Getting to Know:  Leanne Citrone & Natalie Stevenson, Founders of UDEA

Getting to Know: Leanne Citrone & Natalie Stevenson, Founders of UDEA

After a decade of friendship, these two English transplants in Los Angeles founded UDEA — a supplement company dedicated to empowering women's health. We sat down with the dynamic duo behind our brand to learn their favorite wellness hacks, their advice for fellow entrepreneurs, and the inspiration behind their mission.

What inspired you both to launch UDEA? 

Leanne Citrone: I owned a hair salon and did hair for my whole life. After leaving the salon world I wanted to pursue my passion for the kitchen, so I went to culinary school and the Institute for Integrative Medicine. I grew to understand the importance of nurturing and feeding yourself — that the things we choose to put in our bodies and the way we speak to ourselves really do make a difference in how we live. Natalie and I have been friends for 10 years and we both felt confused about what to do and take to feel our best. That was where the idea for UDEA was born. We wanted to create something that used the best ingredients and helped give women the power to make the best choices for themselves and their health. 

Natalie Stevenson: Having gone through my own health struggles over the years, I was looking for some way of giving back and wanted to contribute to women’s health and wellness in a broader way. I was edging closer to 50 and knew that I wanted to create something that was supportive for women. I’d gotten a certification in positive psychology in 2020 and had always been interested in human behavior and what makes people tick.  It felt like the first part of my life had gotten me to this. UDEA’s tagline is “It’s What Inside That Counts,” and I know that to be true. So the question was, what could we create that really affected women on the inside to feel better and show up in the world as the best versions of themselves?

What is the most difficult part of launching, growing and running a business?

NS: Everything. There are difficulties every step of the way.  The journey can be so challenging at times, and that’s why you have to have such belief and purpose in what you are doing and the team you surround yourself with.  We have been so fortunate with the people we have worked with and the support we have that it all seems worth it. With every challenge that comes along we are growing and breaking through so many obstacles. It’s important that there is a shared values system within UDEA. I think that’s a good base point for running a business and nurturing company culture.  And of course communication is everything.  With shared values, transparency, communication — and a great product — I believe you can succeed. 

LC: Every day is different. I absolutely love the brand we have created and the team we get to work with every day is the best! There are plenty of days that I feel like I don’t know what I am doing as I’m learning so many things that are outside of my natural skill set. Launching UDEA has pushed me and made me grow in ways I never knew possible. 

The days must be busy — how do you take care of yourself and manage stress?

LC: When I owned a hair salon, I used to work on my feet all day. Now I do much more sitting down, so moving my body before I get into my work day is super important. I work out at Tracy Anderson or Silver Springs or lift weights so I try to keep a nice balance. I try to meditate every day but I am not as consistent as I want to be. I drink a lot of tea throughout the day. Hot water with fresh mint to aid in digestion. Hot water with fresh turmeric and ginger to decrease inflammation. Staying hydrated is key and I try to drink 1/2 gallon of water every day. Beyond that, I love to go to dinners with friends and get to bed early. 

NS: I love to sauna and cold plunge. My days are so busy with the business that it’s not always possible for me to get to my hot yoga class.  Being outside, even if it’s simply taking a walk to clear my head is so helpful. Most importantly — Baths. Baths. Baths.  Anyone that knows me well knows that my go to place to reset is my bath. It resets my nervous system and brings me back to myself.  I also require quiet time, although that is harder to come by :)  

Tell me all your secrets — what are your secrets for staying well. who do you work with, what doctors do you see?

NS: I meditate as much as I can - I do TM and am a big Joe Dispenza fan.  My new go-to daily hack is tapping.  I use Poppy Delbridge’s Rapid Tapping app and it is incredible. I love to travel and that for me is really important to my wellbeing.  Being in different cities and staying at hotels is something I have always loved. I love going to Reschio in Tuscany, Italy.  Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities — endless hours of walking and biking.  I spend most summers in England, between London at The Chiltern Firehouse, a farmhouse in Cornwall and my home in Essex! Swimming off the coast of England— even in the rain — really makes me happy.

LC: I go see Lena at Carasoin for facials every 6 weeks. I work with Dr Heidi who does facial acupuncture and buccal facial massage. I see Cassondra Kaeding for hair color at Crane Salon and Dominick Serna for haircuts. I see Amy Ruiz for nails and Kristi Streicher for eyebrows I try to go to Olympic Spa once a month for a scrub and shiatsu massage and to Beverly Hills Wellness Club for lymphatic massage. I also see Leedia Riman who is a great super clean dentist. 

What supplements do you take?

LC: I work with Vanessa Fitzgerald for muscle testing for supplements. We connect about once a month and she muscle tests me to see what’s happening in my body and what I need at that current time, it changes month to month depending on what’s going on. 

NS: I take the UDEA Hair Pill and Mood Pill every day, of course. While Saint Supply Living Elixir is not a supplement per se I have to talk about it because it is incredible. It’s essentially a daily shot of olive oil — brilliant for your skin and brain, digestion and a lot more.

What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?

NS:  I was always told I could be and do anything I wanted and that really gave me the foundation for getting up and doing anything.  You have to value yourself and always back yourself. I’ve had the fortune of working with incredible women over the years and mentors who showed me how to work with effectiveness and integrity. I like to think I take that with me in whatever room or meeting I’m in. I love being inspired by books and people I don’t personally know. Emma Grede is my business idol.  I love listening to her advice.

LC: This too shall pass. 

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