Our Story

Mary Lou Andre started Organization By Design, Inc. in 1992 with no clients, no capital and very little personal money to put into the business. She sold her wedding dress to pay for stationery and business cards and even more clothes out of her closet to buy a computer and memberships to women's organizations where she could meet and network with women who could help her build her dream company.

Beyond the Closet

As the business grew, she realized that her wardrobe management and fashion tips and strategies could be taught outside the closet. Her consulting with private clients led to seminars and presentations for the general public, as well as extensive corporate image consulting for such organizations as Estee Lauder, Fidelity, Harvard Business School, John Hancock, Nordstrom, Sara Lee, and Sonesta Hotels and Resorts. She ventured into print, publishing the Dressing Well newsletter, a quarterly publication that offered seasonal wardrobe information and tips to subscribers. Her dressing well message is now shared with thousands of internet readers around the world who visit dressingwell.com and subscribe to our Dressing Well newsletter and blog posts.

National Recognition

The enthusiastic response to the company's consulting, seminars, national and international media appearances, newsletter and website helped Mary Lou attract the attention of Perigee Books, a division of the Penguin Group. In 2004, she secured a contract to write Ready to Wear: An Expert’s Guide to Choosing and Using Your Wardrobe. Now in its third printing, Ready to Wear has been published in Japanese and has been hailed as a timeless system for organizing, building and managing a wardrobe that complements a variety of lifestyles and professions.

Giving Back to the Community

Today Mary Lou is one of the country's most sought after experts on professional image, appearing regularly in the national media. She continues to work with a growing list of corporate, professional service, retail and non-profit clients, developing dress codes, designing motivational professional image programs and working with her clients to create one-of-a-kind custom events that include employee fashion shows and high-end client appreciation events that leverage her expertise and connections in the fashion and business worlds. She also leads a team of stylists that work with the firm’s individual clients and continues to be a significant contributor to several Boston-based non-profits that allows the company to give back. To celebrate her firm’s 25th anniversary in 2017, she launched The Dressing Well Charitable Foundation which provides monetary support to other 501(c)(3) organizations, especially those that offer clothing, career support and social services to women, men and children while encouraging self-sufficiency. While she and her team continue to donate their time and talent to many charities, the Foundation provides an extra layer of financial support many of these organizations need to also thrive. Visit the Fashionable Giving section of our site to learn more about our civic activities.

Helping Other Small- to Medium-Sized Businesses Grow

In addition, Mary Lou mentors other small business owners including select stylists from other parts of the country on how to effectively start, manage and grow profitable enterprises. If you would like to learn more about our small business mentoring program, please contact Mary Lou directly at mlandre@dressingwell.com.