This is a very special post, because it’s dedicated to my dream, and the choices I’ve made to live a life of independence, passion and happiness, surrounded by as many pretty pink girly things as I want. It’s about this dress, that I purchased six years ago, and how it inspired me to create what is known today as SexyPlus Clothing.
In 2008, I was laid off from a 10-year marketing management job with Wells Fargo. I had loved it, and learned a lot. At 25, when I started, it was pretty cool having my own desk, business cards, and “Creative Specialist” title. I had been dreaming about opening a plus size clothing store for years though, because of my own frustration as a consumer at not being able to find the clothing that would enable me to express the many sides of my dynamic, womanly self. So when I was laid off, I had to jump at the chance before it passed me by. I did not want to find myself another 10 years down the road regretting it.
So even as I interviewed for similar roles in the corporate world, and even when I was offered a well paying position with a competitor, I decided to let go of my comfortable salaried lifestyle and take a risk.
In 2009, I registered my business and went to New York in search of suppliers and manufacturers. I knew nothing of the fashion industry from a business perspective nor did I know the complexities and costs of importing, designing, and operating a retail boutique. But, little by little, through perseverance and passion, and the entirety of my savings I might add, I found suppliers, trade shows, resources, and people who helped me get started. As I pondered a name and brand for new business, I came upon this dress at Reitman’s, in the plus section (which at the time was one of the only alternatives to the major plus size chains and numerous other plus size stores we have today).
It made me feel, well, you guessed it, sexy plus.
And the color combination, to me, couldn’t be more enchanting, feminine, provocative, and beautifully contrasted. Pink, orange, black and white. And voila, SexyPlus’ brand personality was born.
I quickly had someone build the website, and started selling clothing from my apartment.
Below, speaking at my launch party in 2009.
Jeans hung in the windows instead of curtains, and my bedroom was transformed into a show room. After trying a few different retail partnerships, I opened my very own boutique in downtown Toronto on Yonge street. The rent was KILLER.
Shown below, wearing the same “SexyPlus” dress in 2009 outside my Yonge street location.
Three years later, I moved the store to Mississauga, in an industrial unit, where the rent was substantially cheaper, allowing me to have a bit of financial breathing room.
Uh, industrial, you may say? Well, you ain’t seen nothing sweetheart if you haven’t seen THIS industrial unit.
With a 14-foot beveled ceiling, an antique stone pillar fireplace, the most enchanting fitting rooms, and a washroom so pretty it makes you wanna visit even if you don’t have to “go”.
So today, after six years of working hard, living the life I want, a sassy new hair-do, and connecting with amazing women from all walks of life, I wore my “SexyPlus” dress… and I feel a renewed sense of commitment, gratitude and love for my favorite-little-amazing-super-special-plus-size-clothing-boutique ever!!!
Thank you to the hundreds of beautiful women who have shopped, referred, worn, styled and loved SexyPlus Clothing. I bow to you in honor.
Photos by me and my remote!
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