Meet Madeline, MJC’s Design Director

We have been so lucky recently to welcome some wonderful new additions to our Matilda Jane family. One of those additions is Madeline Katzel. As Matilda Jane’s new Design Director, she works hands-on with the clothing, creating and refining MJC’s beautiful and unique style. Here she explains in her own words what a special place MJC is, and how excited she is about Secret Fields.

As I write this, I am at the airport waiting for my last bi-weekly trip to Fort Wayne before my family moves. Sometimes I ask myself, how I (a born and bred NY designer) found myself picking up my family and moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The answer is simple… Matilda Jane.


I’m embarrassed to confess that when I first got a call for this opportunity, I’d never heard of Matilda Jane. So I did some research. I looked at the website first and found adorable girls’ clothes, but what really caught my eye was the story behind the brand. I read about Denise and her mission to “keep a little girl… a little girl.” Well, I happen to have two little girls (Sonny, 8, and Olivia, 7), so I was hooked right away!

Then I read about Denise and Matilda Jane’s passion for philanthropy. Not only was she super creative, she had heart and soul… what’s not to like! I had to find out more.

When I looked at the blog, Denise and Sam had just returned from Tokyo (one of my favorite places to get inspired). Then I looked through older posts and saw some of the Trunk Keeper profiles, and I read customer responses to the posts.

I saw a lot of passion on both side, and it was clear that this was more than just another girls’ clothing company. Something different was happening here. As a designer of 20-something years… (I don’t want to age myself too much) I have seen a lot. But never this level of passion for a brand.

As the weeks progressed, I made my first trip to meet the team – Denise, Sam, Lynette, Jeff and the rest of the Matilda Jane family. In a few short months, I went from not ever having heard of Matilda Jane to wanting very much to be a part of this fantastic story. And so here I am.

I am so excited for the each release of Secret Fields. I can’t wait to attend more trunk shows and place my own orders. My girls are excited about the clothes, too!

So long for now!


Brooke - August 30, 2014 - 9:41 pm

Welcome aboard Madeline! hearing your interview sounds like you have really experienced the “specialness” that we have found in matilda jane for our little girl! so excited to see what it to come!

Cheri Hensler - August 30, 2014 - 5:02 pm

OMG. Sam, you are adorable!

ashley peterka - August 28, 2014 - 9:43 pm

Welcome, Madeline! Excited to see what release 2 brings!! Xo

Amy S - August 28, 2014 - 8:05 pm


KaMarlowete - August 28, 2014 - 3:44 pm

You know, for me, too, the clothes got me interested, but the philanthropy kept me going back. It’s not a faceless corporation. At every one of my trunk shows, I talk about the little girls who are there in spirit; who are getting food, education, stability, and love because we elect to spend a little more on clothes and buy a little less elsewhere. It’s not because we’re all suddenly rich, or in positions to do great and powerful things, but because we’re voting with our money that people matter more than things. MJC is such an honorable company, and I love that.

Abby - August 28, 2014 - 12:09 pm

Welcome, Madeline! I am so excited to see your ideas and showcasing of our favorite clothing line…ever! 🙂 It is such a fun and beautiful company.

Candice - August 27, 2014 - 5:39 pm

Welcome, Madeline! Here’s to the future. 🙂

Erica Scott - August 27, 2014 - 2:35 pm

The “golden glow around it” couldn’t describe it better. I am in love with Secret Fields. My 4 year old is just at the point that she is very sure of what she will and won’t wear. She is in love with the Camilla Ribbed Leggings and Hide and Seek Ruffle Top. We love the entire collection and I am so thrilled that the entire line got her seal of approval because I am so attached to Matilda Jane in my heart! Welcome Madeline! So excited to see your influence on the new collections. Can’t wait to get Secret Fields for my daughter!

Becky - August 27, 2014 - 1:44 pm

Welcome! Secret Fields is a beautiful collection. I wish you a lot of success and happiness with Matilda Jane.

amy j. - August 27, 2014 - 12:14 pm

Welcome to the family, Madeline!

Laurel - August 27, 2014 - 8:10 am

Welcome Madeline! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for MJC.❤️

Danielle - August 26, 2014 - 11:20 pm

Madeline, First I would like to say welcome. I always look forward to seeing what MJC has up their sleeves at each release and plat loads. I cannot wait to see what designs and patterns you come up with. A couple of the things that I love about MJC is that 1) My little one can wear something that no one else has on and it makes her feel beautiful and special. 2) The passion behind the clothing is overwhelming! You can see the love and dedication behind the clothing, and 3) The clothing really does keep my little one beautifully, innocently little. You have some big shoes to full but you look like you are up for the job. Again I say welcome and congrats! You will love it there.

StateChick - August 26, 2014 - 10:57 pm

We feel the heart, the soul and the golden glow…!
As always, the attention to detail is exquisite and I’m so happy that my girls share my enthusiasm for this clothing line!! Can’t wait for next week!

Amanda Moore - August 26, 2014 - 6:47 pm

Welcome to MJ. Cant wait to see whats in store on the next releases. Congratulations.

Amber Hill - August 26, 2014 - 5:54 pm


Patricia - August 26, 2014 - 5:47 pm

Hello Madeline!!!! Can’t wait to see some or your beautiful designs!!!!

Julie C - August 26, 2014 - 5:01 pm

Welcome Madeline!!

Jennifer Bryant - August 26, 2014 - 4:58 pm

Yes! I feel it and this video really captures the fun-loving adventurous spirit of little girls and Matilda Jane. Keeping little girls, little girls while encouraging them to be unique is perfect! Welcome Madeline! Keep up the great work!!

Stacey Carey - August 26, 2014 - 4:57 pm

Welcome Madeline! I can imagine what a meaningful decision this was; so glad to “meet” you and excited for your journey!

Lindsey Langhans - August 26, 2014 - 4:36 pm

Welcome to the family! I can’t wait to see what awesome things you bring to Matilda Jane! I couldn’t imagine my little girl wearing anything else! Matilda Jane definitely keeps to their desire to “keep a little girl…like a little girl!” And I love them for it!

Rya Hibbard - August 26, 2014 - 4:33 pm

I can’t wait to see what you come up with for our 7-10 year olds that don’t want to wear the traditional tween clothing styles……I’ve heard rumor that you were coming to help with a true tween line. So excited for what’s coming. Welcome to the MJ family!