Bold & Curvy caters to plus-size women, juniors
Small business owners know they need to satisfy their customers’ needs in order to compete with larger box stores.
Andrea Poole, owner of Bold & Curvy in downtown LaSalle, knows she can meet her customers’ need for clothing and other items for plus-size women and juniors because she is her best customer.
“I am my own customer. I have tried on all the clothes myself, so I can give customers a real honest opinion on them. I can tell them they fit because I have worn them,” she said.
“People are always surprised when they take items into the fitting rooms and instead of most not fitting and having few choices, the clothing here fits and they have to choose from many items what to buy instead of being forced to buy one item that fits at other stores,” she said. “They are used to having two items to choose from that fit, like at big box stores, but we have many more options.”
Poole has a large selection of plus sizes for her customers who range in age from 12 to 79 years old, and come from Bloomington, Rockford, Sterling, and Chicago suburbs. The plus-size market is booming, with a majority of women, or 67 percent, wearing plus size clothing, she said.
“People of all ages want to look and feel good,” she said. “People think clothing items at boutiques are priced higher generally, but that isn’t the case here. We have good quality clothing that isn’t high maintenance or must be dry cleaned. Clothing is not that expensive here. We have good quality clothing that fits well and lasts without spending $100 for each item.”
Many of her customers also shop online through the store’s Facebook page to find the latest styles after Poole posts clothing items she has stocked. She also enjoys talking with her customers to find out what their wants and needs are before showing them items she has for sale.
Poole also is planning to improve her website in the future to the point where people can buy items at www.boldandcurvyboutique.com.
“It is humbling to me when people thank me for this store and say there is a need in the community for Bold & Curvy,” she added. “I thank them, but tell them I am doing this for myself as well.”
In the four months she has been open, Poole said floral prints have been popular even though the stereotype is people who are larger only want solid colors.
“People want to feel good about themselves,” Poole said. “You are never too old to not dress nicely and look comfortable.”
Poole likes to give her customers a honest opinion on how the clothes look on them when they try them on at the store.
“When they fit right, it makes people fell good about themselves,” Poole added. “I have had the best feeling about myself since I opened this store and started wearing stylish clothing.”
She also stocks necklaces and other jewelry items, plus scarves, hats and wide-calf boots.
“We have had a great response from the community,” she added. “I like to meet and talk to people.”
Poole said shopping at small businesses like hers helps local people and families instead of a CEO and a large corporation like at larger big box stores.
“Our motto is be bold,” she said. “Out with the old and in with the bold.”