Welcome to The Curvy Blog!

Aymie Rondeau

Posted on July 19 2019

Hey there! Welcome to shopthecurvy.com! Thanks for stopping by!

Since The Curvy Shop (formerly known as Curvy Collective) won the ATB Financial Build Her Business Competition in February 2019, it’s been Go Go Go to get the site and store up and running. It’s been a labour of love and we’re excited to show you what we’ve created!

Our online store features a variety of plus-size products that we have sourced directly, along with products from partners we are proud to represent. Our   collection has been carefully curated with the curvy woman in mind. These are all products and brands that I personally buy and wear myself, and am confident in their quality and design. My motto is and has always been: If I won’t wear it  myself, I won’t sell it.

Leading up to the website launch, I had a chat with ATB Financial for their “YouTube Live” show – a live video chat that’s available to their employees. We talked about what I’ve been up to and where I want to take the company. We also talked about the up’s and down’s of the crowdfunding campaign, and if I would do it again (maybe not in 2020, but would love to mentor other female  entrepreneurs!).

Here are some highlights from our chat:

What have you been up to since winning the Build Her Business competition?

Building the website, sourcing products, and I’ve also been working with a coach and strategist to refine my business plan and pitch. On June 7 th , I also went to the Telus Pitch event at District Ventures and did a one-minute pitch about The Curvy Shop. Sadly, we did not make it to the Top 100 but it was a great
experience. Watch for us in 2020!

What were some up’s and down’s in the Build Her Business competition?

February was an incredibly rewarding, but really stressful month! Between running the campaign, I also moved to a new role at work and also teach a course at SAIT. There were definitely times that I wanted to give up, but visualizing what it would feel like to win kept me going.

At the start of the campaigns, you have the option of going public right away, or into “Private” mode for 3 days. That way, people could contribute or “boost” your campaign privately and it would be revealed on Monday morning to all what you had raised in the first weekend.

I went into Private mode for the first weekend, but logged in on Friday morning to see who went Public right away. My heart sunk to see that a few businesses had gone public on Day 1, and had smashed their crowdfunding goals on the first day. An amazing feat no doubt, but how could I ever catch up to them? After all, I entered the competition based off of an idea and a dream and these other  women had established businesses, client lists, etc.

I wallowed for about 10 minutes and told my partner I wanted to quit. He said, “You’re being ridiculous, Aymie. You can beat them.” So I put on my Big Girl Pants and put every spare minute into crowdfunding – posting, calling, emailing, telling strangers on the street. And it worked!

What has been the most rewarding part of becoming an entrepreneur?

What I’ve loved maybe the most in this journey so far has been the deeper connections that I’ve made with people I’ve known for a while and new friends that have come into my life.

I first thought of the idea behind The Curvy Shop when I was in a 15-week program for disordered eating. It was in this program that I was first introduced to the concepts of Health at Every Size and Body Positivity. I binge-listened to Food Psych and other podcasts focused on Intuitive Eating, and totally cleaned out my social media from accounts that triggered me to fall back into my orthorexic habits and binge/restrict cycles.

When I was constantly dieting, food and exercise consumed my life. I missed out on a lot of activities and events because I chose instead to go to the gym, work on food prep or the food that was being served was on my list of “No” foods for whatever elimination diet I had put myself on. It is really isolating to go to events or family suppers with your own food and not join in with everyone else. And asking people to cook you special food or only use certain ingredients really stinks!

Since letting those behaviours go, I have great conversations with friends that don’t centre around diets and weight loss, and have had so many women open up to me about their own struggles with their bodies, weight and eating  disorders. We have real, honest conversations. I feel so much gratitude and honour that people trust me and open up to me, and that I can do the same in  return. That is what true connection is really all about.

What’s Coming Up?

Whether you’ve been following our journey from the start or have just joined the Curvy Tribe, I hope that you enjoy the site and find our products and information useful. Be sure to sign up for our e-mails to stay in the know as new products and blog posts are released. When you sign up, you’ll also receive a copy of our Plus-Size Style Guide!

Our blog posts will be a mix of plus-size fashion and living the curvy lifestyle. I am really passionate about body positivity and size-inclusivity, and will continue to share these resources on the website and social media. If you’re not already, you can follow us @shopthecurvy on all social channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

We love our Curvy Girls and would welcome your feedback! Please leave us a comment below, or e-mail if you have any questions or suggestions.

As Always, Stay Fabulous!

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