Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016: Our Year in Review

plus size swimwear


As 2016 comes to a close, it’s important to look back and reflect on another run around the sun. Whether this was a year of personal or professional growth, the first year you completed your New Year’s resolution all year long (hey, someone has to finish them, right?), or a year you’re eager to move on from, now is a great time to take stock of where you’re at. It’s really easy to forget all the amazing things you’ve done over a whole year—especially if you’re living a really busy day-to-day life. Take a half an hour to think about all your accomplishments and set goals for the next year. Even if you don’t subscribe to New Years resolutions, that doesn’t mean you can’t set short term goals for yourself—you may be surprised at how many you can successfully complete with a little intention behind them.

We make a point at the end of each year to reflect on our goals as a company, and we had quite an exciting year. So many incredible magazines, bloggers, and websites that support body diversity and active lifestyles for everyone highlighted us as a great place to shop for active plus size women. A few notable mentions were on Dr. Oz’s 2016 Gift Guide as the go-to place for women to shop plus size activewear. Health.com and Essence.com both mentioned us as one of the top shops for plus size activewear, and Plus Model Magazine and many other awesome Instagrammers loved our #PlusSizeEmoji photo campaign with Minneapolis comedian Allison Fingerett to spark a dialogue on body diversity in technology.


We also had the honor to work with a few star plus size lifestyle bloggers: Amanda from mybellamoxie.com, model and body positive activist Kat Stroud, and YouTuber and Blogger Amanda Allison. Most notably, Amanda and Amanda Allison took over our Instagram account during their visit in June to CurvyCon in NYC. We sponsored a coffee meet up for them and a few other women attending the conference, and all had a great time.

Above all, what we love most about every year at JunoActive is designing clothing that makes women feel empowered and good about themselves. One top seller was our Stretch Naturals Scoop Bra Top. Our Aquatard is usually a best seller—and 2016 was no different. We love this note about the AquaSportAquatard from one of our customers:

“This suit was slightly lighter weight material compared to my last suit but it turns out this is a positive because I can get the suit to dry faster than my old one.  I like how easy it is to get on and off, the support in the bra and lack of girdle squeezing front panel so I can move easily in any direction needed. Side affect of this suit - it makes you look and feel really athletic!” —Barbara

We want to thank each and every one of you for shopping with us in 2016 and helping us grow. Without you, we’d just be a bunch of people hanging out in an office, talking about body positivity (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). We wish you a very Happy New Year and a very bright 2017.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

We Washed Our Fleece Jacket 15 Times and You Have To See What Happened

Plus size Hoodie


We all know what happens when you wash fleece: it pills. First you’re in denial that it’s pilling, and then after just a couple more washes it sinks in that your new fleece hoodie has become your old fleece hoodie.

Knowing this about fleece, we wanted to put our jackets to the test. Our Brand and Communications Director Janine took a jacket home and washed it every time she had to throw in a load of laundry, which, with a family of 4, was fairly often. She washed our SoftSport™ 240 Fleece Pullover Hoodie a grand total of 15 times. This is what happened: 

Plus Size Fleece Jacket


Can you even tell which one has been washed 15 times? Because we couldn’t when she showed us the two right next to each other. Finished guessing?

The jacket on the left is the one that’s been washed 15 times. Incredible, right?

We put a lot of time and effort into sourcing strong, reliable fabrics that hold up incredibly well. Not only is it beneficial for shoppers to buy clothes that don’t have to be replaced every few months, but it’s also part of our mission to be a more eco-conscious company. The fewer clothes you have to replace, the fewer clothes that end up storage facilities or even landfills. 

Our fleece jackets are constructed with pill resistant and moisture wicking polyester, which pulls sweat away from the body—crucial for keeping you cool throughout any workout where you might overheat. Don’t be fooled by its sweat-wicking powers—this jacket will keep you warm for both indoor and outdoor activities. The inner brushed fleece layer helps regulate your temperature and feels super soft against your skin. 

We only ordered a limited run on these jackets and they’re currently on sale at 40% off. Don’t miss out on grabbing our SoftSport™ 240 Fleece Full Zip Hoodie or SoftSport™ 240 Fleece Pullover Hoodie for yourself, and let us know how much you love it!


P.S. Sign up for our mailing list here to be in the know about new designs and exclusive promos. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Where are all the #PlusSizeEmojis?

6 billion emojis–and counting–are sent soaring across the globe every single day. In 2015, Apple launched the iOS 8.3 version with diverse emojis based on the Fitzpatrick scale for classifying human skin tone. Even the most recent iOS 10 update includes new female athletes and professionals, a new rainbow flag and more diverse family options. Cheers from all of us–these are steps in the right direction. However, we are left wondering where 67% of American plus-size and curvy women who wear a size 14 and up are represented in our emoji keyboards.

Plus size bodies can run, bike, play basketball, and more. Being fit doesn’t always look a certain way–bodies of all shapes and sizes are strong, healthy and living active lives. Just take a look at #plussizefitness or #biggirlsworkouttoo on Instagram, and you’ll see thousands of curvy and plus-size women competing in triathlons, lifting weights, and sharing their everyday active lifestyles with the world. These inspiring women are why we decided it was time to start the #PlusSizeEmojis campaign. 

Plus Size Emojis


We teamed up with Minneapolis-based comedian Allison Fingerett and asked her to strike some active emoji poses of her own–which she did with her own brand of unafraid humor. Allison struck a pose just like the runner, biker, and basketball player emojis, proving that bodies of all shapes and sizes can be active and deserve to be equally portrayed as such in our emoji keyboards and beyond.
Allison Fingerett

Fingerett notes, “I'm excited to be a part of this campaign because representing plus-size women as healthy and active is a super important step towards a more widespread body positive movement–which is beneficial to everyone, no matter their size.”

Plus Size Emojis


By launching the #PlusSizeEmojis campaign, we not only hope to inspire curvy women to be active and feel more comfortable sharing that part of their lives online, but to encourage emoji developers and designers to finally represent the amazing majority of American women who wear a size 14 and up. Please SHARE this on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. to help us spread this message of inclusion!

About Allison Fingerett

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Allison Fingerett is a writer and stand-up comedian living in Minneapolis. She has performed in the national comedy showcase, Mortified, and she can be seen at open mics throughout the Twin Cities. You can peek into her psyche on Instagram, @fingeretta.

Allison Fingerett

Thursday, November 10, 2016

New AquaSport Waterfall Swimwear is Making a Splash!

Plus Size Aquatard Swimsuit
The AquaSport Waterfall Crossback One Piece Swimsuit and the AquaSport Waterfall Print V Neck Tankini

We are swimming in new swimwear—and thrilled to debut our new AquaSport Waterfall collection. 
As we move into the holiday and get-away travel seasons (hello snow birds!), now is the perfect time to refresh your swimwear. There's a good chance that after our very sunny summer, your suit may be faded or has become loose or baggy. Our new Waterfall Collection is made with a stunning solid blue and water pattern print using AquaSport, our strongest chlorine-resistant fabric yet. Here are all of the just-arrived styles, with more to come!



If you love rocking patterns, this tankini is perfect for you. With a soft v neckline, no-chafe seams and a built-in shelf bra for extra support, you’ll feel smooth and secure whether you’re underwater or taking a stroll beach-side. Pair this with the AquaSport Waterfall Print Long Fitted Swim Short or the AquaSport Swim Shorts with Brief.


You can never go wrong with a classic. Our one-piece AquaSport Waterfall suit has a solid blue front with gorgeously patterned crossback straps. This suit is constructed with two layers of fabric inn the front and a power-mesh built-in bra that delivers the perfect amount of coverage and support.


Racerback designs are an exceptional pick for everyone who loves a little extra support. These straps flaunt the Waterfall pattern in the back, giving you the ultimate fashion statement while you’re gliding through the water. A slight flare at the bottom of the tankini sits right over your swim bottoms, creating a flattering silhouette. 

Plus Size Swimsuit Aquatard


The highlight of these swim shorts–besides the incredibly durable, chlorine and salt water-resistant fabric–is the secure waistband stitching that prevents rollovers or bunching. The Waterfall pattern on the sides creates a flattering and slimming effect on your legs, making it so you won’t want to take these off—even when you’re back on dry land.


The right pair of swim shorts for those of you who like a little extra room. These loose fitted shorts are designed with a built-in brief for extra support and comfort. Pair these with either of our Waterfall tankinis or mix and match with our QuikWik Energy Swim Bra!



The aquatard is always one of our best and fastest sellers—and for good reason. This suit can hold up through everyday chlorine use and dries quickly, making it easy for you to go from swimming laps to getting on with your day with minimal fuss. The front zipper is chafe-free and makes it easy for you to slip on and off. The best part? No riding up or bunching while you’re getting your cardio on. Win-win.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Q&A with Abundia Vice President Megan Stemm-Wade

Abundia
Photo by Anne Anatra

Abundia is a “community of women who come together to support each other in living lives of fat acceptance and Health at Every Size.” They’ve been around since 1994 and have grown into a yearly retreat of educational workshops on self-esteem, size acceptance, fashion, healing art, and more for women who identify as plus-size.
Abundia
Vice President Megan Stemm-Wade

Through sharing stories and words of encouragement in a safe and open space, Abundia retreats have helped countless women work towards self-acceptance and self-empowerment (just check out their incredible testimonials page). We have happily donated an outfit to the 2016 retreat raffle to help support this touching group of intelligent, strong women. Abundia’s Vice President Megan Stemm-Wade was generous enough to answer a few questions about the retreat taking place this year on November 11-13, and why it’s such an important space and community for plus size women. 

1. What makes Abundia special?

Abundia is unique because it's so many things. It's a yearly retreat for plus-sized, fat positive in the Chicago area - but it's also an online community that reaches far beyond those geographical boundaries. It's literally and figuratively a place where women can find acceptance, empowerment, self-care, and support. And we're so happy to have been able to keep it growing for more than 20 years now.

2. How many people attended the first retreat in 1994, and how many attend now?

Attendance has waxed and waned at our retreats, as we've moved locations and changed our format somewhat. We are excited to be at new hotel this year in Northbook, IL and much more accessible to women all over the country (and world) due to our proximity to O'Hare Airport. We are holding steady at around 35-40 women and now have lots of room to grow!

3. Your testimonials page is incredibly touching and heartfelt. What’s the most common response you get from attendees about the retreat?

Thank you so much! We are so grateful to have such open, giving, trusting women attend our retreat and to share their feedback so honestly. One of the most common responses we hear, especially from first time attendees, is a deep sense of belonging and a relaxing of the guard that so many fat women feel they have to keep up, that they haven't necessarily felt in other spaces. We love providing that.

4. What challenges do plus-size women still face in today’s society?

I think many plus size women struggle with finding their worth in a culture that puts a woman's value too much on a narrow definition of what is worthy - a certain size, certain definitions of women's work, even certain constraints on women's behavior. There are practical challenges that come with this - such as the assumption that plus size women aren't active, and that leads to making things like plus size active wear harder to find. That's why we love you folks at JunoActive so much!

Abundia
The Abundia founders: Jeanette Zweifel,
Sue Ross, Cheri Erdman, Barbara Spaulding,
and Sally Strosahl courtesy of Abundia.org 
5. Since Abundia launched in 1994, have you noticed any positive changes in society in regards to size acceptance? 

We've definitely seen a shift in the culture a bit in the last 22 years. The burgeoning Size Acceptance movement of which Abundia was a part has grown and evolved and taken on different meanings for different people - from Fat Acceptance to Body Positivity to Fat Activism. It has all become more mainstream and we even have a presidential candidate talking about the harm of body shaming and bullying. That's pretty amazing! That isn't to say there isn't room to keep growing. I'm hoping we can get to a point where size is immaterial to anyone's worth and that we can focus on self-growth, health, and joy instead. 

6. What kind of healing art do you do at the retreat?

At the Abundia Retreat, we have worked with mandalas, painting objects and filling them with affirmations, writing love letters to our bodies, journaling, and body painting, to name a few things. We always try to include self-esteem boosting hands-on art, in many forms.

7. When it comes to the fashion portion of the retreat, what are women saying they’d like to see more of in the plus-size fashion industry, and the fashion industry as a whole?

This is a great question. Last year, we ran a "fatshion" survey prior to the retreat, to facilitate a discussion about shopping and dealing with fashion as a plus size woman. Among the respondents, and it was echoed at the retreat itself, was a desire to see more options in sizes larger than 24-28, where a lot of plus size retailers stop. Women also want more brick and mortar options, because while many of us are comfortable ordering things online, just as many really want not only to try things on before they buy, but the validation that comes with being welcomed in to a physical retail space. 

8. Why should someone attend your retreat?

Attending the Abundia Retreat means walking into a space where you are not alone in your struggles and in your joys. We are a very welcoming, non-judging, loving group, and many women leave an Abundia weekend with lifelong friends. It's a bonding, educating, enriching experience - and we have a lot of fun, too. 

9. Last thoughts?

Thank you so much for this opportunity to share the wonderful community that is Abundia with you! And thank you for your support and for your fabulous clothes. I love your QuikWik stuff!

For more info about the retreat, visit abundia.org