Orange’s Dudley is READY
2012 graduate Dominiq Dudley left Orange READY for the real world. Since graduating, the alumnae has managed to find great success both during college and after.
Dominiq majored in communications with a concentration in public relations at Howard University in Washington, D.C. After college, she found her journalism background helpful when her mother, Gail Dudley, decided to bring her on as the president of the magazine, now known as READY, that she had been developing.
“[Gail Dudley] has been wanting to do a magazine for a few years now and decided that she wanted to make it a joint thing with me, so she turned it into a mother-daughter project,” Dominiq said.
Dominiq said that the “mother- daughter” duo raised their funds for their vision through “ads that [they] sell as well as donations that [they] get.”
“The fact that we are a mother- daughter duo that started this with no business background and our family and friends have increased our publicity so a lot of friends, family, old teachers, old coworkers are the ones who are really pushing this magazine for us,” Dominiq said.
Although READY is not currently making a pro t, as all money made goes right back into the magazine, the strides they have made in providing “a content- oriented magazine,” as Dominiq put it, has earned the pair recognition.
This past summer, Dominiq and Gail were invited to Washington, D.C. for the Small Business Leadership Summit, where Dominiq received the Rising Entrepreneur Award, according to sbmleadershipsummit.com. While in D.C., the two also attended a program at the White House.
READY also sent representatives to the Hillary Clinton rallies in Cleveland, as they got to work as part of her campaign. The magazine also ran articles on the Donald Trump and Jill Stein campaigns.
It is these stories that make READY a truly “content-oriented magazine” like Dominiq said. “Magazines that [are] in newsstands and in bookstores are gossip magazines and gossip columns, and we try to stay away from any form of gossip so what we include in our magazine is mainly opinion articles. We ask our writers to write on topics that we think of for each quarter, and they just go from there,” Dominiq said.
Librarian Robyn Starcher knows Dominiq from being the school librarian as well as head cheerleading coach while she was still at Orange. The content-oriented nature of READY is something that she admires about the mother-daughter duo’s work.
“[Dominiq said] they’ve been told that perhaps adding more gossipy- type content would make it sell even better and I was really impressed with her saying that [they] are not going to do that. They really want to make sure the magazine stays focused on constructive things,” Starcher said. “I think the fact that they’re so
committed to their vision is something I really admire in her.”
Something that can complicate Dominiq and Gail’s collaboration when working on READY is their living situation; they and their writers work out of completely different areas.
“We do not have [an office] building. We work out of my mom’s home because she has a home of ce and I work from my apartment. I just recently moved to New York so we’re working in two completely different areas and all of our writers are remote so we have writers in the United States and we also have writers overseas,” Dominiq said. “[We] email consistently and we’ll pick up the phone. We also use an app called Trello. As far as writers, it’s consistent phone and email communication, just making sure and checking in with everyone and getting everything done.”
Being the president of the magazine, Dominiq takes on a great deal of responsibility. Not only does she assist her mom in generating ideas for the magazine’s quarterly themes, but she also is responsible for organizing the order of the magazine and keeping everyone moving along.
“I just try to make sure that we stay on track so I’ll assist with coming up with the themes for each quarter alongside my mom,” Dominiq said. “I’m kind of the ‘tough cookie’ between me and my mom. My mom’s a little more lenient and she tries to be more gracious.”
During her time at Orange, Dominiq also belonged to the journalism program and took AP English classes. Her college major falls under the journalism eld as well, which she believes has helped her with having a large role in READY.
“At least having that background and knowing what direction to go and [what] to look for in journalism is very helpful. It doesn’t give me everything; some of it is research that I have to do on my own and working a little bit more on the marketing side but it’s definitely helped me a lot in terms of really putting together the magazine as a whole,” Dominiq said.
Dominiq said, “My backbone is my friends, family, teachers, professors. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am today.”
Some of the staff at Orange in particular have played a large role in Dominiq’s success and have continued to support her beyond high school. Starcher is one of these staff members, Dominq said; the two have remained in contact with each other when Dominiq visits the school a few times each school year, according to Starcher.
“She was already a great person to begin with but I feel like she’s even more con dent now. She comes off like a seasoned professional when she’s talking about her career plans and her education and things like that,” Starcher said.