Hello! I'm Maddi. I am the owner and designer of Opaline Hue and I want share a little more of who is behind this brand - that's me.
I grew up in Colorado in a family of six. I grew up doing competitive swimming - I was a backstroker. While I wouldn't say I was the outdoorsiest of the Coloradoans, I did end up experiencing many awesome outdoor sports over the years. I had the chance to ski, snowboard, backcountry ski, wakeboard, raft, hike, rock climb, and backpack.
I'll tell you two small stories that probably have a big impact on the Opaline Hue brand story.
First, my best childhood friend was Brazilian. She and her mom would go back to visit Brazil for two weeks every other summer. She was allowed to invite a friend each time and one summer I was chosen! I remember that her mom said my family would only need to purchase the plane ticket and everything else would be covered. I was probably 12 at the time and I remember hesitantly waiting as my mom hung up the phone with her mom. My mom and dad talked while I nervously waited for the verdict. I walked back into the room and they told me I could go! This story is so funny because this trip was amazing and we made such great memories - but the part that came to mind today as I reflected was the layover. If I recall correctly, we had a layover somewhere overnight. It was meant to be just an hour or so, but the second flight was delayed overnight so we got a hotel. Since it was unexpected, all my toiletries were in my packed bag. I hated the discomfort of being without my toothbrush, proper pajamas and clean clothes. It may seem obvious now, but this was a huge revelation to me as a 12 year old. I distinctly remember vowing to never let something like this happen again! Something planted in me the need to be prepared for anything (I call this phenomenon backpacking through life). I usually keep simple pleasures like chapstick, hand lotion and a small sewing kit with me wherever I go.
The second story is from a rafting trip a few weeks before my freshman year of college. My dorm was invited to join a weeklong rafting trip with the Outdoor Program. Again, my parents were generous to let me go when they probably wanted to keep me around as much as they could before sending me off on my own! I got the packing list and on it was what you'd expect: river shoes, swimsuits, polyester shorts and top (cotton kills!) and 2 PAIRS OF UNDERWEAR (!!). I was confused about why something that takes up the least amount of space would be cut down on. The idea was to pack as little as possible - only what you need. In reality we ended up wearing our swimsuits and shorts 90% of the time, and only changed into dry clothes for the night.
This and a few other backpacking trips instilled in me the 'less is more' mentality - which is how I operate Opaline Hue. I began with just two styles and one fabric, one color. We're building to two colors coming up here (Cinnamon Stone), and we have new styles pending. The designs are simple silhouettes for versatility, but also they're designed with production costs in mind. Less is more.
What I also learned on this trip was that yes - you should pack less and only what you need. Sometimes though, you need a little comfort. I didn't even think to bring lotion on this backpacking trip, something that brings my skin serious relief after a swim. I didn't need it per say, but I needed it. I design Opaline Hue with these needs in mind. Needs like wrinkle resistance, breathability, odor resistance. Sometimes we need our sweater to be more than just a great looking sweater. I am creating clothes that do more for you.
Sometimes we need our sweater to be more than just a great looking sweater.
Well, here's a little more about me!
I went to Boise State University, then transferred after my dad passed away back to Colorado State University to be closer to my family. I reconnected with an old boyfriend and we got married (we're celebrating 7 years this summer!).
I studied Human Development and Family studies at CSU. After I graduated, I worked in social work as a case manager. Later, we moved to Chicago just because we wanted to, and built a community there that I miss dearly and will love always. I decided on a career change (for many many reasons but one being I didn't feel I was healed enough from my own trauma to walk others through theirs), so I looked for a seamstress job in Chicago and enrolled in a Fashion Certificate at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. THIS was a dream come true for me. I felt so alive going to art classes in downtown Chicago. What a dream. I'm so grateful for that experience. I started working on Opaline Hue in 2018 and officially opened in 2019!
Another significant experience that informs Opaline Hue is the healing work I spent years on. I am so very serious about caring for my own mental health, and I went through the trenches, unpacking and unraveling my own story to get to a place of real stability. This experience impacts Opaline Hue in my own capacity to run it, as well as how I hope to serve people.
We moved to the West of Ireland in 2019 for Jake to pursue a research degree. Living here is a dream come true, and doesn't change too much with running Opaline Hue.
If you read this far, I hope you enjoyed a little background on me. Thanks for reading what I write. It means a lot to me! Please feel free to reach out with any questions.
I want to know a little more about you! You can share below, or DM on instagram. I'm also doing some market research this week and would be so grateful if you'd take the time to share your opinions. This is something that will really impact my business moving forward and you'll get a 10% off code at the end!