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Meet Melanie Berger of Mariwear in Sudbury

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Berger.

Melanie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Mariwear was founded in 2012 after I had searched for a specific type of apparel and realized it didn’t exist. I created this unique line of apparel to solve a pain point for women — to get out of their bra yet still feel dressed. Originally conceived as lounge/sleepwear, Mariwear has outfitted women in many situations including working from home, medical recovery, travel, spa/resort wear.

The unique design has received a patent from the USPTO based on its integrated shape and support, but no wires or fasteners.

The balance of the initial collection was recently donated to Emerson Hospital (Concord, MA) and The Healing Garden for patients undergoing cancer treatment and/or long-term medical recovery.

The second collection is currently under development with new styles.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Definitely not a smooth road. Having not had any prior experience in fashion design and manufacturing, I had to rely heavily on consultants – some of whom were not as trustworthy as one would like. Then I encountered the sudden death of my best consultant who was interfacing with the factory to fulfill my over 250 pre-orders. He passed away from a heart attack overnight.

Then two weeks later my fabric was being transported from CA to the factory in NYC but it happened to be the same day Hurricane Sandy hit.

Tough times for sure!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mariwear story. Tell us more about the business.
The business is based on meeting a need that had previously gone unmet for women. Mariwear is known to be a problem solver for many lifestyle situations. Having our unique design combined with quality fabrics and styles has been helpful. We are very in-tune with our customers and are looking for ways to expand to reach more markets.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I am a believer that things happen the way they are supposed to so even in turbulent times (the sudden death, Hurricane Sandy) I stayed focused. I don’t really believe in good or bad luck, just “life as it is to be”. Being flexible and adaptable is critical. Friends and colleagues often hear me use the phrase, “Plot Twist”!

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