Nfld. & Labrador

Meet a designer who hopes you wear happiness on your sleeve

M.J. Couch says the goal of her brand is simple: change your mood and attitude by "putting on something fun and happy."

M.J. Couch started the brand Melanie Jacqueline in 2010

Designer M.J. Couch in downtown St. John's, where she runs her company Melanie Jacqueline. (Dave Howells)

When it comes to her work, fashion designer M.J. Couch is all in. 

"I feel like my business is me," said Couch, the force behind the St. John's-based brand Melanie Jacqueline.  

"It is very personal." 

Couch said she always strives for clothing that "feels like me, which is colourful and loud … sometimes obnoxious and just fun. Just to exude happiness and to have fun." 

Using a palette of bright, vivid colours, Couch said her mission is to bring fun to daily life, and to help customers find it in their wardrobe. 

"Life is not always happy, it's not always wonderful, don't get me wrong," she said. "But if you can change your mood and your mindset, just by putting on something fun and happy, that is really like the goal of our brand." 

Fun on the runway: See how M.J. Couch brings a fun-loving spirit to her designs

The former primary school teacher has shown her design work at both New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week.   

"You work so hard, you built this business and you created these pieces and to get to show them on an international stage is very cool," she said.

"It's terrifying and really rewarding at the same time."  

Couch is driven by individuality.  

"I want you to go out and put on your dress and just walk into a room and people be like, 'Wow. That is amazing. What is that?'" she said with a laugh. 

'If you can change your mood and your mindset, just by putting on something fun and happy, that is really like the goal of our brand,' says Couch. (David Howells)

Video produced by Lian Morrison for CBC

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With files from Lian Morrison for CBC