An Entrepreneur With……. Creative Block?

Creative block. You know, like “writer’s block” except for entrepreneurs! An entrepreneur, just like a writer, is required to be creative, ingenious, forward thinking and always on the cusp of something new. Sometimes, entrepreneurs get “creative block!” Sometimes entrepreneurs, aka small business owners, just want to sit and listen and let someone else do the thinking.

What is a small business owner to do when they just run out of the energy to think of another idea, come up with another plan, execute on another creative idea? What does an entrepreneur do when they get “creative block?”

I think there are several practical actions any entrepreneur or small business owner can take when the creative juices just won’t flow.

1. Dig deep and force-feed yourself. Identify the problem in front of you and research the be-jeebers (is that a word?) out of it. Yes, force-feed yourself! Make yourself see a new point of view, observe your competition, listen to your critics and then seek to understand.

2. Pull your team in close. You hired your team for a reason. Each team member has a gift and a skill that makes them a valuable member in your organization. Pull those team members close, tell them you need help and let them shine as they rise to occasion!

3. Get away from your desk. I think this is the hardest part for a small business owner and entrepreneur, however, we need to allow our minds to rest and recharge. This can be as simple as a walk after work or quiet time each morning. Our minds must be turned off. (Easier said then done I know!!).

4. Invest in someone else. Get out of your zone and invest in another entrepreneur or small business owner. Sometimes understanding the struggles and joys of others will produce more ideas than any book in the library!

Get rid of that “creative block” and Get your MODE on!



Jeans and Shoes, they go together like peas and carrots! The perfect couple when matched accordingly.

I love this time of year as all of my shoes get to go on dates with all of my jeans. One day, it’s beautiful and I get to wear my 3 inch teal stilettos with my amazing boyfriend jeans and a cute t-shirt. The very next day, Mother Nature brings the chill or rain, so I get to pair my skinny jeans with my tall leather or rain boots and a light sweater!

Another look we LOVE is pairing your straight leg jeans with a fun pointed toe stiletto. Just the perfect look to add some additional style to an already classic cut.

Where are my flared jean fans? I am recently guilty of purchasing two pairs of flares, a dark classic and a high waist light distressed. I couldn’t help it – they are amazing and comfortable! Even with super long legs, the flare cut look so amazing with a wedge or a platform heel. Also, by adding that extra height, you won’t have to worry about getting your flares in any of the spring puddles out there!

Yes, spring can mess with our wardrobe, but consider it a great time to put your entire jean and shoe collection to good use. Enjoy mixing and matching your jeans and shoes this month!
FTF Jeans and Shoes 3.25.16

Ciara Stockeland’s Interview with KFGO’s Dan Hammer

MODE Founder and COO, Ciara Stockeland talks with Dan Hammer from KFGO-AM about being a finalist for the U.S Chamber of Commerce 2016 DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award.



At MODE we believe that every season is scarf season. It’s the ultimate accessory – let’s give credit where credit is due. What other accessory can add color, add texture, provide warmth, cover our heads in the rain and wind or be worn in a variety of ways? You got it – the scarf deserves some major credit.

As we transition from winter to spring, not only are you seeing the lighter color scarf out there, but the lighter fabric. Where we use it as a major tool for warmth in the winter, it is much more useful as an outfit updater for the spring. That being said, let’s be honest it is great to have a scarf on cool spring mornings and late spring evenings – plus don’t even get me started on how great the scarf is at a restaurant that decided to turn on the A/C a bit too early!

Spring scarves let the neck breath and don’t have the heavy layers we see in fall and winter. We see both infinity and a traditional scarf in the spring and that also means so many ways to wear the look. The infinity look can be somewhat too warm for some women in the spring, but adding a regular scarf and draping it, wearing it kerchief style or tying in a simple knot will add variety and won’t leave you with so much fabric at the neck.

Play around with the options you have depending on the neck your shirt has. Maybe adding a necklace to layer with is what you need and maybe you just need to wear it around your shoulders. Plain, print, stripes and polka dots, we love em all!



FTF 3.10.16


Necklaces, we can’t get enough of them. We own a ton of them and still can’t stop buying them. We have the “dressy”, “the casual”, the “I’m going out with the girls” and the “hmm, not sure why I bought this but that green frog is so funky” necklace. MODE girls with our necklaces priced at $14.99 everyday, we know how you feel!

We know how tempting it can be to add to the collection, but also feel that guilt knowing how many you may have at home already. Want a simple solution? Combine those efforts and experiment with layering your necklaces. We adore the look of a shorter simple chain or stand with a longer more statement look when dressing up a simple colored t-shirt.

Can I get some love for the beautiful stone jewelry that has been out? Some of our favorites are the clear rock looks or the crystal looking stones. These can be worn as simple statement pieces with a collar or to add a pop of color to any look. Another way to incorporate them is to add a short gemstone necklace with a longer pendant.

Have some shorter necklaces that are statement pieces, maybe something you wear everyday that has meaning to you – a birthstone or something with initials? Spice it up and add a lariat necklace – something with a good balance of color to your statement piece. Lariat necklaces are those fun ones that have no clasps, so you can wear as long or short as you wish and add layers.

Long, short, sparkly or simple – play around with the necklaces you own and don’t be afraid to add to the collection – pair it up and have fun with your look!


FTF 3.10.16

MODE Sioux City

MODE Sioux City offers designer fashion and a place to shop for all ages in the Sioux City market!  See the recent story featuring the store in the Sioux City Journal!



Just when I thought spring had sprung, we got a cool blast of air and a few flakes of snow! Come on, Mother Nature! I had secretly started moving around the heavier clothes in my closet and “preparing” them for their hibernation in their winter home, the pink plastic tote. Maybe I got overly eager, but then after looking through my wardrobe I have a lot to wear during the mid-season switch.

Some of the trending colors this year include: Rose Quartz, Quartz Grey, Lilac Grey, Dark Teal, Scarlet along with Traditional Black and White. While these may not seem like the bold, vibrant colors of spring and eventually summer, they work! Who are we to argue with the looks at New York and London Fashion week? The good part of this is regardless of what climate you live in – or how your temperature may fluctuate, your closet can be ready for whatever the weather brings you.

Some of our favorite looks include layering these colors. For example, we have many awesome cardigans, sweatshirts, wraps and capes in store (and our closets!) which can be perfectly layered with these trending colors of spring. This could include pairing them with jeans, capris or even shorts if you are in a warmer part of the country. Earlier mornings and later evenings can get cool even after a nice warm spring day. Grab your medium weight layer and don’t worry about looking out of style.

Wanting something more vibrant? Spice up the trending colors of spring with a bright or bold pink, green or yellow in a scarf or chunky necklace. Whip out your favorite bright lipstick, slap on some accessories and wear what you want – create your own bright and bold look, even if Mother Nature throws you a curveball!

3.4.16 Spring Trending Colors



January and February are sometimes our least favorite  months.  Winter just seems to drag on and on and on.  It’s cold, its dark and summer seems like it’s a long ways away.  One thing that always seems to cure my Winter blues, is SHOPPING!  Right now is the perfect time to find  those marked down items to lift your spirits and they still can be used in your wardrobe to help you transition from Winter to Spring.   You’re really getting the best of both worlds here.  You’re curing your Winter blues with a little retail therapy as well as getting a versatile Winter to Spring outfit!

Stop into MODE and let one of our experienced stylists help you get out of that Winter wardrobe slump today!



FTF 2.26.16












MODE was recently featured in Prairie Business Magazine for winning the Dream Big Blue Ribbon Small Business Award.

What I Learned About Leadership From My 6th Grader

A couple of weeks ago, I walked through the door after a fantastic day at MODE and my 6th grader ran up to me and proudly exclaimed, “Mom, I was elected President of my class today!” To which I replied “Really? I didn’t even know you were running.” I was then informed that they had campaigned and voted all in one day. He said that he really wasn’t sure what this new title of Sixth Grade Class President entailed. After twenty minutes of discussion, we then moved on with our evening of activities.

I didn’t think more of our topic of conversation until the next afternoon when I picked up the kids from school. “How was your day”? What followed made me stop in my tracks. “It was great mom. As President I have unlimited veto power. I vetoed pajama days every Thursday, I vetoed extra time on the white board, I……” and there I stopped him. Without trying to sound too motherly, I briefly explained that being a leader means much more than wielding your power over others. Being a leader means serving others. Being a leader means giving wins to those who support you and finding ways to encourage others to step up and lead as well (I pray he didn’t tune me our after line one).

This short conversation caused me to stop and reflect on how someone at twelve years old, when given the opportunity to be a leader immediately thought of it as an opportunity to push his will and dictate the behavior and actions of others. Why don’t we naturally tend to serve as leaders? Why do we often look at our positions as a way to put ourselves forward at the expense of others, and how do you challenge yourself to grow and change? How do we ensure that our mentality is not that of a twelve year old class president, ready to veto everything, but instead is one of a leader who ensures that those around us learn and grow and feel a part of our team.

Every day conversations like this one can teach us that truth and good have to be taught and learned and fought for. We are not naturally born to be humble servant leaders. This is behavior that will be learned as we push ourselves to be the type of leaders others want to follow.

Go out and lead with a servant’s heart this week, and then get your MODE on!


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You bought that great pair of jeans, they fit you like a glove, they make your butt look amazing and they are the PERFECT length – SCORE! As a bonus, you got them at a great price at your local MODE store! We’ve all been there, we somewhat hesitate to wear those perfect jeans too often as we are so worried they will lose their perfection.

Here are some tips to ease that fear and keep your clothes looking like new:

1. Cheat sheet! You know that mini tag with the size on the inside of your jeans? It actually has a care cheat sheet on it – or sometimes nearby it. You just need to know the code! We’ve included the cheat sheet images, so you can use this list.

2. Wash and hang dry! If you worry about your jeans changing in how they fit, wash cold and hang dry. As we mentioned in our previous tips, this is a great way to give them a little extra room if you need to stretch them out again as well.

3. Get a drying rack or some good hangers. Many drying racks are collapsible so you can hid them under a bed or behind doors. Let your good jeans hang dry and simply hide the rack when you are done!

Now you have no excuse not to wear those new jeans. Wear them to your hearts delight and show off all that is amazing about your jeans and YOU!


FTF 2.19.16 CareInstructions


We love being creative both in the clothes we feature in our store and the items we purchase for ourselves as MODE shoppers.  That being said, we’d love for you to be comfortable stepping out of your comfort zone with some of the different styles we have in store.  A quick and simple way to go about this is, if YOU feel comfortable and attractive with the clothes on, you will look that way.

Be sure to check the new style in all angles that you normally position yourself in.  If it’s a piece you will be dancing in, wearing to the office or using for an upcoming interview, make sure it will maintain its look for whatever purpose you need.

Another thing to keep in mind is fabrics and where you will be wearing the item.  A light fabric may look ok in certain light, but taking it outside may require another layer under it for appropriateness.  This is not always just the case for white fabric, but some of the lighter colored or finer weight fabrics that are in style.

Be comfortable, be attractive and be BOLD, MODE girls!


FTF 2.12.16

Franchise Business Review awards MODE with Franchisee Satisfaction Award

Every year, Franchise Business review publishes its annual ranking of franchise brand. Franchise Business Review, a national franchise market research firm that performs independent surveys of franchisee satisfaction, announced today its “2016 Best of the Best: Top 200 Franchises” list. The survey asks the franchisees to rate the franchisor on everything from training and support to shared goals and how it has compared with their expectations.

We are honored to be on this list – check out the full list from Franchise Business Review!




Styln’ A Selfie

I often get asked if I just, “love fashion”? I suppose this question is appropriate and fitting in the sense that I own a clothing brand! However I have never considered myself someone with a strong passion for the fashion industry. I love business. Clothing is the vehicle that drives the possibility for me to build a brand.

Lest this short article disappoint everyone who reads it (What? She doesn’t’ love clothing?? SIGH), I want to say that I do love to feel “put together”.

I remember as a child of about 12 I heard one lady say about another woman, “She always looks so put together”.

From that day forward, that has been my goal. I wanted to look “put together”.  From that day forward, I started my quest to discover just what “put together” meant, and true or not, I have discovered it to possibly mean the following:

  • Your clothes match
  • Your purse matches your clothes
  • Your shoes match your purse and your clothes
  • You are wearing an accessory, or two, or three! And of course, they all match your clothes.

Now, what does all this have to do with selfie? I believe every woman (whether she likes fashion or not) has a style. Lest the beginning of this article still disappoints, I will begin showing my style through a weekly series of selfies. If I stay on track that means I will show the world my idea of “put together style” fifty-two times a year. Are you ready for that?


Get ready. I am going to Get My MODE On!




Shopping on a budget, this is something that used to get me into a lot of trouble. You see, I was rather good at justifying pretty much EVERY purchase as something I absolutely needed to survive. Those glitter shoes? I needed them because they had some great support in them and my feet deserved good fitting shoes (plus, glitter – who can say no to glitter!?). The short black leather jacket? HAD to have it because black leather jackets in all lengths are a staple we all need in our closets!

In all honestly, some people are better at this than others, it just took me a while to learn! Given I’ve learned the hard way, we figured it would be fun to share some tips on how to actually shop while on a budget and luckily MODE offers amazing options for the budget conscious fashionista.

1. Staple pieces! Instead of justifying pieces, find those pieces that fit well, are at your price point and can be worn with a multitude of other pieces in your closet. Some examples are a perfect pair of jeans that you can both wear to the office and for a fun night out. Or, a fun blazer or cardigan that you can mix with different color layers, jewelry or scarves.

2. Take inventory of your closet and identify items you may not have worn in a while. What do you need to pair with them and make them “new” again? When I recently did this, I found a simple black sweater I hadn’t worn in over a year. I simply added a cute red chiffon tank under it for a pop of color and a fun necklace. Boom – instant outfit with the addition of a few pops of color.

3. Take advantage of the post-Holiday sales. Many stores, like MODE are offering some fun sales and paired with our already low prices, you can add many key pieces and save a LOT of money.

Regardless of your budget, you have options that can still allow you to spruce up any wardrobe. As always, if you struggle with how to do this, stop by a MODE store and let our team help you. We’d be happy to work with you on ways to update your look on any budget!

2.5.16 Ways to shop on a budget




Comfort and Fashion – two words that are not often paired together. We were recently talking with women at the store about their favorite outfits and the word “comfortable” came up when referring to their favorite jeans and tops. We heard it all, from “I hate it when my pants are too low and my butt shows” to “I don’t want to feel like I’m stuffed into my outfit when I go out”. We HEAR YOU, ladies. Would you believe that many of the styles we carry, cater to fashion AND the comfort aspect of life.

One of our favorite styles of jeans include those with a high waist. We have a variety of high waist styles, including skinny, flare, dark wash and distressed. These are SO cute paired with a fun top and guess what, no muffin top in this style!

Another favorite are our super soft camis, tops and sweaters. Is it me, or have many of the fabrics become so cuddly this season? We often layer and pair items so you are prepared for any climate or event.

Think you can’t wear something soft and comfy outside of the home – think again! Dress it up with a fun scarf or necklace. That will turn your casual, comfy outfit into a night out ready ensemble!


Fashion Tip Friday 1.29.16

MODE featured on

MODE was honored as one of the winners of the American Small Business Championship in 2015 and most recently featured on the blog.  Check out the MODE feature to learn more about our small business story and our award which enabled us to invest resources back into our small business!

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Raise your hand if you had one extra Christmas cookie this year!! Ok, I have two hands waiving in the air and a lot of workout to get in. So let’s chat about what to do with those current jeans you own and are a bit too tight, OR the ones you want to buy now as a steal of a deal but they are one size too small (yes, you will get back into them in the spring!). Here are our suggestions:

1. Wash your jeans on cold! Hang dry and stretch on the areas that are most reinforced. Pull on the legs for length and the pocket area for the waist.

2. Need to wear them soon? Put on your jeans and spritz with warm water in areas you need some stretch. Do some lunges and a few squats (bonus – calorie burner!).

3. Did your jeans shrink? Once they come out of the wash (cold water!) lay them down on the ground, step on the waist area and lightly pull on the legs.

4. Ready for some new jeans? Well that’s easy – stop by and see us at MODE – we will find you the right fit for the right price – no need to tug or spritz!


FTF 1.22.16


Life is full of variety and we believe our closets should be full of variety as well. Often times women tend to flock towards their comfort zone for jeans…we wear what we know and are comfortable with. Be not afraid, we are here to challenge you to try some new styles – we’ve even created a cheat sheet to show you the different looks and how to wear them. A closet, just like life needs to be filled with variety.


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Bismark featured on ND Today!


Check out these fashion makeovers from MODE Bismarck!

#MODEbismarck #MODE #makeover #helpingwomenshopdifferently #Homeofthe$40designerjean


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