Come Celebrate Our 5th Anniversary! June 13, 2019 09:44Join 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 12:04Big 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 18:28A 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 22:20In 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 13:54We'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 18:09Are 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 14:14We 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
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.
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 coffeeHave 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
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
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!
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 16:55Our 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.
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.
Behind the scenes of our newest avocado-dyed collection, BLUSH January 27, 2019 15:51Read about the process behind our new hand dyed avocado collection - BLUSH!
Founder Hayley's segment on Kansas City LIVE! January 10, 2019 16:39Check 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:
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 11:59MADI 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!
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.
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.
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
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 17:54MADI 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.
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