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.

BuxomEnvyLogo

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

 

A Life Lesson…

This is my paternal Grandma, Doreen Iris Mison, she passed away in November 2013 and I miss her every day. She left us at the age of 91 years old – quite an innings. My Grandma was married for over 55 years (until my grandfather Ted passed away 9 years ago – she proudly wore her rings everyday of her life from the day she married).  She had 2 sons, 4 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and 3 GREAT great grandchildren!  She lived independently up until her 89th birthday when she fell and broke her leg. This happened the same week that my mum was diagnosed with stage 3 aggressive breast cancer and I took over care of my Grandmother from my mum.Grandma

I have so many fond memories of my relationship with my Grandma, and she’s always been extremely proud of her family.  She was always a positive role model. Of course, when my Granddad passed away she was very sad, they were best friends and after living with him for 55 years it must have been an incredible shock. Then just 5 years ago she lost her oldest son (my uncle) and 3 years ago my dad (her youngest son) passed away suddenly. The shock for her, and us all was indescribable. But she kept on keeping on, knitting for her family, knitting for local and oversea charities, doing her weekly “puzzles” and buying her weekly tattslotto ticket for that elusive big win that was going to save us all!  She knew everything about us all and “skited” to anyone who would listen.  She was a beautiful soul and I loved her dearly.

I was also very sad and frustrated with her. About 3 ½ years ago my parents received a call very early in the morning to say she had been taken by ambulance to the hospital – her blood sugar level was 1 – yes ONE!  By all rights she should have been in a coma. Grandma developed diabetes about 10 years ago and she was insulin dependent.  My mum, and the doctors spent HOURS explaining to Grandma what she needed to do to keep her diabetes under control.  Grandma listened, but there was one problem….

Grandma, for over 80 years, had a fear of getting fat!  The truth is, my grandma had always been a plus-size woman.  Right up til she was 89 she was a size 18-20, and had been for as long as I can remember!

Grandma was so conditioned to be conscious of her weight that she was actually killing herself.

As a diabetic it was CRUCIAL that she eat carbohydrates.  She MUST eat rice, bread, potato etc. etc. but she did everything in her power not to – in fact she had some birds that were regular visitors to her unit who came to eat the bread she threw out the door every day!  I’d often be visiting with her when her when her compulsory plate of sandwiches to eat before she went to bed (Dr’s Orders) arrived and I watched as she was almost physically ill eating them because her mind was telling her that she shouldn’t – but she knew I was watching and she didn’t dare not eat it!!

Obviously at 89 it was too late to change a person’s mind-set. If only that were possible. 

The fascinating thing was, we nearly lost Grandma twice before that year.  When I was very small, my Grandma had a massive brain tumour.  She survived what was likely to be a fatal tumour and then 20 years later she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She and I often giggled together over the prosthetic breast she had made to replace the breast she had removed, in fact she kept the prosthetic breast in a plastic bag in her cupboard, she always said she was too old to care about whether she had one breast missing… so why is it that that’s ok, but eating so she didn’t lapse into a coma due to a diabetic turn is so hard to accept?

When Grandma was moved to high-care in June 2012, she began to go downhill quite quickly. Her health was failing and her body was giving up on her. She insisted she did not wish to “know” what was “wrong” with her, so the many, many conversations I had with her doctor were not shared with her. The Doctor advised that she most definitely had recurring breast cancer and most likely liver cancer as well. This was quite clear as over the space of a few months Grandma rapidly lost about 30kgs.

Unfortunately, Grandma was absolutely thrilled! At every visit, she’d whip the blanket back from her legs and say “look how skinny my legs are now – I feel great!” I felt sad that she felt great when I knew that cancer was the culprit for her weight loss, but hey, if it made her happy to be “skinny” at 91 who was I to tell her otherwise.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this over the past few months since her passing and marveled at how interesting it is that as a parent or grandparent you are a role model for your offspring – they absorb EVERYTHING you think, do, feel… how is it that I came out with such positive body image and attitude to food?  My mum is a sensational role model, she eats well, leads a healthy lifestyle and always taught me to love myself the way I am TODAY.  It worked! Thanks Mum xox

I’m so grateful for this experience as I see it as a very important life lesson that I’ve been blessed to have been given by my Grandma.  I pledge to myself that I will not fall into the same trap and I urge you all to do the same.

Thanks for another wonderful life lesson Grandma, I miss 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!

LisaGarland

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.

breastscreen

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

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 

Specialist Mastectomy Fitting Services for Women size 8-28+

With the recent news of my beautiful mum Dianne being diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer, our world was sent into a tail spin of panic, grief, coping and of course a huge learning curve! She is a third of the way down the path of a 24 week treatment cycle. We’ve had some good and bad news, and are taking each day as it comes.

Mum & I during one of her chemo sessions – she’s so brave!

There is alot of information out there to help women in this situation, but I was curious what help there was for women my size, size 20.

Lisa, owner & operator of Lisa’s Lacies agrees and has just opened a new service specialising in mastectomy services for women size 8-28+.

Plus-size lingerie can be just as sexy as the regular variety, and Lisa’s Lacies  has proven this time and time again over the past 19 years as a market leader of larger cup bra fittings providing gorgeous lingerie for women size 8-28+.

But imagine if you were one of the eight Australian women who will hear your doctor say those terrifying words – “You have breast cancer”.  The process of diagnosis to treatment is incredibly difficult, however the emotions associated with learning to feel feminine after a mastectomy or lumpectomy is incredibly challenging.

Utilising her extensive expertise in fitting a curvy figure, Lisa has developed a custom made service specialising in custom prosthetic breast forms and specialist bra fittings for women size 8-28+ offering an extra level of understanding to breast cancer survivors.  Lisa sourced two high quality prosthetic brands, Amoena and TruLife to meet the needs of her customers and their varying body shapes.  Her team has  dedicated Breast Care Consultants trained to marry the breast forms with a beautiful selection of the extensive range of over 174 options of bras to meet the needs of every figure size 8-28+ .

“It’s important to note that the brands I’ve chosen offer a wide range of breast forms and partial shapers that will meet the needs of any woman who has had breast surgery according to her body shape.  I recognise that a woman’s body image and self-esteem is paramount at all times, and most especially at a time such as this”, Lisa says “From recovery care to everyday to fashion bras, we can help”.

The process is simple, ring and ask for the Breast Care Consultant on (03) 9782-5955 to book your appointment at the store in Seaford, Victoria.  At the appointment the patient receives expert fitting advice in a beautiful custom built room providing a comfortable, nurturing and supportive environment.  The consultant will explain and demonstrate the huge range of breast forms and bras available and the patient is fitted in complete privacy.  The appointment takes approximately 1 hour.

One of Lisa’s Lacies Breast Care Consultants is a cancer survivor herself and understands first hand the sensitive care required.

The beautifully appointed specialist fitting room at Lisa’s Lacies in Seaford, Vic

This service is one of a kind in Australia offering expert fitting for all women, but specialising in plus-size, giving this service that extra level of understanding the patient is seeking. This expert service is available now. Please pass on this information to anyone who it could benefit and tell Lisa I sent you.

Love your shape!

Janine x