"Don't take this the wrong way or anything but I thought you only sold plus size clothes for some reason. You have clothes that would fit me too?" Hmm. Maybe because I'm 'plus-size?'
"So just as feedback, some friends and I noticed that the models on your website are a little larger. I think that might give some potential customers the wrong impression. You know, unfortunately - society values a certain ideal." You mean even my main two models, who are a size 6 and 10?
Yes, as a new small business (boutique) owner, I've heard all of this and more. And while part of me is deeply offended (because this business is very personal to me), another part of me knows that if I can't stand the heat, I best get out the kitchen. So, I smile and nod.
But you know what, I'm not here to just smile and nod. And those of you that have been following me closely on my business journey thus far, know that I'm also not here JUST to sell stuff. I'm here to change my life and the lives of those around me. By inspiring, empowering, and invoking a sense of oneness & individuality all at the same time.
And for these reasons, I want to explain a few things about my boutique that I refuse to change for anyone. I won't change these things for any current or potential customer. I won't change these things for any brand to allow me to carry their line. I won't change these things for any part of society that is telling me I should.
I will NOT cater to one size range or another. At my boutique: all sizes are welcome!
I will NOT stop using my beautiful friends of all shapes and sizes as models for my boutique's website. My models have ranged from sizes 0-26 from day one. And being that the average woman is now a size 14, if there is any size I would want to represent most it's THAT size. But truthfully, I want to represent all sizes. Because again: all sizes are welcome!
I will NOT (at vendor events or future storefront locations) create any sort of barrier between smaller clothes and larger clothes. They are all clothes! Hangers will indicate sizes. And most items will come in sizes S-2X or 3X. No matter what your size, my entire store is for you ... and your mom, and your best friend, and every woman you know of any size. Again, because: all sizes are welcome!
I WILL not use the term PLUS size (though I have in the past, and still slip up now and then when on the spot - as it's so ingrained into our society). There are a couple reasons why. One is that it is often thought of as the opposite of regular. WTH? Are we not all regular?? And another is that I really just see it as a term that seeks to divide. And there will be no dividing in my boutique. Not using the word plus, and not using some other term either (such as Missy, or Woman, or even Curvy). Because again: all sizes are welcome!
Yes, I'm someone who's struggled with weight all my life - in both directions. I mean, if I'm being honest here (which I always am), I've struggled with all possible eating disorders over the years including anorexia combined with compulsive over-exercising, bulimia and overeating. And along the way, I've also struggled with fitting in. It's because of all of this (especially) that I really wanted to create a fun, safe shopping environment where no woman feels out of place. No woman feels the opposite of regular. No woman feels they have any less right to pick up a piece of clothing and worry if it will come in her size or not. We have enough to worry about already (no matter what size we are).
I want to admit though, that I don't have it all figured out (yet). I'm still working on finding the best brands that offer a range of sizes to carry (and I am finding them, one by one). I also acknowledge two things: one is that the size range of S-2X/3X is NOT actually all inclusive - but it's pretty close (considering the average size woman of today). The other is that I don't condone fat or thin shaming, but I do believe in the value of health. I just also think that we can't know what is behind another woman's size - we just can't. All we can do is support and empower each other regardless. Because if someone is overweight or underweight, it's not up to us, or the media, or the boutiques that we shop at to remind of us of it. Only we can make our health a priority, and health can certainly come in a variety of shapes and sizes too (it has little to do with societies' ideals).
So when I say ALL SIZES ARE WELCOME HERE. I f'n mean it, ladies! And you're with me or you're not. And by the way, I hope you are - because I have lots more in store!