After more than a decade of struggling to find classic, high quality, and easy-to-care for professional work clothing and accessories, KaLeena Thomas decided to stop shopping and start the solution. In January 2021, she launched J. Margaret Weaver, a brand specializing in simple and smart work clothing for women. Her vision is to empower and simplify life for women by streamlining the first decision you make every day – what am I going to wear?
The concept for J. Margaret Weaver came to KaLeena after spending years scouring retail stores and websites to try and find classic, work-appropriate dresses, shirts, suits, and jewelry that minimized the attention on her appearance and maximized attention on her performance. She saw universal issues: tops were sheer or had a low neckline, skirts were too short or finished in loud fabrics, dresses were sleeveless and not conducive to chilly office temperatures, and clothing was often adorned with ruffles and large bows. Adding to the list of issues, most fabrics were dry-clean only, adding time to her errands every week and draining her bank account. After becoming a mom, KaLeena had even less time to spend on shopping, laundry, and getting ready in the morning, and wanted a simple “uniform” to pull out every day.
To create the solution, KaLeena started by enlisting a group of like-minded women for input to create the “perfect shirt” for the office – now called "The Mimi". The Mimi can be paired with any existing wardrobe and worn wherever your day takes you - from work to happy hour or dinner, to church, or on a date. The Mimi boasts a classic design, comfortable, machine-washable fabric, and is versatile enough to dress up with a suit or pair with jeans for a casual look.
KaLeena is also passionate about supporting women-owned enterprises and giving back to her community. To this end, she has partnered with Rightfully Sewn, a Kansas City-based organization that creates jobs and opportunities through the business of fashion with a seamstress training program, public sewing and fashion design classes, and small batch production services. Rightfully Sewn produces all of J. Margaret Weaver’s merchandise in its Kansas City atelier using small batch production techniques.
Customer-Centered. The input of our customers on their needs is central to the design process. From machine-washable fabrics to functional designs, our clothing and accessories are designed and curated with the customer in mind.
Size-Inclusive. Great style should be for everyone. We are launching with sizes 00 - 20 (XXS - XXL) and will invest in further expansion in the future.
Ethically-Produced. We want to be proud to tell you who made your clothes. Our clothing and scarves are designed and produced in Kansas City using small-batch production techniques, and our accessories are sourced from small businesses that produce their merchandise in the United States under ethical guidelines.
KaLeena's approach to design is to solicit input on every aspect of a garment from our current customers. By engaging the women who wear J. Margaret Weaver clothing, each piece is tailored to meet the functional needs and design preferences of the women who will wear it.