NEW YEAR, NEW ME // Q&A WITH MADALYN

 Madalyn Manzeck photographed by Maya McDonald in Chicago, IL. 2016. 

Madalyn Manzeck photographed by Maya McDonald in Chicago, IL. 2016. 

Hello, I'm Claire! I am one of Madalyn Joy Designs's interns so you may have seen me around the past few months working in the studio during the week or helping out backstage at photo shoots and fashion shows. I have been working for Madalyn for about six months now and let me tell you, these past six months have held some of my favorite memories! 

The first day I met Madalyn I knew she was talented. When you walk into her studio you see all of her amazing designs and how creative she truly is. Then once I got to know her more and hear about all she has done in such a short amount of time, well, it is nothing short of inspiring. She has taught me so much in such a short amount of time.  

Since I have had the wonderful privilege of getting to know the designer behind the brand, I thought that you all should too! So in honor of her 24th birthday tomorrow, Madalyn and I were able to sit down and chat about her first year as a business owner and what’s in store for this upcoming year. Check out our conversation below!

 Madalyn Manzeck photographed by Sarah Glick behind the scenes of the Unadorned Magazine Volume 3 photo shoot in Milwaukee, WI. 2017. 

Madalyn Manzeck photographed by Sarah Glick behind the scenes of the Unadorned Magazine Volume 3 photo shoot in Milwaukee, WI. 2017. 

What have you learned the most about starting a business so young?

That it's a lot harder than you think! This quote by Richard Jaffe really sums up the entire entrepreneurial journey, "Nothing is more exhilarating than growing a successful business from scratch. You just have to remember that everything takes longer than you expect and costs much more.”

What is your personal goal for 24?

Twenty freaking four…. I just want to make money and have a normal salary like everyone else and be able to pay my own bills.

Who inspired you to go into the fashion industry / to start your own business?

Magazines initially got me interested in the fashion industry, but my sewing teacher in high school, Nichole Schneider, was really the one who helped me realize my true talent and potential in this industry. In regards to my own business, my dad would be the one who motivated me the most. He also owns and manages his own business so I guess you could say the entrepreneurial spirit runs in the family!

 Madalyn Manzeck photographed by Cassie Sterwald working in her studio in Port Washinton, WI. 2016. 

Madalyn Manzeck photographed by Cassie Sterwald working in her studio in Port Washinton, WI. 2016. 

If you could go back to yourself a year ago, what advice would you give?

I would say to just hang in there and keep working hard because everything will eventually pay off. It is important to start with setting small goals and work on them every day because small improvements over time lead to big results. 

As a young female entrepreneur, what has been the biggest challenge you have faced?

Being a female in and of itself! By starting your own business in any field or industry, you are automatically thrown into the  world of business and the business industry is dominated by men. Due to gender norms and gender biases it's hard to be taken seriously as woman especially when men hear that I am in the lingerie business (Hint: Most men tend to think with their bottom halves instead of their top halves!). As a woman, you need remain confident in yourself and the product you are selling. 

What is your most memorable moment from this past year?

I would definitely say winning the Milwaukee Fashion Week Designer of the Year 2017 Award. It really just solidified everything that I have been doing and that people are listening and watching. However, there were so many behind the scenes moments leading up to winning that award that I will always cherish whether it be working with my interns, late nights sewing, or working with new clients. All the hard work finally paid off and always continues to!

 Madalyn Manzeck receiving her Designer of the Year Award from Deb Reimer of Milwaukee Fashion Week at her studio in Port Washington, WI. 2017. 

Madalyn Manzeck receiving her Designer of the Year Award from Deb Reimer of Milwaukee Fashion Week at her studio in Port Washington, WI. 2017. 

What has been your favorite collection / look?

The finale look from the Flora & Fauna collection which consisted of the bordeaux applique lace bodysuit and matching tulle skirt. I consider it to be my favorite look because of all the positive reactions I have received from everyone. They all LOVE this look and it makes me happy knowing I can evoke that sense of awe and wonder in people. 

If you could go back and change one thing what would it be?

I wish I could have been more confident this past year not only in myself but also my talent, business, and product.  However, hindsight is 20/20 and when you are in the moment you don't always realize what the future will hold. This past year has taught me that everything will always work out and stressing out doesn't help anyone or anything. This year I am looking forward to being more confident, working smarter, not harder, and bettering my business each and every day.

 Madalyn Manzeck photographed by Cassie Sterwald working in her studio in Port Washington, WI. 2016. 

Madalyn Manzeck photographed by Cassie Sterwald working in her studio in Port Washington, WI. 2016. 

Since my background is in business, before I started at Madalyn Joy Designs I knew nothing about fashion. Madalyn has taught me how to plan, prepare, and work photo shoots and fashion shows all while teaching me what it takes to start and run a business. I am so thankful to have this amazing opportunity to learn not only about business but the fashion industry as well. I am so excited to see what the rest of this journey holds and cannot wait to share it with the rest of you as well!

XOXO

Claire