Buxom Envy – Personalised Bra Fittings

Many moons ago I hosted a nationwide event for curvy women where we hosted VIP in-store events in every major city across the country, simultaneously. It was awesome. Sue Bowman who then managed a family business called Cheeky Curves in Adelaide hosted my event with a gorgeous Curvy Ambassador of mine, Natasha.  The event was a huge success. Unfortunately the family shut the doors to Cheeky Curves about 2 years ago and Adelaide curvy ladies lost an important resource with regards to accurate bra fittings.

Flash Forward to June 2016 and Sue has opened what can only be described as THE most incredible luxe personalised bra-fitting service I’ve ever seen – Buxom Envy.

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I was working in Adelaide recently and decided to book an appointment with Sue and invite along a couple of friends Kelly and Lisa, a local, who I know will benefit from this service too.

From the moment we opened the door to be greeted by the ever smiling Sue, we felt like a million dollars – that was before we’d been fitted!  The service is located in a leafy suburb of Adelaide at 45E Sussex Terrace, Hawthorn SA, there is ample parking and the signage is beautiful.

As you open the door you step into a light filled room with luxe furnishings including the most amazing ceiling to floor length black & gold curtains surrounding the most ROOMY change-room ever!  With comfortable padded seats, a beautiful display of bras & knickers and lovely attention to details  like a beautiful window that appears that you can see the outside world and makes you feel like the outside world is looking in – but it isn’t!  It is one-way tinted so that you have beautiful natural light without flashing your curvy bits to the world!!

Open Door at Buxom Envy

Change Room 1 Change Room 3

Our session (a group booking) included coffee, tea and bubbles, macaroons and a personal consultation and expert fitting service. (To make a group booking with 3-4 maximum, email Sue at info@buxomenvy.com)

Lisa Lisa with a cuppa Kelly

 

 

 

 

Lisa volunteered to go first and as she disappeared behind the lush curtains, Kelly and I relaxed in the plush chairs and chatted. It wasn’t long before Lisa glided gracefully out of the change-room with her first option of bra on – amazing! We dissolved into giggles as we discussed the “incredible impact that bra has on the girls” LOL. Sue has so many options to choose from, but what I loved is that you are not bamboozled by bras everywhere, you literally are provided with a selection of bras to try that are expertly selected by Sue. I was astounded at how accurate she was in selecting the correct options each time for all of us.

Kelly was next, always bubbly with a wicked sense of humour she had us in stitches, but equally, she was seriously astounded at the difference the bras Sue selected for her were accurate and flattering.

KellyFunnyYES – she does realise it’s upside down! Kelly was thrilled when the sports bra she chose came in her favourite colour 🙂

Then it was my turn. I’ve been professionally fitted for bras consistently during my lifetime, and when at home in Melbourne I favour Brava Lingerie as my go-to store.  The service and expertise there is second to none and they always have what I’m after. However, there is just something over and above in having your own personalised time to relax, enjoy and really talk to an expert about your options. The opportunity to share it with some good friends and make an occasion out of it is too good to pass up.

Sue & Janine

Sue specialises in sizes 8-34 (30-56) F-K cups and 18-34 (42-56) B-E cups and stocks the following brands, Elomi, Goddess, Freya, Tutti Rouge, Today’s Woman, Panache, Sculptresse, Elila, Hotmilk, Oh La La Cherie, Sonsee Woman seamless intimates & hosiery,and many more.

Sue, congratulations on your new store and fitting service Buxom Envy, the Adelaide ladies are so lucky to have you! I highly recommend you book yourself in to experience this service for yourself.

Don’t you think “my girls” look amazing in this post-fitting/wearing my new bra photo?!

Please tell Sue I sent you.

Love your shape!

Janine x

 

Breast Foot Forward…

As you know, my beautiful mum battled breast cancer last year. I’m so pleased to say that she is a survivor and we’re enjoying watching her recover and go from strength to strength.

Mum

The journey of watching someone you love so dearly battle such a horrible disease is to put it mildly – traumatising. The disease itself is horrible, but the treatment is almost worse than the disease. It’s crazy that you have to almost kill someone to get them better again, and those are the lucky ones.

Cancer has touched my life in so many ways, I myself was diagnosed with early stage cervical cancer at the age of 29. I had many operations to remove the disease, and was one of the lucky ones who found it in it’s early stages and did not require chemotherapy or radiation.  My paternal grandmother (who is now 91) also had breast cancer many years ago and I remember as a teenager,  after her mastectomy when she came home with her prosthesis -the hilarity that she preferred to carry her prosthetic breast in a bag rather than wear it! “It’s just too heavy & annoying” she’d say.  Those were the days when prosthesis were cumbersome and heavy, these days technology has made it possible to wear incredible prosthesis that are comfortable, light and more realistic.

Presently I have three gorgeous women around me who are battling cancer. One of my dearest friends in Holland has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The shock of this news is still ringing in my ears. Roelien and I met when I was an exchange student in The Netherlands in 1987-1988. She was my best friend during my school exchange year and we had lots of fun times together. I’ve visited Holland many times over the past 26 years since, and each time we spend time together, sometimes going away for a few days and visiting other cities in Europe. She is so much a part of my other “Home” and the news that I likely won’t see her again is simply devastating. She is very brave and is fighting hard, and I’m so grateful that technology now allows us to “see” each other via Skype.  Two other friends are battling breast cancer, both have had their surgeries and are about to embark on their chemotherapy treatment journey.

All of these women are beautiful, gorgeous, positive, independent women who live full lives, they are all under 50 – how can this be?

Of course, I am grateful that we have amazing medical treatment and multi-discipline teams to help them through their battle. But I find myself sitting feeling so helpless and wanting to do something to help.

What can I do to help?

    • I can raise awareness by getting the message to as many women as possible
    • I can raise funds to support research into cancer
    • I can be there to support my friends to the best of my ability

A few weeks ago I opened my local newspaper and saw a photo and editorial about one of my customers, Lisa. Lisa’s mum Corinne had a battle with cancer. I was very happy to hear that Corinne has been given the all clear! Lisa and her mum Corinne, together with some friends Kath, Sharon, Tasha & Mark, have created a team working together to raise funds for the Peter McCallum Cancer Institute.

LisasTeam

Their challenge is to compete in The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers which is a 2-day, 60 kilometre walk through the neighbourhoods of Melbourne – what a challenge!

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Lisa says “My commitment is based on love for my fellow sisters, mothers, grandmas,
daughters, nieces, and friends everywhere. It’s based on the realisation that we each need to do our part in this fight. I can walk. I can raise  funds to benefit Peter Mac and their efforts to end women’s cancers. I can and choose to be a part of this movement to take down women’s cancers! I ask you to take a stance with me and join this life-saving adventure for all women. Be a part of my very personal journey – by giving, by walking with me, or simply by sharing my story with your circle of influence. Don’t stand back and think about what you could have done – take that first step today! Take a chance with me – we have the opportunity to change thousands of lives, beginning with our own. This isn’t just my journey – it’s yours, too”.

Lisa, I support you, your mum Corinne and the rest of the team wholeheartedly! Please dig deep and donate to this worthy cause. You can donate by clicking this link.

My knee injury won’t allow me to walk so far in two days. Lisa lives locally to me so I have pledged to support her by walking with her during her training, and helping her spread the word.

I’ve also pledged to donate $1 from every copy of my Curvy Girl’s Guide to Shopping to the Cancer Council of Australia.

Donation

Ladies, remember prevention is the best weapon we have.

BOOK NOW for your Breastscreen – it’s free! And don’t forget to regularly check your breasts. If you’re not sure here’s a great illustration of how to do it yourself.

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REGISTER NOW for Cervical Screening Register. Your doctor can also sign you up to the register. It’s a fantastic service that ensures you receive a reminder and keeps a record of your results. Remember, this regular test could save your life.

Look after you, and those around you.

Love your shape!

Janine x

An invaluable resource for plus-size women of Australia

Over the past five years I’ve invested my energy and passion into providing styling advice, education & empowerment tools, a safe social media environment for discussion and I’ve been a loud voice for plus-size women.

I receive hundreds of emails and social media messages per month requesting assistance with sourcing garments or styling advice from women curvy women Australia wide. You are constantly wondering where to shop for clothes and how to put it all together. I’ve spent wonderful hours working with you one-on-one and in groups, but I thought it was timely to put together a resource that you could have at your fingertips, a one-stop guide to shopping!

Welcome to the Curvy Girls Shopping Guide to Melbourne, Australia. This guide is exclusively designed to provide you with resources for curvy girls in our gorgeous city.  This Guide contains information that has been compiled from my own research and personal experiences. It will be updated on an annual basis to ensure its relevance as stores and labels appear, evolve and change. Everything you need in one place!

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“Hey Janine got my copy and even though I’m in Brisbane like you said GREAT resources that are Australia wide!  Being American it has been difficult navigating beyond the ‘usual suspects’ for a more boutique shopping experience.  LOVE IT!  (Encourage any AU based people to get it!) I’ve read cover to cover & browsed every shop already! (Online that is)” ~  Kenyeal

The guide features detailed listings with all relevant contact details and clickable links directly to retailers and service providers. Fully printable or viewable in PDF.

Topics include:

  • Curvy styling options
  • An overview of plus-size fashion in Australia
  • Sizing Guide
  • Australian plus-size designers
  • Factory Outlets
  • Department Stores
  • Second hand markets and online resources
  • Bridal
  • Corporate Wear
  • Activewear, Lingerie & Sleepwear
  • Maternity
  • Specialty Boutiques specialising in Size 14+
  • Big Brands
  • and so much more…

Donation

Remember, if you need styling assistance or have a special event coming up, I offer lots of options for shopping & styling.

Love your shape!

Janine x

 

One-Stop Plus Maternity Shop in the heart of Sydney…

Many of you will remember in October 2010 I hosted a Girl’s Night Out for Real Women Australia to raise funds for Cancer. The room was packed with women and the gorgeous garments designed for women with curves were realistically & identifiably presented on seven of my beautiful Curvy Revolution models. The event was a huge success.

One of the participating retailers, was none other than Australian designer & manufacturer of plus-size maternity wear, Nadine Newell and her label Plus Maternity.

Curvy Revolution’s Kate was eight months pregnant at the time and looked stunning in Nadine’s designs.

Kate wearing Plus Maternity – October 2010

I often get enquiries about maternity wear and resources for plus-size women, and with Nadine’s launch of her label a couple of years ago, the options opened up.

Now here’s some more more great news for pregnant curvy women.

Two of Australia’s leading specialist boutiques, More Than A Handful and online store, Plus Maternity have joined forces to cater for the plus sized maternity market with a one-stop shopping destination in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.

Bringing together beautiful lingerie and swimwear options with on-trend clothing pieces, the new store will exclusively stock brands Bravado, Anita, Royce and Eveden as well as Plus Maternity’s wholly designed and manufactured in Australia range created by mum, Nadine Newell, who understands the needs of a plus sized mum.

Located at Level 2, 70 Druitt St, Sydney, the store also provides fashionable alternatives for the plus sized market exclusively stocking New Zealand designer Carolyn Barker’s wardrobe essentials of dresses, tunics, overtops, pants, skirts, tops jackets and vests.

The two stores come together from a long-time relationship – Plus Maternity’s Nadine Newell was a client of Margaret McLachlan’s More Than A Handful.  Both passionate about offering their fuller figured customers quality clothing options the merging of stores was a natural transition.  Margaret McLachlan also has a passion for promoting Australian and New Zealand made products where possible – an increasingly difficult task in today’s manufacturing climate.

“We felt our clients could really benefit from having a one-stop destination for all their maternity wear shopping needs.  Both Nadine and I believe in supporting and providing options for all women who need our specialist service – not just up to size 22 which is what many retailers do because it is a profitable demographic”, said Margaret McLachlan.

I’m really enjoying meeting our customers face to face, said Nadine Newell, it’s been fantastic to respond to their requests to have a bricks and mortar store after having an online store for 2 years.  The shop is in a stunning inner city location, right behind the QVB, on all the transport hubs.   The feedback received from women has been nothing but positive, they love that can come in and shop for both their maternity wear and their nursing bra requirements in one location.  The trained fitters from More than a Handful are wonderful to work with everyday.

Margaret McLachlan established More Than A Handful in 2005 after sustaining a shoulder injury and not being able to find a front-opening bra in her size.  Formerly a registered nurse with a post-graduate degree in midwifery, Margaret McLachlan is a professional bra-fitter specifically catering to women with larger bust sizes.

With PCOS, and after many years of trying to conceive, eventually with the assistance of IVF, Nadine Newell couldn’t wait to go shopping for maternity wear.  Unable to find anything in plus sizes and disappointed by the lack of care shown by retail assistances in trying to help her, she turned to overseas options but again, was underwhelmed by the choices available to plus sized women.  In 2010, knowing she wasn’t alone in her struggle to find maternity and breastfeeding wear, she decided to develop Plus Maternity, offering a range of gorgeous maternity wear designed and made in Australia, using local fabrics where available, such as the fabulous cotton milled in Sydney and used in all Plus Maternity’s breastfeeding friendly sleepwear.  Remaining fashionable, each item is fully functional with important details for the plus sized market including longer line tops, pants with stretch and busts with a little more room.  In 2011, Nadine Newell was a finalist in the Bio-Oil Ausmumpreneur Awards.

More Than A Handful

More Than A Handful caters to women of all ages and sizes carrying every day, evening, bridal, maternity and sports underwear collections in the very latest colours and fabrics.  This specialist intimate apparel boutique also provides practical and suitable choices for women who have undergone shoulder surgery or suffer disabling medical conditions which limit their flexibility and movement.  To provide maximum comfort and support, More Than A Handful also offers a tailored alteration service when required to ensure your bra is best suited to your shape, height and special needs.

www.morethanahandful.com.au

Plus Maternity

Plus Maternity is a clothing range for women, size 18 to 28. The range is inclusive of the key wardrobe essentials, corporate pieces, jeans, comfy casual wear, chlorine resistant swimwear, breastfeeding accessible sleepwear and a selection of breastfeeding tops.  Plus Maternity also has a thriving online community via Facebook, which aims to provide as much plus size mum friendly information as possible and at times Q&A forum.  Nadine spends a lot of time sifting though research and working with health care professionals to raise awareness of the issues faced by plus sized mum – a big part of this is ensuing we are in regular contact with the pregnancy and health media to ensure that issues of relevance to plus size mums are featured in fashion spreads, information pieces and readers stories.

www.plusmaternity.com.au

Here’s your invitation to attend the grand opening, if you’re not local to Sydney, don’t forget to shop online. Without your support, local Australian designers and businesses won’t survive. These ladies are passionate and working hard for YOU.

Tell Nadine & Margaret I sent you…

Love your shape!

Janine x