Hey there! My name is Natalie Noel and I am the Marketing Manager for HQ. I am excited to announce that we will be starting Woman Crush Wednesday every other week to highlight incredible and innovative women in our spaces across our community locations. To start off the first blog… you may know her as our worker bee for all graphical design at the HQ Raleigh space or she may have even done some work for, introducing…. Magdalyn Duffie!

Who are you! What do you do and how did you learn about HQ Raleigh?

I’m Magdalyn! I’m a graphic designer from Charleston, and I learned about HQ through a startup that I was assisting in opening a location in Raleigh. The HQ community was my first introduction to Raleigh, and I fully blame them for my eventual relocation to the Triangle. Needless to say, it was love at first interaction.

What do you feel makes the Triangle/HQ Raleigh a great place to grow a company?

The support and inclusivity I’ve experienced in this area is next level. I feel like there’s a general spirit of wanting everyone to succeed, and it doesn’t feel fake or forced. It feels genuine because it is genuine. I am constantly being connected to potential clients through my HQ network, and it’s freakin’ amazing.

What does being part of a community mean to you?

For a social person like me, it is everything. It can be challenging working for yourself and you can feel very alone at times, but having a space full of people who want to chat through challenges, celebrate your successes, commiserate on your bad days, teach you a new skill (SHOUT OUT to Deon McCormick, Mike Doyle and Marisa Madia!) or give you a pat on the back is beyond invaluable.

How long have you been with HQ Raleigh?

3 years strong, baby!

How does being a woman benefit you in your business?

I think as a woman, we experience a heightened level of empathy, and I think that having empathy is a big part of being a successful entrepreneur. It helps with storytelling, acknowledging the flaws in yourself, being emotionally intelligent, aligning with customers, etc – all of which help you grow and become better at understanding the world you’re trying to change for the better.

In addition, there are also SO MANY powerhouse women who are SO there to support other female entrepreneurs. As a woman, you’re born into a unique sisterhood, and the chance to capitalize on the experience of those who went bravely before you is a beautiful gift.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

Having to constantly prove yourself without the assumption of being good at what you do. I feel like there’s a tendency for women to have to go above and beyond to prove themselves worthy – which, in my opinion, is bullhonkey. I’ve experienced that a lot in male-dominated industries where, I haven’t been taken seriously until I’ve produced evidence of my aptitude. Which is frustrating! It’s like, “dude, I’ve been doing this for almost a decade!” Don’t act so shocked that I’m decent at my craft!

What is one piece of advice would you give to emerging entrepreneurs?

If you love it, KEEP GOING. If it’s not working, step back and reassess your approach to your passion. There have been stressful times where I don’t know where my next paycheck is coming from and wondering, will I have work next month? Will I be able to keep doing this thing I love? And I’ve learned that if you get creative and you work really hard – cliché, I know, but it’s the ONLY WAY – things arrive like manna from heaven.

Also, to those who give you opportunities, always over-deliver. I know it may sound unsustainable, but delivering a product to a client that thrills them and being accommodating to their quick pivots will gain you a customer for life.

Also, be nice and give back. It really pays off in the long run.


  • Favorite meal in Raleigh – PORK BELLY SOUP from Bida Manda. God I’m salivating just thinking about it. BRB pre-ordering my lunch now.
  • Power meeting must-have – A fabulous-looking slide deck, my vintage Gucci portfolio bag, and a big ass smile.
  • First thing you do when you wake up – I love to have Coffee Talk with my best friend who currently lives in Denver – she’s always up early and is so creative and fun which keeps me feeling motivated.
  • Go to stress reliever – A mid-week manicure/pedicure. It’s very rejuvenating.


Three words to describe yourself, GO: Personable, People Pleaser, Funny

Next time for Women Crush Wednesday, we will be having Magdalyn Duffie interview Jess Ekstrom with Headbands of Hope! Be on the lookout to learn more about all the incredible women across our spaces!