This is my story on how face masks saved my plus size clothing business, and is also where you can buy your super cute, fashion forward, unique, washable, reusable face mask and support small business, all while shopping Canadian.
Just as I was getting ready to start showcasing our exciting Spring plus size fashion collection at SexyPlus Clothing, Covid-19 hit and the world shook. But small businesses have an advantage: we can pivot a lot more quickly than large outfits, because we can be more hands-on and there's a lot less red tape.
So in mid-March, my Mom and I decided to start making and selling non-medical face masks to help our customers protect themselves and others during this pandemic.
With her skill as a seamstress, and my network and infrastructure that was already in place through my plus size clothing business, we dove in. We looked at a few patterns online, made some, tested them, and then decided on a proprietary design that my Mom came up with. Our accordion shape has an adjustable fit and creates a pocket of space to allow for easier airflow.
As soon as we posted on social media, March 27th, 2020 to be exact, the sales started rushing in. We sold out within hours, we received special requests; we were essentially bombarded with demand. And while this was a little overwhelming, it was also great because our clothing sales had begun to drop and would drop further with the increasing lock-downs.
For the first few weeks, my 78-year-old super-talented Mom and I worked tirelessly into the night. We worked 7-days a week non-stop to meet the demand and fulfill all the orders. Still, with the wave of orders continuing to flood our website, and the days blurring into nights, my Mom would somehow find the time to create new designs and be inspired from her love of fabric and fashion.
Here's a custom yellow and black mask with fringe for the lovely influencer @PureIvoryDotCa
And here's a Jamaica design that just went like hotcakes.
My Mom created the beautiful Diva Sparkle, for those wanting to flaunt their sense of style, even in a face mask.
She introduced the Golden Strokes, a classy premium face mask that is simply luxurious to touch.
She designed the lovely Tulip face mask, that captivated so many.
Here's a cute one with a lace appliqué, that Mom wanted to create to celebrate the warmer weather. She said it reminded her of picnics.
There are soooo many options.
And we keep introducing new ones...like these Canada Day Face Masks. Why not, eh?
Working together like we never had before, my Mom and I became this powerhouse Mother/Daughter team and we individually manufactured about 700 masks within a 2-month period. It has provided the boutique, SexyPlus Clothing, with some sort of revenue to get through the mandatory closure of all retail stores throughout April and May. But not only that, the routine became something that I think we both looked forward to. We would take turns doing the cooking, giving each other back massages, bringing each other cold glasses of water....whatever it took to continue making as many masks as possible. We knew it was only a matter if time before big box stores would come in and dominate the industry with their might and reach.
It is now June, stores have been allowed to cautiously re-open and people are slowly starting to circulate again. We've ordered some new arrivals of plus size fashions for the store, and I think people are excited to start shopping again.
We are so grateful to everyone who has purchased a mask from us, who told a friend about our masks, who wears their mask proudly and of course all of those who have continued to purchase our clothing as well. Now let's get you into some new Summer threads!!
Thanks for stopping by,
xox Stefanie and Mom (Gisele)