Blog Archive

April 10th, 2015

Have you ever wondered what the strange symbols on your clothing tags represent? Check out this amazing graphic!

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April 9th, 2015

MODE Woodbury opens TOMORROW!

After successfully opening MODE Roseville in August of 2014, Patty Miranda didn’t stop. Tomorrow, April 10th, she opens the doors of her second MODE store. MODE Woodbury is the 9th store in the MODE franchise, and a testament to Patty’s drive, determination, and MODE mindset! Join us for the grand opening April 10th and 11th, where the first 20 customers will receive FREE jeans…you don’t want to miss this! Check out MODE Woodbury’s Facebook page for more juicy details.

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April 3rd, 2015

It’s time for our Fashion Tip Friday!

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MODE loves fun blazers! If you’re not sure exactly how to style one, take a peek at these outfits!

Blazers are extremely versatile; wear them with dresses, jeans, skirts, etc. To spice up a solid colored blazer, mix in fun prints and statement jewelry. Want to go bold? Pair a bold, patterned blazer with metallic jewelry and other basic pieces. The options are endless! The key to looking trim in a blazer? Try to find blazers without shoulder pads or excessive seaming, in more casual fabric types.

February 25th, 2015

We are proud and honored to announce that MODE has been chosen as an American Small Business Champion by SCORE and Sam’s Club.

The American Small Business Championship (championship.score.org) awarded the title to 102 small businesses, two in every state and the District of Columbia, for their sacrifices and dedication to the success of their business. The American Small Business Champions each received a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, an all-expense-paid trip to a training event, SCORE mentoring for one year, and promotion throughout the year to showcase each Champion’s story.

We are honored to have been chosen and look forward to attending the training event and connecting with our very own SCORE mentor to really take our business to the next level.

ASBC Winner Badge

 

Thank you to all those who voted for MODE in this contest; we couldn’t have done it without your support!

July 29th, 2014

Our Utah-Idaho journey to a new MODE store.

Sidestepping the I29 corridor to the west, I decided to take a road trip into the high desert of Utah and Idaho in hopes to find some great locations to set up shop.

MODE is a designer outlet franchise, and our concept appeals to the Midwest consumer. As Home of the $40 Designer Jean® we pride ourselves in offering amazing designer products at unbeatable prices.

Where should we zero in to find our next MODE franchisee? Some wonderful cities came to mind: Salt Lake City, Ogden, Boise, Meridian and West Famington. All cities with the retail to support the MODE concept and of course, a pool of women ready to own their own MODE outlet store.

(Now, just to let you in on a little secret, no trip can be complete without a daily dose of coffee, and so the following snapshots show the scouting trip starting off daily with a healthy dose of Carmel Macchiato).

During my journey, I found two particular hoppin’ hot spots that would be a perfect fit for MODE:

Boise: LOVED this city. What a gorgeous downtown. Streets lined with wonderful retail, unique restaurants and willing consumers ready to walk into MODE and shop for designer denim at outlet pricing.

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West Farmington: This is a wonderful up and coming area in the Salt Lake City area. This outdoor mall has several open bays —  all calling out for a MODE store to fill their space!

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Who wants to open the next MODE store??

March 5th, 2014

Opening MODE Overland Park

February 24, 2014

Starting out at 5:30am from the parking lot of our corporate offices in Fargo, ND we begin an early morning migrating south on 1-29. Our entire MODE team decided driving to our newest location would be best as there would be a total of 4 team members joining the new MODE – Overland Park team in the opening of our newest MODE location.

Grand Opening set for March 1, 2014 and a car packed full, we grabbed our first (and most important)  food item of the trip: a Starbucks Carmel Macchiato with whip. No MODE store can successfully open without a Grande Carmel macchiato in hand…and a lot of great food to keep us energized for the long days ahead!

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Our first quick stop was in Sioux Falls. Stopping into see our Sioux Falls MODE store and visit with Danielle their manager, we also took a short detour to a local bakery. We needed just a little sugar to fill our energy tank once more. Cupcakes for all. Diet Coke for one.

Here is a link to their website: http://ohmycupcakes.com/

Here is a link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SiouxFallsCupcakes

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February 25, 2014

Opening a store is, in my opinion, the best part of the entire Franchise Journey. There is nothing like merchandising a MODE store for the first time. Racks of jeans, rounders of tops, and bins of scarves all waiting to find their perfect place on the floor of the newest addition to the MODE family. Hanging, sorting, ticketing, and merchandising over 6,000 units creates a big appetite! Chinese takeout at a fabulous local Chinese restaurant called Bo Ling’s. It was a team favorite for sure! Take it back to the room, eat and crash. Sleep hard and rest up for another day of Grand Opening preparation!

Here is a link to their website: http://www.bolings.com/Location/overland_park_south.html

Here is a link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bo-Lings-Chinese-Restaurant/115817518438904

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February 26, 2014

I don’t think the world really understands how passionate our corporate team is about MODE. For us, a new store isn’t just an item checked off our list, a number added to our growth, or a franchise fee collected. For us a new MODE store means a new family member. A new group of people who have honored us by choosing to spend the rest of their business life as part of a great brand and a greater vision. We take this seriously and the impact of new franchisee joining us creates a stronger corporate team every time. I don’t know how many franchise opportunities are out there, in which the entire founding team is sent in to help a new franchisee navigate through the obstacle of their first week. The lead buyer, the franchise director, the retail trainer and the brand founder all show up to do whatever job needs to be done. There is so much to learn, so much to get right from day one, so much to remember and we love showing up and being a part of that! Of course a 12 hour work day calls for a hearty meal: Pie Five was the restaurant of choice. Amazing pizzas made while you wait, boxed up and later devoured as we all sat around in the our hotel room and made a game plan for tomorrow!

Here is a link to their website: http://www.piefivepizza.com/locations/overland-park/

Here is a link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PieFivePizzaOverlandPark

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February 27, 2014

When going to a new location to help open a store, our time is not just spent working in the store, but often equally spent working outside of it. Networking with local businesses and media is an important component to setting up our new franchisees for success. The best meal of the day was lunch today. Kansas City Style BBQ at Wil Jenny’s with the editor in Chief and Advertising Sales Manager from KC Magazine.

Here is a link to the magazine: http://www.thisiskc.com/

Here is a link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsKC

Here is a link to the restaurant: http://www.wiljennys.com/

Here is a link to the restaurant Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WilJennys

February 28, 2014

The culmination of months of hard work and many hours put in by everyone was topped off with a celebration supper in anticipate for March 1, 2014 – Grand opening Day! Tim and Arabie (MODE OP owners) took us to an amazing local spot for a sit down dinner. Jack Stack. Nothing like that cheesy corn to add fuel and get us ready for the long lines we anticipated (and received I might add) on the morning to follow! Hello Overland Park, Kansas. We are ready to show you what MODE is all about.

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Here is a link to their website: http://www.jackstackbbq.com/jack-stack-overland-park.aspx

Here is a link to their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/jackstackbbq

If you are wanting to get your hands on the best BBQ sauce, this is it!

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You can order it here: http://www.jackstackbbq.com/sauce-and-rub-gift-packs-2/p/GPSR7002-201/

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Back at Home in Fargo

We brought a little BBQ sauce back to remind us of our newest members and of the amazing food we had in Kansas City. What kind of food does your city offer? We are ready to find out as we build your MODE store with you wherever you might be waiting.

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February 5th, 2014

The second annual MODE Franchisee Convention took place on January 10th and 11th this year. We are so excited to see our MODE team grow every year!

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December 10th, 2013

5 Winter Layering Fashion Essentials Every Woman Should Own

Winter has indeed arrived. The time for piling on clothes is here. Try these winter-tested tricks for sleek and flattering winter layering. These five fashion items are staples that can be put together or worn separately for a look all your own.

All item are available at MODE® and ready to hit the snowy scene, day or night.

1. Skinny Jeans- The best tone is black or dark blue. Be sure to choose a goes-with-anything color. If you are out running errands and tuck them into boots or you are having lunch with the girls and pair them with a nice flat shoe, these jeans will be your go to item.

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2. Basic Casual Sweater- Having a day out of the office doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice looking presentable and put together. Choose a basic sweater paired with a scarf or your favorite necklace to enjoy your day off in style.

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3. Basic, Long Sleeve Shirt- This is perhaps the most ideal layering piece. It also is a must have because it works year round. As the temperature drops, cover with a sweater or vest for a ready-for-anything appearance.

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4. Printed Scarf- Whether you choose a chunky zig-zag print or leopard, this will be your chilly day must have item. Not sure how to wear your favorite scarf? Needing a fresh way to sport it with your favorite sweater? Try here for Tips and Tricks: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/380202393513737006/

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5. Sleeveless Shirt Dress- Pair this with a bright,  fun accessory and bring your favorite sweater along for when the evening air sets in. This dress will be a perfect chance to showcase your favorite pair of heels.

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It makes most fashion sense to choose items that last more than one season. Don’t limit yourself by choosing items that are going to be a fad or only good for short time periods based on your city’s climate and seasons. This will make getting dressed and looking up-to-date and put together easier, leaving more time for your favorite work or play activities.

August 28th, 2013

Be it a jean, jacket, skirt or any other product, the spirit of fashion lures the consumer to shop around for their perfect piece of denim bliss. Over time, denim has risen from the very bottom of the fashion food chain to the tippity – top. From yard work to a night out on the town, denim is present everywhere.

Here are 6 denim fun facts:

1.      On average, every American owns 7 to 8 pair of denim.

2.     86% of women in the age group 16-55 chose denim as their favorite garment.

3.     84% of the fashion designers and shoppers see denim as their future.

4.     The YKK that appears on many zippers stands for Yoshia Kogyo Kabushikikaisha. The company, The Yoshida Industries Limited, makes 90% of the world’s zippers across 52 countries.

5.     May 20th is the official birthday of Blue Jeans as it marks the day that Levi Strauss patented the rivets.

6.     It takes 2 pounds of cotton to make a single pair of jeans.

Like every piece of clothing or accessory in our wardrobe,  price drives the choices that we make. Brands anywhere from Grace to Sinclair have a suggested retail price of $80.00-upwards of $250.00. MODE® offers the best quality and selection at $40 every single day. Our stores have teams working with you to find you the best fit, length and style to fit any taste and body type.

Please click here to find a list of our stores:

http://shopmodestore.com/our-stores

If you are interested in bringing $40 designer denim to a city near you, open your own franchise! Click here for more details:

http://shopmodestore.com/franchise-opportunities

July 30th, 2013

MODE® meets Landyn

Loyal MODE® fans and shoppers, meet Landyn. She is the mom, wife, and fashionable woman behind Living with Landyn. Landyn recently featured MODE® on her Facebook page and also her blog

http://livingwithlandyn.com

https://www.facebook.com/Livingwithlandyn

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Here’s why MODE® loves Landyn:

  1. Her fashion philosophy: You don’t need to spend a million bucks, to look like it. Something that MODE® is all about. Landyn loves a good piece to add to her wardrobe that’s under $24.99, and you’ll see many blog and Facebook posts from the comfort of the Target dressing room.
  2. Family: Landyn lives outside of the Twin Cities with her husband and two children. She is a busy and on the go mom. The first time we spoke to Landyn, she was cooking breakfast and dressing kids while devising a plan for Living with Landyn and MODE®. We can certainly all relate!
  3. Entrepreneur on a mission: Landyn has a knack for entertaining, cooking, fashion and is always on the hunt for her next creation. Her blog is a combination of all of these passions, and it’s a place for tips, tricks, and a giveaway or two!

Check out her page, bookmark it and like her page on Facebook.

It’s the place to go for everything fashion, entertainment, food, and all things Landyn!

July 29th, 2013

Check out this article about Ciara Stockeland, the owner of MODE®!

http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/407285/

July 17th, 2013

Over the last week we have been talking about MODE® and how it all began! Check out this LONG TIME MODE® customer who was recently spotted wearing her MODE® attire in New York City!!! Who would have thought MODE® could be dressing the nation?!?

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July 9th, 2013

It’s throwback month at MODE®! As our company continues to grow, we’d like to look back at our beginnings to see where it all started. Initially, Mama Mia (Maternity and Baby) was the store that started it all. As time passed, an opportunity to offer designer clothing at outlet prices came about in Fargo, ND. Owner’s Jim & Ciara Stockeland decided to open a pop-up store next to Mama Mia and called it MODE®. MODE is French for fashion. With a perfect store name came a perfect store concept, the MODE® concept of designer clothing at discount prices became an immediate success. Soon after, MODE® and Mama Mia merged. The store space became much too small so MODE® eventually moved to the new location on 13th Ave S. in Fargo where it currently resides.

MODE COLLAGE

June 10th, 2013

Great customer service is very hard to come by these days. At MODE®, we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. We will work with you one-on-one to find the best fit for you! This is something you just can’t find anywhere else. Our patience and knowledge of products are what put us ahead of the competition in the customer service category. It is important to us at MODE® that we build and sustain excellent relationships with all of our customers. Our well-trained staff is always ready to help you find whatever it is that you are looking for.

May 29th, 2013

PRICING:                                                                                          

Where can you find a pair of $40 designer jeans? At MODE® of course! When we first started to put together the fibers of this incredible concept, I wanted something that would WOW all of retail. I wanted something that would set up apart from every other outlet store or discount retailer on the block. What made MODE® a true outlet store? What made MODE®’s pricing different? We had good deals and awesome finds, but no one thing  made you say “Yes, I have heard of MODE®, they are the Home of ………………..” And so we set out to create some pricing that would wow the world and make MODE® a true outlet store. We became the “Home of the $40 Designer Jean.”

May 13th, 2013

What makes MODE® different?

Pricing: MODE®‘s amazing buying power allows the MODE® Company to purchase product in mass quantity and pass the savings on to you as a store owner.

Product: MODE®‘s most important component of our ongoing growth and success are the relations we have cultivated and grown, allowing us amazing buying power and product supply.

Customer Service: MODE®‘s retail philosophy promotes genuine relations with each customer. Working to build trust gives the customer confidence to buy at MODE® and to come back again.

May 6th, 2013

What makes MODE® different?

I’ve traveled a lot over the last twelve years. During my visits to cities around the nation I pop into small boutiques and various stores whenever time allows. I like too see what the retail world is up to. How do they market their store? How do they merchandise their product? How do they serve their customer? I’m always observing and always asking questions.

A recent question that I’ve found myself mulling over is, “why is MODE® different”? What makes us so unique that women want to franchise their own MODE® and customers just can’t get enough of us!

In the next few weeks I will work through the three reasons I find that sets us apart from any other retail chain in business today. – Ciara Stockeland, Founder and COO

MODE® is an outlet store that sells designer fashion at closeout prices. We specialize in selling premium denim for only $40. We can promise you that you will not find these deals anywhere else! We are offering exciting franchise opportunities nationwide. Check out our Franchise Opportunities page to hear more from our franchise owners. Contact us for more information on franchising.

  • #FashionTipFriday

    Happy Fashion Tip Friday! March is HERE and so is the Mania!

    Running from one place to the next? Wanting to support your team while looking fabulous and feminine? Start with the basics! Layer up and show off the accent pieces. Start with one main spirit color, add on a layering piece (either a neutral or matching team color), and add on a fun statement necklace or bracelet to create a chic, effortless look! Give a little scrunch cuff to your jeans or layering piece for a little more added chic texture. Add your favorite sneakers or booties to complete the look and you’re complete!

    Score all the deals when you shop at MODE. Get Your MODE On!

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  • #FashionTipFriday

    Oh la la, Mother Nature has sent a chilly winter so far!  We are cold weather women at MODE as we were founded in Fargo, ND!  Today we have some great tips and reminders for dressing warmly when it’s bitter cold out!

    1. Your mom was always right, don’t forget your hat and mittens and scarf!  Body heat escapes quickly from our head and our neck also holds a lot of body heat!  Wrap up your neck and find a cute hat.  There are many great options out there that won’t mess with your cute hair!  Don’t let those hands get frozen either, get some cute mittens and grab a coffee while you are at it – we always believe that coffee helps!
    2. Get a coat appropriate for your climate! Unfortunately, many of the fashion coats are not made for the colder temperatures that many parts of our country see.  Look for something that has a durable lining and heavy layers, or go for one of the great puffer or ski jackets that has layers to lock the heat in.  Shoot for a black or brown option, this way you can always change up your look with scarves, hats and mittens to give it a new twist!
    3. Love your dresses, but don’t want to freeze? Add leggings or heavy tights and a pair of boots to your favorite dress.  Not only will you have a new look you will be cozy warm in your new style.  Want to add more warmth, layer a slip under your skirt or dress.
    4. Don’t be a shoe snob in the ice or snow. We mean that in the nicest way possible, but don’t be putting yourself, your feet and your toes at risk this time of year!  Opt for a great pair of winter boots and put those cute shoes in a bag to wear at your final destination.  Don’t be a winter extreme sport enthusiast in your stilettos on ice, a great pair of winter boots will get you much further and with less worries!  We promise!

    When all else fails, snuggle up in your favorite winter sweater, a great pair of jeans and a cup of delicious coffee!  Let the weather do what it wants and take this time to hibernate and rejuvenate as we begin another amazing year in our world!

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  • #FashionTipFriday

    It’s the final week of 2016 and we’ve given you tips, tricks and ideas from head to toe this year!  We hope you have enjoyed our Fashion Tip Friday posts this year and we want to leave you with five good to know tips as we enter into 2017!

    1. Fancy up one of those cute and popular puffer vests by adding a fun thin belt. Cinch at the waist and you have a new look.
    2. Use window cleaner to bring back the glossy look on patent leather shoes. Give it a light spritz and wipe it dry!
    3. Think your bra may be too tight? Try putting two fingers under the bra band, if you cannot do so, it’s definitely too tight for you!
    4. Have a hot glue gun lying around? Use this handy tool when you are in need of a last minute hem on your pants!
    5. Take some time after ironing! Wearing your clothing immediately after ironing can cause more wrinkles.  Let your items hang for 5-10 minutes to let your work settle in.

    Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year from all of us at MODE!

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  • #FashionTipFriday

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The gifts may be purchased, they may be wrapped, the Christmas goose (do people still have a Christmas goose?!) is on the table and the holidays are in full swing. We’ve shared tips on traveling in style, packing in style, what to wear to the party and even how to clean up that mess you may make. Now we want to get to the best one of the year! Are you ready for it, gals? Ready for the one that will make every gal on the planet look like a million bucks? Here it is…Kindness!

    Before you go and say, “hey – I want to know what to pair with my blanket scarf or what jeans go with what boots,” let’s talk this out. For many, 2016 has been THE year of change, heartache or even complete joy. The one thing we can offer others to others and wear confidently, is complete and total kindness. It’s the cream cheese frosting on the cake, it’s the accessory that goes perfectly well with any look and it’s the one size fits all (OSFA!) fashion statement. It’s the gift that keeps on giving (besides jelly of the month!) and it’s the thing we all truly need, not just this time of year, but all year long. As we get our minds and our hearts wrapped up with buying the gifts, looking our best, donating money, making money, imagine the impact that the gift, the donation, our looks and our salary will have if it is backed by kindness to others. As we reflect on all things that we as fashionistas love, let kindness rise to the top of our list and guide us in not only our fashion decisions, but our life decisions this year.

    Kindness is always fashionable.

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  • #FashionTipFriday

    If you are like the over 90 million individuals traveling this holiday season, you are not alone in the packing and traveling struggles.  What to pack, what to wear while traveling and how to do it in a stress free and manageable fashion can be a huge task.  We’ve come up with some wise ways to get packing and travel in comfort and style this season.

    1. Pack as light as possible, the last thing you need is to feel overwhelmed by multiple heavy bags of unnecessary items. Before you say, “But what is technically unnecessary” think through your travel plans and make a list.  Nail down what you will be wearing, make a list and stick to that when packing.  Leave the decision back home and bring one outfit per day/event.
    2. Roll it! The best way to create extra room in those bags is to roll your items to maximize packing space.  This can often help with wrinkled clothing as you can tight roll some items which will give them less option for heavy squishing in the pile.
    3. Reuse some items! Heavy sweaters and outwear can really bog you down.  Think through some items to see what you are going to need.  Create outfits with layers or scarves so you can go with one cardigan but wear it a number of ways to create different looks if your packing options are very limited.
    4. Don’t forget the comfies! Ladies, we do a lot of cooking, backing, movie watching and coffee drinking at our house, so be sure to pack those comfy clothes so you can snuggle in when the time comes to relax and take in some holiday fun.  If you are unable to do so this time of year, make that comfy environment for yourself at night and snuggle in.

    Be sure to pack whatever it is that makes you happy this season and enjoy every minute of your travels, wherever life takes you this season!

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  • #FashionTipFriday

    Holiday parties are in full swing and so are your amazing holiday party outfits!  We know the careful selection and planning that goes into the perfect party look and ladies, we do not want you risking anything this season on your look.  That’s why we have gathered a few tips for some easy fixes to some common stains we see at parties.  Keep this list handy if you end up running into a stain this season.

    Barbeque sauce and Chocolate:  We can’t say no to the mini meatballs or mini sausages cooked in a delicious barbeque sauce mixture and don’t even get us started on our love for chocolate!  As soon as you spot the stain, clean up any excess sauce, working from the back of the garment or stain, flush with cold water.  If you are near a washing machine, pre-treat with a liquid laundry detergent and let it sit for a few minutes.  Rinse the stain well and continue as needed until you have removed most of the stain.  If the stain still remains, pre-treat with a stain remover and toss in the laundry.  If stain remains, continue the process before drying.

    Red Wine: Cheers to a glass of vino or red colored cocktail, but tears for the stains they can leave.  If you have a spill of this drink, first and foremost, dab the stain with a paper towel or towel to absorb as much liquid as possible.  DO NOT rub it.  Our favorite option is to add salt to the stain by spreading it liberally over the stain, let it dry and wash with cold water.  This also works for stains on a rug or upholstery if needed.

    Coffee: we do a lot of cuddling up with this warm favorite this season!  If you accidentally dribble a bit on you, soak up the remaining liquid with a napkin or paper towel, rinse the stain with cold water for 3-5 minutes.  Find some dishwashing liquid or hand soap and lightly blot the stain with the liquid and let dry for a bit before washing.

    Dry clean only items: Be careful with your delicate and unfortunately you may have to wait out the stain on some of these items.  Blotting will be your best bet as other options involving water, soap or other additives could harm the fabrics on these items.

    As with all clothing or upholstery, be sure to follow any directions on the tags or cleaning recommendations listed on the items before experimenting with any other options.

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  • Quote of the Day!

    I have been known for as long as I can remember to incorporate quotes into my weekly team meetings, one on one sit downs and writings to team members or franchisees. At the end of the week I will most likely grab my phone, pull up Pinterest. However, instead of attempting to find the best recipe (or heaven forbid a new crafting project), I will search the writings and sayings of others, or simply, quotes! Why do the words of others seem to resonate so strongly with me?

    Quirky, quick witted, somber or inspirational, quotes find a concise way to redirect an outlook through their direct way of speaking to the heart.  In fact, often the words of others seem to say exactly what I have thought of but could not put into words. Quotes inspire us to look at our circumstances in a new light and often in just ten seconds, open our minds to a new way of thinking.  When taken in from the successful mind that crafted the message, our perception of our reality can be re-focused in the context of the struggles of others and life’s journey as a whole.

    • “I am not telling you it’s going to be easy, I am telling you it’s going to be worth it” – Art Williams
    • “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it” – Margaret Thatcher
    • “I always did something I was a little not ready to. I think that is how you grow” –Marissa Mayer
    • “Coffee in one hand, confidence in the other” – #bossbabe
    • “Opportunity is missed by people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” – Thomas Edison
    • “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that do not work” – Thomas Edison

    My Pinterest board is filled with one or two sentences of genius as expressed through the spoken or written words of another. I would challenge you next time your head is spinning, you need a fresh perspective, or you desire to articulate our thoughts in a clear way, that you brush up on your library of quotes and Get Your MODE On!

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  • #FashionTipFriday

    Did someone say mini meatballs, meat and cheese trays and cranberry flavored cocktails? Yes, holiday party season is upon us, ladies! We love this time of year as it gives us the opportunity to gather with friends, family and co-workers to give thanks and celebrate.

    One of the last things you want to worry about is, what to wear! We know all parties vary, just like the menus do. We thought we’d line out some simple yet, easy ways to decode the holiday party dress code this week to help you plan the perfect look! Party 1: The Holiday Festive Vibe at a friends house! These parties can be more intense than the black tie as holiday festive has become quite the phenomenon. There is the fine line between wearing your favorite blinking holiday sweater and looking your very best. Here is the deal, feel comfortable and roll out in whatever you want. This is YOUR holiday, so do it as YOU want. Wear some comfortable jeans or leggings, a great holiday sweater/sweatshirt and holiday themed accessories. Not sure you want to go all out? Grab one of the staple colors of your holiday season and add some fun jewelry. A simple red, green, blue or white sweater can be jazzed up with statement jewelry you already have in your closet! No need to go out and buy themed looks just for the party!

    Party 2: The Office Holiday Party at a Restaurant! Here is where you need to look at your own office environment and the restaurant. If you work for a suit and dress pant company, it may be worth breaking out the casual black dress and tights for this environment. Don’t go all New Year’s Eve on this one as the focus of the event is really a meal with this type of event. Nobody wants to show up in an uncomfortable look while trying to enjoy the filet mignon and cheesecake deliciousness that the boss is paying for!

    Party 3: The Happy Hour Cocktails and Appetizers at a local bar! This one all depends on where you work and the venue again. For this one, many may come from work, but what if you are the +1 and don’t work there? We recommend taking a look at the venue and what the team normally wears at this particular office. Dress to the occasion, but what we can suggest is something that can be added or taken away from your outfit to pair it to the event. Feel like you might be dressed too casual? Keep a statement necklace, bracelet or scarf in your purse. Feel you are a touch overdressed for the group or venue? Layer down and store those accessories in your bag.

    Any party should be the perfect opportunity for you to feel comfortable in your clothing, so be sure that you have what you need on hand to feel your best. Shoes can be the biggest issue at parties as you could either end up on your feet socializing or taking your shoes off at the door at a home hosted event. Be sure your socializing shoes are ready for a night out and you slip a pair of flats into your purse for a location where outside shoes are not welcome. Finally, be sure to indulge a little, we hear too often to stick to the diet, but when else do we have snowman cookies and eggnog available to us? Enjoy!

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  • How to Maximize the Impact of Small Business Saturday

    Note: This blog post was also featured on Rethink Red Tape, a coalition formed to examine the impact regulations have on small businesses, our communities and our country, and advocate for smarter regulations and regulatory reforms that will protect the public interest while also helping small businesses grow. Visit their page at http://rethinkredtape.com/ 

    Over the next week, the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear, and some shoppers have already scouted out prime Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. But the day my employees and I — and many of our friends, families and neighbors — are most excited about is Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26, when communities shop their local stores, find great bargains on gifts and give the area economy a boost.

    As rewarding as Small Business Saturday can be for shoppers, I think it’s more exciting for business owners. As founding owner of the clothing franchise MODE (home of the $40 designer jeans!), it is so gratifying to see customers excited to shop at stores where small retailers carefully refine their product offerings and work to create a welcoming retail space, all with community members in mind. On Small Business Saturday, it’s hard not to feel the love from our customers.

    But there are plenty of small businesses who won’t, unfortunately, feel the same appreciation on Saturday, simply because they are business-to-business, don’t have a brick-and-mortar retail location, or offer products or services that don’t make ideal holiday gifts.

    As I’ve built my business, I’ve met many of these passionate, dedicated small-business owners — can Small Business Saturday be a reminder to recognize non-retail small businesses as well? They are creating local jobs, generating revenue and keeping money in the community, and deserve the spotlight just as much.

    One of the best ways to support small businesses in all locations and in all industries — all 365 days a year — is to be an advocate for reform of the federal regulatory process. Often, rules come out of Washington unexpectedly — rules that did not take the small-business perspective into account and that end up costing small-business owners significant time and money in order to comply. While a bigger business might have a full-time lawyer on staff just to deal with regulations, often times that is just not something small businesses can afford. Calling on policymakers to make the regulatory process more inclusive and understandable, and to ensure that final rules have been subject to a thorough cost-benefit analysis, is a simple step anyone can take to support local small businesses.

    At MODE stores on Saturday, my employees and I will be doing what we love: helping our neighbors score great looks at fantastic prices. But my hope this that retailers will not be the only ones feeling the love on Small Business Saturday — I want to see communities supporting all types of entrepreneurs and small businesses, and doing so year-round by advocating for a better rulemaking process that creates jobs and builds communities. How’s that for a good deal?

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  • #FashionTipFriday

    Recently we have been getting so excited for the winter sweaters, the cowl neck tops, the warm scarves and warmth arriving in our stores.  As the temperature drops, our cozy mindset sets in, but NOT for all!  A lot of women have been telling us “I love that sweater, but I get SO HOT that I’d never be able to wear it” – and we get that!  Maybe you are on your feet all day moving about, you are naturally warm all of the time, or dear Mother Nature has turned your temperature up this year.  Whatever it is, we want to share some ways to still incorporate some of the fun styles, but with a bit less heat.

    1. Love the blanket scarf, but fear you’d be claustrophobic from having it layered around your neck? No worries, here is an easy fix!  Grab your favorite scarf and use it as more of a shawl around your shoulders.  For extra fun, add a belt and have it belted around your true waist.  You can even do this with a thin long OR short sleeve top depending on your heat preference!
    2. Puffy vests can be great outdoors, but we also love them to complement our whole outfit indoors too.  If you opt to wear the look indoors, don’t be afraid to put a short sleeved top on under the vest, or find one of those amazing light fabrics to toss under.  No need to make it looked bundled up for a day indoors, show off those fun vest looks we are seeing this season!
    3. Turtlenecks are not for all, we know this, but there are so many cute options this season. If the tight turtleneck is too much for you around the neck, look into the great cowl neck styles that are all over the place.  It’s sort of like the turtleneck’s fun cousin as it gives you the same style as a turtleneck, but with less form fitting qualities.
    4. Don’t be afraid to re-purpose fall or spring sweaters. Those are often a bit lighter, but nobody said a lighter sweater must be put away when winter arrives.  Add a darker color cami or tank under them for a different look, or add a light (yes LIGHT) weight scarf to give it more of that winter look with less heavy qualities.  With winter white and cream colors in abundance this season, you can rock that spring sweater all you want, we won’t tell anyone.

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