KRYSTEN KAUDER, FOUNDER OF RYAN PORTER

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Coffee or tea? Decaffeinated tea—anything with caffeine gives me horrible anxiety and on the verge of a panic attack.

Go to beauty products? I don’t wear much makeup! I usually only wear Lady Danger lipstick by MAC, Eye Am Outstanding black eyeliner by Real Her, and Concealer by Onomie.

What’s one thing that’s always in your handbag? Xanax

Favorite indulgence? CHEESE

Go to outfit? All black everything.

Favorite brand? Ryan Porter, duh. 

Girl crush? Margot Robbie. (Fun fact: I have wanted to name my future daughter Margo, every since I watched the movie ‘Fear’)

Who is a woman you look up to and why? My mother. She puts everyone else first, and is the strongest person I know.

What does it mean to you to be a nasty woman?

It can mean many things!—

It means supporting women’s rights.

It means being unapologetically yourself. 

It means standing up for what is right. 

How do you incorporate women’s rights into your job? How do they influence your work? 

Being a woman, and a feminist, women’s rights is always top of mind, and it is something I am very passionate about. All of our pieces at Ryan Porter have words attached to them, aside from my “anxiety” necklace, I typically wear a bracelet that reads “nasty.” I wear this because I believe we are all aware of where this word stemmed from, and I want women to know we are in this together. Our jewelry and accessories start a much needed conversation. If we start these conversations, we can connect, network, and become a greater force. I hope our company empowers even just 1 woman. #theforceisfemale 

RP stands for empowering all women. What would you say to your customers who are struggling with mental illness? It will get better. Take it one day at a time. Talk to friends and family. Talk to anyone. Talk to me! Do not get stuck in the same routine. Break your habits. Go outside and take a walk. There are many times I did not want to leave my apartment, but I forced myself to, and it has always helped me tremendously.

When were you first aware of your anxiety? How did you / are you coping with it day-to-day in order to lead a productive and healthy life? 

It was the summer of 2007, and I was on the way from Ohio to NYC for my very first interview for an internship with a fashion designer. I thought I was running late, so my stomach immediately began to start. Ever since, whenever I am just slightly nervous about a situation, I need to run to the bathroom. 

I cope with it by realizing I am always going to have some bad days, but the good days are right around the corner. My family and friends have also been very supportive. They are my own personal therapists. 

What’s a day in your life like when living with anxiety? 

The morning is the worst for me. I wake up and immediately start thinking about all that I need to get done for the day, which in turn, starts my nervous stomach. I then usually feel exhausted, and just scroll through Instagram and catch up on emails from bed. 

I then go to the office, try to get some work done (while trying to turn a voice off in my head that thinks I have something horribly wrong with me), have a late lunch, call my mom or boyfriend if I’m having a rough day, do a little more work, then the work day is over. The night is when I am most calm. I meet my boyfriend for dinner, and we usually ride bikes, talk a walk, have a drink and then watch a movie and go to bed. This is usually the time I tell myself, “see, you can feel “normal,” but then the cycle starts again the next morning. Anxiety is exhausting. 

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Where do you feel least anxious? In my bed with tons of cuddles from my boyfriend.

Who is a mental health advocate you look up to? Jen Gotch

How does being transparent about your mental health struggles help you in your career? I believe talking about my mental health takes a load off of my shoulders, and helps me keep calm and focus. I recommend this to anyone. The first step in helping yourself, is talking about it. 

What quote or mantra on the subject of mental health makes you feel at peace? If I am feeling especially anxious, which is usually in a plane, train, or anywhere I feel trapped, I repeat “safe and sound” and “uncomfortable but safe.” The second mantra I learned from a pilot about turbulence, but helps me in many situations.

And lastly...what will you be dressing up for this Halloween? Wednesday Addams. She’s my doppelgänger, and she wears all black…So, maybe I am just going as myself? ha!

Krysten KauderComment