Locally Centered But Globally-Minded

Brooklyn-based designer Madera E. Rogers has traveled and lived around the world – her family a wonderfully diverse mix of cultures. These influences come together beautifully in her collection of unique Eco garments and accessories aptly named MERELY M.E. “Locally centered but globally-minded” is the daily mantra that guides this self-taught artist as she strives to build a new lifestyle brand into a socially conscious business that will inspire clients, provide jobs and educate consumers and vendors on how to embrace a sustainable lifestyle.PBJ_6185_1Rogers was born in El Paso, Texas, but spent many of her young years in Germany before returning to the southern U.S at the age of 14. She was (and still is) a free spirit raised to believe anything is possible. It was a modeling course in ninth grade that drew her into the fashion world.  “Unbeknownst to me I was being observed by the owner who soon arranged a meeting to discuss my first job as a dance modeling instructor. How many teens get to say they're making $25 an hour.” It wasn't long before her reputation as a top movement coach, stylist and show choreographer drew a large client base in El Paso. Over the course of her extensive professional career, this grew to include eclectic group of big names such as Fred Segal, Joseph Magnums Department Store, Keiko and the Canadian division of Ford Super Models.PBJ_6371_1Being authentic in business and life is important to Rogers. She wants the same for her clients.  “MERELY M.E. Is about being true to oneself – wearing clothing that resonate natural elegance, honesty and creativity.  It's about being inwardly beautiful and showing off your sense of self to the world proudly. My client is a canvas painting her own picture.” Inspiration comes from the world around her as well as her exposure to other countries and cultures during her extensive travels. Through her company, the designer works to bring that same essence to her community of customers, social media fans and local supporters. MERELY M.E. embraces men and women as they are and strives to remind people that what we can become if we strive for out highest dreams is amazing.PBJ_6172_1The Basics Line is designed to fit in a client's existing wardrobe. Created in a palette of muted and textural neutrals such as cream, tan, grey and black, each piece has more than one life.  Add a pin, remove a hood, turn it around or inside-out and you have a completely new look.  While there are several jewelery lines, Rogers is particularly proud of  two – BARCELONA, which features cream, silver, muted gold, bronze and black recycled material in unique shapes inlaid with cultured pearl accents; and MYSIGH which offers strong geometric shapes in white, cream, red and black, inspired by African tribal pieces and fashioned from recycled materials such as paper and cardboard.PBJ_6346_1As a socially conscious business, the company offers a recycle program to clients and fans where material sent in is recycled into new product. “Nothing goes to waste. Everything is re-shaped, up-cycled and presented in a different way.” MERELY M.E. even uses these products for their packaging, mailing boxes and clothing tags. The company offers an on-line interactive newsletter focused on sustainable practices and is currently in the process of developing a series of educational seminars, panels and workshops to promote “Eco-conscious living.” Also in the works are sewing cooperatives to both produce the line and provide viable jobs for women across the country.PBJ_6596_1For Rogers, everything about MERELY M.E. is personal – each garment or accessory like looking at a piece of her life. She offers this collection to her clients in the hopes it will give them a voice to become all they were meant to be. “I want people to understand that it is never to late to 'recycle' yourself.  When we first value ourselves, we make room for light, joy and creativity. I'm proof of this.  I am reminder that my elders and ancestors walked this road before me.  I am highly creative and blessed to be MERELY ME!” For more information on Merely M.E. or to contact the designer, go to www.merelyme.co. Photo Credit: Peter Jensen Photography