Lydia McLaughlin: Heart and Soul

by Lauren Vikander

Love, family, fashion — these are important components to understanding Lydia McLaughlin. While her passion for life is evident to all who meet her, Lydia is a grounded individual who is family oriented and business minded. A warm-hearted individual, Lydia’s career is taking on new dimensions as she continues to inspire others through her emphasis on family values and charity.

As the granddaughter of the founder of NTV, the largest privately held multi-media company in Canada, Lydia was exposed to the exclusive world of media and business at a very young age. She was surrounded by authors, radio personalities, and news anchors who sparked her imagination and spurred her creativity which is evident today. Yet, growing up on the island of Newfoundland, Canada known for its rugged beauty and fishing communities, created balance and a distinct down-to-earth quality in her. Through this extraordinarily unconventional upbringing she learned creativity, a love for media and developed a desire for entrepreneurism; quality’s that have carried her through life.

Today you can catch a glimpse of Lydia’s busy life on the hit reality TV show, The Real Housewives of Orange County, on Bravo. As the fresh faced new cast member, Lydia has already made a reputation for herself and has an undeniable presence. Lydia currently resides in Monarch Beach, California where she and husband Doug manage four successful businesses, raise their young sons, and give back to the community while juggling a vibrant social life.

Yet, Lydia turned down the opportunity to be on the Real Housewives of Orange County, originally. “I was, and continue to be extremely concerned about how my family and I will be represented.” said McLaughlin. Yet, she changed her mind because she wanted the chance to be a different voice on the show and a role model for people watching. “I don’t want to look back on my life and wonder,” says Lydia regarding her decision. “You never really regret risks you take.”

This ‘no regrets’ philosophy helped get she and husband Doug to where they are today. Together they’ve created an empire that started with the launch of SKYLAB Media Group, Inc. a luxury marketing agency. Subsequently, spinoff SKYLAB Modern Art, a sophisticated gallery featuring contemporary artists the couple discovered during their world travels, opened its doors in Laguna Beach, California.

Most recently, Lydia launched her own jewelry line
LYDIA M, known for its sexy, smart, and delicate handcrafted pieces. Inspired by her desire to create a collection that was comfortable and light, without sacrificing the bling, Lydia’s exclusive collection blends her love of gold, sparkle, and Orange County, where each piece is made locally. “I wanted to make pieces that I could wear to the beach and also out to dinner,” says Lydia. “Making jewelry that is unique and glamorous yet easy to wear is very important to me. I love making women feel beautiful.”

Despite all of her success, the one thing Lydia can’t stop talking about is her kids, whom she makes sure to put above all else. “My family is everything to me,” says Lydia. “I grew up with a strong close family and I want my kids to feel the same security I had.” Her two sons Stirling, 4, and Maverick, 2, as well as husband Doug, whom she met through her work in charity, are without question the center of her world.

Through all of the exposure on the Real Housewives of Orange County, Lydia’s goal was to be herself and show that she isn’t the stereotypical OC housewife. “My viewpoint comes from a different place and I wanted to bring some fun and a breath of fresh air to the show.” says Lydia.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT THE FASHION INDUSTRY?
I love how you can express yourself through fashion. It is an industry full of creative people who are always changing and pushing the limits.

YOUR GO-TO SPRING LOOK?
Flirty bright dress with wedges.

WHAT IS YOUR FASHION MUST HAVE?
Christian Louboutins

GO TO ITEMS IN YOUR CLOSET?
The perfect pair of skinny jeans and heels

CELEBS WITH GREAT STYLE?
Gwen Stefani, Diane Kruger, and Kate Moss

LAST BOOK YOU READ AND LOVED?
Anything by Beth Moore

FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN OC FOR DATE-NITE?
Mastro’s Ocean Club

HOW DO YOU STAY FIT?
Bootcamp class every Monday. It kicks my butt everytime and sets the fitness tone for my week.

FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL CITIES?
Positano, Italy in the Summer
Paris in the Winter

WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST FROM CANADA?
The people…and the incredible fish!

DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL SUNDAY?
Waffles my husband makes. Church. Naps. Italian dinner at my Mom’s with the whole family.

YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
Titanic. Leo has a small piece of my heart.

YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
Heights

WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO VISIT THAT YOU’VE NEVER BEEN?
Peru

4 WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOUR LIFE?
Family
Faith
Fun
Full

WHO ARE YOUR HEROES IN REAL LIFE?
My parents

WHAT’S IT LIKE WORKING WITH YOUR HUSBAND?
Not for everyone, but we love it. We are very supportive of each other and we make a great team.

Photographed by Michael Stonis
Stylist: Toni Ferrara
Hair: Nikki Deroest
Makeup: Jason Sanchez using Milani Cosmetics
Photo Assist: Rod Foster & Isaiah McLean
Makeup Assist: Kelly Rodriguez

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