Happy New Year Curvy Examiners! Over the Holiday break, my social media timelines exploded with statuses and pictures of ladies getting an engagement ring for Christmas! That being the case, I couldn't think of a better way to kick off Chicago Plus-Size Fashion Examiner's 1st post of 2013 than to introduce you to Real Size Bride owner, Sharon Seleb. I had the pleasure of speaking with Sharon a little over a month ago as she was preparing to launch her official web site for her online bridal boutique that caters to the full-figured woman! If you're a soon-to-be curvaceous Bride, you definitely want to read more about Real Size Bride before shopping for your wedding gown! Her gowns range from a size 10 to a size 30.
Here's what Sharon had to say:
NY: Hi Sharon! Thanks so much for speaking with Chicago Plus-Size Fashion Examiner:-)! I'm very excited about "Real Size Bride"! Tell us about your company. Who is Real Size Bride for?
SS: Real Size Bride is for fashion focused, curvy, practical women. Real Size Bride's are comfortable in their own skin, and love to flaunt their curves. In such, our brides love edgier, form fitting styles versus the traditional cuts that hide curves. Real Size Brides are also practical in the sense that they understand selecting a wedding gown is a huge decision, but there are other aspects of planning a wedding that need to be equally addressed. She feels confident knowing Real Size Bride offers free shipping and free return shipping so there is no risk, now she can focus on the rest of her busy life and planning her big day.
NY: What inspired you to launch Real Size Bride?
SS: Working at a bridal boutique in the Chicago suburbs, and meeting many brides who could not find a dress in her size was so eye opening. Out of 100 or so sample dresses at the store, only about 10 were size 16+. Besides most wedding gowns run 2-4 sizes SMALLER than street clothes. It is absurd to expect to buy a wedding gown by just holding it up to you, because they do not have your size. Of those plus sized dresses, they cost more to make, had very little selection and were not that nice. The more research I did, the more I realized this is such an under served market. Every woman should feel beautiful on her wedding day and have the options to do so. Who is society to dictate what sizes get the sexy and fun styles? Why not make it accessible to everyone?
NY: Now, you're based in California, but you have ties to Chicago also, right? Tell me how Chicago's Curvy, fabulous brides can score some of your dresses for their big day?
SS: I was born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago. I found that for bridal specifically, the market was saturated with all the same types of stores. Nobody really stood out. Nobody offered anything unique. I moved to Charlotte, NC since it was a smaller big city. But the more I thought about it, regardless if you are in the biggest city in the world, you can never reach as great an audience as you would online. I will be moving again to San Francisco, which is extremely beneficial to my business because it is the technology hub of the US and I have made valuable partnerships that will allow RSB to bring even greater things to our brides. Chicago brides are more than welcome to shop online until I go back for expos. I will be offering amazing deals for the grand opening.
NY: Do you plan to come to Chicago for any bridal expos?
SS: Absolutely! I attended one in 2011 with my best friend; I was her Maid of Honor. When I went, I found it a bit dull. When RSB comes to town, you better believe you will receive VIP treatment and free champagne to go along with it. I want the RSB brand to make women feel exclusive. I am focusing now on making arrangements to attend multiple bridal expos throughout the US in 2013.
NY: AWESOME! Well, please keep me posted when you're headed to the Windy City! What is your web site address so that my beautiful curvaceous Bride-to-Be readers can start shopping?
SS: It's realsizebride.com .
NY: Thanks Sharon! It's been great speaking with you!
SS: It was great chatting with you! I love you positive attitude and tenacity. It is always empowering meeting women like yourself who are making an impact on society while pursuing your dreams!
**Update: Since our interview, Sharon has moved back to the South Suburbs of the Windy City! We're not sure how long she'll be here, but if the Chicago Winter doesn't drive her away, Chicago Plus-Size Fashion Examiner will definitely bring you more information on Real Size Bride in the future:-)! By the way, realsizebride.com is currently offering a 50% off sale on sample gowns! Be sure to check it out before they're all GONE!
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