‘Reminders of Our Lady’s Love and Beauty’

Online Catholic business Outrageous Mom honors Mother Mary.

Laura Bride offers products that draw people to the Blessed Mother, from scarves to dolls.
Laura Bride offers products that draw people to the Blessed Mother, from scarves to dolls. (photo: Laura Bride / Outrageous Mom)

Laura Bride calls her online Catholic business a “biznistry” because it is equal parts business and ministry, offering products that draw people to the Blessed Mother and her mantle of protection.

Through Marian-themed scarves and other items, including dolls, plates, platters, baby bibs, rattles, towels, books and blankets, Bride said she and her customers have received unexpected and profound graces. 

“I always feel privileged when customers share how much these gift items mean to them and draw them more deeply into a relationship with Our Lady and her most perfect Son. Sometimes I cry when I get their notes. I was not expecting to have such deep faith moments shared with me when I opened this business.”

Bride started Outrageous Mom, so named because Mary’s love is outrageous, with six scarf designs: four in different colors of a pattern depicting the Miraculous Medal, one with both the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary and another called Auspice Maria, meaning “Under the Protection of Mary.” 

They sold immediately, Bride told the Register, adding, “And then, through prayer and my own personal devotion to Our Lady, more of the titles of the Blessed Mother kept being placed on my heart to create more fabric designs to give honor to her.” 

In addition to the Miraculous Medal and Auspice Maria patterns, her scarf line now includes designs for Our Lady, Star of the Sea; Our Lady of Cana; Queen of Heaven; Our Lady of the Visitation; Our Lady of Fatima; Our Lady of the Annunciation; Our Lady of Sorrows and more. Bride has created more than 100 designs since starting the business and may have 40 to 70 different styles in stock at once, depending on how quickly they sell.

In keeping with her original intention to create a relevant, high-styled Catholic brand for gifts, Bride began adding other items, the first of which were religious dolls. 

“That was divine Providence,” she said. “I met a manufacturer in New York, and she told me she had a stuffed-animal business, but she was Catholic. I said, ‘I would love to sell beautiful Catholic dolls. Would you custom make them for me?’” 

Bride called the first set the “October 13, 1917” dolls because their depictions of Our Lady, St. Joseph and the Child Jesus are based on the final Fatima apparition. Bride now offers five different Mary dolls along with infant and resurrected Jesus dolls and a few animal figures. She also sells a full Nativity set at Christmas. 

“People love giving these dolls for baptisms and first Communions and also as baby-shower gifts,” Bride said. Several mothers, she added, have written her to say that the dolls had a calming effect on children who had been having nightmares.

Customers also have given the scarves to friends who are grieving; and some recipients, she said, have reported that they felt like they were wrapped in Mary’s mantle. 

“When you wear one of these scarves,” Bride said, “you truly are under Mary’s mantle, which is the safest place to be in this world.” 

One woman who had given a scarf to a friend suffering the loss of her only son in a tragic accident later told Bride in a note, “So often words are not enough to share how much your heart breaks when a friend is carrying a heavy cross. It was a blessing to share a Miraculous Medal scarf with my friend. She wore it the evening of the visitation and at the funeral. She thanked me afterwards and said she felt Mary’s embrace the whole time.” 

Bride previously had spent 10 years as a retail manufacturer’s representative and manager for two fashion brands that told stories through fabric designs. But she didn’t decide to parlay her experience into Catholic gifts until well after a pilgrimage to Fatima in 2006 that reinspired her faith. 

“I wasn’t away from the Church, but what happened was that my Catholic faith was completely transformed from being a set of rules to follow to get to heaven into a relationship. I came home and immediately started attending daily Mass, and my faith just began to blossom and grow.” 

At the time, Bride had a business that sold gifts and favors for golf and tennis tournaments, but she eventually phased it out and began thinking about creating fabric designs devoted to Our Lady. 

It took her five years to get the designs right and to find a Christian manufacturer. 

Through it all, she said, “Our Lady kept nudging me.” 

Finally, by the summer of 2019, Bride was able to take a leap of faith and set up Outrageous Mom stores on both her own website and on Etsy

She opened them on Nov. 27, 2019, the feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, in keeping with a devotion instilled in her by her paternal grandparents. The late Cres and Catherine Bride often traveled to pilgrimage sites, and one of their favorites was the chapel in Paris where Mary appeared to St. Catherine Labouré in 1830, instructing her to have the Miraculous Medal made. Bride herself has worn a Miraculous Medal consistently for the last 16 years and attaches one to each of the scarves she sells, believing that those who wear them are under Mary’s protection and receive the medal’s promised sacramental graces. She does recommend, however, having the scarves and medals blessed by a priest. 

As her business has evolved over the last three years, Bride renamed the Instagram account for her stores @miraculousmom, in deference to her own Miraculous Medal devotion, but she remains on Facebook as OutrageousMom.com.

Although most of her sales are online, some of her items are sold in a few retail stores and at Catholic women’s conferences around the country. “When women attend these conferences and have a deeply spiritual encounter, it’s nice for them to buy something that is a reminder of their day. The things I sell are relevant, but also reminders of Our Lady’s love and beauty and how close she wants to be to each of us. For many women, it’s the perfect time to make a purchase that will keep them on the path to holiness begun at the conference.”

Bride said she likes to think that her business shows how God can take someone’s life experiences, even those from a secular retail background, and inspire his glory through them. 

“That’s exactly what happened to me, quite honestly. I look back at my life and working with fashion and beauty and classy, higher-end merchandise, and I look at how God inspired me to pronounce my faith through my life experiences. ... Through the renewal of my faith, I was able to take a secular retail career and turn it into a beautiful gift business that draws people to Mary’s side. 

“I give Jesus and Mary all the credit for that.”