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MODE Sioux City on KCAU9 to talk Denim Drive

MODE Sioux City Manager, Kristie McGregor sat down with Jenna Rehnstrom of KCAU9 to talk all things MODE and the monthly Denim Drive going on.  Click on the link below to see the whole feature!

http://www.siouxlandproud.com/news/video/mode-denim-drive_20170310232452/670147550

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Happy Fashion Tip Friday MODE gals! Welcome to February, the month of love!

Speaking of love… do you love your skinny jeans paired with your booties? I know we do since we are the Home of the $40 Designer Jean! There are so many ways to cuff your denim for the perfect cuffed fashionable look. But sometimes, your jeans are just a bit too long for the single roll/ fold over cuff look (especially us shorter gals). So, if you want the look of the single roll cuff, watch the video below and “Get Your MODE On!”

 

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MODE Bismarck shares tips for new looks in the new year!

 MODE Bismarck recently appeared on KFYR TV where they shared some fun new looks for the new year!

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Ciara Stockeland on Social Geek Radio

Ciara Stockeland recently joined Deb Evans and Jack Monson as a guest on Social Geek Radio where she discussed testifying before Congress on challenges for small businesses and her thoughts on where we’re going. Check out the full interview here:  http://socialgeekradio.com/2016/12/14/small-business-and-entreprenuership/

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The turkey has been eaten and the pie has been sliced, you know what comes next…more holiday events! Instead of stressing over buying a completely new wardrobe or making sure you have the right look for the month ahead, we are offering some easy tips to dressing for the holidays.

  • Jeans are of course our go to as the “Home of the $40 Designer Jean” and we think that any occasion calls for this classic look. Grab a pair of skinny jeans and pair with something sparkly.  Go big and bold with a shirt detailed in sparkle, or trim it down with a more casual look and layer on the sparkle accessories.  Tis’ the season to not worry about how much is too much, it IS sparkle season!
  • Look at playing around with winter white. Not sure you want to wear blue jeans all holiday season?  How about trying out some white ones and pairing it with some other white top.  Adding a touch of sparkle or a great scarf to a white look can give you just what you need to make that winter white look oh so chic!
  • Our feet can definitely take a beating this time of year. If you live in a boot necessary climate and hate having to waltz around in stocking feet at a home event, consider bringing a simple pair of ballet flats with on your adventures.  These are easily tuck able in a bag and can be great for the office, home or event.
  • Finally, sometimes you just want to be comfortable in a dressed up look. Don’t skimp on that extra cookie with eggnog if that is your thing!  Try some comfortable leggings and a great tunic or sweater dress.  No uncomfortable feelings with this style and it can be worn in all climates.  Warmed up for the cooler regions with simple accessories and simply paired with jewelry in your warmer climate.

The one thing to remember is to be comfortable in your style as you embrace all that the season has to offer this year!  Simply enjoying the company of co-workers, friends, family and strangers makes the season bright!

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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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Giving Back Gives Back in More Ways Than One

On a cloudy Tuesday, I visited with a customer about the weather, her plans for the weekend and the pile of jeans, tops and accessories which I was ringing up. Pausing to look up from the point of sale screen, I saw tears creating a wet sparkle in the eyes of my customer. She softly said “Thank you. I work at the YWCA and I want to say thank you. What you did for the women with your denim drive – you will never know what that meant to our guests.” “You are most welcome,” I said “MODE loves giving back.” Later in the day as I was helping another MODE shopper, that customer suddenly pointed to the Organization of the Week sign on the counter and stated “I want to donate to that. I love that MODE is always giving back.” Two separate customers in a day. Two lives touched and through those two lives, countless others.

Why should a company like MODE,  participate in community events or give back to those in the community? Loyal customers are born out of an effort to involve our MODE businesses in the needs of our local communities. Besides the new customers that we meet through our acts of kindness, the immeasurable feeling of goodwill when we give, and the eventual financial benefits as we grow our businesses — what other long lasting seeds are planted through giving back?

  1. Giving back builds new connections

We can all pinpoint a time when we first met someone who would become a dear friend or a trusted mentor. Many times these relationships are found at a local community event and cultivated through conversations of working together in our communities. Stepping into the community by giving back gives us a reason to get out from behind our counter or away from our desk and into the community we live in, so that we might meet those filling a community need.

  1. Giving back creates a team with purpose

As business owners with an extreme focus on ensuring our businesses grow, we often forget that building a vision of doing good will rally our teams and encourage them in their own quest for living intentionally. Everybody desires something bigger than themselves to work towards. Giving our team members the opportunity to experience that “feeling” of doing something good, creates a team that respects one another and their leader in a new and profound way.

  1. Giving back builds trust between your business and the community it serves.

Just like the examples I shared above, everyday we come in contact with strangers that walk through our business doors. As we help women shop differently at our MODE locations, we work to build an environment in which women not only feel comfortable shopping for something that makes them feel good but also gives them a place to come for community! Creating relationships with community non-profits and community organizations with a purpose of giving back, drives that term “differently” to a whole new level. Showing our customers that we not only care about how they feel but we also truly care for those who may never become MODE customers, builds a bridge of trust between our businesses and the communities we serve in.

In 2012 at our first franchise convention, I brought in the first guest speaker that MODE Franchise Convention would see! Bob, the owner of the local Breadsmith store was our featured guest. A franchisee himself, I wanted invited Bob to come and share with our small group why he is constantly donating loaves of bread, coupons, gift cards and gift baskets and also to share why he never says no. Any group that asks for a donation receives a gift from the Fargo Breadsmith with a resounding “You bet we can do that!” Was this something that the franchisor mandated? Was this something he was trained to do? “No, it is not mandated!” he said. “I give because the community gives to me.” Each customer that walked through his doors was giving their time to shop in his bakery. He couldn’t help but give back.

My hope is that you can see why giving back is so important at MODE and why we will keep giving back locally and globally!

Live generously and Get Your MODE On!

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If you are like us, we L-O-V-E scarf season!  Scarves are cozy fashion accessories that allow us to stay warm and look amazing – what’s not to love?!  Today we are bringing you some great ways to style the popular blanket scarf!  You may have seen these in some of our stores or have noticed other women rockin the look.  Too often we think “I don’t know how I’d wear that” when we see something out of our normal look.  Well, take a peek at the many ways you can wear this versatile scarf!  From a traditional look to doubling as a top, you choose whatever way makes you look and feel amazing, MODE girls.

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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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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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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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The Queen of Overstock

Fargo INC Magazine sat down with Founder and COO, Ciara Stockeland to discuss overstock, franchising and the MODE culture.  To see the entire issue, visit joom.ag/GGgQ

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The Challenges and Nuances of Starting a Franchise Business

Ramon Ray of Smart Hustle Magazine recently sat down with Ciara Stockeland of MODE to discuss the growth from owning one location to franchising.  See the full article here http://www.smarthustle.com/ciara-stockeland-starting-franchise-business/

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How to Increase Franchise Opportunities for Women

MODE Founder and COO, Ciara Stockeland recently provided her thoughts on increasing opportunities for women in the franchise industry.  As Stockeland notes, “while the franchising industry is chock-full of viable career opportunities for both genders, it can be a particularly smart decision for women entrepreneurs.”  To read the full feature, click on the link below!

http://www.franchise.org/how-to-increase-franchise-opportunities-for-women

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We’ve all been there – trying to decide if it is a casual, comfy or classy outdoor event.  It is a struggle when the weather is hot, the sun is shining and the humidity is creeping in.  We all want to look good, but we know the term “BBQ” means many things to many people.  We came up with some tips for you to dress the part regardless of the weather and event type.

Tip #1 – the invite is simply “BBQ”, but you aren’t sure of the attire – or will there be activities?  How about this, pair a nice pair of shorts (denim or cotton) with a fun and flattering tank.  A nice loose tank like the chiffon tanks we have at MODE pair well as they can be easily dressed up or down.  We then suggest a long, yet simple necklace or a fun pair of earrings.  These can be easily taken off and put in a purse if the environment is a bit more low key.  Add a simple pair of nicer flip flops or a strappy sandal and call it good!

Tip #2 – the invite is a “BBQ” with a pool party, but you know it isn’t the type of place where you can show up with your floatie and snorkel.  We suggest wearing a fun sun dress or a strapless maxi along with some strappy sandals.  A bonus of this is that you can put you swim top on as a strapless bra under the dress and easily change into your suit if a dive in the pool becomes an option.

Tip #3 – a BBQ that turns into a later evening with a possible bonfire.  Hot days don’t always mean hot nights.  Some of our MODE girls live in climates that get downright cool at night.  For this type of event, pair your daytime attire (be it a dress, shorts and a tank or a pair of capris) with a nice scarf.  Sometimes a chill can be avoided by a little coverage on the neck area.  A light cardigan is also a great go to as it can easily be brought in a bag or purse.

We don’t get many months of summer, so be sure you are enjoying them to the fullest and always feeling great!

7.1.16 Surviving the Summer BBQ

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Until recently, I thought it was my weird obsession, I was a sunglasses hoarder! In cleaning out my stash of shades, I found out that many women have a collection of sunglasses similar to their shoe collection.  It’s true, there can be a shoe and a shade for every occasion, let’s examine the options!

The formal occasion sunglasses: these often include the types of frames that have clean and simple lines.  Less attention on the frames and more on the simplicity of it all.  Soft corners, casual colors and a matching color scheme with your outfit.

The casual sunglasses: while many expensive brands are designing the plastic looking shades, these are often more for a casual look.  Given the texture and sometimes the color and style of the look, they go well with jeans, shorts or even a day at the beach in your favorite swimsuit.

The concert and party shades: These are the fun pop of color, eclectic styles and trendier looking frames.  Often big brands will slap their logo on a great pair of shades and use them as giveaways.  If you are one to lose your shades at big events, seek these businesses out before you hit up the next big concert or festival.  The fun pops of color are also so great to go with any fun summer look and are the perfect accessory!

One final tip as it is definitely wedding season.  We recommend not wearing sunglasses at extremely formal events, unless it is after the event.  Even the fanciest of shades do not always go well with that black tie affair!

Ladies, with sunglasses priced at $14.99 everyday at MODE, you can definitely find a look to compliment any outfit!

6.24.16 Sunglasses for every occasion

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Beautiful weather brings about some of our favorite looks and along with them come amazing shoes. With the sunshine out, I brought out two of my favorite pairs of shoes this week, a pair of cute flip-flops and my go to ballet flats. I love these shoes, they let my feet breath a bit after the long winter of hibernation. The only problem is, they leave your feet feeling like they were in a marathon as the piggies aren’t used to the rubbing of the fabric, leather or plastic on our summer shoes. Another sad side effect is the smell from wearing a ballet flat in the warm weather. Let’s be honest, nobody has tim for blistered feet and smelly shoes. Luckily we have some tips for you to get through some of the most painful and awkward shoe problems of summer.
Blisters, they are inevitable in the summer. Wearing heels on a hot day, new shoes needing to be broken in or just letting our feet get used to our summer shoes, we tend to brew up a few. A first step to try involves when you buy your shoes. Our feet swell during the day and even more so in the summer. Try to do your shoe shopping at the end of the day to get a good feel for the type of shoe you are trying on. Another preventative measure is to mold your new shoes to your feet. Simply spritz your new shoes with a bit of water until they are damp. Wear them around until they dry and let them form to your foot.
Shoe smell, ick! Ballet flats are so cute, but many times a culprit for odor. This is my favorite tip and it works! Put a few drops of essential oils (I personally like the DoTerra purify, but others work well too) with a few tablespoons of baking soda in your shoes. Let it sit overnight and pour out the baking soda in the morning. Be careful with leather and other materials as the oil can stain!
Let those toes enjoy the summer sun this year!

 

4.29.16 Summer Shoes

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