Mode Merr is one of the brands that Cats Like Us has carried since the very beginning. The brand epitomizes some of the best qualities of modern retro clothing - it's well made, creatively designed, classic, and just fun! It really appeals to not only the pinup girl and rockabilly hellcat, but every gal who wants to put a little retro with an edge in their wardrobe!
The line is made by a gal named Angela that is so fun, creative and like minded, we thought you should get to know her a little better. I can't say enough good things about her. She's one of the most organized business people I have had the pleasure of working with and here is her story...
Photo by Arthur Eisenberg
Do you have formal training, how did Mode Merr start?
I bounced around to a few design schools but got most of my professional experience working as a costumer at The Boston Lyric Opera. I was a DIY sewer from a very young age and gained a lot of knowledge through trial and error while creating designs for myself and friends. I have always loved vintage sewing books and I enjoy blending old school methods of construction with modern techniques.
Where did the name, Mode Merr come from?
The name Mode Merr came about while I was designing in High School. ( I am very lucky that I have very creative parents that encouraged my siblings and I to peruse our dreams of creativity driven careers.) Mode means fashion or method in french and “Merr” pronounced like the second syllable in summer or like frankincense and myrrh was really a sound rather than a word.
When I was an angst ridden teen, I used to wear some pretty crazy outfits to school which resulted in some less than pleasant comments from my much more conservative classmates. Instead of being vulgar or snarky, I would respond by uttering Merr. That word or growl became my signature and the name of my new design company.
What inspires you? What is your favorite item that you've designed?
I am really inspired by fabrics! If I was to have another career, it would be as a fabric buyer or textile designer. I have to say, that the Jet Setter Suit, in it's various forms is my favorite design thus far because I feel like it blends retro glamour with modern fabrics and fit. I love adding trim and bows to things and I have done that with this design.
What is your most popular item?
I would have to say that my Perfect Skirt is the most popular item. They fit women's curves and are pretty darn versatile. That's why I offer so many colors and fabrics. They are great for day, night, work and play. I love when gals pair The Perfect Skirt with vintage tops. It's a nice combination.
You outfit a wide size range and a variety of people, are there any famous people you are excited to have wear your clothes?
I have had the honor of making my perfect skirts for Dita Von Teese and Helen Mirren, but I have to say that I most enjoyed making designs for the top names in the New York burlesque scene including the World Famous *Bob*, Angie Pontani and the World Famous Pontani Sisters, Dirty Martini, Jo Weldon, Little Brooklyn and Peek a Boo Pointe.
What are you the most proud of?
I am really pleased to have so many long term return customers that are still wearing and enjoying my designs bought years ago as well as current pieces. I am most proud of the quality of construction and fit of my pieces that makes them long lasting go-to favorites.
You like cats right, but you also have some cute doggies, can you tell us a little about them?
I am lucky to have cats and dogs! Rudy is a 23 pound long haired Maine Coon cat and Ozzie and Harriet are sister and brother short haired lucky black cats. I love my cats very much, they are just not as hammy as Bridgette and Gidget. My Rat Terrier mixes who come to work and lounge in my office when we aren't out on an adventure somewhere. All of my creatures are rescues and have their own strange little personalities.
Our last event in New York, The Mode Merr Fashion and Burlesque Brunch Spectacular included a goodie bag consisting of some great promotional materials from a wonderful group of small businesses that really care about animals. Proceeds for the participation went BARC Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition. I am thrilled that Cats Like Us participated. Thank you
No, thank you, Angela for planning and hosting such a great event!
Photo by Arthur Eisenberg
What is it like working with Cats Like Us?
I love working with Cats Like Us being that you too are an independent small business with a brick and mortar location and an ever growing on line retailer. I love that you model, photograph and describe all of your products yourselves for that personalized boutique experience. I know that you and Andrew pour as much love and effort into your business as I do in Mode Merr. It has been really inspiring to watch your business grow over the years. I am so pleased that you have chosen to carry Mode Merr.
You recently moved, does this mean you have some bigger and better future projects in the works?
I am so happy to be in Pawtucket, Rhode Island now! The new studio is sun filled and beautiful. Providence is a wonderful city full of creative people doing lots of fun things. Now that I am located in a more vibrant area, I plan to offer more in studio shopping events. I have also been inspired to expand the Mode Merr brand to include a more extensive custom plus size range and a custom alternative bridal service. I do make custom white wedding dresses with a Mode Merr flare but I really prefer to make wedding dresses in black, red, pink, purple and of course leopard print.
How can people get a hold of you? Email? Website? Fb page?
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A BIG thank you to Angela for taking the time to answer our questions especially with her busy schedule of moving, planning the Fashion and Burlesque Brunch Spectacular, and day to day daily business!
Now that you know a little more behind Mode Merr, please support local business and Made in the USA, especially Mode Merr!!
You can find Mode Merr at catslikeus.com here: