Midlife Lessons: Model & Entrepreneur Jodie Kidd
Midlife Lessons: Model & Entrepreneur Jodie Kidd

Midlife Lessons: Model & Entrepreneur Jodie Kidd

Many will remember Jodie Kidd as one of the most successful British models of the 90s and early 2000s. Today, the 45-year-old mother of one is a busy entrepreneur, running businesses that include Kidd in a Sweet Shop, a YouTube channel devoted to motorsports, food company Indios and The Half Moon Pub in Sussex. She’s also an investor in Skin & Tonic, an organic, cruelty-free skincare brand. In this new series, we’re talking to women who are navigating their 40s and reflecting on work, relationships and everything in between. Here, Jodie sat down with us to share the lessons she’s learnt…
By Harriet Russell

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.


On Fashion

I started modelling when I was about 15 – I think I was ‘spotted’ in 1994. It was an amazing moment in fashion. Everything British was so cool, and we had John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Pat McGrath, Sam McKnight and Mary Greenwell. They were the best of the best, so it was an incredibly creative period – and a whirlwind for me. To walk some of the catwalks I've done, to do some of the campaigns, was special. Though it's also a bit of a blur – I was literally working non-stop, flying around the world, doing the most brilliant fashion shows, sometimes ten a day. 

I’ve always been a jeans and t-shirt girl. Back in the 90s, you needed to be as comfortable as possible travelling between shows – and frankly, being dressed in the most incredible couture gowns, I was happy to be more casual at home. I was also brought up in the countryside, around animals, growing my own veg, so I’ve always felt very grounded – no matter where my career or fashion has taken me. Having that balance has probably saved my sanity.

I now have a selection of brands I love. One is Donna Ida – I love all her jeans, and she does good leg lengths for taller people. There’s this sustainable casualwear company called MANAVA that does lovely t-shirts, sweatpants and hoodies. These days, I need clothes I can live in. I also like what Holland Cooper is doing, and I’m a real supporter of British brands, which is why I’ve worked with companies like Fairfax & Favor. I wear a lot of its boots. Finally, there’s a local designer I’ve totally fallen in love with called Luisa Kelsey. She's from Sussex and does beautiful summer dresses that are so chic and comfortable.

On Beauty

I’ve always had a yin and yang relationship with beauty. I’ve worked with some of the world’s best make-up artists, but when I’m at home I take a less-is-more approach. Make-up has changed now – we’re all into this glowy, natural look, and the products are so much better. L’Oréal’s Glotion is dewy skin in a bottle and I love the Curve Case By Mitchell. I’m also very into MERIT and just bought my first Victoria Beckham Beauty products the other day – the Contour Stylus is my top pick. Obviously, I love Charlotte Tilbury – I’ve known her for years and her Pillow Talk lipsticks are cult for a reason. I’ve also just discovered Whind’s Marrakech Sun Instant Glow Tinting Water. Increased use of SPF means we don’t get a lot of colour in our complexions anymore, so this is a great cheat.

For me, beauty starts with good skincare. As I get older, I’m finding my skin is more reactive and I’m less able to use active ingredients. When I came across Skin & Tonic, it was because I’d been looking for cleaner beauty products that would work for my skin. Using organic, sustainable ingredients is really important to me – and the results have been dramatic. My pick from the collection is probably the Fresh Face Exfoliating Water. It isn’t too abrasive, which I love. 


On Health & Wellness

I started getting quite severe anxiety in my early 20s. I was travelling so much, not eating properly, and generally just not looking after myself. I was forever grabbing crisps and a Diet Coke between shoots. That lack of nutrition had a really big effect on me, but now I know how important it is to eat well. I take Symprove every morning and try to eat kimchi and drink kefir. I cook from scratch and love growing my own veg. I also try to support local farmers and only consume things that come from within a certain mileage. If you’re feeding your body with the right food, everything else will follow. 

When I was modelling, I never exercised. There just wasn’t the time. But once I’d walked away from it and moved to the country, it became more important to me. Even if it's just going for a walk, it’s great to get the body moving and the blood pumping. Having a 12-year-old son, I can see how focused the youth are on health. No one’s really drinking, no one’s smoking. Back in the 90s, you weren’t cool if you didn’t have a fag in your hand. It’s lovely to see how that’s changed and how everyone is looking at what they put in their body. 

Right now, my sister and a lot of my girlfriends are going through perimenopause and menopause. I'm probably not far away but it's something I no longer panic about – mainly because people are talking about it and how important hormones are. When your hormones, especially oestrogen, start dropping, you need to be able to support your body – and it's so much nicer having this knowledge and seeing more companies keen to support women in their journey. It’s going to be the case that some women fly through it and others have a wretched time, but it’s comforting to know the information and support is out there.

On Business

The fashion industry still prioritises youth – that's probably why I was so successful at 15. But I quickly got to the point where I knew I had more to offer – and that I couldn’t just keep waiting for the phone to ring. When a model passes their mid-30s, things do kind of slow down. Luckily, I’d always had an entrepreneurial mind and knew I wanted to do things outside of the industry.

Whenever I’m thinking about a new business, I look at the market to see what’s missing. If there’s something I can create to fill the gap, then I will. I’m very lucky to have met a lot of people, which has opened many doors. I can pick up the phone and say, “Look, I’ve got this idea. What do you think?” Mega growth or world domination isn’t always the goal – my food company Indios is small. We’re only available in 27 farm shops, but it’s a lovely feeling knowing people are buying our products. I go to bed feeling really proud of that.

My business ethos is all about trying to do right in the world. Even with my pub, it’s all about supporting British and leaving a legacy for my son. I want him to feel that mum is creating things that are good for the world. It’s not an easy thing to do, especially in this geopolitical and economic climate. People aren’t investing like they used to, so there are always going to be hurdles. When we bought the pub eight years ago, one of the first things to happen was Brexit, then the pandemic, now cost of living. You’ve just got to keep reinventing, pushing forward and going in another direction if necessary. 

On Money

No 15-year-old is sensible with money – especially if they’re making a lot of it. Back then I had no information about how to manage money, and there was no internet to research your options or just find out more. I also had some very bad accountants, so unfortunately I’ve had to learn some hard lessons about money. What was extraordinary is that I was working in an industry where the women were the breadwinners – we always earnt more than the male models. That scenario isn’t usually the case, although I’m so pleased to see women in more high-flying roles nowadays. 

If I had my time again or had to give anyone some tips, I’d say have the right people around you. Get those conversations going and take in as much information as you can – from TED Talks, TikTok, whatever. It’s all out there and you can make smart decisions with the right information. 


On Relationships & Motherhood

I'm the youngest of five, so family has always been important to me. I probably always knew I wanted to be a mother and, while my relationship choices haven’t always been the best, I cannot imagine my life without Indio. I largely brought him up on my own but he’s my best friend – having him was the best decision I ever made. He’s so full of life and I feel very blessed every day.

Now that I'm with Joe, I wish I'd met him ten years ago. Things might have been slightly different but that’s life – you can’t fight timing. Everything is good, though – he's dad, I'm mum, and Indy's got a secure, beautiful family around him that love him. 

On Friendship

Most of the friendships I’ve had have all come and gone. My strongest relationships have been my childhood friends – some of whom I’ve known since I was a baby. They’re the ones who have stuck by me, and I've stuck by them. It was quite a ruthless time to be famous in the 90s, because you had everyone selling stories. Newspapers used to offer £5,000-£10,000 a time, and that was tempting for a lot of people. As a result, I became quite untrusting – especially when phone hacking was a thing. Now I'm a bit older and I'm in the spotlight less, I’ve made some wonderful friends through Indy’s school, but I still don’t have many of them. 

On The Best Advice She’s Ever Been Given

Live each day as if it's the last. It feels like I was 20 yesterday and now I'm 45. It goes quickly, especially when you have kids. Suddenly, Indy's 12. It only gets quicker too, so it's about taking opportunities, making the most of every day, and not being afraid of new experiences. I've always grabbed every opportunity – whether it’s spending five years racing cars in Italy, riding horses to an elite level or doing Strictly Come Dancing. If I hadn’t done Celebrity MasterChef, I wouldn't have bought the pub, for example. So, stay open – you never know where life is going to take you.

On The Advice She’d Give Someone Else

Be kind. My grandmother always said, don't forget to be kind on your way up because you will come back down, and you will meet those same people along the way. If you aren’t nice, you can’t expect kindness in return. It doesn't matter who they are, you’ve got to treat everybody the same. 

On The Life Motto She Lives By

Have an open heart. I’m very tactile and I’m a hugger – which is why lockdown was hell for me. I try to give everyone a smile. Yes, your heart might get stomped on from time to time, but try to keep it open and, most importantly, love yourself. No one else can love you until you love yourself. Finally, get into nature and really look at the world around you. We live in such a special place, and we shouldn’t take it for granted. Open your eyes, stop and take it all in. 


Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily