Creator Profile: Whitney Madueke - New York City
Hi Whitney! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am Whitney Madueke, Youtuber, Model, and Public Speaker. I grew up in Nigeria, before moving to England to study Law. After obtaining my degree, I moved back to Nigeria for a year, where I successfully passed my Bar exam to become a Barrister & Solicitor of The Supreme Court of Nigeria. After this huge achievement, I moved to New York to pursue my dream of becoming a Fashion Designer. I am currently taking classes at Parsons School of Design and working full time as a Youtuber amongst other things. Oh, and I am twenty three!
You're a blogger, model, and YouTuber! How did start your creative work and start your blog Desourire?
I have always loved the idea of being in front of the camera, that sparked my interest in Youtube. Before that, I have always been interested in Fashion so everything was bound to connect. I created platforms to share my take on fashion and other aspects like beauty.
Google is a great friend, I used it to learn all I know now. It starts from taking baby steps and in time you will grow. I invested in a camera and took it from there.
You mention having lived in Lagos, Reading, and New York on your site. What have you learned from your time in each of these cities and were the transitions challenging?
My greatest challenge has been dealing with winter... hahaha, I pretty much can't get used to it. I love the weather back home, Nigeria is incredibly hot and I love that.
I have learnt how to connect with people from all backgrounds and to really keep an open mind and try out different things. You gotta explore the world.
When did you decide to move to New York to pursue a fashion career instead of law? Was that a difficult decision to make?
Haha, no! I have always told myself I would move to America, LA actually, to pursue my dreams. It had always been my motivation as I studied law, as it's what my parents wanted from me. I know what I want, and I have always known from a young age, even before I was 11 years old. So it was not a difficult decision, I had mentally prepared myself for years to come. It is something I had to do, more than ever. I had grown unhappy, and angry about life, not doing what I wanted and it took its toll on me. Studying law is a lot and to not fully want it for yourself, does not help with the journey. After passing my bar exams, I had to ask myself "why am I so unhappy?" and it was because I was not doing what I wanted. Moving was the best and only choice for me.
What makes you passionate about fashion design?
I remember growing up and always watching FashionTv back in Nigeria. It had all the runway shows, editorials, everything about fashion and it looked so beautiful.
It is a beautiful world, and I would love to make others feel good through clothes. Fashion design is its own unique art and to learn the skills to craft my own creations is so exciting to me.
Do you currently work full time in fashion? If so, what steps did you take to get there? If not, how do you balance your passions with your work?
I work full time as a Youtuber. Before going full time, I had worked at Ralph Lauren as an Executive Assistant to an Senior Vice President. I moved to NY to achieve certain goals and I realized if I continued juggling so much - Youtube, school and full time work, I would continue to move at a slow pace. I had to drop something to focus fully on the important things so I chose School and Youtube. Putting your energy in the right places, helps you progress and grow faster.
In balancing anything, you need time management and discipline. Knowing when to do certain things even if it means waking up earlier than usual. You do what you have to do.
We see that you are doing a talk on confidence! What was your path to confidence and could you share a tip or two on how to grow your confidence level?
No-one is born into confidence, we only grow and evolve in confidence. Some faster than others. I grew up learning to be confident so I could be my best me and stand in front of camera comfortably. I did everything I could to boost my confidence - presenting in class, answering and asking questions in class, etc all this helped my at a young age to be confident.
My tip would be to believe in yourself and to hold yourself high. Never think you are less or you can't do certain things. Be your personal cheerleader and push through ever challenge, especially the ones you create for yourself.
On the flip side, how do you address periods of self-doubt in your life?
I acknowledge how I feel and allow myself to feel it. But not dwell in it, for a long time. Max 1-2 days. I give myself the space to feel the emotion but I go into prayer, self-conversations and also repeating positive words to myself to encourage myself.
You have to let yourself feel it, cry if you need to and tell yourself "you can do it" " you have done so much" " this can't stop you " "believe and trust in God".
Anything to boost my energy really.
What role does social media play in your work?
It helps me share my story with the world. It helps me encourage, inspire and motivate people. It helps connect me to amazing people.
It plays a huge role in providing a platform to share all the sides of Whitney and it's great to get amazing feedback from that.
At The Glossary, we believe in women working together and helping one another. Why do you think it is important for women to support each other?
It's important because we get our struggles as women. Some would say we live in a "mans world", it's great to have a support system in people you can relate to. We are stronger together than apart.
What creative women do you find inspiring?
Solange Knowles. She found herself, she continues to find herself and you see that present in everything she does. Her style, her music, her! She inspires me to continue finding myself, to find peace in chaos and to find comfort in not knowing all of you. She inspires me to be present in myself and the world.
What are some of your favorite places in New York?
I love Vapianos and Wagamama, it reminds me of England! A new spot I LOVEEEE is Sweetchick in Brooklyn, amazing chicken and waffles!!