5 in 5: Lessons in Being a Startup Social Entrepreneur August 17, 2019 14:21

Over these last five years, I've stumbled through a rigorous learning curve creating a startup company in Kansas City. Here are five tips that I've learned over the last five years as a social entrepreneur — both good and bad — that may come in handy when starting a business.

Why you should wear bamboo clothing this summer August 9, 2019 13:15

Summer is the time for vacations, pool days, and hanging out in the sun. Bamboo fabric is the perfect complement to a busy summer in Kansas City or anywhere else in the world. Here are 5 reasons why you should ditch the cotton clothing and switch to bamboo underwear this summer.

Plastic-free July: Plastic-free clothing brands (+ zero-waste tips) July 23, 2019 17:04

Every year across the globe, 120+ million people give up single-use plastic for Plastic-Free July. Unfortunately, many fast fashion clothing brands use fibers that are forms of plastic — like high percentages of polyester, nylon, acrylic, and more. At MADI, we strive to create change from the bottom up, and that starts with using only the highest quality sustainable fabrics for our ethical women’s lingerie products. We aren't perfect, but we're CONSCIOUS.

Empowering Women Re-Entering Community From Prison July 8, 2019 17:36

In May, for every purchase we donated a pair of sustainable bamboo underwear to women living at Journey House — Journey to New Life's temporary housing solution for women ex-prisoners returning to the Kansas City community.

5 years later: MADI Apparel Fifth Anniversary lookbook June 26, 2019 10:51

In 2014, MADI Apparel started with one mission: to make a difference. Now five years later, it has expanded its ethical and sustainability goals. MADI Apparel helps create jobs in Kansas City through local employment and uses only the highest quality ethical fabrics.

Come Celebrate Our 5th Anniversary! June 13, 2019 09:44

Join us June 20 for CAMP MADI, our 5-year anniversary party! To celebrate our 5-year “something wooden” anniversary! Expect sales and specials, yard games in our urban backyard, smokey cocktails and all things "canned, and most importantly: s’mores !

Founder Hayley Featured in Forbes' Victoria's Secret Story May 15, 2019 12:04

Big thank you to Forbes.com for featuring MADI Apparel founder Hayley Besheer Santell in their story on Victoria's Secret Fashion show leaving television.

Mother's Day gift guide: Ethical, sustainable, impactful May 6, 2019 18:28

A Mother's Day gift from MADI apparel is perfect for any mom who believes in sustainability, ethicality, and shopping locally. Your gift not only benefits your mom — it helps mother’s all over the world too. Here are some of the items MADI mom's recommend.

Celebrating International Lingerie Day with the history of lingerie April 25, 2019 22:20

In honor of National Lingerie Day, let's discuss the history of lingerie! Lingerie was first used to describe women's underwear and bras in 1922. It all started when Lady Duff-Gordon began developing lingerie styles that freed women of restrictive corsets.

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

“My past doesn’t define who I am today," Amanda says 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.”

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

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.

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. 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.

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

We are so excited that ethical fashion retailer NOVAA featured founder Hayley as this month's Hype Girl! Read more about Hayley and how her empathetic heart led her to founding MADI Apparel.

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

Last May, we launched MADI Makes, a seamstress job-training program for at-risk women in Kansas City. Andrescia is the first graduate of our program and now works for us, creating underwear for those in need in her community. Here's her story.

8 ways to celebrate International Women's Day | MADI Apparel March 5, 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 3, 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 6, 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 3, 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.