Friday, April 3, 2015

Skinny Girl In A Big Girl's World

I was 28 when I finally decided to go to college. It's not that I couldn't get the loans before that, or had circumstances that kept me from going. It's that when I turned 28, I knew what I was going to do, and be good at. 

I went to school for Business & Marketing. I wanted to get into advertising. In my mind, I could sell water to a fish, so I figured getting people to buy Cadillacs or an off brand of sandals wouldn't be so hard. 

I kept a 4.0, or at least close to it, for the years I attended. Then the day finally came, and I graduated. Never thought it would come, since they tell you a date when you first sign up for classes and it's so far off that it just goes in one ear and out the other. 

I landed a job at JunoActive three months later. I told my friends and family I was going to work as a Marketing Specialist for a plus size clothing line and the response was pretty unanimous from everyone - "You're too skinny to work at a place like that." I also got, "Are you the only little one there?" When the reality of it was that no one who works there is big. After about a week on the job, to my relief, I found that what size you are doesn't matter one bit. Not in the Marketing Department. Women buy clothes for the same reasons no matter what size, shape, color or race they are. All women want stylish pieces that fit perfect and feel good on. So I was in familiar territory for sure.

I have been witness to two photo shoots since joining the company. It was mostly at the second one when I started looking at the clothes and realizing, I really liked them. I workout regularly and to see the models in some of the pieces, I went into shopping mode. Then I felt SoftWik. It was like butter under my fingertips. I found an XL and realized that as a woman who normally wears a small, that it just wouldn't work. 

My next idea, when I couldn't get the feel of the SoftWik out my mind was to get the XL and take it to my seamstress. After talking with a co-worker, I ended up ordering just the fabric to take in and have a shirt made. This was after measuring my upper body five different ways to try and determine if I would need one yard or two. Then it dawned on me....

It was in that moment that I realized, this is what our customers go through. They go to a place like Express or The Buckle, and don't see a single item that would fit their frame. Who knows, they probably wonder if they could get their seamstress to let some items out. The amount of stores that carry size 6x clothing is limited to say the least. The way I was trying to figure out how to get a t-shirt made out of the softest fabric I've ever touched, was exactly what Anne went through that lead her to found the company JunoActive. 

It is still a struggle. I go to work everyday and see the new styles coming up or arriving, and I still don't fit into any of them. It's like putting a cat next to a pile of catnip and telling him none of it is his. It's insanity. At the same time though, it has shed some light on what it's like to be the cat.
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