Curvy Collective - Because Style Has No Size!
Thank-you for taking the time to check out Curvy Collective, for supporting our campaign and women entrepreneurs!
Curvy Collective was founded in 2018 by Aymie Rondeau. Aymie is a Chartered Accountant with 15 years of professional experience in Accounting, Finance and Talent Acquisition. Aymie has always had a love for fashion, enjoying shopping online and internationally for unique and carefully curated pieces to add to her wardrobe. However, once she started shopping for plus-sized lines, she found herself disappointed with the lack of selection available in Calgary, and the poor quality of designs that were not suited to a professional woman progressing in her career. As she started connecting with other plus-sized women across North America, they voiced similar complaints about the lack of modern, high-quality, size-inclusive fashion. That is what sparked the idea to develop and grow Curvy Collective not only in Calgary, but across Alberta and Canada.
Curvy Collective’s initial concept is to build an online shopping platform, with online and in-person personal styling services, and offer pop-up shops in the Calgary area. Our long-term plan is to open a brick-and-mortar boutique in Calgary. We will offer unique, high-quality and reasonably-priced size-inclusive fashion not readily available today in the Canadian market, sourcing brands from North America, Europe and Australia. Our target market is modern, professional women in the 25-55 age range.
The name Curvy Collective was inspired by being proud of a woman’s curves, celebrating size diversity, and bringing people together in community. We are founded on the values of exceptional customer service, body positivity and encouraging health at every size. We believe that plus-sized women deserve safe, non-judgmental spaces to shop in, and the same quality of service and design, and quantity of fashion that is available to straight-sized women. Curvy Collective’s goal is to change the conversation around how the world views and accepts people in larger bodies, and how plus-sized women view themselves: as confident, capable and worthy.
Investing in Curvy Collective represents a unique opportunity to invest in an untapped and under-represented market. Currently in Calgary and across Canada, there are very few (and in some Canadian cities, NO) boutiques that are focused on providing modern fashion to plus-sized women in the 25-55 age range. Our goal is to be first-to-market, bringing new and unique size-inclusive brands to Canada, such as NYDJ, Eliza J, London Times, Maree Pour Toi, and Hope & Harvest. We will focus on high-quality, investment pieces, as a lot of the plus-sized fashion available today is in the “disposable” or “fast fashion” category that needs to be replaced quickly.
While our message is one of inclusion, our focus will be on plus-sized clothing. Most plus-sized fashion lines start at sizes 0X or 1X and run up to size 4X. However, we will source brands who offer sizes beyond 4X as they are available and meet our design and quality expectations. Curvy Collective would love to sell fashion lines in all sizes, however there are few to no brands who sell consistent lines from XS up to 4X on a wholesale basis. It is no secret that plus-sized women are significantly under-represented when it comes to high-quality fashion in Canada, and it’s time for this to change.
Curvy Collective also has a social message: To create safe, size-inclusive spaces for plus-sized women, and those who identify as female or femmes, to comfortably shop in. A common complaint of plus-sized women is the shame they feel when shopping in public for clothing, and they often leave the stores feeling frustrated, embarrassed and depressed. The Health at Every Size (HAES) and body positivity movements are gaining steam around the world, however limited resources are available in Calgary and across Canada. We intend to offer workshops, seminars and speaking engagements to the community, to allow women increased opportunities to learn about HAES, and gather together with like-minded people.
Above all, it is critical that Curvy Collective provides our clients with exceptional shopping experiences. When we think of fashion retailers who provide world-class service to their clientele, stores like Nordstrom and Holt Renfrew come to mind, where customers are offered personal styling services, alterations, inviting dressing room and lounge areas, bottled water and more. However, these shopping experiences are typically catered towards straight-sized females, and women in larger bodies are left out of the equation. This is despite the fact that 68% of North American women wear a Size 14 or higher, and they spent $21.4 billion on plus-sized clothing in 2016.
Participating in the ATB Build Her Business crowdfunding competition provides us with a unique opportunity to introduce Curvy Collective to the Alberta business community and test our target market. We are crowdfunding to raise initial start-up capital, to be used towards the cost of building our online shopping platform and sourcing inventory from around the world. We welcome the opportunity to connect with prospective investors who are interested in our exciting long-term growth plan!
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my partner Kieran Macauley, my friends and family (in particular Jamie Smith – thank-you for your words of encouragement!), videographer Emery Pastachak, coach Janice MacPherson, the team at ATB Financial, the plus-size and body positive communities, and all of the local businesses who generously donated rewards towards the campaign. Thank you for believing in me, and for helping to make this dream a reality. This would not be possible without your support!