Pax Philomena – a local clothing brand linked to Mother Teresa – spreads joy

Color might be what catches your eye in a new garment, but the quality of the fabric and fit is just as important when purchasing a new addition to your wardrobe. For Jean Marie Clarke, founder of the local clothing brand Pax Philomene, the garment is more than a garment, but embodies a generous spirit.

Pax Philomena creates brightly colored dresses, tunics, loungewear, woolen outerwear and men’s and children’s wear in quality cotton and silk with bold patterns, perfect for lounging by the sea. swimming pool, take a walk or relax at the house. Pax Couture offers silk items from Italy and sewn in India, and their cotton line features hand-printed designs with natural fibers that breathe.

Clarke’s 30-year career designing and creating textiles in Italy and India has given her the experience and knowledge to create her own clothing brand with a strong sense of quality, comfortable fabrics and eye-catching colors.

The designer was born in Calcutta, India, raised in Phoenix, and began returning to the country 40 years after her family left for America when she was three.

“I felt right at home,” Clarke said of her time in India, “I wanted to do something to connect more with the country and I would bring back some brightly colored tunics and kaftans and wear them.
I also wanted to find a way to give back to the community, and I thought of Mother Teresa because I had always heard of her who had grown up in Calcutta, because the Mother House where she founded the Missionaries of Charity is a few blocks from where I was born. “

In addition to reconnecting with India, Clarke wanted to give back to the community and decided to donate a portion of the profits from Pax Philomena to the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa. “I went to India and met the sisters in Calcutta and they said, ‘please donate to our mission in Phoenix,’ so I think that’s really important and I don’t think that many people even know that Mother Teresa founded a mission in Phoenix in 1989.

Clarke said she also wanted to launch Pax Philomena to honor her mother who died in March 2020, who was called Philomena. The other part of the brand’s name, “Pax”, means peace in Latin; and Philomena comes from the tomb of Saint Philomena which was discovered in the catacombs of Rome in the 19th century – on the tomb was written Pax Tecum Filumena, which means “daughter of light, peace be with you Philomena”, and so Pax Philomène became the name of Clarke’s company.

“So this whole brand is a combination of a passion for textiles, a passion for my mom and a passion for giving back to people,” Clarke said of Pax Philomena.

“Mother Teresa came to America to open a mission in the late 1980s, she came to Phoenix and said America was the poorest country in the world because of our spiritual poverty,” Clarke said.

“So when the sisters in Calcutta said, ‘please give it to our sisters in Phoenix, whatever you give, they will share it with us if need be,” then I researched and I found the Missionaries of Charity in Phoenix, no matter what Pax Philomena had that we had. donated, so we never made a profit because we’re young, and these sisters are amazing, they have 40 homeless people in the heart of South Phoenix, ”Clarke said.

“The motto of our company is Peace begins with a smile that comes from Mother Teresa. What I discovered while working in textiles is that the bright colors and beautiful design make people smile, ”said Clarke. “In fashion, when you wear something bright and colorful, you can’t help but be happy. “

The brand also has a local audience, in addition to regular customers in the United States and England, as Pax Philomena has featured in the March and May 2020 issues of British Vogue, Vogue Italia in March 2019 and the Isadora kaftan maxi dress has featured in the March and May 2020 issues of British Vogue. been included in O, The Oprah Magazine in August 2018 and hailed as the perfect beach maxi dress.

Clarke said she also writes to around 90 percent of customers who place orders. “It’s about building friendships and getting the word out and it’s the most important marketing tool I’ve had. Once people buy one product, they either buy another or offer one.

Since the inception of the brand, Clarke said she enjoys connecting with the Sisters of Charity and reestablishing her links with India.

“I was able to bond with Mother Teresa and help people and these sisters were so kind and grateful and said” Mother has always said that whoever gives us money has sacrificed for that money and we understand your sacrifice and your hard work, ”Clarke said.

“I asked the Phoenix sisters how they survived without support and they said, ‘Divine intervention; people like you ”, then there is nothing more rewarding than that to know that I help people and they said:“ because you can give us funds, we can serve the poor ”.

“And the other thing is because I honor my mother who was a very famous artist. She taught me color, passion, risk taking and she was an amazing woman, so having her name in the brand is a big deal for me, ”said Clarke.

Going forward, Clarke said she wants to expand Pax Philomena to create more types of clothing such as expanding its pajama line, men’s line and baby line and venturing into accessories such as as swimsuits and bags.

Gladys T. Hensley

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