Best friends and sisters Mackenzie Moore and Madi Davis still find themselves in awe that their vision, the Fort Worth-based clothing store Noble 31, came to life.
“We're almost to our 10th collection, and we still send each other pictures of random people at the grocery store wearing our stuff, and we’re like, ‘Oh, my God — somebody is actually in it,’” Moore said.
The sisters founded the clothing store in May 2017 to make up for pieces they felt were missing from their closets. Moore has always loved to sew, and Davis has always wanted a store. And they wanted to create a clothing line that fit their spontaneous natures and could “stand up in all the different scenarios” in their lives, Davis said. They wanted clothes that they could wear to the ranch one day and a Dallas party another.
The Fort Worth natives are very close — personally and physically. They live just one block away from each other.
“We have this like twin telepathy and just really understand each other and get each other without knowing what the other one's going to say,” Davis said. “We finish each other's sentences and kind of know where to give and take with each other, which I think is really important when you're working in a business together.”
And working with family also helps break down a barrier that’s much harder to do with colleagues — being unapologetically honest.
“We're also able to be kind of overly honest with each other,” Moore said. “And I think that's also really important to have that level of comfort to kind of be like, ‘That's such a great idea. Let's run with it.’ Or, ‘That's an absolutely horrible idea.’”
But Noble 31 is much bigger than two sisters sharing a dream — it’s about empowering women and giving back to the community.
A Mission to Inspire Women and Give Back to the Community
The sisters outlined their mission in the name itself. An Old Testament passage in Proverbs 31 about a “badass woman who was way before her time” and made clothes to help people in need inspired them.
More specifically, Proverbs 31:25 inspired them: “Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.”
“We really are so inspired by strong and beautiful women,” Moore said. “And just making strong and beautiful women feel strong and beautiful, knowing their worth and kind of clothing and arming them to set out and do great things. [We want them to] be able to reach for pieces in their closet that can kind of seamlessly take them through their day with no costume-change necessary.”
Aside from empowering women with versatile clothes that inspire confidence, the sisters also donate a portion of their proceeds from each collection to the community-funded, private Christian school Rivertree Academy in Fort Worth.
Moore said they started working with the school last semester. They did a hands-on project in the classroom in conjunction with the school’s project-based learning program, where people in the community lead 10-week courses. The sisters taught Rivertree Academy’s 4th and 5th graders about the fashion industry and let them design a signature piece that will debut in the store’s FW21 collection.
“We are both from Fort Worth, and we just feel like so much of Noble 31 is inspired by Fort Worth,” Moore said. “And it's been really important for us to give back to this city that we love so much.”
COVID-19’s Unexpected Benefit
Once COVID-19 hit, countless businesses ran into some of the worst economic challenges they had ever faced. Some even had to close their doors for good, ending the livelihoods and income sources for many. While it wasn’t easy for Noble 31 either, something beautiful came out of the disaster.
Moore lived in San Francisco, and the two ran the store miles and miles away from each other. But when the pandemic hit, Moore moved back to Texas, and they were able to work together while quarantining in their parent’s house for the first time in years. Davis said the sisters even made masks to pass out to community members.
“When it first hit, Madi and I were in the basement, sewing masks on our own,” Moore said.
And, luckily, the sisters’ head manufacturer in New York took machinery to the homes of the team’s seamstresses so they could keep working and earn money but still be safe.
“We were really grateful that our team was kind of like, ‘Let's keep going,’” Moore said. “It's important to continue to be able to produce things and pay our seamstresses and, you know, just keep moving forward.”
The pandemic-induced reality and reuniting of the sisters also inspired Moore and Davis’ newest collection, which launched on Friday, March 5. The collection is inspired by the outdoor, masked events everyone became familiar with at the — hopefully — few gatherings attended throughout the pandemic.
“We kind of touched on the idea of a smaller, intimate gathering,” Davis said. “And [during the pandemic], all the events were few and far between at that point, that you really wanted to wear something special and fun because no one was getting out very much. And so we really wanted all of our pieces to be bright and fun and exciting and something that you just really felt special going to something wearing them.”
The sisters started on the collection as soon as everything shut down while they were stuck in quarantine. But they were, finally, working together.
“This new collection is really close to our hearts, I would say,” Moore said. “It's the first time we've been back in the same city and to be able to design together.”
Moore said they hope to continue to build a bigger base of people. They are even expanding into custom and bridal designs this year. The sisters also plan to bring more people onto the Rivertree project once COVID-19 restrictions loosen and more businesses open up.
“I think after last year, it's like, ‘OK, let's get the show on the road,’” Moore said.
Editor's note: Story has been updated to show that the store is located in Fort Worth.