After 11 years in marketing, Sacramento native Lynnise Davis retired so she could fully pursue her women’s fashion brand, Madam37.
Her clothing features inspirational messages such as “Stay Woke and Vote” and “Have Faith/Love More.” Davis’ core customers include Black and Brown women and sorority members. Sold online, the apparel and jewelry typically cost $20 to $50.
Davis, who was a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority at Dillard University, is licensed to create sorority collections for Zeta Phi Beta and Sigma Gamma Rho. She says that sorority clothing tends toward T-shirts and sweatshirts. “Because I like to dress a certain type of way, I wanted to create something that was a little more fashionable and not just always a regular T-shirt,” Davis says. “I create stuff that is simple but fashionable for sororities.”
In 2007, Davis started a graphic design business, designing flyers and logos. Combining her love of design with her passion for fashion, she began creating custom shirts, which evolved into full collections, and she knew she’d found her niche. In 2019, she left her marketing career to focus on Madam37 full time.
Before the pandemic, Davis sold her clothing and jewelry at vendor shows, conferences and pop-up events. Because Madam37 is an online business, it wasn’t as hindered by the pandemic as businesses that rely solely on in-person transactions. Davis toys with the idea of having a traveling fashion truck to expand her business. But in a time when shoppers had nowhere to turn but the Internet, she is already shipping Madam37 designs worldwide.
“It’s a dream for many people,” Davis says. “I’m just glad I’m able to live it.”