Martha Morgan is the owner of Morgan’s of Delaware, a women’s boutique that has been present in Wilmington for over 40 years. She is this week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE.
“I majored in chemistry at Morgan’s State College and came to Wilmington through a summer intern program with the duPont company. After that I ended up going to UD and majoring in textiles and clothing using the chemistry background I finished in 1968. In 1979 we opened our first Morgan’s location but before that I worked in retail at Pomeroy’s (afterwards bought by Boscov’s).
My mission is the same now as it was then: to serve and provide women with the personalized services that men are able to take for granted in a men’s store. At the time we opened, it was geared towards working women that were moving into the workforce in larger numbers. Right now we have had to pivot and become known for chic everyday casual. I curate the store by combining the understated with the bold. We are elegant with an edge.
My business has lasted this long through the grace of God. We are known for being able to fit you. The small size of Wilmington allows you to have access to the resources to support our businesses in this time of constant change. Wilmington is a great place to work and live in. It has an energetic vibe and look of a city that functions with the familiarity of a small town. It has multiple cultures. That vibe is cultural and energetic and artistic, just like the restaurants. For more than 40 years we have served fashionable women in the Tri-State area. We also promote the fashions of five women-owned businesses that are sold in-store and online at Morgan’s of Delaware including: Diva Couture by Del Scott, Arts by Angela by Irina Turner, Cherne’ Atovise Jewelry by Chere’, Lady T Hats and Accessories by Ernestine Selby and Clara Sun Woo.
I think the synergy that exists between the women business owners in terms of supporting and promoting each other is beneficial to business and to each other.
Small businesses have been disproportionately economically affected by the lockdowns associated with this pandemic. When you have the closure of a small business, it affects the employees, the suppliers, and the owners, so you have a multitude of people that are negatively affected. We’ve had to adjust with what we can do. You come to Morgan’s for the experience, we were known for special occasion clothing and that function is completely limited now. There’s a misconception that we are more expensive than what we are, so that’s important to dispel. We have holiday outfits that can work with your budget.
One of my proudest moments was receiving a letter from (then Senator) Joe Biden when I first opened my business, which is framed in my shop. He wrote, ‘I realize this is the culmination of a lot of hard work and personal sacrifice, but with your obvious talents, I’m sure you will achieve every success.’
At Morgan’s we are open for business and are here to serve you 7 days a week! We are going through the same thing as the restaurants, the same ocean and it’s working through it every day. We have dressed clients for weddings, and funerals. No matter the occasion, it is a production, so we are here to serve you and assist you in that production. Each person wants to look different, and we have to work to provide the image. When it comes to clothing, you can make a statement without saying a word.”