Episode #46: Madelaine DeRose


Madelaine DeRose has German and American roots and has lived and worked on three different continents. During her extensive travels, she was exposed to many different cultures that have influenced her style and attitude towards life. While she started her career as a designer for luxury fashion brands such as Escada, Calvin Klein, and Alice + Olivia, she has been a freelance art director and stylist since 2014 and runs a multi-faceted business with a strong online voice. Madelaine works with international photographers and style editors for high-gloss fashion magazines, develops creative and social media concepts for eco-friendly fashion and wellness brands. She launched her podcast, Ladies on Ludlow, in the fall of 2018. She is an eclectic-minimalist, a student of spirituality, a superfoods geek, a crazy-cat-lady, and a sucker for quotes. She has had the opportunity to team up with some incredible brands and companies and is grateful to be able to collaborate with other creative thinkers.

When Madelaine DeRose was young, she was asked to draw a picture of her family. Instead of drawing the typical stick-figure family portrait, she drew a picture of a house, and explained that you couldn’t see the people because they were all lying down in bed. Her mom realized that her daughter saw things differently than other kids, and Madelaine was ultimately diagnosed with dyslexia, a learning disorder. As Madelaine explains, dyslexia isn’t just about mixing up your left and right, though that’s a common misconception. On today’s episode, Madelaine and I discuss what dyslexia really is, and how people with dyslexia experience the world (and how her experience is complicated by also being bilingual). We also chat about the link between creativity and dyslexia, how she manages dyslexia in her professional life, and why she wants to correct misperceptions and raise awareness about the reality of the disorder.

Every single little thing I write, I know that there’s a big potential to be extremely embarrassed.

Here are some of the things Madelaine and I chatted about:

  • The moments from childhood that were difficult due to her dyslexia--and that still stick with her

  • One way to think about dyslexia: like seeing with a wide-angle lens versus a macro lens

  • How creative problem solving and an ability to see the big picture can be upsides of dyslexia

  • Feeling embarrassed at school, but being taught by her mom not to use dyslexia as an excuse

  • Now, in her adult life, the challenges she faces as a freelancer who has to write a lot of emails

  • Why she chooses not to have a line in her email signature explaining the reason behind errors

  • In addition to having her sister proofread her work, the little tricks she uses to check spelling

  • Joking with her sister and husband when she has a “lexi moment” (as in a dyslexia moment)

  • The common misconceptions around dyslexia, including one she hears all the time

  • How she uses self-talk and visualization to help her get through day-to-day challenges

  • Being bilingual, and how--despite being grateful for it--it can often add to the confusion

  • Her creative side, which was apparent from very early on, and is a big part of her life today

  • Why she loves hosting Ladies on Ludlow, and the role that podcasting plays in her life

I always got the papers back and they were just drowning in red marker… Those moments really still stick with me.


Follow Madelaine: Instagram / Website

Learn more about her podcast, Ladies on Ludlow: iTunes / Instagram

Support for this episode comes from LesserEvil. LesserEvil was born from a desire to make sinfully tasty snacks with clean, sustainable ingredients. Their family of snacks includes Buddha Bowl Popcorn, Paleo Puffs, and Green Elephant Chips. LesserEvil’s mantra is, “nothing goes into our snacks that we wouldn’t feed our own families.” To try LesserEvil’s amazing snacks for yourself, go to lesserevil.com and use promo code madevisible for 20% off your order.

Amanda Guerassio