Monday, February 13, 2017

#ThisIsActive: Q&A with Jill Angie of Not Your Average Runner


Our #ThisIsActive Q&As are part of an ongoing series to show how plus size women live their active lives. Share your active life with us on social media by using #ThisIsActive when you're breaking a sweat.


Jill Angie of Not Your Average Runner is a certified running coach and personal trainer who wants to live in a world where everyone is free to feel fit and fabulous at any size. She started the Not Your Average Runner movement in 2013 to show that runners come in all shapes, sizes and speeds, and since then has assembled a global community of revolutionaries that are taking the running world by storm. 

Jill graciously sat down and answered some questions for us to share her #ThisIsActive story. If you would like to be part of her running revolution, visit www.NotYourAverageRunner.com to find out more. 

1. What inspired you to start running?


I started running in my late 20s to lose weight. I hated it at first because it was so hard - but then I figured out how to do it in a way that felt good to me (run/walk intervals) and that’s when I got hooked. 


2. What advice do you have for women who are interested in running and but might be reluctant to start?



It’s easier than you think, and you don’t need to run fast or far. Try it a little at a time. Warm up with a 5 minute brisk walk, then jog for 30 seconds and walk for 90 seconds. Repeat that run/walk routine 10 times. Do that workout a few times a week and when it starts to feel easy, just increase the amount of jogging and decrease the walking a little.


3. What was your journey to becoming a triathlete like?



It was New Years 2010, and I decided to sign up for the triathlon on a whim. I hadn’t ridden a bike or gone swimming in years, but I was looking for a big fitness goal and someone told me about a women-only triathlon in Philadelphia that was great for beginners. I started training in January and had so much fun with it.

My only goal was to finish. The thing I was most worried about was swimming in the river, and so I took an open-water clinic to practice swimming with a lot of people around. The day of the race I was really, really nervous and almost didn’t even get into the water. But I knew if I didn’t, I’d be really disappointed in myself so I took a deep breath, jumped in, and did the race.

That race was such an amazing day. I came in almost dead last, but I had a huge grin on my face and tears of joy. It was one of the proudest moments of my life, because it was a goal that seemed so crazy, but I worked really hard and made it happen on my own terms.


4. Did you notice any mental benefits when you started running?



Oh my gosh, yes. Running has taught me that I’m capable of anything I decide to do, and training for long races has shown me how to keep myself focused on the present moment instead of thinking about the past or future. I’m much stronger mentally as a result of being a runner.


5. What motivates you to pursue an active lifestyle?



First and foremost, I love how my body feels when I’ve just finished a workout. That feeling of being both energized and relaxed at the same time is totally addicting. The feeling of accomplishment and pride in doing something difficult and not quitting is amazing.

But for the past few years, I’ve been very motivated by my coaching clients, because seeing them achieve their goals and watching them work really hard and overcome their own fears makes me want to be a better runner too!


6. What’s your favorite JunoActive piece to workout in?



My favorite is the QwikWik Bike Short - I’ve worn a pair for every single triathlon and they are amazing. They are comfy on the bike, but the reason I love them is because I can wear them for the whole race - from the water through the run. They dry quickly which means they transition easily from the swim to bike and don’t stay wet. And they’re a great length for running too!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Our New #ThisIsActive Campaign!

Plus Size T Shirt


We are thrilled to usher in 2017 with all new goals, ideas, and inspiration. This year, we’re focusing on our new #ThisIsActive campaign, designed to encourage women to share their active lives with others. We’ll be posting on-topic blogs each month, giving away our favorite plus size workout gear and featuring a monthly limited supply inspirational t-shirt as a gift with purchase. 

As part of the ongoing campaign to encourage women of all shapes and sizes to live and share their active lives with each other, we invite you to use #ThisIsActive when posting a workout selfie, a nice evening walk with your dog, or however you like to stay active. We think it’s important to share our active experiences with each other and the world—you never know who you might inspire to start breaking a sweat. 

Read more about the #ThisIsActive campaign here and check out our first video featuring blogger/influencer Amanda from MyBellaMoxie.com below. 



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