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Business Observer Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 1 month ago

National clothing company moves headquarters to region

Matilda Jane Clothing was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2005.

FORT MYERS — An Indiana girls and women’s apparel business, known by its colorful and whimsical prints and run by a former Chico’s FAS executive, has relocated its headquarters to Southwest Florida.

The company, Matilda Jane Clothing, moved its headquarters from Fort Wayne to Fort Myers, in an 8,000-square-foot office on World Plaza Lane, near College Parkway. The company scheduled a grand opening celebration for Friday, Oct. 15, according to a statement, adding the move “will bring numerous employment opportunities to the area.” A spokeswoman, in an email, says the company currently has 30-35 employees working locally, in addition to a nationwide direct sales network of some 2,000 independent contractors it calls trunk keepers.  

The CEO and executive chairwoman of Matilda Jane Clothing is Donna Noce Colaco, who was president of Chico’s brand White House | Black Market from 2007 to 2018. After leaving Fort Myers-based Chico’s, she was president of furniture retailer Pier 1, before being named to the head post at Matilda Jane in August 2020. Earlier in her career, Noce Colaco held several executive positions at women’s retailer Ann Taylor.

“While Matilda Jane is national in scope, our business model is local in feel,” Noce Colaco says in the statement. “Through our entrepreneurial spirit, bringing business to local communities is at our core. I’m thrilled to be opening the new Matilda Jane corporate headquarters in Fort Myers, a place I’ve had the privilege to call home for the last 14 years.”

Fort Wayne area entrepreneur and decorative artist Denise DeMarchis founded Matilda Jane in 2005, seeking to create an  “unpredictable clothing company," according to the company’s LinkedIn profile. After success at art fairs around the Midwest, Matilda Jane Clothing moved toward its direct sales model. DeMarchis died in 2015.

"Matilda Jane Clothing's designs are youthful,” the company says on its LinkedIn post. “Playful. And expressive. Our whimsical approach to texture, pattern and color results in designs that capture the spirit and imagination of childhood. Remember when your grandpa let you pick your own flavor of ice cream for the first time? That's what being a Matilda Jane girl is all about. Lucky for you, gals of all ages and sizes can join the fun! Matilda Jane Clothing is available in baby, girls, tweens and adults. Flavors for all!”


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