We had the good fortune of connecting with Audrey Waldron and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Audrey, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I grew up in a small western town and was raised mostly by my grandmother. When you’re born and raised in a small town there’s not a lot of opportunity for personal growth and your future generally has an outcome limited to the few options small towns provide. I always knew and felt that there was more for me beyond where I grew up. I was active in college and the community. Whether it was playing collegiate soccer, being classically trained on the piano, volunteering, snowboarding or hiking, I always wanted to grow and test myself physically and mentally. I graduated with a BS in Political Science and Public Relations and after college I became a flight attendant in order to see more of the country that I wasn’t able to experience as a child. It was a decision that started my path to being an entrepreneur.
I was a business owner along with my ex-husband, the normal busy wife and mom to 3 wonderful daughters who had long days with absolutely zero intention of becoming a swimwear model. My swimwear journey started by accident when my ex-husband posted a swimwear pick of me on Instagram and tagged the company I was wearing. That company asked me to be a brand ambassador and before I knew it, I was modeling swimwear for multiple brands. This of course led to meeting wonderful photographers, graphic artists, designers, etc. and stirred in me a passion to create my own line. I knew the fabric I liked, the cuts on a bathing suit that looked best on a woman and wanted to pivot from model to entrepreneur. This of course proved to be a much harder on-ramp than I had anticipated.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think that being a former model and mother can create a preconceived negative notion for me as a small business owner. I believe there is a stigma with a former woman model in the fashion industry where people may have the perception that due to her appearance, she got here by looks alone. I have done this with a lot of sleepless nights, my own money, tons of market research and rolling up my sleeves and winning and losing with trial and error. Again, the book is not the cover and I think women of all shapes, sizes, and varieties are going to be thought of in incapable in certain positions of authority. They are usually thought incapable by people of lesser moral fiber. You can’t change that. Don’t waste the energy in trying. Take the moral high ground and work harder. It will make you better for it and in the end the people around you, those that want to work with and for you will all change their perspective based on your success from all the hard work. To begin is easy, to persist, that’s where the reward comes in.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love the outdoors, so hiking the Runyon Canyon Park and the Charlie Turner Trailhead are huge favorites of mine. For an out of the way outside drinking and great food, Rosenthal Wine Bar & Patio in Malibu is off the beaten path and seriously a missed gem.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Lee Hagan @lhgfx Curt Nordling @curtnordlingphoto
Chris Marty @bychrismartin @itschrismartin @influence_effect
Edgar Martin @edgarmartin_ @infuenceeffect_
Lizzi K @lizziescissorhands
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