Curvy Girl follows her dream…

Two weeks ago in a café in inner Melbourne, I had the pleasure of meeting two amazing women, Kelsey and her mum Sue.  The purpose of their visit to the “big smoke” was to source amazing garments for their customers and to tap into some Industry knowledge.  Over a cup of coffee we sat chatting about their business plan.

Kelsey is a 20 year old who knows what she wants and is willing to work hard for it.  It was such a pleasure to see her excitement and passion.  Kelsey has graduated from High School and has been running the local Royal Hotel Euston Pub Kitchen.  Her dream to run her own boutique has been brewing for quite some time.  She knows the pain of trying to find  great fitting garments to flatter her curves, and especially being in a rural setting, this becomes an even more difficult undertaking.  She loves her job running the kitchen, but there was more.. she talked about it for months, dared to dream and then decided to act.  Sue, Kelsey’s mum is a vibrant woman with curves who is clearly as passionate as Kelsey about her daughter’s dream. So much so that she’s thrown herself into the project with gusto.  Equally, Kelsey’s sister Juscinda was behind the dream too.  What happens when you have a dream, and you have all the love and support you could imagine – dreams come true, and the hard work begins!

So over coffee, In my usual style, I was more than happy to flood them with information on all things curvy fashion and curvy business and Kelsey soaked up the advice and added it to her bag of magic.

Flash forward a week and a half, and the KJSista’s doors opened for the first time late last week.

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How gorgeous are these two sisters?! The name KJSista came from K=Kelsey (owner) and J=Juscinda her sister.  Clever!  Decked out on opening day in gorgeous 17 Sundays, the two girls were inundated with locals who couldn’t wait to check out what was on offer and the flow of customers hasn’t stopped since.

It’s so amazing to see girls so young KNOW what they want, and go out and get it.  At 20 I was travelling the world, and I was learning to love my shape. It took me a lot longer than 20 to do that and realise there was a way to work and love what I do.

Congratulations Kelsey, and congratulations to your mum Sue and sister Juscinda for backing you and your dream.

IMG_0242 Sonsee Woman seamless bra and anti-chaffing shorts available at KJSista

KJSista stocks a range of labels available in sizes 8-26 including:

  • 17 Sundays – Boutique Plus-size Designer Fashion Label – Sizes 14-26
  • Hope & Harvest – Engineered for Curves Plus-Size Designer Fashion Label – Sizes 12-28
  • Love Your Wardrobe – On-Trend plus-size fashion – Sizes 14-24
  • Sonsee Woman – Ultra Stretch Hosiery & Seamless Intimates Range for the Curvy Figure – Sizes 14-28
  • Teaberry – sizes 8-16

You can find KJSista at 9 Perrin Street, Robinvale Vic 3549.

Opening Hours:

Tues-Fri:  9:00am-5:00pm

Sat:          9:00am-12:00pm

Also stocking a fantastic selection of accessories including beautiful jewellery and handbags.

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Click on the image above to follow KJSISTA on Instagram.

Shop local and support Australian designers.

Please tell Kelsey I sent you.

Love your shape!

Janine x

 

Costumes – for curvy girls just in time for Halloween…

I often get asked “Where can I find costumes for my plus-size figure”? This week my in-box is overflowing with requests on where to find plus-size Halloween Costumes…

If you’ve left things too late and you don’t have time to scout around the local op shops or order from e-bay, I highly recommend Costume Box. They have a selection of over 150 styles to choose from, everything from female Ghostbuster, to witches, to Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz!

The styles come in a “true-to-size” range up to Australian size 24 and in most cases it’s next day delivery! How easy is that.


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Happy Halloween and happy costume shopping!

Love your shape!

Janine x

 

How many more can we afford to lose?

This week marks the closing of two important brands who have serviced the plus-size industry here in Australia (and overseas)… really?

Yes, really 🙁

Can we afford to lose such businesses?

Bennetts Boots have been around for years, an Australian company offering wide-calf boots in 3 different calf sizes. The first time I tried on a pair of Bennetts Boots I was in love. They fit! bennettsbootsNot only did they fit but the quality was second to none and everything had been thought of – anti-smell, quality leather, extra cushioning and beautifully presented in a box with instructions on how to care for your boots. I have 3 pairs in my wardrobe, and 5 years on they are still in excellent condition! Now that’s quality (and the argument I always use when convincing someone to invest $300+ in boots!)

Not only plus-size women have wide-calves, in fact a friend of mine is a runner and she too (even at a size 10) requires wide-calf boots, I know she’ll be saddened by this news too.

Plus HQ run by the gorgeous Amanda, face of the brand, started just over 2 years ago with a fabulous website dedicated to gorgeous, stylish and stunning garments for ladies size 16-26. Amanda’s website became so popular, that she expanded to a bricks & mortar store which opened in Eltham, Vic just over a year ago. PlusHQI was a huge fan of her store, in the quaint “village” of Eltham you were always welcomed with Amanda’s huge smile and welcoming spirit, she was a whizz at styling and nothing was too much trouble, but her customer service was also second to none – she just got it, you know! She had a keen eye for picking gorgeous styles to feature in her store, as well as the most amazing bags and accessories this side of Texas! I’ve never heard a bad word about her brand, only rave reviews.

Plus HQ hosted two incredible VIP nights where I was amazed at the turn-out, so many supporters, and all there to shop too! I shared a lovely dinner with her a few weeks ago where together we discussed the pros and cons of running such a business, and the difficult decision that had to be made to close the doors.

Both Amandas’ are extremely passionate women who saw a niche and went for it and they both made an important mark on our Industry. The challenges of business in the current economic climate, coupled with the explosion of internet shopping and keeping a solid cash flow have proven too big a hurdle. I know that these ladies did not come to this decision lightly. It’s just so sad that as a Curvy girl I can no longer look forward to their offerings.

As always, I want to encourage you all to SUPPORT AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS. It’s so important to recognise that businesses can only survive if we are actually buying, not just talking about how great they are. Both businesses have blitzed their final day’s sales, it’s sad that we are prepared to buy only when things are “on sale”.

(Incidentally, both brands have HUGE sales on right now, so visit their websites by clicking on the links/images above to grab a last minute bargain – and hang on for as long as you can!)

Just the other day, my hubby Pete and I were discussing issues with retail these days. He actually put the problem into a nutshell, he said “People just do not value quality anymore”. In fact we realised that the focus has shifted from quality completely. Such a shame.

It’s easy to buy cheap anything these days. I’m guilty of it too, don’t get me wrong. I can buy a kazillion pairs of “ankle” boots from the “cheapo” stores, but I can’t buy a kazillion pairs of quality wide calf boots from these stores. I need to invest in, and look after my quality boots. Equally, investing in key pieces (such as those always on offer at Plus HQ), equates to a quality wardrobe, not just a kazillion pieces of cheap nasty Chinese rip offs.

It’s time to re-think our buying patterns. I personally don’t feel we can afford to lose any more Australian brands – do you?

Amanda & Amanda, congratulations on your achievements and THANK YOU for providing me with quality & choice. Good luck with your future endeavours.

(SOB).

Love your shape!

Janine x

Want to know where to shop? I’ve got it sorted… The Curvy Girl’s Guide to Shopping