Over the Christmas period I received quite a few requests for petite sizes. So I sat down and had a really hard think about the business. Where was this all going? The demand seemed to be there for my designs in all sizes and frankly it would add to my sales. As a startup I could definitely use the income.
What would be the pros and cons of going full size range? The pros are obvious; greater audience, more money, larger ability to place product in a wider (pardon the pun) market place, more sales…
And the cons? I spent the first year of the business doing research into sizing and fit for plus size. It’s basically an open frontier where no man, thankfully, has tread accurately before. Refining patterns for each design in each size has taken a great deal of time and tester research. Adding another 6/7 sizes would double my workload and require a change in mindset to understand the needs of smaller body shapes. Face it, I’m no stick and I’m never going to be. Even when I was a teenager I had hourglass curves and Lara Croft’s measurements. I have no empathy at a skin level for regular sizes. I do not have the instincts for it. I would be fighting against my nature and therefore design garments not fit to purpose. Basically I would suck at it.
The time and research it would require is prohibitive.
The second big con is why I entered this business in the first place. A normal range person (XS/S/M/L) can walk into any high street store and find something on the racks in their size. It may not be a perfect fit. It may not be a wonderful colour. But there will be choice. I can’t. There won’t be anything. Sales people will look at me and wonder with looks of disgust on thier faces as to why I have even entered the store. Even the many stores who have jumped on the plus size bandwagon will only have the rare one or two items in XL which will have been ripped off the shelves as soon as they came in. And they will have been basics in bad colours from cheap fabrics and just plain tacky.
Plus size women do not have choice. There are only a few high street chains in the UK who go above a size XXL. There are a few more online options but most often when I find something truly genius it is out of stock (something I have ranted about in the past) or size selection only goes up to an XL, or worse yet an L.
I started this business because I wanted choice. That everything out there did not fit, was cheaply made and just plain tasteless. The process of even looking for garments was humiliating.
We deserve choice of beautifully designed and manufactured to the highest quality clothing that is well and attractively presented by people with a true empathy for the client. Ultimately I didn’t get into this to get rich, although it would be nice. So my apologies to those who may be offended by my decision, but the company is RavenDreams Plus Size Lingerie.