For Jordana Woodland, mom of three and CEO of Naked Princess, taking a few extra moments to get ready makes all the difference to a woman's day, and helped inspire a business that she hopes to build into an empire.
“Ever since I was a young girl I would look at my mom and watch how she got ready," says Woodland. “Women don't do that anymore. We're always on the go, and with me being a mom it seems impossible. But it's so important to take a few minutes to take care of yourself. I admire that."
Woodland, who has collected centuries-old perfume bottles and vintage lingerie from all around the world since she was a teenager, says that she has always been intrigued by the “concept of the boudoir," and wanted to create a line made especially for women that made them feel sophisticated and comfortable there. Her brand, Naked Princess, is meant to offer small but significant luxuries for a woman's life.
The Naked Princess fashion line is comprised of clothes that can be worn on a lazy day inside or a fashion-forward afternoon out. “It's meant to be fun and easy, you can wear around the house, or you can go on a lunch date," says the former model, who actively creates the clothes with the ease and comfort of the consumer in mind, “A lot have built-in bras. I am always looking to make things that aren't too fussy, maybe buttons but no zippers. Our pajama sets are best sellers."
With hundreds of SKUs and distribution through nearly 200 spas, boutiques and specialty stores around the world, Woodland says a focus on timeless styles, fabrics that feel and look nice like velvet, silk, and organic cotton and an array of colors from neutrals to bolds are paramount to the longevity of the brand.
Woodland first introduced her brand to the public via its stand-alone retail store on the Melrose Place Shopping District of Los Angeles in 2014. After gaining a steady local following, the Naked Princess founder says she began dressing celebrities, arming stylists with wardrobes for their high-profile clients, and adapting lingerie looks into red carpet worthy head-turners. The love from Hollywood elites like Lady Gaga and Cindy Crawford, helped with Naked Princess's recognition, “People noticed us getting on covers of magazines," says Woodland.
“When you walk into a beautiful store it was a great way for people to connect with the brand immediately. We had different collections, scents, lotions, and fabrics to touch. Our store put us on the map," says Woodland.
Later, she added beauty to the lineup to fill the void she saw in the industry-simple, fuss free products. “When I started the beauty line I wanted to make sure it was easy," says Woodland. "I know the whole trend of makeup, foundation, and contouring. That wasn't in at the time." According to Woodland, Naked Princess's beauty brand is based on essentials to make every girl feel beautiful. “The line is quick, on the go," she says. "Something you would have on your vanity; a collection of lip glosses, or really fantastic massage candles that you can light up for 20 minutes, blow out and use the soy wax to massage yourself."
Photo Courtesy of John Russo
The Naked Princess CEO says ultimately it was a “combination of things" that lead her to launch a lifestyle brand, which she did in 2011 when she was only 29 years old. “Starting when you're young is one of the most difficult things," says the entrepreneur. “I know what I want. I have a vision. You then either hire somebody to put your creativity on paper or you do everything yourself."
Woodland says that because of her clear vision for the brand, she likes to be involved in every stage of the entire creation process. To wit, even though she hired a creative company to create her logo, she quickly decided “'I can do this myself," and then she did. "When you're building a brand, you have to understand who your customer is and that's difficult in a world today when people's likes and dislikes are constantly changing," says Woodland. "From branding to voice messaging, I'm extremely hands-on with it."
Born in the Philippines, the CEO started modeling when she was 19 and says she was always around makeup artists, which instilled in her a love of cosmetics. “I was really involved in modeling, but I have always been interested in being in front and behind the camera.," says Woodland.
Although it may seem like she chose a high-flying and stressful career, Woodland, who is based in LA and Montana, says balance is the secret to her success. “I'm in Montana because of a previous relationship, but I love it for [my kids], and for me," says the mom of three. “It's gotten me to get into the hobbies I have now, here we have a ranch and horses. We snowboard and ski every weekend. I really appreciate nature out here, the quality of air and the quality of time. In California, everyone is so focused on getting from one place to the next. It's a great contrast which I love."
In order to build more buzz for her brand, the CEO says she is currently focused on trunk shows and pop-ups as a way to introduce new consumers to her product assortment. “People don't always trust a new brand," she says. “To go out and meet people and have fact time. Show how to wear. When people know something is available for the specific window, they want to take advantage of it."
Photo Courtesy of John Russo
“When you're building a brand, you have to understand who your customer is and that's difficult in a world today when people's likes and dislikes are constantly changing."
As far as sales go Naked Princess isn't lacking. “The line has been selling really well with women; because you really understand the quality of it when you purchase it," she says, adding that by inspiring women's loungewear, there is a ripple effect to bigger trends. "A lot of women are wearing silk at home and transitioning them to the red carpet."
Ava Tie Tank. Photo Courtesy of Naked Princess
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."