‘The plus-size retail space basically has us cornered,’ Consign Your Curves owner says of the store’s inspiration
Shopping for clothing can be stressful. Looking through varying sizes and styles can be intimidating and trying items on can sometimes seem like you’re rolling a boulder up a hill.
For plus-size women, it can be even worse.
Many retail stores say they’re size inclusive, but place their plus-size section in a back corner with limited options – if they even have one at all.
Consign Your Curves (CYC) is encouraging plus-size women to be their fashion-forward selves by offering a wide range of plus-size clothing.
Carlie Roberts, owner of CYC, faced a somewhat similar issue while running a pre-Instagram fashion blog that focused on plus-size fashion.
However, instead of having the issue of finding clothes, Roberts had the issue of getting rid of them.
“I thought, well, if I got this problem, some other women must have this problem,” Roberts said. “So I turned to women who were in the blogging space at the time, women I was modelling with, and I said, ‘Do you ever see problems like this’?”
Roberts said many curvy women tend to hoard their clothing because the price of each item is so expensive.
“The plus-size retail space basically has us cornered,” Roberts said. “They could charge whatever they want to charge us because there’s nowhere else for us to go.”
Roberts rallied her fellow OG plus-size influencers and held her first clothing sale in 2013. She said the support from the curvy community during her first event was overwhelming.
“There was 125 people waiting outside of my parents warehouse trucking business and we had a little room,” Roberts said. “There were 13 rented racks and I knew the first hour we were not prepared.”
Since then, Roberts’ sales have flourished into a brick and mortar consignment shop that carries size 12-32+.
Roberts said there are few stores catering to plus-size women in the tri-city area, and with the average woman wearing a size 12, not having sizes available puts restrictions on the quality of life for curvy people.
“If you can’t find black pants in your size, maybe you don’t go to a job interview,” Roberts said. “If you don’t go to the job interview, you can’t rent your house, can’t feed your kids. So fashion and accessibility are really so important to live life.”
In addition to providing accessible plus-size clothing to locals, Roberts takes it the extra mile and hosts Instagram events where curvy influencers share their closet with CYC followers near and far.
“It’s leveraging that community that I had built before the store to come join us in the store,” Roberts said. “The social online component is such a big thing… And then that way they could participate in our community even being far away. They can think of it as a little slice of CYC in Regina or Manitoba or wherever they are.”
This year, CYC turns three and Roberts has big plans to hold an event that celebrates the anniversary, the plus-size community and female entrepreneurship.
The third birthday bash will be held in CYC’s parking lot on Elizabeth St. and will have an artisan market featuring 22 female-led businesses on Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“I always wanted to bring in women businesses and perhaps just shed another light on them,” Roberts said. “With our birthday, we’ve helped 22 businesses maybe meet somebody that they didn’t reach before, or just people who met their products through our store.”
The celebration will also feature mocktails and a clothing sale.
Roberts said this is her way of giving back to the community after supporting her and helping her business survive COVID-19.
“I always said I’ll keep this door open as long as I can,” Roberts said. “So, thank you to all the customers who supported us through the pandemic and whatever post pandemic we’re in. I always say like, you know, I do all this for the CYC community.”
For more information, visit www.consignyourcurves.com.