Archive for the Blog Category

National Coffee Day!

In most cases it’s just sheer perseverance; remembering there is no get rich quick scheme; you need to drink a lot of coffee! If asked why some business owners succeed and why some do not, those are the three things that I say are keys to success. Since its National Coffee Day I had to post something little on this blog! Coffee and jeans people, it’s all about #coffeeandjeans

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#FashionTipFriday

We love all of our MODE Girls and are always so happy to help women shop differently in our stores.  We often hear from our tall girls that they have “Tall Girl Problems” when shopping for clothes.  Rest assured, “tall girls” there are no problems with being tall and in fact, we have all sorts of tips to help you feel more comfortable in any look.  Here are a few that we absolutely love:

  1. MODE is “Home of the $40 Designer Jean” we know our jeans and the millions of way to wear them! For jeans a touch too short to appear intentional, cuff them and add a fun heal.  Try out a stiletto with a strap to add some extra fun shoe flare!
  2. Two words: Skinny Jeans!  These are a tall girl’s best friend.  If you are holding out on trying them on, do not delay any longer.  The skinny jeans add so much awesomeness to a tall frame.  We also love that skinny jeans can be both dressed up or worn as a casual look.
  3. Loud prints, patterns and fun tops are a great way to take any attention off of your long legs if you are self-conscious about them. Breaking up your look with a different color on top and bottom can also help to decrease and elongate your look.
  4. Opt for a waist length coat or fun vest this fall. These pieces will add more proportion to a longer torso and breaks up the outfit a bit.
  5. Two fun options that taller girls can embrace with confidence are statement pieces and over the knee boots. Don’t be afraid to test out some statement necklaces, scarves or a fun pair of over the knee boots!
  6. Our final and favorite tip for tall girls – embrace your height! Confidence is beautiful and we want you to know that YOU are beautiful!

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Pet hair, don’t care!  That’s the motto that we have to live with some days as pet owners.  It’s the cold hard truth, as a pet owner (or fur mama) we know that many times, those we love tend to leave their mark on our clothes, our furniture and our worlds.  Instead of stressing out about the hair/fur that can often become an accessory in your wardrobe, we’ve decided to share some easy ways to minimize it instead.

  1. Run washable clothing with pet hair on it, through the dryer on air dry before washing. This will shake off much of the hair, trap it in the lint trap and give your wash cycle a good opportunity to just clean the clothes. Remember to immediately clean out any hair trapped in your lint trap, you don’t want that hair to stay in there!
  2. If you wash a number of clothes with hair on them in the same cycle, add a ½ cup of distilled vinegar to the rinse cycle. This will relax the fabric and release the hair a bit easier.
  3. Do not overload your washer when filling it with hair covered clothing. This will allow for the items to move more freely and the hair to go down the drain when released.
  4. Using fabric sheets or anti-static spray can help decrease hair cling and makes it easier to remove it from your clothing.
  5. If you don’t have one of those great sticky rollers, use your kitchen gloves. Get them damp and rub them over your clothes which will create static and cause the hairs to cling to the gloves.

Finally, remember that pet hair happens!  Do your best to keep your important clothing pet hair free, but be sure to snuggle up on your furry family members when you can as well!

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#FashionTipFriday

We love our jeans at MODE and we love the feel, the look and the color of a fresh new pair of jeans.  So we get as sad as you do when our jeans start to deteriorate, fade, tear or pill.  Any of these options makes for sad day when our favorite pair starts getting into the “slightly worn” section of our closet.  Even with our amazing designer jeans at MODE, we know that the care we give to the jeans really can extend the life of them.  Today we want to share some easy tips to get some additional “newness” out of your favorite pair of jeans.

  1. If you are looking to preserve the color on your jeans, consider washing them less. Don’t get all grossed out over dirty jeans.  Unless you have spilled on them or did your workout in them, consider letting them live a little without washing after every use.
  2. When you are ready to give them a good wash, consider a few things:
    1. Turn you jeans inside out before washing and be sure to have the coldest temperature water.
    2. For those with more time on their hands, consider washing your jeans by hand. By washing, we really mean soaking as scrubbing them down is not a necessity and can add to deterioration of the jeans.  Brush if you must to get out any pesky stains or debris that may have been collected on your jeans.
  3. Do NOT dry your jeans. ALWAYS Air Dry!  Notice our intensity on that point?  This is so important in the process of extending the life of your jeans.  Hang them over a drying rack or on a hanger if needed, but let them breath to dry.  Keep out of the sun and give them some time.  If you cringe at the idea of the crunchy feeling of air dried clothes, you can simply toss them into the dryer once they are dry on air/fluff or the lowest heat for a FEW minutes (just a few, don’t get wild now).

Enjoy your jeans, love up on them like they do on you and when it is time for a new pair of jeans, you know where to find us.  We will always be the “Home of the $40 Designer Jean”

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#FashionTipFriday

Labor Day weekend is upon us and for many, this holiday signals the unofficial end of summer.  We know it may be sad to say goodbye to our summer days and our floppy hats, but we know there is a treat ahead.  This special time of the year brings us fall fashion and fall colors!  We can officially start talking about our new boots with skinny jeans and our favorite shades of fall as we sip our ever so tasty pumpkin spice lattes.  MODE Girls, we are eager with delight this season as you have already seen some of the colors arriving in our stores.  The beauty of olive green, blush, navy, grey and even camo are filling our closets and hearts with glee!

A few other colors to be on the lookout for include: mustard yellow, clay, a bold lilac purple, taupe and a bold red.  One things we do see is that some of the fall colors mirror a few of the hot colors for spring 2016, which means that they can be easily mixed together with fun jackets and layers as you update your wardrobe for the fall.

Go out and capture what is left of summer and when you are ready for the fall, know that you have some great color options waiting for you this season.

9.2.16 Fall Color Alert

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#FashionTipFriday

Going “bright” may be just too much for some girls to handle.  We get this and we know that some of you are delightfully comfortable in your neutral tone zone.  This can be an easy way to sort a closet, maximize your dollar when shopping and not appear too bold in your fashion sense.  Again, we get this, but we have an easy way to add just a simple touch of color to even the most neutral look.  Two of our favorite are purses and shoes.

Let’s start with purses!  Regardless of if you gravitate towards the handbag, clutch, cross body or tote, adding a fun color or a pop of a print can be just the right amount of color.  Some of our stores recently received some amazing prints with great fall colors in them.  A few of the colors included in the patterned pieces are not staple colors in many wardrobes.  The beauty of the color pattern is that they will tie in perfectly with a neutral look.  Some of the green, grey and navy tones that are so popular in the fall look great with a fun fall pattern.

Shoes can be just as fun and easy to add dimension to a look.  We are seeing beautiful colors this fall and even some amazing prints in ballet flats, heels and boots.  So many shades complement each other we love seeing a simple outfit look go glam with the right pair of colored or printed shoes.

This leads us to the challenge for you…not feeling like you need to match your shoes and bag!  No, MODE Girls, your shoes and handbag does not have to match, in fact that way of thinking can result in a huge waste of money.  Think of all of the possibilities you are missing out on if you are not combining a print and a color, or two colors!  A neutral outfit with a pop or combo of these pieces may be just what you need as you fall in to Fall!

8.26.16 Bright enhancements

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At MODE we love our basics and essential pieces almost as much as we love our $40 designer jeans.  We’ve also noticed that our customers love being able to find those pieces in our stores as well.  Luckily our MODE stores all offer essentials in the form of camisoles, tanks and t-shirts that provide amazing options for all types of looks.  Today we are going to focus on the ever so amazing t-shirt and why we love it.

Basic t-shirt: ok, this one is a given, ladies.  A great pair of jeans, an awesome fitting tee and a bunch of great accessories.  We are talking classic, cute and comfortable.  The tee, slightly tucked in the front paired with your favorite bracelets, necklace or scarf give the all around on point look.

Basic t-shirt: paired with a layering piece.  You’ve seen our love for our friend the blazer and it’s cousin the cardigan, but pairing those two with the basic tee adds a fun new variety to the look. A blazer or cardigan can often be used to warm a look up or add more of a business casual look.  Now taking these pieces matched with a great pair of jeans and a tee can also be a perfect combo for a casual look.  Another reason we love this is that you can mix the colors a bit.  One example is a printed blazer or a fun colored one can be paired with a great grey or white tee and can add just casual touch you are wanting.  Again, spice it up with a fun necklace and you are set.

Basic t-shirt: with patterns, pockets and prints.  This is a fun one we are seeing lately in our stores.  A basic tee with some colored stripes and a pocket with a different fabric.  It’s still your basic tee, but with a bit of a twist.  These are great as they can be worn alone and offer the option of pairing with a colored jean or legging for a fun yet dressy look, or worn in the two ways listed above.

However you look at it, the basic tee is here to stay and we are thankful for that.  Spruce up your fall wardrobe this year with these options that won’t break the bank.

8.19.16 Back to the Basics

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Lessons Learned on the Cherry Creek Trail

Recently I had the opportunity to brave a North Pacific forest trail as a part of my morning workout.  This got me thinking about how life is so intertwined, as this run held so many similarities to the choice individuals make when they blaze the trail of business. It’s important to point out that I am by no means a fitness expert. My somewhat ADD mind is quickly bored by any length of physical activity and therefore running or participating in gym activities for any length of time is a rare occurrence. On the other hand, the outdoors calms my sprit, allows clarity of thought, and quite frankly gives me constant change and unpredictability. Today, this led me to choose to put on my running shoes and find a trail to forge.

What does running have to do with business? Let me draw the analogies that took flight in my mind as I ran through the pines today.

  1. When choosing the path of small business ownership remember there will be many surprises ahead. Choosing a new running path is like choosing a business: you may know the name or style of business, you may have the perfect concept or choose to join an existing franchise model, but like a new trail, you have no idea of exactly what lies ahead in your personal business journey.
  2. When starting out, have the end in mind. I knew this path was 1.75 miles and would finish by the clubhouse. The end to me was finishing the loop and coming back to the lodge with an activity completed. The same principal follows when building a business. What is your end goal? Will you build to sell, stay small and dedicated in your market, or franchise your model? Where do you envision ending your business journey?
  3. When in doubt, follow the lead of others. Illustration: I was about half way through on my trail run when I was suddenly filled with self doubt: “Should I be out here alone? What if I take the wrong fork in the trail? What if I chose a path that was above my skill level”? It was then that I heard two experienced runners coming up behind me. I stepped aside, allowed them to pass and gladly followed their lead! There is no shame in finding business owners that are more experienced than yourself, reaching out to them to ask questions, then follow in their steps of success.
  4. When ready to give up, push yourself to press on. The path I chose this morning was much hillier than anyone had told me! Being from North Dakota where we run on un-ending flat lands, I was suddenly overwhelmed by what was ahead. I was not anticipating a run up and down hills, around rocks and over streams. How often as business owners do we say “If I had only known this would be so hard, look this way, or cause this change in my life?”  In times like this, we are given two choices: we can turn back or move forward. Today I moved forward, pushing myself to finish strong!
  5. When finished, stretch your muscles. In physical activity this means a floor mat and a cool down. In business this means stretching the muscles of the mind through learning, listening and reading.

Get Your MODE On!

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How could it be that time already?  We ask ourselves this very question each year, in addition to: where did the summer go?  Is it back to school already?  I feel like we just started the summer?  I planned on saving for back to school shopping and here it is upon us!  If you are asking yourself those questions, we have you covered.  We’ve heard it all and we are also in your world, so let’s look at some ways to make back to school shopping a touch easier this year.

  1. Take stock in what you already have!  Yes – take those fall totes out and do an inventory!  This is especially important if you are following a budget.  You may have packed some fall items away and forgot about some of the amazing pieces you have.
  2. Make room for more!  Clean out that closet, ditch and donate pieces that no longer fit, no longer serve a purpose and are simply taking up space. (hello prom dress from two years ago – it is time for a new home!) – this will also help with your budget as you can consign or sell these piece to add to your shopping fund.
  3. Outfit plan with your current pieces.  Have a great cardigan that you love but rarely wear? Can you envision it with a new color underneath or a fun new pair of colored jeans to spruce it up?  Plan to be on the lookout for something to add to that piece.
  4. Make a list!  Yes, lists aren’t just for the grocery store.  This will keep you on task so you don’t find yourself at the end of the day saying, wow – I got all of this great stuff but didn’t get anything that I had to have.  We know you may venture off of the list (duh – we love shopping as much as you do!) but keep it as a good reminder of those pieces you have to have for certain events or upcoming school year necessities.
  5. Go bold.  Try it out girls – be a bold, beautiful you this year and try a new color, new style or even a whole new look.  Cut your hair, try a new jean style, update your color pallet, whatever works for you – make it yours and yes, you can even do this on a budget!

Wishing you an enjoyable back to school shopping season.  We can’t wait to see you at MODE!

8.12.16 Back to school

 

 

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#FashionTipFriday

If you have been into a MODE store lately, you have noticed a look that our customers have fallen in love with as much as we have!  Two words, Dip Dye!  Now don’t be confusing this amazing fashion statement with the tie dye look of the past.  With a variety of cuts and patterns, this look combines a fun and feminine style.

A few fun ways to wear the look is to go casual and combine the top with a fabulous pair of jeans or make a white and colored dip dye pop with a great pair of white jeans!  Even our simple tee or tanks that have a dip dye look to them are perfect to add some variety to a casual look.

8.5.16 Dip Dye

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Trading My “Coffee and Jeans” for…Coffee and Yoga Pants?

Finding a work-life balance, recharging the battery, relaxing, enjoying down time. Four phrases that busy women often hear, covet with a passion and yet find hard to do. From one busy woman to another – sometimes you just have to trade those jeans for yoga pants!

Coffee and jeans are my life. Jeans by career, coffee by design (and let’s be honest, to help me better my career!!!). At the end of a long day, on a weekend or on vacation, the last thing I want to pull on is another pair of jeans. Don’t misunderstand – I have a PASSION for a good pair of jeans. Nothing looks so classy and put together as a well fitting pair of jeans with a white tee and a stack of bracelets to add a little sparkle! In all honesty, I believe that a good fitting pair of jeans is sexier than a little black dress. However, jeans to me signify “work mode” (pardon the pun)!  I have found that in order to create a work life balance that works for me, I have to literally compartmentalize my day by what I allow to consume my thoughts and this starts with what I wear.

My husband, Jim and I started our concept when our children were young and because I have boundless energy (from the coffee, mind you) I am often asked how I create a work life balance. How do I unplug? How do I separate my work life from my everyday? Choosing to slow down when away from the office, spending as much time outdoors in fresh air as possible (front porch or long walk …either will do), reading to silence my thoughts and scheduling intentional and consistent time with family are all tools that ensure that I continue to prioritize what matters in life.

Everyone’s work life balance looks different. It is not important what it looks like to you, but rather that you strive for it as you see fit. As with everything we do, small choices create habits and habits comprise our patterns of life. If something as small as choosing yoga pants at the end of the day can create a habit of self reflection then I will choose those yoga pants every day as I work to be a better me and Get My MODE On!IMG_2899

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#FashionTipFriday

Summer is still here and we can confirm that that by the high temps we are seeing across the country!  While some minds are already wandering to the fall clothing options, we have a fun fashion tip that will keep you feeling the summer vibes regardless of what your closet or favorite fashion icons are saying.

One of the easier tips that can be changed depending on events, your mood or anytime you want is nail color.  The perfect hue can fancy up even the most ordinary look.  Some of the colors we love this summer are navy, grey/silver, coral, rose and the ever classics of cherry red and bubblegum pink.  Obviously some of these are easy to transition into fall (don’t worry we won’t call the fashion police on you) as the darker hues and the more neutral tones are often just as beautiful with the fall clothing colors.  We are also in major love with the options for the at home manicures lately.  Gel polish sets are a great investment as many times they include a polish/base with a good gel top coat.  No need to purchase that pricy get light either, the sets often offer the same benefits as the expensive packs.  Updating that manicure for the next season or color choice is easy as pie!

Now go out and enjoy your day, pick up some fun polish and Get Your MODE On!

7.29.16 Nail the perfect look

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We are taking a different angle on our Fashion Tip Friday today as we think it is one of the most important tips for all women.  While we highly believe in good style, great looks and easy ways to look and feel your best, we have an even bigger idea.  Our tip this week: Be Kind and Smile.  As women today we have immense pressure to look great, be healthy and have it all together.  The pressures of social media, perfect filters and criticism (even from those we don’t even know) on our every move can add such pressure to women who are simply being themselves.  We hear stories of body shaming, mom shaming, or over the top criticism of women who are putting themselves out there as leaders, story changers or advocates.  How about we, as women, play nice, act nice, smile and give other women grace and not criticism.  Building up other women and approaching your day with kindness and a smile is free, it is the best accessory, the perfect outfit and the answer to many questions on rock any look.

Let’s make change MODE girls and add some kindness and a smile to the world today!

7.22.16 The best tip we can give all women

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Adjust the Sails!

When I pulled off my cute striped blazer on Thursday in order to easily lift and stack 11, 25 lb boxes to drag down to the UPS hub, something suddenly hit me.  You see,  just like I was changing outfits to easily transition from the role media interview to delivery woman, so an entrepreneur has to be able to maneuver seamlessly from role to role as they work to build their company. In fact I had just talked to the editor of Fargo INC! about that very thing just an hour earlier.  In our time together I told him that entrepreneurs that succeed are those that can adjust the sails and change direction depending on the wind. I learned this early on in my small business journey and to be quite frank, the same message applies to me today. Often this redirection can look like a significant concept change.  A great example of this is when we launched the reinvented “MODE concept” in 2008 and chose to move forward from the Mama Mia maternity concept which had first positioned us in retail.  Similarly, it can look like minor adjustments throughout the day as you observe the needs to the business and the team.

Take last Thursday for example, I started my day with a commute to Fargo for a press interview. Concept conversation, reminiscing about the company’s history and culture talk were all part of that first hour of the day. When the reporter and photographer left, there was hands on work that needed to be done. Throwing aside the blazer and multiple accessories (all of which looked fabulous for the camera but would hinder my mobility), I boxed up, labeled and delivered boxes so that my team wouldn’t have to stop their day to solve a problem that I had identified and could easily do. Fast forward to putting my blazer back on for meetings, conversations, a store visit; blazer back off for an in store team meeting and office hour and then back on one last time for another commute, landing me at an evening event celebrating women.

Just as the ability to be agile and adapt to the needs around us on a daily basis and big picture is essential for a forward trajectory in any company, so the ability to stay on task and use time efficiently is key. Although a master of none, I have observed that all great entrepreneurial leaders find these pieces to be key to their success. So, with that knowledge, I press ahead always ready to adjust my sails as needed whenever the wind drives our ship, called Small Business on a different, unknown or new course.

Get Your MODE On!

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The Many Stages of HUSTLE!

I had a real life lesson in the different stages of hustle a couple weeks ago when after 10 years of growing my business, after 10 years of working “on the business” instead of “in the business” (like all business coaches tell us entrepreneurs to do), I found myself back behind the counter of my original retail store.

When you hear that entrepreneurs need to hustle, we all agree. Entrepreneurs need to talk about their ideas; develop a product that works; attend networking events; speak to dozens of investors; entrepreneurs need to HUSTLE!! Although, that initial hustle is a real one, it is not the only stage this verb will be realized in the life of a business.

At MODE I have traveled through several “hustle” stages. After creating a retail concept that was ready to franchise, (I definitely hustled to get MODE to that point) I found myself moving into round two as I began to look for prospective franchisees. Finding that first franchisee is a hard task for any franchisor. Finding that brave sole that is willing to take on the risk of signing a 10 year contract with a proven concept but no other franchisees as peers can be a daunting task, but I did it. I hustled and I found that number one and then that number two and then that number three until I soon had just under a dozen MODE franchisees, all rocking and rolling. Amidst that emerging franchise growth I found myself in a “hustle” for a third time. How do you scale a business? How do you stay ahead of yourself, always anticipating the future and its issues and its potential? How do you train a team to lead? You grind though intentional networking and concentrated mentoring.  Attending events, cold calling industry experts and asking for 30 minutes of their time or a word of advice, the “learning stage” of the hustle is real and it’s necessary! In this stage you learn to ask and listen.

After ten years of fighting my way through the three stages above I was just ready to sit! Ready to sit in an office (in 10 years of business I have never had my own office) and appreciate the work that had been done. The day after I moved into my new corner office, I found myself staring straight into the face of the “back to the original hustle” stage. That stage when you find yourself not at the corner office desk you have dreamed of for 10 years, but instead behind the original retail counter where the dream was originally born. At first this stage threw me for a loop. My mind screamed “Why me? Why now?”  Maybe even a little “it’s not fair!”  However, I am an entrepreneur! I HUSTLE! Therefore that “woe is me” attitude only lasted 5 minutes and then I put on my best pair of jeans, I grabbed my coffee and I hit the floor, (the retail floor that is). I choose to take this hustle stage as the one that will give me the opportunity to re-experience the roots of my brand. The hustle that will give my brand the “back to the basics” perspective of why this brand works and grew in the first place. I am choosing to hustle while I take this opportunity to roll up my sleeves and once again work IN the business, all the while still working ON the business. My focus is to hustle in a way that shows my team what a leader looks like and shows my franchisees that the system works when you work the system! This round is a smart hustle for sure.

Go out and find your hustle this week and Get Your MODE On!

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Emerging Franchise Convention

Ciara had to privilege of being part of the 2016 Emerging Franchise Convention in Miami, where she was a guest panelist discussing the recent Joint Employer issue and how it effects emerging franchise brands. #emergingfranchisors2015 #ifa #franchiseforward

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Store #12 to open in Sioux City, IA

MODE is excited to announce the grand opening of its newest location in Sioux City, IA.  The Sioux City location will be owned and operated by Rick and Tammy Bertrand.

The MODE Sioux City Grand Opening is scheduled for November 20th, 2015 at 5001 Sergeant Rd. Ste. 265. In celebration of their Grand Opening, MODE Sioux City will be giving away 20 pair of designer jeans to the first 20 guests daily, Friday November 20th  and Saturday November 21st.

Regular Business hours are Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

For more information, visit our store page http://shopmodestore.com/sioux-city/ and “Like” us on Facebook for the most up to date info on our store.

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First ever franchisee event!

MODE had their franchisee event this past weekend in Fargo. Franchisee owners from Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks and Sioux Falls were in attendance.

Franchisee Event 2013

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