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Story of MADI Makes trainee: "My past doesn't define who I am today" April 10, 2019 10:00 1 Comment

Meet Amanda.  A few months ago, she joined our MADI Makes seamstress training program.  She was excited to learn how to sew, and she was excited about the promise that - if she was dedicated to showing up and improving upon her skills - she would eventually graduate.  Her biggest motivation? Graduation means employment, by us.  Once apprentices graduate from the MADI Makes non-profit program, MADI Apparel (for-profit) may then employ the women on a contract-basis to regularly sew our garments.  Amanda's past doesn't define her, but it's part of her journey.  Scroll to read her story.

Blog written by Emily Moon - founder of The By Grace Foundation. The By Grace Foundation sponsored Amanda's MADI Makes training education.  To sponsor a woman like Amanda, click to donate.


She sits across from Hayley and I every other Tuesday night, as we share a meal during the EnCompass mentoring program and catch-up on life. You can bet we’ll go back for seconds, sometimes thirds, and we always save room for dessert. She usually keeps quiet when everyone shares their “highs and lows;” she’s not one to draw attention to herself in a group. We keep our phones off during our time together, but sometimes her screensaver lights up and I see the familiar picture of her and her son, Axel, as she snuggles him close.


Amanda was introduced to drugs at a time most girls were studying for a fifth-grade English test or coming home from dance class. “Family,” she said, “and cousins.” More than that, she doesn’t say.
She was one of three children - now, she’s one of two. Four years ago, her sister passed away, and this only deepened her addiction. Six months after her sister’s funeral, she found herself staring at a close friend’s casket, another victim to overdose. She realized she was staring at her future.


For five weeks, she called the rehab center every day.
She was persistent in seeking help, “I wanted it. I didn’t want to do it anymore. I was tired of living that life.”
When they had an opening, she joined the one-and-a-half year program.
“The hardest thing about rehab,” she said, “Was not doing what I wanted to do. I had a problem with authority. Yes, I do think it humbled me. I realized there are guidelines for a reason. I still live by those rules that I learned.”
She met her close friend Jessica in rehab. “I thought she was funny,” Amanda said. She laughs so hard as she tells us a story about Jessica, who one day decided to wear sunglasses, despite the leaders telling her to take them off. Finally, she removed them and started stomping on them, yelling, “If I can’t have them, no one can!”


When Amanda moved out of rehab she had a difficult time finding a safe place to live. At the first location, men would proposition her as she walked to the bus stop. She stayed here for three months before relocating. Her second location was better, but it forced her to be out of the house during the day and took her cell phone. She didn’t have a job so she would go from bus stop to bus stop, filling time.
When she was accepted into Amethyst Place, they provided her with resources to get a job and start school. When she even moved into one of their fully-furnished apartments, she was given the beautiful gift of privacy. “I had my own space, my own apartment, just for Axel and I,” she said.


Amanda has since graduated with her GED, and is pursuing a nursing program with Penn Valley. She is looking forward to pursuing sewing to help support her during the meantime. “I like the people, and I like learning on the machines.”
By Grace sponsored the costs for Amanda to learn at the MADI Makes seamstress program, started by non-profit MADI Donations in partnership with Hope Faith Ministries. Once Amanda graduates the MADI Makes program, she’ll be offered a job sewing for MADI Apparel, founded by Hayley Besheer Santell.
Hayley says, “Our goal is to be flexible. If the women need to pick up their kids or take them to school, they can do that. We want them to be able to use the money they earn to save up for their next big step - whether that’s a new apartment, childcare or something else that betters their life.”


Amanda says that one day she dreams of owning a house, having a good job and most of all - being financially stable. She says she wants Axel to be in a good school, and to set him up for a lifestyle that keeps him away from the things she was exposed to at such a young age.
Amanda is a mom of six, although Axel is the only child that remains in her care. He is the only child she gave birth to in sobriety. The other five were removed from her care as a result of addiction.


“My past doesn’t define who I am today,” she said, as sadness starts to well in her eyes. She says these words boldly, filling the room with her strength. “What gives me hope is that one day, my kids will come looking for me, and I can be something they would be proud of.”

Amanda with her first completed garment!

 

Images hung in the MADI Makes training center of the impact MADI Apparel has made through underwear donated over the years.  MADI donates a pair of underwear for every item sold, as these are the most under-donated items at homeless shelters and other women's organizations.  MADI Donations in the U.S. and abroad.


Trainees learn to cut fabric, sew on an industrial machine and finish with a serger.

Miranda instructing the MADI Makes class at Hope Faith Ministries east of downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

MADI Apparel founder Hayley Besheer Santell and The By Grace Foundation co-founder Emily Moon Kolega (writer of this blog post) visiting the MADI Makes program.

Hayley, Andrescia and Emily at the MADI Makes seamstress program at Hope Faith Ministries.  Andrescia is a recent (and the first) graduate of the MADI Makes program.

 

To sponsor a woman in the MADI Makes program through a donation, click here. To read more stories about women The By Grace Foundation has featured, click here.

7 Sustainable Gifts for Bridesmaids and Groomsmen April 07, 2019 13:54


If we were to ask each of you individually, "what qualifies a product as eco-friendly?," you'd all have a different answer.  Often, this term is in the eye of the beholder - it can mean many different things to different people.  As a brand, we believe in:
-sourcing long-lasting, low end waste sustainable fabrics
-manufacturing in the city we're based to lower our carbon footprint
-fair and ethical labor
-natural dyes
-reusable packaging, etc.

We've come up with a list of some of our very favorite brands - perfect for bridesmaids and groomsmen gifts - broken down in categories based on the type of sustainability. Just for fun, we've given each product an eco-friendly rating - with 10 being the highest! 

Sustainable fabrics

Lotus Scarf - by NOVAA

Sustainability Rating: 10

Why we love it: Co-founders of NOVAA started their collective with an intention to choose and sell brands that manufacture their clothes in sweatshop free factories. They've since evolved into manufacturing a few of their own products - like this scarf - and intend to do more of this as they grow. This ensures accountability in the mindful manufacturing process. We rated this one product a 10 for their intentions - sourcing eco-dyed sustainable bamboo fabric and employing contracted sewers in their headquarters city to sew.

Made of: Eco-dyed, ultra soft viscose from bamboo fabric

Pro tip: If you're getting married in the fall or winter, get these gifts for your babes!  Would be fun to match if you're headed to a brisk destination for your bachelorette party. 

 

Beach tote - by Reformation

Sustainability Rating: 10

Why we love it: Such an affordable gift that's perfect for lugging around beach gear, groceries, gym wear, etc. Your friends will be able to keep and wear for years to come - and remember you (the bride who gifted it) every time they reach for it. We also love how transparent this brand is about sustainability.

Made of: Organic cotton canvas

Pro tip: Are you and your girl gang headed to a dreamy beach destination bachelorette party? Imagine traveling in style with these super cute bags!

 

Ethically made + fair labor + sweatshop free

Pocket Squares - by PineApple Squares

 

Sustainability Rating: 10

Why we love it: This brand is very intentional about sustainability, hence why we love them. They produce all products in the same city we do - Kansas City.  They're providing work for local cut and sew teams while ensuring fair labor and a sweatshop free environment.  They also use sustainable and Eco-dyed fabrics.  Try finding a more ethically-made gift :). 

Made of: Various sustainable, eco-dyed fabrics like bamboo.

Pro tip: This company does small batch production.  You'll find the owner's email on the website.  Since their squares tend to fly off the shelves, you'll need to email him to place an order for your favorites.  Mention MADI Apparel and we have a feeling he'll sneak you a little discount...

 

Printed Clutch - by The By Grace Foundation

Sustainability Rating: 9

Why we love it: How could you not be obsessed with these printed, colorful clutches?  By Grace sources all printed fabrics in the local community where they employ women.  You must also check out their jewelry, kimonos, etc.  They contract employ women in various parts of the world to produce a different product in their collection.  The clutches, for example, are made by women in Ghana - near where the founder Emily grew up.  So cool! They're affordable, too!

Made of: Various cloths. Only reason for 9/10, as we aren't sure about fabric makeups.  Our favorite part, though, is how they keep carbon footprint low by sourcing all fabrics in the local communities where they employ women.

Pro tip: Products are "first come, first serve".  Once they run out of a fabric, usually they never produce it again.  This all adds to the sustainability factor!  If purchasing multiple items for your bridesmaids, make each friend feel special by picking out a print just for her!   

 

Long life, low end waste

Dapper Dan's Delightfully Dapper Dop Kitt - by Groovy Guy Gifts

Sustainability Rating: 6

Why we love it: Long-lasting capability and minimalist design. Perfect for the gent who loves a trusty shaving kit.  He'll be able to hold on to this one for years without worrying about it being too trendy.  This minimalist design is giving us staple basic vibes! We are suckers for anything monogrammed...Especially a monogrammed shaving kit.

Made of: 16 oz. wet waxed canvas. Perk = Known for long-lasting capabilities. Downfall = not the friendliest production process.

 

 Inside the Dome Personalized Decanter - by Groovy Groomsmen Gifts

Sustainability Rating: 7

Why we love it: Who doesn't love a monogram - perfect for turning a gift into something special, personalized and memorable. He'll get to use this glass decanter over and over - resulting in a very long shelf life...this is a very important factor in the world of sustainability! Imagine all of the memories they'll make pouring drinks for friends and family out of this beauty :).

Made of: Glass. Etched monogram

 

All of the sustainability :)

Bridesmaid robe - by MADI Apparel

...You didn't think we'd forget about us did you? :)

Sustainability Rating: 10

Why we love it: Well, I guess you could say we're biased here. But we've very proud of our intentions to stay sustainable and make a difference in every way possible.  We ethically source all fabrics from factories with great reputations.  Once the sustainable fabrics hit our door, every step - from design to final product - is produced in the city we're headquartered.  This cuts down on our carbon footprint and ensures fair labor and ethical production. We're also able to cut our waste through small batch production. During the fabric cutting process, our local cut and sew teams are able to lay out our patterns in a high yield, efficient process - resulting in less fabric waste!

Made of: 95% viscose from bamboo, 5% spandex. Organic certification.

Pro tip:  Buy two or more of our robes and get a discount! Consider grabbing an ivory one for yourself and black or lavender (or our seasonal color) for your bridesmaids. Save as much as $115 on a bulk purchase of give or more robes! Imagine getting ready on your wedding day feeling ridiculously happy, comfy and remembering that your purchase made a difference in the world.


 

 

 

 

 

 


Spring Fling: Long Weekend Getaway in Kansas City March 29, 2019 18:09

Are you an out-of-towner, planning on spending a weekend in Kansas City? Or maybe you’re a local wanting a fun staycation. With its rich history in music and cuisine, plus the new wave of young millennials and big-city professionals, Kansas City has become a hot spot for travelers all across the nation. Don't underestimate this midwestern gem - Kansas City was even named National Geographic's Best Trips destinations of 2019!

This city is full of surprises, even for locals. We compiled a list of some of our favorite spots — from hidden gems to treasured classics — to create an itinerary for your weekend vacation in Kansas City.

Friday | Downtown Kansas City

Come in from your travels (or a long day at work) and book a room at the 21c hotel. The atmosphere of this hotel parallels its unique location between the modern Power & Light and the historic River Market. With a resident museum, this hotel also host events like Yoga With Art or guided tours you can take part of without leaving your hotel (or your bathrobe.)

For drinks, settle in at The Savoy at 21c. This contemporary bar offers a variety of drinks and amazing dishes, with an eclectic, artsy vibe. You can get a Miller High Life Pony (“like a fine Champagne,” according to the menu) for just $2, or a contemporary cocktail based on the theme-of-the-month, ranging from $10-$15.

Saturday | Crossroads Kansas City

From your hotel, walk to the Australian bakehouse and café Banskia for breakfast. Sip a cappuccino on the brick-walled patio or grab a Bloody Mary and people watch out the enormous windows. If you still need a caffeine kick, or just want to check out a local favorite, visit Messenger Coffee. This coffee shop is housed in a 100-year-old, fully renovated three-story building. You can view the bakery in action or take in a 360-view of downtown from the rooftop patio.

From there, take the (free) Kansas City Streetcar and head to the City Market at River Market, where you can spend hours here perusing the offerings, snacking on local favorites and meeting new people. A local favorite is the colorful flower bouquets for $10. Grab lunch here or take the streetcar back to the Crossroads and hit up Howard’s Café. This part grocery store/part café is simple, it’s charming, and it’s absolutely delicious — you’ll feel like a real local here.

If you’re in town for the first Friday of the month, stay in the Crossroads District for the night. You can grab a delicious, creative dinner at the trendy Corvino Supper Club and then walk around to check out our monthly First Fridays event. It’s hard to know what you will find at First Fridays: budding artists, musicians, buskers, chefs, and more fill the streets. 

And to top off the night, make it a point to visit the Green Lady Lounge. KC has a rich history in the jazz scene and Green Lady puts it all on display, for free seven nights a week.

Sunday | West Kansas City

Pack your bags Sunday morning and relocate to the Jefferson House Bed and Breakfast. This Victorian home is in Westside KC, near downtown, and has a variety of unique bedrooms and quirky accents throughout. After you settle in, grab breakfast at the Blue Bird Bistro: an organic, local restaurant with everything from breakfast chili to tofu scramble. After, walk next door for a coffee or house soda from Goat Hill — a cute, minimalistic hidden gem. If it’s a warm day, grab a snowcone while you’re there as a token to the building’s last tenant, a local favorite called Little Freshie.

Stop by our MADI Apparel headquarters a few steps away and say hi! Tell us about your trip, check out what’s new in store, and see our space. We have pictures of our customers and women we’ve served on display so you can see exactly what good you are doing through your purchase. You can hang out for a bit on our couch and sip your Goat Hill creation, or take a walk to Observation Park, where you can get a higher-up view of the KC skyline. Don't forget your camera!

Next door to our shop is one of our favorite local eateries, Westside Local, that offers enjoyable “blunch” and cocktail creations (like a menu inspired by Tom Hanks). If you want an authentic Mexican meal, grab tacos from another neighborhood favorite, Los Alamos Market y Cocina

Walk off your meal at the West Bottoms Antique Malls, which are all open on the First Fridays weekend for all visitors. You can easily walk from shop to shop, seeking fun and quirky creations. And keep your eyes peeled: Many shops offer free drinks and snacks somewhere in the space.

For dinner, visit one of KC’s newest, trendiest spots: The Campground KC. The atmosphere is intimate and quaint — and music comes directly from a record player. And if records are your thing, visit Voltaire, where the rustic, contemporary venue provides an intimate backdrop for unique cocktails. Want a livelier experience? The Ship is a restored 1930’s speakeasy that mimics the look and the feel of a boat — we promise you’ve never seen anything like it.

Wherever you are in Kansas City, you are bound to have a unique, fun experience that makes you want to come back again.

What are some of your favorite spots in KC? Let us know in the comments below and maybe we’ll feature you on your next post!

If you visit one of our featured locations, let us know what you think! Tag us in your post or leave us a message.  


Founder Hayley featured as NOVAA Hype Girl! March 23, 2019 14:14

We are so excited that ethical fashion retailer -- NOVAA -- featured our founder Hayley as this month's Hype Girl!!!  Read below to learn more about Hayley and how her empathetic heart led her to found MADI Apparel.  Click here to shop "The Hayley Jumpsuit" and other ethical fashion from our girls at NOVAA.


 

 


MADI Makes: Empowering women in KC March 22, 2019 15:10


Give a woman a fish and feed her for a day.

Teach a woman to fish and you feed her for a lifetime. 

At MADI Apparel, we are proud and honored to be run by women. And as part of Women’s History Month, we want to recognize and honor the women who came before us and those who will come after us—plus the men who helped us along the way.

Women in history

Throughout our history, women have had many different experiences and successes. Women have been warriors and artists, housewives and political champions. We have Marie Curie, Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo, and Margaret Thatcher. Ada Lovelace, who is considered to be the first computer programmer; Cleopatra, the final Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt; Nellie Bly, an 1890’s investigative journalist.

Whether it’s big inventions or small happenings, what women have done throughout history has paved the way for women of today—and every year, more and more women are joining the workforce because of it. In fact, we have more lady bosses today than every before; more than half of management positions are held by women (you go girls!)

At MADI, we believe in helping women be the best they can be—that’s why we launched our MADI Makes program to help train and employ Kansas City women facing barriers.

MADI Makes: Andrescia

empowering women kansas city madi apparel madi makes"When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit. So let's keep going. Let's keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves to have." —Hillary Clinton

In May of 2018, our non-profit arm (MADI Donations) launched MADI Makes, a seamstress job-training program for at-risk women in Kansas City. This program was designed in partnership with Hope Faith Ministries to help empower women through vocational training.

Our goal was to help women facing barriers and to help end the cycles of chronic homelessness and unemployment in our community—by giving women a skill they can use for the rest of their lives.  The women in our program each face unique life challenges and we are with them every step of the way through goal-setting, financial training opportunities, mentoring, and more.

Andrescia is the first graduate of our MADI Makes program. She has long had a passion for sewing and creating something from nothing—she even has a fine arts degree from University of Missouri Kansas City! MADI Makes gave her an outlet for that drive.

“I first started getting into sewing because I wanted to make my own coat,” Andrescia said. “Then it went from making my own coat, to ‘I can sew anything and probably have sewing as a job’.”

And that’s now exactly what she does. After graduation, MADI Apparel hired Andrescia to be a part of our local production team in Kansas City. Now, she'll get to use her skills to help those in need—and get paid doing what she loves.  After much perseverance and dedication to show up day after day, this week she started sewing her very first round of underwear that we will pay her for on a contract basis!  She's now officially one of our contracted employees!

She loves having the opportunity to explore her passion in a way that not only benefits her, it gives back to others as well. And for Andrescia, this opportunity is a little more personal: She has met many of the people who are on the receiving end of the underwear she has produced through our program.

She knows how they feel and what it’s like being able to receive a basic necessity for free.

“People who can’t afford underwear, people who can’t afford this and that—I really wanted to learn how to do it for them … Now I’m doing a good job for people who need it,” Andrescia said.

When she’s not at work, Andrescia loves hanging out in Midtown (where she lives), hanging out with her cat and visiting JOANN Fabric and Craft, looking around for new and exciting designs to help inspire her next creation.

Helping women—Do your part 

"Feminism isn't about making women strong. Women are already strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives that strength." —G.D. Anderson

To celebrate Women’s History Month, we encourage you to go out of your way to support brands that provide employment opportunities for women! Whether you identify as male or female, you can do your part to help change the lives of many women like Andrescia—just through your buying habits. 

Some of our favorite women-empowering brands include: 

  • The By Grace Foundation: This company educates, employs, empowers and elevates women in need.
  • Luna Blu Mar: A portion of profits helps educate girls locally and in developing countries
  • A.R.E. Soaps: 20% of your purchase goes toward Uganda and India economic development + employing women
  • Prosperity Candle: Each purchase provides training and a fair wage for refugees.
  • Marie Mae: Each purchase equals one hour of training at the Marie Mae Business School, which helps educate and train young women entrepreneurs.
  • Willow Tree Roots: Purchases provide entrepreneurial women with training, education, and financial skills in Kenya.

 


8 ways to celebrate International Women's Day | MADI Apparel March 05, 2019 17:59

I am woman, HEAR ME ROAR :).

Okay, that's pretty dramatic...but really do mean it!  Hayley here, founder of MADI Apparel and president of our non-profit MADI Donations!  I began laying the foundation for MADI Apparel in 2012 after learning that underwear is the most needed and under-donated item of clothing in women's organizations globally.  Additionally, this statistic hit hard when my family member revealed that she's a survivor of domestic violence.  Our beginnings were rooted in empowering women, through encouraging donations of this very basic intimate need.  We've always been a brand that truly cares about the dignity of our women -  through employment of women-owned cut and sew facilities and offering seamstress skills-training courses.

We're all about that girl power, ya hear?

Now, I'm not saying - okay ready, set, go start a business that empowers women - TODAY!  But, I am saying you can do little things to encourage and empower yourself and other women around you.  Why not start with International Women's Day???  We're a primarily female-run team, and I + some of our team members came up with a few ideas!

1.  Surprise your co-worker with coffee

Have you been thinking about how your cubicle neighbor, boss lady or work bestie is a huge BADASS lately but haven't had the words tell her?  Surprise her with her favorite coffee and a hand-written note letting her know how grateful you are for her.  We all love words of affirmation!

 

2.  Treat your lady bartender or server with a fatty tip

The service industry is NOT for the weak of hearts.  Some of our gal tribe will work their butts off in this industry forever - and do an amazing job - and some are saving for a life goal.  Why not show some major love and leave 30 or 40% on the tip receipt with a note telling her she rocks?

3.  Take your mom or grandma on a date

These are the women who made us - literally and symbolically.  They shaped us, sacrificed, put us first, taught us all the things...don't they deserve our time and attention, at the very least?  Aunts, grandmas and godmothers make the perfect dates, too, if your mama isn't near.

4.  Write down 20 things you love about being a woman

This is an amazing exercise to practice thankfulness and personal reflection on a regular basis, if you'd like. But, it's also a way to celebrate being a woman - even if you only do it one day a year as a rule of thumb.  Notebook writing party of one, please :)!

5.  Shop or eat at a woman-owned business in your city

Ahem... :)

Yes, please add us to your list!  But in case you'd like more recommendations - here are a few of our faves owned by women with big hearts in the city we're headquartered, Kansas City!

Lady Bye in Brookside, Kansas City

Skin KC in Brookside, Kansas City

Hand and Land in Park Place, Leawood Kansas

Seven Swans Creperie food truck

Wild Way Coffee trailer

Chez Elle in Westside Kansas City

BRIDE.KC (for those looking for a dress!)

We recommend a quick google search for women-owned restaurants, gyms, shops in your city!

6.  Volunteer at an organization that supports women

We would encourage doing this on a regular basis.  You never know - you might make a friend and become a mentor in the process!

7.  Sign up to attend a conference with female keynote speaker

The percentage of women invited to lend expertise as a keynote speaker is much lower than that of our male counterparts.  Let's encourage the women in our local areas who ARE getting up on stage by signing up for these events and sitting in the front row!

8.  Gather a girl squad and cheers!

Make this your first annual International Women's Day party and gather your tribe of women!  Cheers to yet another year of being badass together as women!

 Ready...set...GO LADIES!

 


How to throw a Bachelorette slumber party | MADI Apparel February 26, 2019 22:22

There’s nothing better than a good old-fashioned bachelorette slumber party with a group of your best girlfriends. Here's how to throw the best bachelorette party sleepover in Kansas City, including movies, face masks, and matching bridesmaids pajama sets.


Valentine’s Day Gift Guide: MADI staff favorites edition February 03, 2019 16:55

Our team has curated a selection of our favorite MADI pieces we suggest will make the perfect Valentine's Day gifts!

Available NOW: New collection BLUSH (dyed by avocados) January 30, 2019 20:10

BLUSH HAS FINALLY ARRIVED AND WE'RE JUMPING FOR JOY!

Hey guys, founder+designer Hayley here! 

I'm so proud of our team for the creativity, the grind, the development behind this new collection.  I just want to take a moment to give each of them a shout out for their hard work. 

1.  First, the dye artist.

Thank you, Alyx!  We contracted this Kansas City maker babe for the SECOND time to hand dye a new collection.  Last time was hand dyed indigo, this time - BLUSH.  She literally used pits and skins from REAL AVOCADOS to make the must beautiful neutral, pinky peach shade.

Next, the production team

Thank you to Laura of KC Sewing Co and Miranda of Wheelhouse Manufacturing - two of our contracted women-owned Kansas City cut and sew production teams.  They - and we - believe sewing isn't just a skill, but a true artistry.  All of our garments are made in Kansas City.  Once the fabric hits our door, the design, cut, sew and sometimes dye process is all done in the city we're headquartered.

Our internal social media, marketing, retail team

Thank you to Alesha, Laney, Mary, Lauren, my mom Pam for all you do to promote our brand and cause, for the care you put into treating our clients so well, for working extra hours, for keeping our cause so close to your heart - and letting that be your motivation.

Videography

Thank you to Michael Saldivar.  Your incredible heart to do everything in your power to push our cause forward is refreshing!  There aren't many people who match your character.  Thank you for many hours of pro-bono work, all of your creativity, catching our vision 100% and your willingness to continuously collaborate.

Photography and Models

Ali Happer. You, my love, are a wonderful friend and a light in my life.  Thanks for being one of my favorite photographers to work with.  Your photos capture the true intimacy and transparency we work so hard to create.  Sometimes I look at your photos over and over, in such awe. 

Addy Harris and Dieynaba Diop.  Hi pretties!  Thanks for your patience, your willingness to try new things, your "chillness".  I love hanging out with you. Thanks for sharing your beauty (inside and out) with us to showcase our new collection.


It takes a village to create something magical.  And my village is pretty top notch.  Hope you'll enjoy our blush collection.  Hope this gives you some insight into the very detailed details behind this new color.

XO!!!

 

 


Behind the scenes of our newest avocado-dyed collection, BLUSH January 27, 2019 15:51

Read about the process behind our new hand dyed avocado collection - BLUSH!

Founder Hayley's segment on Kansas City LIVE! January 10, 2019 16:39

Check out our Founder Hayley Besheer Santell kicking off the 2019 New Year on 41 Action News - KSHB-TV's show Kansas City Live yesterday!

Holiday Gift Guide 2018 - Gift ideas for HER! December 06, 2018 18:54

Holiday Gift Guide 2018: For every type of girl! 

This year, don't stress about her gift - we're here for you!!! Does she love comfy?  Does she love practical?  Eco-friendly?  A brand that gives back to her community?  You've come to the right place!

Now, let us simply guide you down the direction that seems most like "her". 


MADI Apparel featured on theknot.com! December 03, 2018 14:05

We are SO SURPRISED!!!  Theknot.com recently featured MADI Apparel in this article featuring top bridal intimates brands: 

30 Pretty Wedding and Honeymoon Lingerie Looks for Every Bride

Make your wedding night and honeymoon even more memorable by slipping into one of these unforgettable lingerie looks.
by Francesca Conlin
We are so honored and humbled to be featured next to some of our favorite brands in the women's undergarment market!  Check out bridal lingerie looks from these brands, too!
-Simone Perele
-Adorn
-Natori
-Addiction Nouvelle Lingerie
-Journelle
-In Bloom by Jonquil
-Spanx
BIG THANKS to The Knot for featuring us!  Happy shopping, BRIDES! :)

Shop Eco Fashion Gifts this Cyber Monday 2018! November 25, 2018 21:30

Shop our biggest markdown sale of the season!  Sale ends 11/26 at midnight.

Have you tried our BAMBOO products?  Made from natural organic fabric spun + knit from long, strong, soft, eco-friendly fibers, machine washable and derived from the pulp of the fastest growing plant in the world.


Founder Hayley Makes the Cover of HERLIFE Magazine's Made in KC Issue August 30, 2018 11:59

MADI Apparel social entrepreneur founder Hayley Besheer Santell makes the cover of HERLIFE Magazine's Made in KC September 2018 Issue.  HERLIFE Magazine is a full color publication with the mission of Keeping Women Connected.

Fall/Winter '18 HAND DYED INDIGO Collection :) August 26, 2018 10:36

As you guys know, once the sustainable fabric we source hits our door, ALL production - from the design process to cut and sew - is Made in Kansas City... by women...right in the city we're headquartered!  Pretty badass, huh???

For our upcoming collection, we decided to do something we've never done before - collaborate with a local Kansas City Maker, Alyx Jacobs to HAND DYE our fabrics with INDIGO!


Come spend a day in the Westside! July 24, 2018 18:33

Have it on your calendar to make your first trip (or 10th) to MADI Apparel for some comfy cozy intimates?  Why not make a day of it and get to know our neighborhood, The Westside, at the same time?!

We opened our flagship store in Westside, KC almost four years ago -- where has the time gone??  We just love our little gem of a neighborhood "on the hill" and we want to share our favorite local spots with you! 

Where is the Westside? : Tucked mostly up on the hill just west of the Crossroads and about 1/2 mile east of the West Bottoms, this neighborhood also stretches down the hill to the Boulevard - heading east toward Kansas City, Kansas.

What's unique about the Westside? : Its historically diverse, multicultural latino and mexican-american influences.  Nationally ranked restaurants and the cutest little local businesses make our neighborhood truly special.  Everything is local up here - no chains :).  We like to say --> #WESTSIDEistheBESTSIDE!

Want to spend a whole day over here?  We're listed a few of our favorite things to do and places to stop when you come to our neck of the woods!   

Breakfast

ChezElle(Facebook) 

Start the morning off on a high note! Stop by Goat Hill Coffee & Soda. Here you can get artisanal coffee that will change your life and give you energy for the rest of the day. If you’re not a coffee person? They also offer tea and homemade sodas! For food you can head over to the cute Parisian themed cafe across the street! Chez Elle Creperie has crepes ranging from savory to sweet, and they also have breakfast ones. Those paired with coffee make the perfect start to any day.

Shopping

After breakfast, head down the block east toward the garage door on the north side of the block and hop into the Calico Beard & Mercantile - a hair salon + local goods mercantile!  We love the jewelry the most, beautifully displayed in the most stunning glass cases :).  After you're all jeweled up, walk to the corner of 17th and Summit and visit Westside Storey!  Shop for the ever classic Charlie Hustle KC Heart shirts, hats and even vintage decor for your home. And don’t forget us!  Further down the street at 1659 Summit is our KC flagship store, MADI Apparel!  Stop in, say hi and pick up a pair of locally made intimates that are mind blowingly soft.  Products range from $33-$98.

 

Lunch

Westside Local(Facebook)

Hit up the Westside Local for lunch - next door to MADI Apparel!   We share a backyard space with them and they are so sweet and cool that they even grow their own herbs and products in the back yard + greenhouse.  I would suggest the mac and cheese because, HAVE MERCY, it is amazing. So is everything else on their menu, you really can't go wrong. Two doors down south of us is Los Alamos Market Y Cantina. Stop here for authentic Mexican food and some of the most delicious and flavorful tacos KC has to offer all served up by a friendly staff. They've been in business for 17 years - WOAH!

^^ After lunch, stroll back down to 17th street and head two blocks west to the Mattie Rhodes Art Center.  Their goal is to educate the community about Latino culture and traditions through the visual arts -- check out one of their exhibits or attend an event!

Dinner and Drinks

Boulevard Brewery(Facebook)

On the outskirts of the Westside is the KC favorite Boulevard Brewery. Stop in to their Beer Hall and try one of their 30 on tap beers. You can also get one to go in their 32 oz crowlers and take home one of there test beers! Then for dinner you can head over to Ponak's Mexican Kitchen and get some awesome Mexican food that will be perfect end to your day.

Enjoy your Tour De Westside!


BAMOOzled: Five Reasons Why Bamboo is One of the Environment's Best Friends July 10, 2018 13:57

 Choosing bamboo as the fabric for MADI Apparel took time and consideration. We wanted a fabric that was eco-friendly and sustainable so that it would last not only those who purchase them but also the women we donate to. We chose bamboo  because it maintains its quality, whereas other fabrics started to pill and wear down after awhile. Its also the softest fabric we’ve ever felt, fast drying, self wicking, and odor preventing. As for eco-friendly, here are five reasons bamboo is one of the environments best friends. 


June is National Cancer Survivor's Month: Guest Blog Post by Warrior Shaylee June 29, 2018 00:13

June is National Cancer Survivor’s Month and although I’m currently undergoing treatment, I consider myself a “survivor” every single day. My name is Shaylee and in October 2017 I was diagnosed with stage IIIc ovarian cancer. 

Cancer takes a lot from you. It strips you of everything you know and forces you into a life you never asked for. But with that comes a completely new perspective. I’ve realized I’m so much more than my physical identity. Beauty truly DOES radiate from the inside out! When you can’t recognize the person in the mirror staring back at you, you’re forced to see yourself for the amazingly brave, strong, and resilient woman you truly are. And that’s SO empowering!

NEW MADI PRODUCTS: the Day or Night Shift Dress and the Tie Back Tank June 27, 2018 17:54

MADI Apparel is launching two new summer products -- both designed by our founder to be worn as night AND day wear!  We are big fans of creating products that LAST and can be worn for multiple occasions.  Introducing "The Anna" Day or Night Bamboo Shift Dress and "The Jacqueline" Tie-Back Lounger Tank.

MADI Apparel featured on StyleHaul.com!! June 21, 2018 11:59

Check it out!  Thanks for featuring us, StyleHaul!

Graphic by: StyleHaul

"MADI Apparel is a sweatshop-free, locally made, sustainable intimates line with a buy one, give one business model. Here. below, MADI’s founder Hayley Santell talks to us about what inspired her to start her company, and what it takes to maintain it." -->  The Haul writer Lauren Strasnick interviewed our founder Hayley Besheer Santell for all the details about our impactful intimates startup!

Click to read all about:

  • Our social entrepreneur founder Hayley and why she started MADI Apparel to begin with!
  • Our newly renovated 1954 vintage camper mobile boutique aka MADI Mobile
  • Why we care so much about fair labor and domestic production. Learn how we employ local Kansas City women to cut/sew our garments
  • What organizations are in need of underwear donations and where in the world have we been to donate them?
  • Our future goals and ideas!

THANK YOU STYLE HAUL for featuring us!!!


Entrepreneur's Guide to work/life balance May 17, 2018 20:14

Work/play balance advice by founder Hayley: how I randomly became an entrepreneur based on fate and determination to fulfill a global need + tips I've learned along the way for staying happy personally. 

Staff Picks for Mother's Day May 03, 2018 11:47

Mother's Day is in just over a week and perhaps you're that last minute gifter :).  Having a hard time finding the perfect gift for your queen of a mama that balances between heart warming, practical, classic and chic?  We have the perfect "gifts that give" ideas that'll make mom smile ear to ear! 

Pam's Picks

Pam the PR director of MADI Apparel and the Director of our non-profit MADI Donations.  She's also a mom!  Founder Hayley's mom to be exact :).  In fact - she's so important that Hayley named "The Pamela" Cheeky Brazilian after her.  Hayley designed the style not really based on what Pam wears necessarily, but the fun, petite, CHEEKY, free feeling of the brazilian cut reminded her of her mom when designing.  Here are Pam's favorite pairs of MADI undie styles (and she prefers to buy them in ivory!):

"The Mimi" Modest Bikini (left) is the perfect style for someone who is obsessed with comfort and likes full coverage in the back but isn't a fan of a high rise brief.  She's our most popular bamboo panty. 

"The Kaydee" Brazilian is our most popular panty of all.  Pam likes it because it's a good combo of fun and flirty but also very comfortable.  The back fits like our Kyle Boyshort - so not ultra cheeky but definitely not full coverage.  This is for the mom who loves comfy lace.  The best thing about this panty is the wide lace laces wonderfully on mama curves.  Skinny laces have the tendency to interrupt our womanly figure, but this wide lace accentuates and moves with the natural curves of our bodies!

^^Here's cutie Pam in front of #MADImobile at Fox4News KC

Laney's Pick:

"My mom loves our bamboo Sleep Tank!  I may have to buy one for her again this year :)." 

^^Perfect pick for women of any age, any size.  The loose fit is very flattering on many body types!

These are Laney's mom's favorite things about the sleep tank:

1.  It's super flowy and breathable.

2.  Still looks and feels brand new even after numerous washes.  The fabric is sooo soft and high quality!

3.  She loves how it's longer than most tanks and longer in back for more coverage.
 

^^ This top is particularly high rated by pregnant and/or nursing moms!  Pregnant moms love the relaxed, loose fit.  Amazing to bring in her hospital bag for birthing day!  Nursing moms love how you can simply pull the front to the side while keeping everything else in tact.  This tank feels like clouds and gives moms a little piece of heaven during hectic, busy days!

Alesha's Pick:

"My mom also adores the sleep tank!  It's just so comfy.  This year, I'm thinking of getting her a pj set - another bamboo sleep tank (since I know she loves those) and then pairing with sleep shorts since she doesnt have those yet!!"

Hayley's Pick:

"I hope my mom doesn't see this as she, too, has a few words at the top of this article :))!  I think my mom already has one of our bamboo robes, but I'll probably get her another in a different color because they are SOOO COMFY."

Things moms love most about "The Karen" Restful Robe:

  • Perfect for all ages.  This full coverage robe has a little sexy and mostly modest.  It hits just above the knee.  
  • Great for getting ready, drying hair and putting on makeup
  • Self-wicking, super super soft and breezy.  

We hope these help guide you in your gift giving journey for mom!  Make sure to order from us before May 9th to ensure deliver before Mother's Day!!

XO, Team MADI

 


Upcoming mobile boutique popup events in your city! April 25, 2018 09:58

We're finalizing our list of spring and summer events and looking to add fall and winter to our calendar!  Here's what we've got coming up:

APRIL

 = MADI Mobile popup (if no icon, we're popping up without the camper)

April 28

Downtown Olathe, KS

10am-6pm

April 29

Downtown Olathe, KS
11am-4pm

 

MAY

 May 4

1ST FRIDAYS CROSSROADS
20th & Baltimore, Kansas City
4-8pm

 

May 5

BROOKSIDE ART FAIR
In front of Lady Bye
6245 Brookside Blvd, Kansas City
10am-10pm
____________________
1ST WEEKENDS WEST BOTTOMS
Just east of Blip Roasters
1101 Mulberry, Kansas City
10:30am-4:30 pm

May 6

BROOKSIDE ART FAIR
In front of Lady Bye
6245 Brookside Blvd, Kansas City
10am-10pm
____________________
1ST WEEKENDS WEST BOTTOMS
Just east of Blip Roasters
1101 Mulberry Kansas City
10:30am-4:30 pm

JUNE

June 1

1ST FRIDAYS CROSSROADS
20th & Baltimore, Kansas City
4-8pm

 

June 2

1ST WEEKENDS WEST BOTTOMS
Just east of Blip Roasters
1101 Mulberry, Kansas City
10:30am-4:30 pm

June 3

1ST WEEKENDS WEST BOTTOMS
Just east of Blip Roasters
1101 Mulberry, Kansas City
10:30am-4:30 pm

June 22

JUST FOR HER EXPO 
Overland Park Convention Center
Overland Park, KS

June 23

JUST FOR HER EXPO 
Overland Park Convention Center
Overland Park, KS

Stay tuned for add-ons this summer in Chicago and Denver!

KC FLAGSHIP STORE EVERY WEEKEND:

MADI Apparel flagship store
1659 Summit, Kansas City MO
Fri 11am-6pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-4pm

 

Know any shopping festivals in your city this fall or winter?  Please give us a holler at info.madiapparel@gmail.com!

xo, team MADI