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| 3 min read | by Lonnie Huhman, lhuhman@thesuntimesnews.com |

The reason Maggie’s Organics was a perfect small business to feature on Good Morning America Deals and Steals can be found in the words of its mission statement.

This was a cool moment this past week when the Dexter-based apparel and wholesale company made its debut on this national television show.

Founder and owner Bena Burda said the appearance was quite a surprise, but it was also one they put a lot of hard work into during a time of uncertainty.

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Describing the process as a little overwhelming as they got their products ready for the big appearance, while also continuing to work on the business in general, Burda said the hard work paid off in seeing Maggie’s take its spot among five other small businesses featured on the show.

“Deals and Steals” is a show hosted by Tory Johnson where small businesses are featured with their products while consumers can find great deals that start at just $3 and can be at least 50 percent off.

Burda said the appearance introduced them to some new customers and also saw their mission and goals recognized as important and helpful.

 “We are proud of what we do and the quality that we offer,” Burda said.

Maggie’s mission statement is to, “produce and provide comfortable, durable, affordable and beautiful articles of apparel and accessories made from materials that restore, sustain and enhance the resources, including human, from which they are made.”

That mission met a huge roadblock in March when the COVID-19 pandemic led to the shut down not only locally, but around the state, country and world.

According to GMA Deals and Steal description of the business, Maggie’s saw its sales drop 80 percent because of the COVID-forced retail shutdown.

But this didn’t stop the team at Maggie’s Organics, which has a long history of dedication and commitment of doing what it set out to do.

The history of Maggie’s goes back to 1992.

GMA described Maggie’s Organics as having developed styles and colors from the ground up, “paying attention to every small detail for a difference you can feel.”

“Maggie’s Organic works directly with family farmers who rotate crops and protect soil. Hand-harvesting and time-honored production methods are what makes their socks so soft,” Deals and Steals said in its description. “This assortment includes crew, trouser, footie, snuggle and knee-high socks for men and women.” 

Prior to Maggie’s, Burda worked in the organic food industry, selling both blue and yellow corn tortilla chips. She said one year one of their farmers recommended adding cotton to the crop rotation to improve the quality of the corn and crop yields without chemicals.

Burda said his experiment worked, but it also left them with a lot of cotton and no plans.

She took the initiative and soon began producing organic clothing, started with socks.

From there things grew for Maggie’s.

Now they work to create socks, apparel and other accessories that soft, comfortable, functional and made with organically grown cotton and wool from small farms in the U.S., Argentina, Peru, Tanzania and India.

According to Maggie’s Organics website, these are, “Made by skilled workers who are treated with dignity and respect, earn fair wages, and work in co-ops that we helped them build as well as family-owned and operated shops. We’ve traveled near and far to make sure our clothing is made the Maggie’s way: Ethical, sustainable, and transformative. In the process, we’re changing lives for the better.”

Another thing that may have caught the of the Deals and Steals team was the campaign Maggie’s Organics did over the past couple months with their socks that has customers buying one pair and then getting one for free to give away, specifically to essential workers, such as nurses.

Burda said one of their salespeople knew about the GMA segment and reached out to it to tell them about their story and the recent campaign they were working on.

They were contacted by GMA pretty quickly afterward and from there they had five weeks to get ready. There were a lot of late nights with a staff of 13 who were all seeing their work lives impacted by the shutdown.

“We asked ourselves a lot if we could get this done,” Burda said of the preparation for the appearance.

Throughout the preparation, they were also doing the day to day work of the company to keep the business viable during the shutdown.

It all culminated with Maggie’s crew gathering for a watch party and seeing what they do being received really well by viewers and visitors to the GMA Deals and Steals website. It wasn’t a huge money maker, but it was an opportunity to get their story and what they make out to a larger group of people.

Going forward, Burda said they are hopeful and optimistic as things are re-opening after the shutdown. She said one of their main goals is to just keep their mission and business moving in a positive direction, and in turn continue to work with the small and big businesses it has been.

Some help has come from a Paycheck Protection Program loan, but in the long run it will be its loyal customer base that will help keep the mission alive.

To learn more and see Maggie’s great organic socks and other products go to www.maggiesorganics.com. Their products are also available through online vendors: Amazon, Abe’s Market, Green Home, and Fashion & Earth.

You can also find their products locally at your favorite co-ops, Whole Foods, Sunflower Market, Vitamin Cottage, Sprouts, and more. 

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