We spoke with designer Jordana Woodland, the founder of the modern boudoir lifestyle brand Naked Princess whose vibrant designs blend pop culture with pop colors. Stylish celebs such as Cindy Crawford, Lady Gaga and Mindy Kaling can often be found at Naked Princess’ flagship store which opened its doors in Melrose Place in 2014. The ultra feminine store boasts curated items such as custom-formulated beauty products, elegant loungewear, lingerie and home accessories for all women looking for something special.
We dive deeper into a look inside her world, all while raising three children.
When you launched Naked Princess, what are the challenges you faced being a female entrepreneur? If so, what were they? I think the challenges I faced had less to do with the fact that I’m female but more to do with the fact that being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. You have to be truly passionate and determined or it just won’t work. You have to be willing to throw yourself in, work hard and figure things out as you go along. I thought I knew what I was getting into when I started Naked Princess, but it has been a journey full of surprises. You have to be willing to evolve while keeping a firm grasp on the core of what you create. It took a moment for me to truly understand how I wanted to communicate my vision for the company. I had to find the confidence to turn the ship when I saw that we were headed in a direction that didn’t feel right. Entrepreneurs have to make big decisions all the time and sometimes you won’t be entirely sure that you are making the right one, and that’s okay. If you believe in what you are doing and have the determination to back it up…you will get to where you want to be.
What do you think are the biggest roadblocks for women in entrepreneurship/business? Honestly, I think the biggest roadblocks are the ones we create for ourselves. Doubt being the biggest one. If you have a vision, trust it. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t listen to feedback. Listening is important. At the end of the day you have to trust yourself. If doubt creeps in and you start second guessing yourself too much, that’s when things go off the rails. In order for something to be sustainable the foundation has to be solid. You are that foundation. So it’s up to you to keep things grounded and true.
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today? I think like everyone else I’ve gone through some really tough times in my personal life that I have been fortunate enough to get through successfully. These tough times have made me a better listener, a great delegator and ultimately become more passionate about being a woman entrepreneur in todays world. As a leader in a company of 25 employees, I communicate more frequently and do routine check-ins with all my employees to make sure they are feeling happy and motivated.
How do you maintain a work/life balance? I’m not going to lie, it’s a constant challenge. I am a mother of three so it’s a crazy juggling act but one that I’m so grateful to have. I would say that “awareness” is the way I maintain equilibrium. There are going to be times when you are going to get out of balance. It’s just the way of life. The key is be aware of those moments and do what you can to recalibrate yourself. Take a step back and reassess how you are spending your time. It’s about not punishing yourself for being out of balance, but simply acknowledging it and then making the needed adjustments to find your even footing again.
What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace? Confidence. Always remember that you are a strong, smart and determined woman…don’t be intimidated by anyone or anything. And don’t forget to support the other working women that surround you. Too often I see women thinking other female entrepreneurs are a threat and we should not think that way. There’s room for all of us to succeed. Also, us women should never feel like our femininity is a hindrance. It’s an asset! When I have a big meeting I make sure to wear something super feminine and sexy underneath my work attire. It’s something that only I know is there and that connection to my femininity gives me an extra boost of confidence. It makes me stand a little taller. It reminds me that I’m a powerful woman and that is a beautiful thing.
How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life? One of the most rewarding feelings is when you form a relationship with someone and watch them truly come in to themselves. It’s less about “mentoring” and more about “promoting discovery.” When someone gives you the opportunity to discover and develop your strengths, new worlds open up. I’ve been blessed to have people in my life that allow me to do just that and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I strive to do that for others as well, both professionally and in my personal life.
Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
Cindy Crawford: She is the ultimate example for me of a woman who found a great balance of being a Mom, Model and Business Woman.
Kathy Ireland: I admire how she transitioned seamlessly from Model to Media Mogul and still keeps her life private
Tory Burch: Come on…who doesn’t love Tory Burch? Smart, savvy and fashionable.
What are the 5 adjectives you would use to describe yourself? Confident. Strong. Loving. Smart. Silly.
For two seasons, I collaborated with Naked Princess and below are the designs from our partnership.