When I started my business in April 2017, I didn’t know I was starting a business. It sounds really silly, doesn’t it!? But it was so true! Madalyn Joy Designs started with a desire and purpose to create women's bespoke lingerie items that were beautiful, comfortable, and actually fit. I didn’t start with a desire to build a business, but instead a desire to make lingerie for women that made them feel beautiful and confident. I wanted to help find a solution to a problem that so many women face.
I moved into my studio space in March 2017 and while it was exciting to have my own studio space, I didn’t know where to start. I felt like a kid sitting in an oversized office chair at their dad’s office. I felt like the studio space wasn’t truly mine. I had all my furniture moved in but now what? How do I start to run a business? How do I let people know I exist? How do I make a living? What do I want to be known for? What will my legacy be? I had all these major life questions weighing down on me and to be honest, I was scared. I was scared to start my own business. I think the fear of failure is what kept me from starting my business almost a full year after college graduation. Now, my fear of failure is what keeps me motivated and determined because I don’t want to let important people in my life down.
The first couple months of Madalyn Joy Designs was all about creating new collections to show at fashion shows. I wanted to create a lot of new work so I could show people what I could do. It was madness! In college, we would produce maybe 3-4 completed garments a semester. Meanwhile, I was completing 3-4 garments a week this past year. I’ve never produced this much work in such a short period of time in my life. Some of the work is my best work to date and some of the work has been more so learning experiences rather than runway worthy. I created 5 collections in 2017 and worked with endless clients to create bespoke items from dance costumes to robes to coats to lingerie to alterations and much more!
While the first 9 months of Madalyn Joy Designs have been truly remarkable, productive, rewarding, and memorable, I am looking forward to focusing on my niche of robes in 2018. Through months of research, I have come to realize that robes, specifically for brides, is what I truly love to do and what I am naturally best at. I started designing bespoke lingerie because of a robe! I ordered a lace material to make an evening gown, but when the fabric arrived, I thought it would look better as a robe. Robes are so versatile and really are something both men and women can use every day. I really think we have lost touch with the art of getting ready and robes play a huge role in that process.
Do you know those Weight Watchers commercials where Oprah declares her love for bread? Well that is me with robes! I love robes. I really love robes! I want to be known as the robe lady! When someone is in need of a bespoke robe, I want to be the first person people think of! I want to be everyone’s go to robe lady. It is my true passion and I really think the world is missing robes that are BOTH comfortable and beautiful. Typically, robes will be one or the other, not both and I want to change that!
I had originally planned to debut my evening wear collection at my very first solo show on my birthday in February. I was really excited about the collection, photo shoot, and fashion show! I had great venues lined up for both the shoot and show and a stellar team of models and HMU. I seriously could not wait to debut this collection. I had been talking about it for months! Unfortunately, I came to the tough final decision that the collection, photo shoot, and show had to be cancelled due to a lack of time and resources. I had received too many client orders that needed to be completed by the same time as the collection that I just couldn’t make both work. It broke my heart to make this hard decision but at the end of the day, clients are the most important and they will always come first. So for the month of January I plan to finish up all outstanding client orders from 2017. I want to be able to enjoy working on these projects and not feel the pressure to have to rush through in order to fit it all in.
The first couple months of 2018 will focus on creating robe samples for different events such as photo shoots, fashion shows, and trunk shows. I really want to focus on my strengths and be able to deliver a quality product that I love doing. I don’t plan on doing only robes forever but I really want people to know me for my robes. I want it to be my signature piece and for people to come straight to me when they are in need of a robe for a special occasion in their life or just for everyday wear.
I will be focusing my efforts on my new bespoke lingerie collection I will be debuting at Milwaukee Fashion Week in September. I really want to knock this collection out of the park and in order to do so, I have to start planning and designing now, months in advance. I definitely won’t be able to produce as many new collections as last year and I don’t think I ever will again, but I will always be producing new quality work in order to show to clients. I want to focus more on bespoke client orders and I really want to get my designs into more boutiques to reach a broader audience. This year is all about serving clients and giving them what they’ve always dreamed of and more. I also am excited to work with more brides and help them make their special day just as magical as their love story.
I have a lot of confidence in 2018 and think it will be a wonderful year of growth both career wise and personally. I feel determined to take on the year with a new found sense of purpose and confidence. I know what I want and need to do and am ready to achieve it all. Thank you so much to everyone who has believed in me and joined me on this journey. I am doing it all for you! I am working hard so the business can make money so I can pay all of you talented individuals for your precious time. You all mean so much to me and I work every day in hopes to make all your lives a bit brighter and happier. I love you all and am so blessed to have such incredible and talented people in my life.
Here’s to you, 2018! May it be the best year yet!