An Interview with Madeline Muhlenbruck

Meet Madeline. She and I were brought together by Blond Genius a little over a year ago. Since then, Madeline has been all over the world (seriously, It was only recently when we sat down for coffee that I was reminded of how much her work ethic and love of adventure inspire me. I love following her colorful, exciting life-and getting the chance to be part of it. 

On reading:

As much as I hate to admit it, my reading patterns tend to be sporadic when it comes to books. Once the sunshine rolls around, you can find me reading and swinging in the hammock of my childhood home, but that’s as far as it tends to get.

Many turn to books for inspiration, but my true love for reading comes from poetry. I could read poetry for hours on end. The simplicity and sense of power that can be found in a few short phrases is enticing to me. There is something special about when you find a poem that gives you chills, correlates with a current moment in your life or makes your heart skip a beat. Poetry fits the saying ‘it’s the quality, not the quantity,’ in sense of words for me.

Follow some of my favorite poets for inspiration on your daily Instagram feed: R.M. Drake, Christopher Poindexter, F.D. Soul, Atticus and Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol.

On how you spend your Saturday afternoons:

Ahhh, Saturday. The moment of fun and relaxation everyone waits for. The people outside of the retail business, that is. I am going to break the rules a bit and tell you about my Sunday afternoons, even though I can’t wait for you all to come see me on Saturdays at Blond Genius.

My Sundays consist of sleeping in, enjoying my coffee and seeing my loved ones. I’ll be honest, I tend to hibernate in the winter time. Let’s just say, I will stay inside my apartment or be in a local coffeeshop as long as possible when there is snow on the ground. But when summertime hits, you can find me at yoga in the park, biking the trails, stopping for brews and going on really, really, really long walks. Nothing makes me more happy than fresh air, going home for my dad’s grilled food and staying outside until the sun goes down. It’s the simple things in life, am I right?

On your go to dinner party plan:

I’ll be honest, you don’t want to come to my apartment for a dinner party. Ever. I can do many things, but I can’t cook if my life depended on it. Unless you want cereal and wine, I would suggest let’s go out for dinner.

I consider myself a sushi addict. If you say sushi, I am there. Honestly, I have considered bathing myself in the spicy mayo from Sakari, but let’s be honest I would rather drink it. If you’re not into the sushi thing, I would probably say we can’t be dinner party friends. But then we could grab drinks at Americana, and I’m sure I’d get over it.

On your personal uniform:

My personal uniform identifies with my mood for the day. It’s challenging to pinpoint my style, because my closet is filled with many of them. One day I could be in all black, topped with my fur coat and heeled booties; the next day I could have dainty jewelry on my fingers and floral print all over my body finished with a wide-brimmed hat.

I must say, I have been inspired to be a mix of Bella and Gigi Hadid lately. Both can be classy when needed, but have completely different styles in their daily lives. Bella is that bossy 90’s child who can pull off every edgy look she wants whether it be highly distressed denim, chokers or huge, fuzzy coats. Gigi has the sweeter, American-girl style, which I also connect with. She could wear jeans, a white tee and sneakers everyday and still be classified as the most fabulous girl in the world.

Aside from everything else, I will always have a love affair with velvet attire.

On what speaks to you:

I had a recent epiphany.

I’ve always been one with wild dreams and on the hunt for something bigger, something better. Of course I love everything and everyone I have in my life, but I was always looking for more.

Last fall, I was planning to make changes in my life and made my way to Europe after college graduation. With a one way ticket and hardly any money in my pocket, I set out to find something more. For 22 years, I’ve been running to find that city, that job or the experiences that would make my life reach the top. But what I found while I was abroad was an even better lesson.

We are in a society that is constantly connected. We see everyone’s lives in the most perfect of forms and have lost depth on how we see one another. Yes, I was seeing places that were on people’s’ Pinterest boards and posting pictures that were travel magazine worthy, but at the end of the day I realized I missed what really mattered.

My home. My people. My simple experiences.

What I’m trying to say is, no matter how cool other people’s lives seem and no matter how many vacations you don’t get to go on, the most important relationships and moments are most likely right in front of you. Don’t compare and wish your days away thinking where you are isn’t enough. Because it’s usually when you do leave home, you realize how much you took for granted.