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Southern Style

Fall Market Shows off Southern Charm

The annual Tau Beta Fall Market will be held this year from October 5th through the 7th at The Grosse Pointe Club. Vendors generously donate a portion of their proceeds to benefit The Children's Center of Detroit and other charitable projects of Tau Beta. 


As usual, the booths will be bursting with unique, high-quality merchandise. Here, meet three vendors looking forward to supporting such a worthwhile cause, meeting local residents, and showing off their incredible wares.

Jennifer Ohama
Ohama Couture
OhamaCouture.com

Caroline Chakeris
Madison Mathews
Madison-Mathews.com

Twenty-four years ago, she started sewing when Jennifer Ohama was pregnant with her daughter. She still produces the same timeless pieces but on a much larger scale today. Her clothing is sold all over the country, including in select five-star hotel boutiques.

Now, people in Grosse Pointe can meet the designer in person and see her line of one-of-a-kind denim jackets with a fun and unique design element. "I retrofit and combine my pieces with my grandmother's silk scarf collection and other vintage designer fabrics that I curate from all over the world," she says.

Her grandmother, Ila, better known as Mamaw, is almost 100 years old, but she and her husband traveled the globe in her younger days. She would bring home incredible scarves from her journeys.

"Ohama Couture is a combination of four generations of women," says Jennifer. "My Mamaw, my mother, Marissa, me, and my daughter, Ava Lauren."

The denim Levi jackets are all limited edition. "Each one takes on its own personality and is very versatile," she says. "Since I place the silk fabric under the collar and under the cuffs, you can have a basic denim jacket by keeping your collar and your cuffs down. So, you can wear it while going to yoga or walking the dog, then head straight to lunch, adding a pop of color by rolling up your collar and cuffs and having this beautiful silk that comes alive to create a whole different outfit. Later, it can move with you to dinner, where you can put it on over a little black dress."

Jennifer learned about the Fall Market through one of her clients, Abigail Wujeck, co-chair of the Tau Beta Fall Market Committee. "I'm from Philadelphia and now live in Newport Beach, California, but I met Abby at one of my trunk shows, and she ended up becoming a client of mine."

Abby mentioned that her product would be a hit in her hometown of Grosse Pointe and told her about the Fall Market. "Philanthropy is something that I incorporate into our business model," says Jennifer. "It makes us feel wonderful to be able to contribute."

Caroline Chakeris
Madison Mathews
Madison-Mathews.com

When Caroline Chakeris was looking for an outfit for a parent-teacher conference, she knew exactly what she wanted. Unfortunately, none of the stores in her Charleston, South Carolina area had precisely what she desired, so she decided to make it herself.

"I wanted a well-fitting cotton shirt," she says. "I love block print and small batch, so I went to work thinking it would just be one thing I would do. Later, my friends and family became involved, and it grew from there. It's been pretty wonderful."

That was over 10 years ago, and today Caroline owns her own store selling retail and wholesale clothing. Her brand, Madison Mathews, offers the finest in resort wear. "We try to make each piece special, and everything is 100% cotton, hand-blocked, and hand-embroidered," says Caroline. "We really keep our numbers low, so for example, if we have a dress in different prints, we will only do 25 of that dress in a particular print."

She is so excited to join the Tau Beta Fall Market. I'll be able to do an early release of limited edition spring wear, so it will be there a good three months before it even hits the market.

Caroline also found out about the market through Abigail, who has been a customer of Madison Mathews. "We started this rapport, and she mentioned this Fall Market. I never do markets, but it sounded like such a worthwhile and wonderful cause and a wonderful market.

"It'll be the first one like this that I've done. Supporting each other and giving back is the most important thing. That's what truly fills our hearts, and that's what brings joy to our lives."

Caroline's friends and family are still very involved in her business. "I'm so lucky because every day, I get to work with my best friends, their children, and my daughter's friends. This store is really our happy place. And when all the young girls who work with us are ready, we help them launch their brands."

Her daughter, designer Sara Chakeris, has followed in her mother's footsteps and will also be at the market. "She watched the entire process, and even from a young age, I always asked her opinion," says Caroline. "I'm incredibly proud of her."

Sara Chakeris
Chakeris
Chakeris.com

Thanks to Caroline, Sara Chakeris grew up in the world of fashion. After college, when most of her friends were going into the corporate world and finding it less than satisfactory, Sara decided to heed her mother's advice. Caroline always told her to do what she loves and that she will never feel like she's working a day in her life.

Sara's brand, Chakeris, was founded in 2022. "I was very inspired by my mom, and my line is very similar to hers as far as everything being cotton, timeless, and made in small batches, but it's tailored to a little younger audience," she says. "I always wanted clothing that was easy to put on, which would make me feel confident when I wore it, but I didn't want to stand in my closet for two hours trying to figure out what I would wear. I have done that more times than I can count."

Chakeris is fun, fashionable, and comfortable. Whether someone needs an outfit for a picnic in the park or a night out to dinner at a fancy resort, there are many perfect options.

The main goal of her line, she explains, was keeping the cost affordable. "I found myself spending unnecessary money on things that I loved, but I just could not justify spending it," says Sara.

She looks forward to traveling to Grosse Pointe and having a booth at the market where she can display her merchandise. "Face-to-face interaction is just night and day compared to online," she says. "I love seeing what works and does not and hearing people's feedback.

"Plus, being able to all come together and make a difference is also really special. Philanthropy is essential to human life, and I love hearing about and participating in fundraisers."

Sara, who is currently living in New York City, says her mom is her biggest cheerleader. "My mom loves what I'm doing, and both of my parents have been so supportive, which is incredible," she says. "I could not do it without them. All my friends and roommate are also super supportive."

www.taubeta.org

"I always wanted clothing that was easy to put on, which would make me feel confident when I wore it, but I didn't want to stand in my closet for two hours trying to figure out what I would wear. I have done that more times than I can count."

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