Maureen lives right outside Philadelphia with her husband and three young sons. She has made quite the footprint along Philadelphia’s mainline – she founded Skirt Boutique (located in Bryn Mawr, PA) back in 2001 at the young age of 24. They sell amazing women apparel and accessories. She then went on to open two additional locations, one in Stone Harbor, NJ (a very popular shore town) and the third in Rittenhouse Square in the heart of Philadelphia. Maureen has had a tremendous amount of success at all three locations.

I had so much fun hearing all about how Maureen founded Skirt and what her entrepreneurial journey has been like over the past 17 years. She was kind enough to not only share the success stories but also how she handled the setbacks. What I love the most about Maureen is her really optimistic outlook on life, which all three of her store locations reflect. I always love visiting Skirt because all of the stylists who help me are full of positive and vivacious energy, and always make my search for the perfect outfit easy and fun. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Maureen as much as I did!

 

Books

The Gold Finch

Hug Your Customers

Go Take a Bath

Important Links

Skirt