Ya gotta be fearless when you work in fashion and it’s not all about designing clothes. I mean yeah, that’s a big part of it, but when you own a fashion brand, well, you have to make sure everything you do tells your story. From the clothes themselves to the logo on the label, a clothing line has to show who it is.
When we launched MAJAMAS almost 20 years ago, we had just patented the first nursing tank top for new moms and created a whole new category called Transition Wear in the maternity market. Our logo was pink and blue (ugh, I know!) and our font was Comic Sans (where’s that spitting emoji when I need one?) but we were entering the maternity business so pink and blue seemed perfect.
That pink and blue logo was in our clothing, on our hang tags and all our packaging for about six years. Now remember, when we jumped into the maternity market, we were one of the few collections focusing on women AFTER they had a baby. Instead of doing what we eventually did, which was to make all our nursing tops maternity friendly, we introduced a line for maternity only. Our plan was to get into the stores that didn’t support breastfeeding by selling them a collection that fit for pregnancy only. So we launched our maternity-only line called Nixilu. The Nixi part came from Nixi, the Roman goddess of childbirth and the Lu ending came from our Golden Retriever Lucy.
We had our daughters draw flowers for the logo and we spent a few hundred dollars on Nixilu tags and a few thousand more on the trademark. We kept the MAJAMAS name for our nursing line, lost the pink and blue baby colors and made the font more traditional, separating our nursing line from our maternity-only Nixilu line. Let’s just say Nixilu was an expensive experiment that went belly-up… stay with me now…
After 2008, all the small maternity boutiques that were the bulk of our business also went belly-up, so in 2009 we began designing loungewear all women could wear. Instead of sticking with the MAJAMAS label, we named our line after my grandfather Eliseo who was a clothing designer from Caposele, Italy. We were known so well in the maternity world, we didn’t want our loungewear collection to have a maternity stigma attached to it, so naming it after my long gone grandfather seemed like a good idea at the time.
We used lemons as logos and even added a little blurb about my grandpa endorsing our new collection. Again, we spent a lot of money on tags and a trademark that we used for less than a year, but the collection was beautiful and a great test to see how our clothing would do in a bigger market outside of maternity.
We realized we owned three trademarks that felt very disconnected, so we thought by putting them all under our corporate name, we could create some consistency. Any marketing company would wonder why we’d want to introduce yet another name to the public, but obviously we never checked with them… Hang on, it gets better…
So we started going by our corporate name, RAGGLE INC. RAGGLE is an acronym that came from using the first letters of everyone living in our household at the time: Russell, Adelaide, Germaine, Genevieve, Lucy (she was our first dog, cut me some slack!) and Emma (my 16 year old cat at the time who died shortly after).
It probably would have been cheaper to hire a marketing firm after spending more money on all the advertising and marketing of yet another logo, but sometimes learning from expensive mistakes is all ya need to get it right.
What did we learn? We realized once we took MAJAMAS off all those labels and all our marketing materials, we lost all our internet history. We had no more following, no SEO and no recognizable brand, making it feel as if we were once again brand new to the clothing business. I hope all you business and marketing majors are paying attention!
Enter phase four, or are we on five? After realizing the error of our ways we brought the MAJAMAS name back to all our tags and marketing materials. Even after introducing our retro baby line, we cleverly call Shirley & Victor (named after my mom Shirley and her brother Victor) we used “Baby by MAJAMAS” as the tag line.
If you’re reading this from the break room at your marketing firm, I’m here to tell you your grad school tuition may not have gone to waste.
In our defense of “experimenting” with multiple colors, styles, fonts and even brand names, you must remember our business changed a lot over the years. Our motivation came from trying to stay relevant.
Let’s face it, the maternity business isn’t what it used to be and even if it were, that pink and blue logo wouldn’t be the best way to tell our story, especially after expanding into Whole Foods Markets and offering our new collection for Men.
A guy named Stephen Hawking said, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” So I guess that makes us pretty smart… but maybe he wasn’t talking about branding…
We may have gone thru those awkward years (I’m still wincing looking at some of this stuff) but our mission has never changed. Applause please for MAJAMAS EARTH, our eco-friendly, ethically – 100% USA made – Women’s, Men’s, Maternity and Baby brand. FINALLY a clothing company that makes beautiful clothing that doesn’t harm our beautiful planet, so everyone can CARE WHAT YOU WEAR!
– Germaine Caprio, Company Owner & Designer
JOIN ME & #CAREWHATYOUWEAR!
TO HEAR FROM YOU
What do you think of the new ME?
Please share your own thoughts with us – let’s get a conversation started in the comments below! Your comment may even win you a free MAJAMAS garment this week!