Plus HQ expands to a Bricks & Mortar Store in Melbourne…

In April 2012 I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda, a vivacious and passionate woman with a dream to make a difference in plus-size fashion.

I assisted Amanda source plus-size brands for her online store and consulted to her business on all things plus-size.  Amanda came to me with a dream, and in a little over a year the impact she has made is incredible!

Plus HQ the website has been up and running since May 2012, it quickly gathered momentum and fostered a loyal following. Feedback was always positive on the great customer service and quality of the products received. Amanda was frequently asked about opening her own store, and it became clear that there was a big need for another bricks & mortar store catering to sizes 14+.

Now I know personally with my styling & shopping services how frustrating it is to gallivant across the city from suburb to suburb to cover all bases when it comes to building a wardrobe, sometimes the majority of the day is taken up in the car getting from place to place, This is especially true when I’m dealing with customers in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, but now no longer!

On April 24th I was thrilled to be invited to the VIP Opening of the Plus HQ bricks & mortar store in Eltham.  The evening was wet and rainy as I set my GPS to Eltham (a mere 1 hour drive!). From south-east to north-east I navigated my way through peak hour traffic to arrive for the 7pm start. When I arrived the car park was jam packed. When I finally secured a park, I opened my umbrella and bolted across the car park to the store with the lights on – low and behold I discovered at least 60 women milling around excitedly!  WOW what an incredible turn-out. It was clear from the onset that the location of this store was very welcome indeed.

The store is beautifully fitted out with grey/metallic fittings, the bursts of colour come from the incredible accessories (hosiery, scarves, costume jewellery galore and to-die-for handbags & clutches), and racks and racks of fashion clothing ALL in sizes 14+ – a treasure trove for the curvy girl. I was in heaven!

I was welcomed with a glass of bubbly and a tray of sushi was soon coming my way. I squeezed my way in through the crowds and was happy to see lots of familiar faces.

The room was abuzz and Amanda (who looked stunning as always) was radiating “dream come true”!

The inspirational and beautiful Julie Parker from Beautiful You was MC for the night and after a welcome speech from Amanda, Julie took over the microphone for an incredibly empowering speech on Positive Body Image. The room was still as we all listened and identified with Julie’s message.  At the end, the silence was broken as a thunderous round of applause filled the air. Congratulations to Amanda for ensuring such a strong message went hand in hand with her dream of bringing curvy fashion to the Melbourne masses.

“I’m everything that I want, I’m everything that I need, I am enough”,

Julie Parker, Beautiful You.

Then it was on to the fashion parade, four beautiful ladies, not models, just curvy girls of different ages and sizes paraded up and down the packed store wearing labels represented in the store including 17 Sundays and Harlow Fashion.  It was wonderful to see the garments on real bodies, not just hanging on a rack, really identifiable and certainly got everyone talking and oohing and aahing.  It was also fantastic to see that the two Australian Plus-size designer labels, 17 Sundays and Harlow Fashion were present to mingle with the crowds. The level of support is telling as to how passionate these girls are about their product and their designs. I was especially excited to see the girls from 17 Sundays wearing a selection of current stock and a few “sneak peeks” of what’s to come!! Nice one girls!

With the fashion show over, the guests were really keen to get at the racks and have a good look and try. The store was hectic, I took the opportunity to mingle outside the store with a lot of guests. The cash register was ringing away and lots of happy customers were happily showing other guests their stash of beautiful garments.

I love the selection of garments Amanda has on offer, the styles, colours and selection are impeccable, great labels with an accent on supporting Australian plus-size fashion designer labels, and the most amazing selection of gorgeous accessories.

I encourage you all to make the trip to Plus HQ at 9 Dudley Street, Eltham Vic at your earliest opportunity.

Amanda’s online store is also available 24/7 here and it’s $10 flat rate postage Australia wide.

NEWSFLASH: Hope&Harvest are now available in-store at Plus HQ… get on it!

Please tell Amanda I sent you.

Love your shape!

Janine x 

Across the Pond there was a rattle & hum on the catwalk…

Hip Hip Hooray! Is all I can say, and how envious and proud was I to watch from afar… The annual Full Figured Fashion Week was held last week in New York City and our Aussie designers 17 Sundays were front and centre on the Indie catwalk!

What an amazing honour and how deserving these ladies are. The designers behind the label are Nikala & Claire, the most beautiful ladies, working hard towards their dream. I personally have seen the blood, sweat & tears they have put into their label during the past few years I’ve been supporting them.  They are so passionate, talented and creative, and completely understand a curvy body and what looks good on it!

Australia had a contingent of bloggers who were invited to attend and who have also actively kept us in the loop with all that happened during that jam packed week.

Curvy Revolution’s own Samantha Morris flew over on a personal trip to be part of the festivities and I can’t wait to catch up with her and get her take on how it all went down. More on that soon.

The 17 Sundays range even featured on New Yorks morning show Good Day NY!!! Check it out here.

Here’s a small list of places you’ll find coverage of the event:

Full Figured Fashion Week ™ New York, Los Angeles, and Canada

Jessica Dee

Danimezza

Little Lime Dress

The Curvy Fashionista

Caitlin Bradley

A HUGE Congratulations to 17 Sundays for doing us proud and for all they do. I encourage you to support Australian, visit their site now, and Like their facebook page to keep up to date on all that’s coming our way – they are HOT HOT HOT!!!

Love your shape!

Janine x