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.
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
"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.
Cheers to 3 Years! September 07, 2017 17:20
Over the past 3 years, MADI Apparel and Donations has:
TONIGHT - Sept. 7th from 6-8 pm, We are saying thank you to Kansas City with a happy hour! All of the fun takes place at MADI Apparel at 1659 Summit Street, Kansas City, Missouri. We'll be serving up apps + drinks (to those who are 21 and over) to visitors and up to 40% off on select items for shoppers.
- THIS WEEKEND - Sept. 7th-10th, Shop our store online and save on select items. Up to 40% off! Shop here: https://madiapparel.com/collections/sale
- For every intimate purchased, we donate a pair of underwear
- Your purchase helps employ women in Kansas City
- Your purchase is made of viscose from bamboo and/or long-lasting laces; Eco-friendly fabrics that lower your end waste and can be washed, dried and worn for years!
Thank you for helping us Make a Difference over the last three years!
We Are Summer Lovin' Our Pop-Ups! August 13, 2017 18:40
This summer MADI Apparel has hosted two pop-up shops in our beautiful Kansas City flagship store and will be hosting a third later this month! These pop-up shops are Noble Native by Sarah Hicks, By Grace Designs by Emily Moon, and Modern Mija by Emily Sharp. Each one is socially conscious through sustainable and slow-fashion. Although two of the pop-up shops have officially moved out of MADI (Noble Native and By Grace Designs), we still want to tell you about these awesome boss babe-run companies!
Modern Mija - Sarah Sharp
Modern Mija is a new brand that focuses on modern and trendy clothing for children. Sharp’s mission is to provide children with clothing that is just as fashionable as the clothing worn by the adults who surround them. The brand carries multiple designers and has an impressive Instagram feed! Modern Mija will be in MADI Apparel August 17 - September 17!
Noble Native - Sarah Hicks
Noble Native was founded in 2016 by Sarah Hicks. The company believes in sustainable fashion and fair working conditions and wages for factory workers. The pieces sold by Noble Native are fashion forward and trendy. Each piece is sure to make you stand out from the crowd! Check out a few of their pieces below:
By Grace Designs - Emily Moon
By Grace Designs is an organization that believes in educating, employing, empowering, and elevating. All of the pieces in this shop are made by at-risk women and are sweatshop free. The main value in this company is empowering women. Emily Moon is doing an amazing thing by creating these pieces with women empowerment in mind. Check out a few pieces from By Grace Designs below:
Be sure to come back to MADI Apparel August 17 - September 17 for Modern Mija and to check out Noble Native and By Grace Designs online! Every Saturday, stop by MADI Apparel for complimentary lemonade, a look at Modern Mija, and exclusive deals at our next-door-neighbor, Westside Local!
MADI AT VON MAUR May 11, 2017 17:38
Yep, you read that right, you can now find MADI's amazing products at Von Maur! We are SO excited to announce this HUGE secret we have been keeping! (& we know you've been waiting to hear and are just as excited as we are!) We are so proud to announce that we are being sold in our FIRST partnered department store!
You can find our undies in 3 of their store locations: Chicago (Lombard), Omaha, and Minneapolis (Eden Prairie).
Von Maur is a department store based out of Davenport, Iowa with locations throughout the Midwest and Southern United States. They offer a wide selection of brand-name clothing, shoes, accessories and beauty items accompanied by excellent customer service. We couldn't be more excited to have our products featured in their stores!
Partnered Donation Organizations:
The Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA) provides leadership and resources for sexual assault programs and allies to prevent sexual violence while promoting a comprehensive, socially just response for all victims/survivors. We support, convene, and collaborate with sexual assault programs, advocates, prosecutors, law enforcement officers to promote a more victim-centered response to sexual violence, and increase effective criminal justice. Our prevention programs take action before someone is harmed, and we work with policy makers and elected officials for laws and programs that fight sexual violence.
We are SO excited for this opportunity to expand our efforts in empowering women everywhere! For EVERY pair sold at these locations we will donate a pair to a woman in need in that city.
We truly could not have gotten to this point without you all who have supported us throughout this journey.
Cheers to another exciting adventure!
Kind Bride Collection May 09, 2017 08:00
Wedding season is in full swing and that means our brides need day-of-wedding attire and maybe something special for the honeymoon! We've got the perfect mix of romantic & classic lingerie ranging from panties, sleepwear and robes. These are perfect for a bride who loves quality, luxurious garments and has a giving heart! Our robes are great for the whole bridal party too! We offer special pricing packages for several combo packs too!
As always, for every intimate sold, we donate a pair of underwear to a woman in need. Made in Kansas City from luxurious long-lasting fabrics.
To order more than one robe for a bridal party, email our team for discount pricing : firstname.lastname@example.org
Mother's Day (Specials) Gift Guide! May 04, 2017 22:25
Outfit of the Week: Spring Has Sprung! April 10, 2017 19:07
ReBlog: "Confessions of a Ladyshark" - the story of how the world’s most misunderstood predator revived a deeply broken soul February 10, 2017 19:41
MADI Apparel began with a desire to make a difference in lives of survivors of domestic violence, rape and natural disasters, then, that desire evolved into an idea for a brand that could make a difference through underwear, a brand that could also cut and sew garments domestically creating jobs and ensuring fair labor conditions, and a brand that could use high quality fabrics-not only for the women purchasing them, but particularly the women receiving the donations. From there, MADI Apparel was born with a mission to be America's most impactful intimates. And to this day, we have never wavered in our desire or our mission. We continue to strive to give as many of these heroic women underwear as we can, but we also strive for more than that, we strive to bring them a little more comfort, and mostly, a little more confidence.
In the words of our founder, "I came up with MADI Apparel because MADI is a common woman's name. Anytime I meet a survivor and she thanks us for donating underwear, I picture my family member telling me her story, years ago. I wanted other women who buy MADI undies to picture a woman - with a name, who matters - and know that her purchase of underwear will help a woman in need."
We are so honored to team up with Kori Garza as she's telling her story for the first time...about how sharks saved her life from the real predator - her own husband. Kori is the reason we do what we do, Kori is the ladyshark that we hope all of the women who receive our underwear become.
Kori says she teamed up with us "not only to support their cause, but to support the women that rely on them. Because I was once one of those women. There is a ladyshark within you, waiting to be awoken."
To donate a pair of underwear - the most intimate, dignity-filled article of clothing - to a woman like Kori on a journey to safety, empowerment and recovery, simply buy any MADI intimate for yourself. Read Kori's story and find discount code for web orders <3 #ladyshark
To see the original story and pictures, click HERE.
Exposed and vulnerable but not weak; baring all in broad daylight to represent the many women who remain silent fighting their battles in the dark. Stay strong; we are fighting with you. FEATURING MADI APPAREL, AMERICA'S MOST IMPACTFUL INTIMATES LINE. For every pair of intimates sold a pair is donated to women in need at domestic violence shelters, during disaster relief, and at hospital rape crisis centers.
/Image by Amber Boutot/
Please help support MADI in their efforts.
Visit www.madiapparel.com and use promo code "ladyshark" at checkout.
When we were young our mothers prepared us for the monsters of this world. As children we peeked beneath our beds. As adolescents we learned to lock our doors. As developing women we learned to walk in well lit areas. Our fathers taught us the importance of the way a man should treat a woman.
However; what went untold is that not all monsters come equipped with seemingly endless rows of teeth. Sometimes, the most dangerous monsters enter our lives unnoticed. Sometimes, they are the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. Disguised beneath illusions of a love so unfathomably deep and beneath a mirage of good intention we welcome them into our hearts and homes.
I was twenty two years young when I met my monster.
And in the beginning, if even for what only feels like a moment, I truly loved him. Every word he spoke I accepted as truth. My clouded mind and heart smothered out the instinctual warning felt resonating throughout my bones.
He was handsome. He was compassionate. He was the most charismatic person I had ever met. I was mesmerized. I was hopeful.
I was naive.
Within two weeks he had convinced me to leave the solitude of my home. Within three weeks he had convinced me to leave my work. It took four weeks to become completely dependent upon him for survival without realizing.
And then suddenly this perfect man began to shift into a slightly less recognizable form each day until nothing but a stranger stood before me.
He was condescending. He was manipulative. He was untrustworthy. I was isolated. I was unemployed. I was homeless.
I had given him every ounce of control over my life and I was now playing by his rules.
Survival in Hawaii is difficult. Cost of living is borderline unreasonable. Decent employment opportunities are few and far between. Affordable housing is nonexistent. Survival in Hawaii is difficult; unless you are a member of the armed forces. And he was. It was easy for him to convince me to stay. It was easy for me to justify his actions and the reasons I should have left.
What I knew is that he had been married before.
What I had thought that I didn’t know was that he hadn’t told the military of his divorce and was now fraudulently using married pay to provide for us. And that he had been caught. And my only way out of being homeless, jobless, and alone in Hawaii was immediate nuptials.
What I actually didn’t know is that he was still married.
And that he had perfectly timed this fabricated situation to have a second marriage aligned just days after the finalization of his divorce in order to keep the pay and benefits so desperately needed for survival.
By the time I had discovered the truth it was too late. I had told my mother I had met the man I intended to spend the rest of my life with. I had told my father I had met a good man just like I promised I would. They had already scrambled to arrange my “spontaneous and intimate” beach ceremony and were on the way to Hawaii. I was too ashamed of myself to tell the truth. I was too ashamed at what my family would think of their weak, naive daughter. I remained silent.
I was twenty two years young when I married my monster.
I put on the dress. I wore the haku. I carried the flowers. I walked down the aisle barefoot in the sand.
Shaking from fear I made a vow that day. A vow to myself. That if I were to become a wife, I would not do it half heartedly. I would forgive. I would love.
Ku'u aloha no na kau a kau.
He made a vow too that day too. And although I heard the words, they held no weight.
Three days. That’s all I had with my husband before he was sent away for training. I had two months of solitude. Two much needed months where I reflected, healed, and learned to forgive and begin anew. I was ready to build a life and I was ready to be a wife. I wanted to start our lives hand in hand, embarking on an adventure.
When he finally returned we hiked the ridge lines of the Na Pali Coast. We swam beneath the lush waterfalls of Kalalau. We slept in sea caves shared with rock crabs and bullfrogs. We counted the stars each night and felt invincible. We flew across the country and explored his home town. We laughed with old friends. We ate hushpuppies until we couldn’t breathe. We giggled and held hands as we watched manatees play in shallow mangroves.
And then one night everything changed.
I was 22 years young when my husband almost took my life.
I saw the eyes of the man I loved go cold as he stared right through me while he wrapped his hands around my throat. I fought for my life against the man that vowed to protect and cherish me until the end of time.
And then I watched the world turn dark.
When I woke I was laying in a ditch on the side of a New Smyrna Beach backroad. Within moments an officer was asking my name. He asked if I could breathe. He asked if I had known who did this to me. A local resident had heard my screams and called for help. My mind couldn’t grasp whether this was my reality or some strange nightmare as I whispered the words, “my husband”. They took pictures of my body. I had never felt so alone and exposed. I couldn’t explain it, but even in that moment I felt fear overtake me as I suddenly felt the need to protect him.
They called him. He answered. I listened as the officer told my husband that I had been attacked. I listened as my husband told the officer he hoped I was dead just before hanging up the phone. In that moment, I wish I had died too.
The next morning my husband woke and wondered where his wife was.
The only person I wanted to console me was the very person that had done this to me. It didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t make sense now. The moment the door opened his eyes immediately locked onto the black bruises wrapping around my neck, only made distinguishable into the shape of hands by torn skin and blood vessels broken in between them. I watched his eyes fill with tears as he broke down. I frantically watched as he began to talk his way out of it.
"This has never happened before."
"This must be PTSD from Afghanistan.”
“I love you so much. I would never hurt you on purpose.”
And then I watched the conversation turn.
“If the army hears about this I will lose my job.”
"We will lose our home.”
"You will end up back in Missouri.”
"Is that what you want?”
Because of the severity of the situation, the state of Florida was pressing charges on my behalf. Suddenly I went from the victim to the person destroying our lives should I tell the truth. And so I went to the court and made a written testimony that I didn’t remember what had happened to me.
He was free. And the moment that he knew that he would no longer be held liable for his actions, he was no longer liable to experience the guilt and responsibility of his actions either. And compassion was no longer welcome in his mind.
And so we went home.
I just kept thinking that everything would be fixed, we just needed to get back to Hawaii. But part of me never left the side of Saxon Road that night. And it didn’t matter where I was, nothing was fixed and nothing was okay. Night terrors haunted me incessantly. I couldn’t stand to be touched, which only made him more frustrated and angry with me. Sharing a bed with him made me feel like a thousand insects were trying to eat their way out from underneath my skin. I wouldn’t leave the house for weeks. I wouldn’t speak for days. I would lay in bed and play that night over and over in my head, wishing I hadn’t fought back.
Until finally I had found within me a reason to live, and I could breathe again. And the air didn’t feel so heavy anymore. I felt a purpose and love so deep that I felt saved. Until it left me. And I experienced a loss deeper than I could have ever imagined. And I entered a new depth of darkness I never knew was possible.
And it only got worse.
I was no longer allowed to be sad. I was no longer allowed to feel pain. I was no longer allowed to grieve. I couldn’t talk about it with him. But I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone else either. I was shamed for my emotions and told I needed to get over it. I was told I didn’t know what broken was until I’ve had my best friends die in my arms at the hands of explosives. I was mocked. I was ignored. The emotional and verbal abuse hurt worse than any of the physical. Those wounds healed. Scars formed and my body recovered. It was the mind and heart that suffered most.
After four months of internal terror and the loss of all will to live, fate brought me back to sharks.
I had always loved sharks and I had always known my life would be surrounded by them one way or another. I had studied them in my undergrad and planned on focusing my career path towards sharks before everything happened. I had done the SharkWeek episode earlier that year and it had opened the door for this new opportunity I was suddenly presented with to study shark behavior.
And so I decided to leave that godforsaken bed and fight for my life once more.
I threw myself entirely into my work and made the sharks my life. For the first time in months I had found the one place I felt at peace. When you are underwater with the sharks you are unable to think about anything going on above the surface. You become entirely focused on your interactions in that exact moment. How many sharks are surrounding you? Which sharks are dominant? Which shark is currently the alpha? Where do I need to place myself within the pack? Observe. Read their behavior. Remain dominant.
The thing about throwing yourself into a pack of 20-40 sharks every single day is that you can’t be weak. You can’t be uncomfortable. You can’t be uncertain in your movements and you can’t be complacent. You have to be an alpha. And so after hours that turned into days that turned into weeks that turned into months of observing shark behavior and interacting within the pack, I transformed. I was no longer this broken, fragile thing. I was an alpha. I was a ladyshark. And it reached a point where it translated to life above the surface as well. I had learned my own strengths and worth because the sharks had taught them to me.
After dedicating my life’s purpose to saving sharks, in the end it was the sharks that had saved me.
And the battle to protect them became more personal than I could have ever imagined. Because I owe my life to them. And no matter how much I try to do for them it will never be enough.
/Image by Juan Oliphant/
I became so focused on work that life outside of it didn’t exist. There was nothing but sharks. For a long time. And everything else in my life got set aside and ignored. I shoved all the dark, broken bits of my life into a corner and left them there as if they didn’t exist. And we pretended everything was fine. We put on the show and everyone admired us for it. We became #relationshipgoals and people envied our life together. But it was just that, only a show. While we praised and worshiped each other on social media we slept in separate bedrooms and hardly spoke in real life.
Eventually I sought help. We went to therapy both together and individually. My heart still ached for him and what he went through on deployment. I truly believed he was sick and broken and I had made a vow to be there for him in sickness and health. It wasn’t an excuse for the continually toxic environment he insisted on keeping me in, but I felt obligated to stay. So I did. He talked about his deployments. I vaguely talked about what I could without discussing any physical violence that could get him in trouble. But that wasn’t helping. It was just another person I wasn’t allowed to tell. I still wasn’t allowed to heal the way I needed. He was ordered to remain sober to prevent any dangerous circumstances. I told him I was willing to try to save the marriage if he gave me a reason to. He continually gave me reasons not to.
Finally I fought up the courage and asked for a divorce. Even then a bit of my heart held hope that there was a part of him in there capable of being saved. Even then he could have convinced me to stay just once more.
He under no circumstance wanted the divorce. He made that very clear. Months went by. He made it nearly impossible for me to leave. All of my finances were his. I had been supporting his every need and want to the point where I had nothing for myself. He fought hard for me to stay. He promised it would be different. He swore I was his life and that he will never let me go. Those words eventually turned into threats and promises of never letting me go. He began to sabotage my career every way he could imagine. And so he tried to take my life from me again; this time in the form of my passions. Ripping them from me and using them as a tool of revenge.
And that was the breaking point.
I packed a single backpack and bought a single ticket to Southeast Asia and told him I wasn’t coming home to him afterwards.
When I finally returned months later with divorce papers in hand; my nightmare was over. He had finally agreed to sign.
I was 24 years young when I rid my life of my monster.
It wasn’t until after the paperwork was signed and I felt uncomfortable enough to file a restraining order that I discovered that my monster was not my own. My monster belonged to many girls before me. This was not the first time anything like this had happened. In fact I was not even the second, third, or fourth girl. The girls before me stretched back as far as 11 years ago. Well before any time spent in the military and overseas. However, deployment PTSD as an excuse was just another fabrication. His staff sergeant confirmed that not only had he never been to Afghanistan, he had never been deployed on a single mission throughout his entire military career. He was not even affiliated to the unit he was claiming.
I remember the exact moment that I realized what I had done. I had given my life and heart to a complete stranger. Every memory, every last happy moment I had held on to was instantly torn from my mind. And I was left numb.
Even still, I remained silent.
I picked up the pieces. I carried on. I removed all access he could possibly have to my life. But he made sure I couldn’t forget. He tarnished my name and began a mission to break me in every indirect way he could think of. And even when I watched our friends turn their back on me; I remained silent. I would have rather played the monster in his world than welcome them into the shame I felt within mine. At least in his world I was the tormentor. At least in his world I had the upper hand. And although his world wasn’t real, somehow it soothed me.
For I wished so deeply that his world was truth. I would have gladly traded my truths for his fabrications; because in his world he was the weak one. And I was the monster.
And so I remained silent. And I chose to leave the island that once felt like home.
It has been some time now since then. And I have learned more about myself than I could have ever imagined through the journey. And I have rebuilt the broken bits of myself and have cherished them deeply for the lessons they provided. And there are moments where my monster haunts me even still, and I struggle to recognize just how far I’ve come and just how beautiful the journey can be.
But I am not that fragile, broken girl.
I am a ladyshark.
I am silent no more.
I will no longer be ashamed.
And I will continue to fight for my life.
I have decided to bare all not only as a form of healing for myself, but to help any other women who may relate to my story. Because this isn't about me. Or him. This is about inspiring you to conquer your monsters; whatever or whoever they may be.
Because falling victim to domestic violence does not make you weak.
Because “loving you too much” is never an acceptable excuse.
Because there is no acceptable excuse.
Because there is a ladyshark within you, waiting to be awoken.
Because I believe in you. And you are not alone.
/Image by Amber Boutot/
Introducing....Robes! (& Coral!) February 08, 2017 12:55
Check Out The Newest Boutiques We Sell In!! January 23, 2017 17:17
Revival 119-Iowa City, Iowa
Revival is a boutique located in Iowa City, Iowa opened in 2003 offering new, used and vintage women's clothing and accessories and are a mid-western style destination! Since opening they have outgrown their first space and re-opened in historic downtown's pedestrian mall in a space twice as large. While they have grown and evolved, they remain true to themselves and currently stock new clothes and accessories from brands like Dear Creatures, Tulle, and Knot Sisters. They also stock handmade and locally sourced jewelry and gifts, as well as vintage and resale items. MADI's donation partnered organization in Iowa is DVIP in Iowa City.
Clique Boutique- Prairie Village, KS
Clique is a boutique in Prairie Village, Kansas opened in 2011 bringing all the latest women's fashion trends to it's customers. Clique carries merchandise from categories like women's clothes, accessories, shoes and home goods. Their brands range from Vince, J Brand and Milly to local brands like Mer Sea, Jenesko and now, MADI! MADI's donation partnered organization with Clique will vary at the time and go to one of our 12 KC partnered organizations!
Thrive Pilates and Movement Studio- Kansas City, MO
Thrive is a pilates and movement studio located in Kansas City, Missouri. MADI has partnered with Thrive in the past for pop-up pilates sessions where all proceeds were used by MADI to create donation underwear! MADI's donation partnered organization with Thrive will be MOCSA/The Assistance League of Kansas City.
Hermosa Lingerie- British Columbia
Hermosa is a lingerie boutique located in British Columbia that carries lingerie for every day, as well as special occasions! Their selection includes bras and underwear, sleepwear, shapewear, loungewear, pajamas, hosiery and accessories. They also offer bra fittings, corsets, swimwear, jewelry and custom orders. And, we are very excited to share that Hermosa has recently reordered with us! MADI's donation partnered organization with Hermosa is Campbell River and North Island Transition Society in BC.
Lillie Boutique- Portland, Oregon
Lillie Boutique is a lingerie boutique located in Portland, Oregon started in 2007. They offer unique and hard to find brands from all over the world. Lillie strives to find brands that reflect their passion for quality construction, vintage inspiration, and garments made with modern women in mind. Their product selection ranges from bras and underwear to cozy loungewear, exquisitely crafted shoes and locally-made jewelry. They also cater to customers looking for natural shapes, organic fibers, and independent lines with ethically-sourced manufacturing. We are so excited that Lillie Boutique has recently places a reorder with us! MADI's donation partenered organization with Lillie is Jean's Place in Portland.
Calligramme Boutique-Pittsburgh, PA
Calligramme is a lingerie and loungewear boutique located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that opened their doors in 2014. Calligramme sources only USA made products ranging from lacey bralettes to crotchless panties. The boutique offers a unique feel adorned with mid-century-style furniture and vintage vinyls. Calligramme operates under a anti-consumerism and female empowerment motto and places great emphasis on knowing exactly where her garments are coming from. MADI's partnered donation organization with Calligramme is Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.
Pipe and Row-Seattle, WA
Pipe and Row is a Seattle based boutique started in 2014 that offers women's clothing and accessories as well as home goods. Pipe and Row carries products sourced from Seattle to Los Angeles to Australia to Denmark. Pipe and Row was started by Seattle native, Kayla Boehme, with an apparel design background and the store was named after her twin niece and nephew Piper and Rowin! We love when people use family names as inspiration, just like MADI! MADI's donation partnered organization with Pipe and Row is Mary's Place in Washington.
Outfit of the Week: Cozying Up! December 08, 2016 17:28
Outfit of the Week: Holiday Party December 01, 2016 17:27
Outfit of the Week: Friendsgiving Dinner November 15, 2016 00:01
ReBlog: "Who Doesn't Like New? Fresh options at Calligramme in time for the holidays!" November 11, 2016 12:48
We were recently featured on Calligramme's blog by writer Krista Wright, and we are so excited! Calligramme just started selling MADI Apparel in their Pittsburgh boutique this month! Live in PA? Go check them out! Reblog:
Calligramme is super excited to introduce two new collaborations. We are now proud to carry MADI Apparel and Nevaeh Intimates, both of which will be featured on the Calligramme website and in our storefront. Of course, seeing these pieces in person would be the ultimate way to appreciate their unique beauty, but if Pittsburgh is too far away, here’s a few reasons to check out these incredible makers.
MADI Apparel is known for making huge strides in the modern clothing industry. They are the only intimate apparel brand focused on positively impacting all areas of the underwear market. They were even named “America’s Most Impactful Intimates” by a leading lingerie publication last year.
Using a clean palette of four colors (black, white, grey, and lavender), Madi creates simple and elegant pieces that are as beautiful as they are comfortable. In addition to delicate and wearable laces, their main fabric is a viscose made from bamboo. That may sound weird, but take a chance, because this stuff is amazing. It’s moisture-wicking, wrinkle-free, non-elastic, odor preventing, and sustainable. Crazy sustainable. It’s the fastest growing plant in the world, it takes in five times the volume of greenhouse gases when compared to timber trees, and releases 35% more oxygen.
MADI keeps is local, all while helping women around the world.Both their storefront and production are in Kansas City. And if you think it couldn’t get any better, hear this: for all intimates sold, MADI donates a pair of underwear to a woman in need. Underwear are the most needed, most under-donated item of clothing. And for those of you who call Pittsburgh home, for all intimates sold at the Calligramme brick and mortar, they will donate a pair of underwear to a woman living in Pittsburgh. Need any more reason to shop? Didn’t think so. MADI will be at Calligramme through the first weekend in December.
Outfit of the Week: Work Hard, Play Hard November 02, 2016 14:00
Outfit of the Week: Date Night October 26, 2016 20:20
Outfit of the Week: Fall Fun October 13, 2016 17:28
Check Out Our Fall/Winter '16 Collection Video! October 10, 2016 21:12
Runway To Impact Recap October 07, 2016 13:22
Outfit of the Week: Sunny Afternoon October 04, 2016 15:59
Join Us At Our Runway Show! September 26, 2016 20:01
Fall/Winter Collection Runway Show by MADI Apparel
Live Music By:
DJ Mike Scott
Main Band: The Buhs
Opening Duo: bre / emily
Food Sponsored by: Port Fonda
Cocktails Sponsored by: J. Rieger & Co.
Beer Sponsored by: Stockyards Brewing Co.
Silent Auction by MADI Donations
Our Benefiting Partners:
Rose Brooks Center
MOCSA / Assistance League of Kansas City
Journey to New Life, Inc.
Hope Faith Ministries
**First 50 guests to buy a ticket will receive swag bag of local KC products**
Outfit of the Week: Falling Into Cooler Weather September 19, 2016 16:48
Outfit of the Week: A Day at the Office September 15, 2016 21:18
Ok, now we know it's not all fun and games, so this week, we're showing you an outfit perfect for the office! This outfit is a great transition into fall, and forget the "no white after Labor Day" rule! We're showing off a stylish office look with adorable accessories and comfortable flats.
We're starting with The Pamela-Cheeky Brazilian underwear in white, and layering over them a pair of black, skinny, ankle pants. On top, we're going with a fun, loose peplum-style cream colored top. We're accessorizing with a statement watch and bangle, a beaded necklace, geometric studs and chic black flats.
- Page 1 of 4