CHILLICOTHE – One grew up as a self-professed “busy bee” and the other sold merchandise at classic car shows. Together they shared a love of fashion, so they pooled their talents to open The Madlin Boutique.
They’re Madison Cortez and Lindsay Russell.
“I’ve always had a love for fashion,” confirmed Russell. “I want everyone to feel great about themselves no matter their size, ethnicity, age. I want customers to enter the store and leave feeling beautiful and loved for who they are.”
“I do it because I simply enjoy it,” agreed Cortez. “I’ve always had an interest in fashion so from the time I started this boutique journey, it’s always been something that’s brought me happiness.”
Madison (Davis) Cortez was born and raised in Chillicothe, graduated from Unioto High School in 2011, then Kent State University with a major in health care administration.
“As a kid growing up,” Cortez recalled, “I was always busy doing something. I guess you can say I was sort of a busy bee. My dream was always to have a family, but I always saw myself as being a ‘working mom’ too.”
“After my first daughter was born,” she continued, “I opened an online boutique with a friend and came to realize how much fun I had doing it and how much passion I had in retail. It was at that point my dreams kind of shifted. I actually never saw myself owning a boutique, but I wondered what it would be like owning a storefront in my hometown. For me, it was one of those things where life just kind of took me here.”
Lindsay Russell grew up in Washington Court House, graduated from Miami Trace High School in 1997, then Wilmington College in 2000 with a degree in business management.
“As a kid,” Russell remembered, “I knew I wanted to eventually have my own business but didn’t know at the time it would be in retail. When I was 13 years old, I started selling merchandise at classic car shows with my family. When I turned 16 my first part-time job was working retail at the Jeffersonville Outlet Mall. I worked there until I went off to college.”
“After college,” she continued, “I worked in the automotive industry until 2014. I left to work for my fiancé and his trucking companies.”
In November 2019, Russell was approached by Cortez about The Madlin.
“She heard I wanted to start a brick-and-mortar boutique in Chillicothe,” Russell recalled. “She had previously operated an online boutique and was also interested in having a storefront in downtown Chillicothe.”
They opened The Madlin Boutique as co-owners in February of 2020.
“One of my favorite memories,” Cortez noted, “and favorite things to do to this day, is go shopping with my mom. There’s just something about buying or wearing a new outfit that can completely turn my day around. So we wanted to create a one-of-a-kind retail experience, one where you always know walking in our doors that you feel welcome and worthy no matter what.”
“I feel so blessed,” she summed, “to have the opportunity to wake up and do something I love every day. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
“Absolutely!” Russell agreed. “I wouldn’t change anything.”
The Madlin Boutique is located at 15 East 2nd St. in Chillicothe. For more information, call 740-779-1532 or log on www.themadlin.com.
About the Series
Aces of Trades is a weekly series focusing on people and their jobs – whether they’re unusual jobs, fun jobs or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at [email protected] or 740-349-1110.