Before I introduce this weeks Candid Keeper, I’m sure you are all chomping at the bit to know who won last weeks random comment contest. Miss Erica Scott, you can send Laurenw@matildajaneclothing.com a quick email letting her know that you’ve been chosen. Enjoy!
Most Valued Form of Character:
ALL of them. In no particular order. 😉
Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and where are you now?
A: My name is Maura Feind, and I am a cheese head from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I’ve lived in Chicago since 2001. I have 2 beautiful daughters, a wonderful husband and let’s not forget our Tibetan terrier Gracie. I am a crazy runner who adores spending time with her family and friends over a good cup of coffee or glass of wine. 🙂
Q: How did you meet and fall in love with your husband?
A: I always love to tell this story.:) My husband lived in the apartment building next to mine, and he worked in the building downtown next to mine ironically. One very HOT summer day, we were both riding the bus home from work. We ended up standing next to each other. The air conditioning was not working, and we were both about to pass out in our business suits. I’m sure I was mighty attractiveJ. We started talking, but I never caught his name. After that, he was known as “cute bus boy”. 🙂 We would see each other everywhere – grocery store, downtown, bus, dry cleaners, etc. One Sunday morning, I went to church by myself. I typically went to Saturday mass, so imagine my surprise when I saw cute bus boy in a few rows behind me! After, I was walking home, and I felt a tap on the shoulder. It was cute bus boy, now known as Bill Feind. He claims that he asked me out, but I beg to differ on that one.:) However, the details get a little foggy after 10.5 years right? Anyway, I know the night I went out with him that I was going to marry him. You may think it is cheesy, but I am a firm believer in fate…and God sure was looking out for me with this one. 😉
Q: How about those adorable little people of yours? Do tell us about them.
A: Hadley is 4…going on 20. 🙂 Holy moly is this little lady full of energy. She has NEVER been a napper, and she literally starts talking the SECOND she wakes up…and does not stop alllll day! Such a happy and veryyyy social little lady. If someone tells her she has a cute outfit on, she says “thank you. It is Matilda Jane, and my mommy sells it.” I should give her business cards, right?:)
Colleen is quite a character. She is such a lover, and man oh man is she becoming a 2 year old! She is also my accessory queen. She will have on a hat, headband, sunglasses, purse, arm wristband and bracelet and will INSIST on wearing it to the park.
Both girls, while challenging (just being honest here) are an absolute gift that I thank God for everyday…even when I want to give them away sometimes. 😉
Q: What did you do in your previous life? Pre-Matilda Jane?
A: Well, I say I am mom #1, and oh what a job that is!! Pre kiddos, I worked in sales and product management for treasury services in the banking industry. Are you still awake out there?:) Kidding! After Hadley was born, I just couldn’t stand the thought of traveling, so I started doing some marketing contracting work part-time along with being a full time mom. In addition, I was blessed to be able to do some work for my dad who owned his own consulting business.
Q: What is your Matilda Jane story? How did you become a Trunk Keeper?
A: SO, years ago, my dear friend and team lead, Kim Fearing, invited me to a show when Hadley was itty bitty. I bought my first MJ knot dress and fell in love with the clothing. I still have that wonderful little piece, by the way. A few years later, I decided to host a show my self and became even more obsessed. I had talked about becoming a trunk keeper for awhile and finally an opening came in Chicago! It has been quite an adventure seeing this is my very first season. LOTS and LOTS to learn, but it has been a great start, and I have truly enjoyed meeting such fabulous ladies.
Q: Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall? Which is your favorite and why?
A: I simply LOVE fall…and not just because it is my first seasonJ. I absolutely adore the big ruffles for both myself and the girls and all the fun leggings and layering pieces. I love the cooler weather, but not too crazy cold that we need to bundle up with hats, gloves and boots. That I do not love. Fall has always been my favorite season, both weather wise and clothes wise. 🙂
Q: Who are some of your heroes?
A: This is an easy one. My hero is undoubtedly my father, Jim Purtell. What a man. Such a great father and “Bapa”, friend, businessman….the list goes on.
As a huge surprise to all of us, my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer last July. It had metastasized into his liver, and the prognosis was not promising. It was so very difficult for all of us to grasp given he was such a healthy, life loving, wonderful man. My dad faced this diagnosis with such optimism and faith filled strength. He had always been a model to me in how he conducted his business with such honesty, integrity and service – but watching him battle this horrible disease made me realize what a hero he really was/and still is. He went through such heart wrenching treatment and procedures, and yet he faced everything with such grace, endless faith in God and amazing optimism and strength up until his very last breath.
He passed away February 27th, 6 months ago. I miss him so very much every single day, but I can only hope in life to strive for his amazing strength, faith, optimism and integrity.
Q: Describe to us what a night out with your girlfriends looks like.
A: There are not enough of these wonderful nights, in my opinionJ. Having a glass of wine with some wonderful ladies, chatting about the challenges of the day/week/heck month, sharing ideas and lots of laughs. I treasure these special evenings more and more these days, as they are such a beautiful reminder of the amazing gifts and support I have been given in my life. There is truly nothing better.
Q: Tell us about your first job. How old were you?
A: Hmmm, I’m not sure what would be considered my very first job. I babysat almost every weekend beginning in 6th grade. Does that count? I worked in retail selling clothes during high school and college, and I taught swimming lessons in the summers. My first internship was with Miller Brewing Company. What a FUN internship! I did marketing for the Miller Brewery Tour. Could you ask for a better summer job as a college student?
Q: What store makes your heart go pitter patter when you shop in it?
A: Oh goodness, how could I pick? I have to say that I often get overwhelmed in stores, which is another reason why I fell in love with Matilda Jane so much. Who wouldn’t want to do some shopping in home with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine right?
Q: What is your most treasured modern day convenience?
A: Starbucks. Oh what would I do without Starbucks? I seriously look forward to going to bed at night knowing I can get up and have some delicious caramel Via with some caramel macchiato creamer. I wish I was kidding. An even better treat…going to the store and getting one made – with extra caramel of course. 🙂
Q: Give me 5 adjectives that describe the type of person you strive to be.
A: As I said above, I really hope that I could be as good of a person as my father. I hope and try my best be a good mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend as I have been blessed with in my life. I can’t say that I am perfect at it, heck not even mediocre some days, but I want people to know how much I value them in my life. I strive for honesty and integrity in all aspects of my life. I am working hard on realistic optimism (how’s that one?:)) and constant faith in God.
Q: If you could pick up your family and move to any where in the world, where would you go and why?
A: That is a tough one. There are soooo many wonderful places to visit; I wouldn’t know where to pick. I always say that it is the people that matter, not the place. I could never imagine being too far from my family and friends. They are what make my life fulfilling.
Q: Great customer service is definitely a “lost art.” How do you try to deliver above and beyond service to your Janes and customers?
A: Well, seeing this is my first season, I am truly grateful for any customers. 😉 I do want them to feel as valued as I have always felt in previous seasons as a Jane/customer and enjoy the clothes and experience as much as I do.
Q: Favorite film of all time.
A: Yikes! As a mom of 2 I don’t have much time or energy to stay awake during movies these days in all honesty. I always admire people who are well versed in all the extraordinary films out there, but I am not going to tell a lie, I do love TV at the end of the day – Nothing like a good sitcom or a little food network. 🙂 And yes, I have watched every single season of American Idol – should I be proud of that or not?:)
Q: In your opinion, what is THE must have piece in Character Counts?
A: Oh my! You are asking a newbie what her favorite piece is?? I felt like it was Christmas when the box of all my beautiful little samples came. I think my favorite (right now :-)) is Winifred. That sweet little dress is so whimsical and darling. Hadley asked to put it on the minute she got it. I think it is so stinking cute with the da Vinci leggings or Evelyn tights, and I love that she loves it even more.
Q: Lastly, in the spirit of Character Counts, what in your opinion is the most important form of character?
A: Hmmm, this is a tough one. I think just having character is important. I think being a character is important, no matter how crazy or quirky I may be. 😉 I think being the best me that I can be with what I am given and blessed with is important, although sometimes not always easy right? I think accepting and loving all the characters in my life is important. I think being a good, kind, honest, loving, faithful, goofy character is important. I think all kinds of character counts. 🙂
We love ya, Maura! Keep on being awesome and have a great season.