Matilda Jane Clothing comes with the laundering instructions you’d expect on any fashion purchase. But the tag should also come with a cautionary label that says “spontaneous twirling may occur.”
In fact, twirling—and the happiness, creativity and self-confidence that tends to come with it—is a core goal of the Matilda Jane business. The brand has been selling infant, kids’, ‘tweens’, and women’s fashion through boutique-like trunk shows for years, with about 1500 representatives (aka “Trunk Keepers”) nationwide.
Heidi Segedy of Maple Grove has long been shopping Matilda Jane for her daughters—Nora (11) and Lena (4)—and went all in as one of Minnesota’s approximately 20 Trunk Keepers in 2015.
She's had a hard time finding clothing that suits Nora, who has autism. “I want to keep her fashionably dressed—wearing creative things that are unique to her—but not make her look older than she is," Segedy says.
Matilda Jane launches fresh collections each fall and spring, with about 200 coordinating, modest, layerable items per season. “Mini-launches” of a few dozen items each happen monthly, with the excitement building along with the variety in each collection. And a key goal is girls’ self-expression.
“Kids can have fun, mix and match. I can have a trunk show in my neighborhood and have four girls buy the same dress, but it’ll look so different on all of them that you can hardly tell,” says Segedy, who has noticed the same phenomenon at home among her own girls. “Lena will throw on jeggings and her little pink high-tops with a dress. Nora? She’ll go far more feminine.”
Segedy is often surprised by the creative ways young fashionistas wear new pieces, and she says that despite the cutest accessories and most on-trend cuts, it is character and confidence that make an outfit work.
“You can seriously buy a handful of items and mix and match for 15 different looks," she says.
Michelle Lamothe shops Matilda Jane for her daughter Chloe. Chloe wears a uniform to school, and it’s “the most sterile thing you can wear,” Lamothe says. So, it’s a treat for her to come home and jump into something fun and creative.
Lamothe is willing to pay a slightly higher price for Chloe to have high-quality, age-appropriate pieces that they both love. From start to finish, the line celebrates uniqueness and youth through its fun patterns and colors.
“[Chloe] just feels pretty—it’s like little girl magic," Lamothe says. "Sometimes she just looks at me and says ‘Mom, look at my twirl!’”
Joanna Gaines—of HGTV’s Fixer-Upper fame—recently designed a line for the company. The conservative-yet-trendy signature Matilda Jane look is right in step with the Gaines’ approach to family, fashion and life.