The thing about lingerie is that it kidnaps you. I began with the intention to sew one, just one pair of underwear. Panties as some of you hate to say. I do too. “I’m just going to try out this whole lingerie thing,” I thought to myself. One panty turned into one bra, then two bras, then poof, my underwear drawer was chockablock of pretty little, me-made somethings. How did that happen? Whodunit? My friends started asking for a set, even my (female) boss and stepmom wanted one. Unable to keep up, I produced a small collection, which was a huge learning experience. Then, my dream came true. Prince Charming didn’t swoop me off my feet, but one of the biggest retailers in fashion, Urban Outfitters, released an exclusive Madalynne collection. Great Scotts! So far, the collection has been doing very well. Ahem, have you bought one yet? I want to keep going with this lingerie thing. Produce a second collection, get it into stores, and so on. The truth is though, I don’t know what I’m doing have the time. Very much so, I’m figuring it out as I go. What I DO know, however, is that I’m passionate, like really fucking passionate, and that has always moved me to the next step.
Every month, I’m going to (try) to share my life as a small business owner. Try is the keyword! The ups, the downs, the crazy, the chaotic and definitely the stupid. You know, just general things that go on as I move my business forward. I ain’t going to sugar coat it. This is hard, and I still go back and forth about whether I’m a crazy twenty something with an equally crazy dream posing half naked in her panties half the time. I’m not asking for much here, just to take over the world with my lingerie. Muahaha….
Stupidity for this month? There was a lot, but one involved 400 meters of black and white lace and mesh. I ordered it from China. It’s for my next production run and my thinking was that one, it would be a good idea to order in bulk, and two, it would be good to create a relationship if I’m going to grow. What I didn’t think about was how I was going to clear it through customs. Did I need a broker? Who was the forwarder? How was I going to get it from the airport, to my studio and then to the factory? My poor MINI Cooper. I stuffed that thing, like literally driving down I-95 with rolls of fabric sticking out of every window and even the top (I have a convertible). Say it with me – stupid.
It’s an incredible feeling to see my product in stores. To be able to have an impact on what people wear, how they feel, for other people to want to wear your designs and to be able to reach a wide audience is fulfilling. This opportunity only came because of the support of Urban Outfitters. They took note of my small, indie brand and gave me a ladder so that I could reach for the stars. Generally speaking, we sewists get into the hobby to take a step away from the ready-to-world, mass manufactured industry. The juggernauts of retail. I get it; I was once there. However, not all big box retailers are bad guys. One big reason I haven’t left URBN (yet) to pursue Madalynne full-time is because I love working for the company. The culture, the people, the creative environment – I like everything about my “day job.” I am not the first independent designer that URBN has teamed up with. There’s a whole roster of them.
Also, I started sewing to get out of the RTW world, but here I am, 10 years later, diving right back into it. This whole thing could end up being a total fail. Who knows? Thoughts that have been going through my mind – what will my readers think? Will this blog transition from a sewing blog to a fashion blog? Can I still post about my sewing? I’m still figuring that out, and just like life, I’m sure whatever this blog will become will be a natural evolution. I just need to sit back, follow my passion and let life work out exactly the way it’s supposed to.
My aunt always says, “The story is not over.” Not it’s not. Stayed tuned folks.
Follow along with my bra making adventures on Instagram with the hashtag #bramakingwithmadalynne and on Snapchat mmadalynne
photos by Love Me Do Photography