The 80-year-old Maddox Shop is more than a bra store

Store manager Candace Kennemer: Photos by Rasy Ran
The Maddox Shop store manager Candace Kennemer: Photo by Rasy Ran

The Maddox Shop began fitting bras for double mastectomy patients before newspapers would even print the words “breast cancer.”

“My grandmother had a radical surgery, and she came here to be fitted,” says assistant manager Kathy Holland. “That was in the early ’70s.”

Photos by Rasy Ran
Photo by Rasy Ran

The Casa Linda establishment was the first store in Dallas to employ board-certified mastectomy fitters. For 80 years, it has been the go-to shop for women who need custom-fit bras.

“The custom fitting is imperative,” Holland says. “You can’t get this online. A lot of times the doctors don’t tell women what to expect, so they come to us looking for us to educate them and help them through it.”

The original owner — Peggy Maddox, who died in 1980 at age 103 — initially ran the shop from her home, creating custom-fit back braces and undergarments for polio patients. She moved into the Medical Arts Building in Downtown in 1934 during the Great Depression. The shop later moved to Oak Lawn and eventually to Casa Linda Plaza, where it has operated since 1961 — longer than any other business in the shopping center. The current location is at the southwest corner across from Natural Grocers.

“It has endured all the other retailers that have come and gone,” says Holland, who has been working at Maddox since 1967.

A lot of times the doctors don’t tell women what to expect, so they come to us looking for us to educate them and help them through it.”

She remembers going to the hospital to measure polio patients for their surgical braces. Doctors began referring their patients who had undergone mastectomies and reconstructive breast surgery and needed custom-fit bras. That became one of the shop’s specialties, and it still receives recommendations from businesses and doctors’ offices all over the city.

The Maddox Shop also provides bras made for wedding gowns or nursing, and carries up to a size N. And for decades, local moms have been bringing their daughters into the shop to buy their first bra — a bra made to fit perfectly and look amazing.

“I hear people say all the time, ‘I can’t wait to get home and take my bra off.’ I don’t ever think that,” says co-owner Jessica Snyder. She and her father bought The Maddox Shop from Peggy’s daughter-in-law Doris in the 1980s.

Snyder says it was a lifesaver for her as a teenager, knowing she could go somewhere for a secure bra that wasn’t “beige and industrial.”

“We sell the snot out of those gorgeous fashion bras,” she says.

Photos by Rasy Ran
Photo by Rasy Ran

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