I really hope that you’re loving these M.Y. Network interviews as much as I do. Today I’d love to introduce you to my dear friend Khadeidra Le Gendre. We met at my last job where she was a graduate assistant. However, it became clear, very fast that we needed to be friends outside of the office. She was one of those students who was so motivated to succeed and we got along so well.
Similar to Myleik Teele – I don’t think Khadeidra understands the words “no” or “not possible” when it comes to her goals. She was in school, working in the career services office, and designing her own handbags. I’m also pretty sure that there was a high profile, graduate level internship in there too. Since I’ve known her, we’ve always had phenomenal conversations about life, work, and entrepreneurship. She’s one of those people in my life who I know just “gets it”. But the key here is that she also gets it done.
NAME + WHAT DO YOU DO?
Khadeidra Le Gendre, Change Management Communications Specialist by day, Handbag Designer by night and weekend!
5 YEARS AGO, WHERE DID YOU IMAGINE THAT YOU WOULD BE TODAY?
Five years ago, I imagined that I would be a Learning & Development Professional, facilitating workplace training at least 4 days a week. While my current role doesn’t require training facilitation very regularly, training is well within the scope of Change Management! Designing handbags wasn’t really on my radar at the time.
WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TO KEEPING IT ALL TOGETHER?
I prioritize self-care, prayer and meditation. My secret to keeping it all together is coaching myself to stop sweating the small stuff, and focus on the big picture towards achieving my goals.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST VALUABLE TOOL THAT YOU USE DAILY?
My most valuable tool that I use everyday is a vision board (which I actually created during a Manifest Yourself event). I’ve placed it on the wall next to my bed, so it’s the first thing I see every morning. It houses my positive self-affirmations and reminds me of my commitments to financial and business goals, and lifestyle aspirations.
WHO’S YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCE?
Currently, I’d say my biggest influence(s) – don’t laugh at the contrast – are Michelle Obama and Cardi B. Both of these charismatic women are unabashed feminists who are unafraid to use their voices as advocates for good. Despite their different paths to success, both exemplify a high achievement orientation and encourage others to reach for their own dreams despite the odds. Just as I admire Michelle’s polished style, her graceful use of language, I also admire Cardi’s fun-loving, colorful personality. I could see myself being great friends with either of them!
IF SOMEONE WANTED TO DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU DO, WHAT WOULD YOUR BIGGEST PIECE OF ADVICE BE?
If someone wanted to do exactly what I do, my biggest piece of advice would be to jump right in, and never, ever doubt yourself. In my academic career, I could have doubted my ability to get accepted to a highly competitive ivy league masters program. I didn’t. I applied anyway, and jumped right in, and it opened many professional doors for me.
In my fashion career, I could have doubted my ability to be a handbag designer, since I’ve never taken a sewing class and didn’t really know how to sew. I didn’t doubt myself. I just sat in front of the sewing machine and worked at it until I had a complete handbag collection. No idea is too crazy or too unattainable, unless you fail to jump right in and just try.
DO YOU STILL GET SCARED SOMETIMES WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE VISION YOU HAVE FOR YOUR LIFE?
When I think about the vision I have for my life, I’m more excited than I am anxious, although I sometimes wonder how I’ll accomplish all of my goals in one lifetime!
FUN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF
If we met in person, the first thing you’d probably notice about me is that I have a non-U.S. accent. I grew up in Trinidad, the southernmost island of the Caribbean!