This week, we’re chatting with lingerie designer and sewing teacher, Maddie Flanigan of lingerie brand, Madalynne. Operating a studio out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maddie is a woman on a mission. As she puts it, “My overarching vision is to provide women with feminine lingerie that is equally beautiful as it is functional, whether that be through sewing their own or buying from the market.” With a new made-in-the-USA line of lingerie available through her site, Anthropologie and more, a pattern licensing deal with Simplicity, and bra-making workshops taught in her studio, Maddie is doing just that! If you’re ready for a dose of inspiration from someone with incredible passion and drive, you are in for a treat with our next maker interview.
My day starts with…
“I wake up between 4 and 5 a.m., so first things first: COFFEE! Along with my morning jolt, I answer emails that may have come in overnight and finish any work leftover from the day before. For me, it’s also important to set aside time for myself, so prioritizing a daily workout in the morning is a habit I’ve developed over the past ten years. For example, do you ever have fifty tabs open on your computer’s browser? Well, that’s me when I wake up and by working out I’m able to ‘close out’ those miscellaneous tabs and narrow my focus to what needs to be done that day.”
I fell in love with making goods when…
“When my mom passed away from breast cancer, I fell in love with sewing specifically. Six months after her death, I was in her linen closet and found her old sewing machine. Then, as a freshman in college with six weeks of time to spare over Christmas break, I took the machine to my local tailor. One lesson turned into a two-and-a-half year apprenticeship with a woman who once worked for Christian Dior.”
When I’m in my studio, I feel…
“Like my intern gets on my nerves. Just kidding. Love ya Lace! I actually feel extremely lucky. Although I always feel like I haven’t gotten anything done because there’s so much I want to accomplish, I’m fortunate to live the life I do. I also feel a sense of calm in my studio. My days can get crazy, but when I go into the studio, it’s usually quiet and I’m able to calm down from the chaos and focus on my craft.”
Who inspires you?
“I’m not a religious person, but I am spiritual and feel that my mom is here in spirit. She was a tough woman who knew exactly what she wanted, went after it and most of the time, she got it. I’m inspired by women who are unapologetically living life on their own terms and not feeling guilty about it. Maggie Bacon of Thistle & Spire, Bekuh Browning, Mary of Millay Vintage, Nicol of Nicol Floral Designs, and Ying of Tailor Made Shop are a few of those inspiring women.”
What’s in your toolbox as a maker?
“My toolbox always includes duck-billed scissors, 505 Spray Adhesive, a 28mm rotary cutter, and even though it doesn’t fit in a toolbox, my PFAFF Passport 2.0 sewing machine.”
What piece of your wardrobe best represents your style?
“I am the proud owner of a pink sweater with the word ‘TOMORROW’ written in sparkly, embroidered letters. It’s blush pink, which is my favorite color, and is a reminder that the future is now (bright and sparkly too).”
Before starting a small business, I wish someone had told me…
“As much as I wish it was possible, not everything can be done on your own. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. You have to find your squad who will love and support you no matter what and who will always help you accomplish your dreams and goals. On the flip side, I’ve learned that if someone doesn’t believe in your goal, you’ve got to remove them from your life. Surround yourself with positivity.”
My guiding principle or mantra is…
“Lucky for you, I have five mantras!”
- Life is a choice.
- If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.
- A flower doesn’t think about competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms.
- What you allow is what will continue.
- A million likes won’t be enough if you don’t like yourself.
What has been an important resource to you as a small business owner and why?
“Quickbooks! Seriously, I think it’s very important when you own your own business that you watch your finances like a hawk. You can thank me later.”
My proudest accomplishment over the last year is…
“Definitely becoming a Simplicity Patterns licensee, releasing five patterns (with more to come!) and producing my own made-in-the-USA lingerie line, which is sold on my web shop, Anthropologie, BHLDN and 10+ boutiques around the country.”
My favorite Spoonflower textile to work with is…
“Sport Lycra, because it can be used for lingerie, active wear and swimwear.”
Follow Maddie on Instagram to be kept up to date on her new products, sewing tutorials and workshop offerings, not to mention a plethora of beautiful imagery!
Are you a maker using Spoonflower fabrics? Don’t forget to tag your Instagram photos with #Spoonflower for the chance to be featured on our feed!