It is actually an acronym for Marta and Doug (or Mommy and Daddy depending on who you ask).
In early 2004, Marta and I launched a new business by choice and out of thin air. After receiving news that we were to have a baby, we endeavored to find a way to create a business that would allow us to work from home and to raise our daughter. Marta already had an awesome son from another life, but for me – this was my first – and a girl.
I had spent over 30 years in the restaurant and nightclub business whereas Marta is a highly trained social worker by profession. I traveled a lot for work and I didn’t want to miss watching my daughter grow up. Marta and I both grew up during a time when it was normal for our fathers to go to work before we woke up and come home long after we went to bed.
At the time, we were already doing something outside our “regular” professions, as we had 4 retail stores in Chicago selling home accessories, furniture and art. It was Marta who suggested that we try to start a wholesale women’s accessory business, as we had recently been carrying a lot of handmade purses in our stores and they were selling really well. I was pretty resistant to the idea – as I never saw myself as a “Handbag Guy”. But, she really wanted to do this together. I finally - reluctantly agreed.
We started the business in the basement of our house with 58 pieces in a 6 page catalog. With the help of an ever expanding off premise warehouse and a small staff of unbelievable people that are still with us today, we started learning this crazy business - slowly adding to our product selection and customer base. We continued working out of our basement for 7 years!
More Than Just About Fashion and Style
Now, after 13+ years in business, we have thousands of MAD customers all over the world and offer over 4,000 unique pieces spanning across 12 fashion and home categories! We no longer operate from our home office and have grown to include 18 full-time employees, 80+ Territory Managers, and gorgeous showrooms strategically located across the country.
We have truly been blessed. Our daughter is now 13 years old and our son graduated from college a few years ago has joined the business as Vice President of Operations! While we don't work from home anymore and travel a bit more than we would like to, we have been able to realize our dream – and NEVER missed an important family milestone or event in all this time.
We are extremely thankful to our team members, our reps, our families and most importantly – our customers for allowing us to build a company that we are so very proud of and that has enabled us to be MAD “with Style”!
We hope you enjoy our Mad Style!
Marta & Doug Stein
AKA - MAD
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