Hello, This is Malena Cardinal, I am happy you stopped by to visit. Let me share with you a piece of who we are, and how all this started.
In 2005 I found myself with a newborn and 2 growing girls. We always loved thrifting (like most Californians), and sometimes we would re-sell at yard sales whatever garments we grew out of love with. Multiple times the profit from our yard sales was more than we expected.
The recession of 2007 came, and we would find abandoned furniture outside neighbor’s homes. My 3 girls and I will pick up anything that looked like it was in good condition, my husband would clean/refurbish what we brought and we will re-sell them at yard sales. Eventually I would start buying storage lockers to re-sell at our monthly yard sales. We would be amazed by how much our hard labor would be rewarded. From yard selling, we moved to sell at flea markets, and from there we opened a thrift store/antique/collectible. Things went well at first, but plans changed gears. Our store closed and I found myself with a home full of racks with clothes (mostly modest ladies clothing). This situation made me physically sick for a while, there were multiple days I found myself with no strength to get out of bed, thoughts of bringing my second hand clothes to the upcoming WDLC kept coming to my mind but by then booths were sold out, so I put my name in a waiting list, in case there were any cancellations.
I would never forget that February morning of 2012 when the WDLC booth organizer called me hours before the conference started to give me the news that there was an open spot available and I was the 3rd one in the waiting list, but the 2 ladies ahead of me declined to participate.
I gathered all those racks of clothes, loaded them in my van and drove to the event center that was about 15 minutes from my home. During that drive, I had all types of mixed feelings. I felt elated as I will have an opportunity to sell an investment that was sitting in my home, yet I was feeling very embarrassed as nobody has ever brought second hand clothing to such an elegant event.
My friends, that conference kept me so busy, my little girls had to sleep under the table as ladies were shopping at my booth well past midnight. At the end of the conference, many ladies thanked me for bringing my clothes, I went home with almost empty racks!
Forever thankful to God for opening that door and deliverance from my ailment, and to Regina, the organizer of the conference, for that February morning phone call that changed my life. For the next few years I would bring second hand clothing to local ladies events. A few years later, I self taught myself to sew (this is way before youtube tutorials) and started upcycling pants into skirts. My sister with over 40 years of manufacturing and fashion design experience saw my vision and joined me in the upcycled side of this business, and The Black Label was born.
In 2016 we decided to make a slow business shift towards selling new clothing, we launched “My Sassy Skirt Brand”, selling retail and wholesale to various boutiques in the US and Canada. In 2019 we decided to make our brand name more “personable” adopting my second “given” name along with my last name, and hence the name of this boutique “Elena Cardinal”.
It will always be my passion and desire to serve ladies with modest clothing, to me it’s a ministry that touches people from different corners of the world.
PS: I still sell my second hand clothing through small social media accounts “Malena’s Modest Closet”.
Countless times they had to stop being kids to help mom set up at conferences
One of a kind
Some pieces take several days to produce
Over 40 years designing and manufacturing experience