I'm going to cut to the chase: I've wanted to offer extended sizing in our stores since day one. But when you're collecting one-of-a-kind vintage clothing and sourcing unique finds from other makers' hauls, it's not easy to curate a consistent wide-range of sizes. We've offered some amazing plus size pieces over the years and have loved watching our shoppers swoon over these one-offs. But, it hasn't been enough to cater to our customers, many of which aren't straight sizes.
So, this summer, we finally took matters into our own hands. It wasn't a difficult decision, but it was one that we needed to really think through before investing in. As a company that prides itself on hawking handmade, vintage and one-of-a-kind items, going to market to source mass-produced pieces is a little "off brand." But, it didn't matter. We needed to offer more items for our girls of all sizes and if that meant managing our messaging, we decided it was worth it.
Leading up to this point, there were lots of things we wanted to put in place to make sure we got our new roll out right. First off, we needed a financial plan for the investment in inventory. We normally buy inexpensive flea market finds or work with our makers on consignment. We also needed to listen to our customers to know what to buy. Everything from colors and shapes to vibe were carefully considered so women would want to wear the items we selected.
I also did tons of live try ons via Instagram stories. Through these moments -- and answering customers' DMs -- I learned so much about what our woman wants from style to sizing. The most important thing I learned, however, was that the Flea Style gal is really the same inside, no matter her shape.
We love earth tones. We love breezy silhouettes. We love a pop of animal print. We love affordability. And, we love to support unique style and small businesses. With this knowledge, I knew I could buy for our gal, because she's just like me. Although products might be mass-produced, we can rock them in our individual way -- a vintage tee, handmade earrings, worn-in boots -- that is so Flea Style. So I visited market confident I could collect pieces that plus size women would wear and LOVE.
While at market, I was thrilled to find several looks available in both straight and plus sizes. I also fell in love with some items that were only XL to 2XX and snatched them up because they were beautiful. At our local market, sizes only go up to 2XX. Although this is far from inclusive sizing, we're excited to now offer these extended sizes and hopefully expand our offerings even more down the road in addition to our inclusive vintage finds.
Once these market items arrived, we wanted to shoot them for our online shop and customers all over the country. I knew exactly who I wanted to model these pieces, Dallas entrepreneur and blogger Casey Brown behind the popular Instagram account @streetsbeatseats. Not only is Casey a customer, but she's a role model small biz owner that stands for everything we're about at Flea Style. She's also outspoken about size inclusion, self love, fitness and body image issues. I love everything about this rising star and wanted her by my side for this important launch.
To be honest, I had lots of questions for Casey. How do I properly talk about the subject of plus sizes as a straight size gal. If I'm trying on pieces via Instagram, how do I get it right for people that don't have my waistline? Although we're trying to be more inclusive, I know we still don't represent all sizes. Is that ok? How do we get there? My real nail-biter... Did she like the clothes we selected???
Over hours of modeling, laughing and some extremely enlightening talks, I learned a lot. I also realized I have a lot more to learn, and am excited to do so. We asked Casey to name our first plus size collection and she decided to dub it the Curvy Collection. In typical Flea Style fashion, the collection will live online alongside vintage jewelry, one-of-a-kind tees and funky hats. The collection is important, but so are the other items that pull together a unique look that will make our customer feel cool and confident.
No matter you're size, this collection has something for everyone whether it be a 1X snakeskin blouse or vintage beaded necklace I found at a flea market. We'll continue to work hard to offer more and more inclusive looks and clothes moving forward. Please DM us on Instagram @fleastyle with what you'd like us to buy, collect and keep an eye out for. We're all ears!
In the meantime, check out our Curvy Collection and photoshoot with Casey here!
Want to hear my insightful sit down with Casey as we discuss body image, our Curvy Collection and excitement to offer more inclusive sizing? Listen here!