Month: November 2014

New Magazine for Entrepreneurs featuring — Guess Who?!?

auloni magazineauloni magazine

This month, online publication Au'loni Magazine made its debut featuring yours truly! The publication is designed to provide a platform for “the next big thing” in the start-up world, the “up and comings” of small businesses, and the “unique” missions of non-profits! I was so delighted when I was approached to be in the premiere issue - please stop by the site, check out the articles, and show this new venture some love!


Because Social Justice is Always in Style…

beyone black fridayThis is a fashion and style blog. It was never my intention to delve into political or social issues beyond those impacting the plus-size community -- things like body image, weight discrimination, and the like. However, in the wake of recent incidents in Ferguson, Missouri, I had to break my self-imposed silence to post the following on social media: strange fruit

(By the way, if you haven't heard India.Arie's rendition of "Strange Fruit," do yourself a favor and click here.)

Given the timing, activists called for consumers to participate in #BlackoutBlackFriday and boycott retailers in protest on Black Friday. As a fashion blogger and shopaholic, you know how this pained me. But then I got to thinking...even though the originators insist that this is just the first step, I know that for many people, this will be the only step. In order to prevent that from happening, I came up with a simple list of small tasks that people can take to keep the fight for social justice going beyond Black Friday. (Honestly, these are things that every citizen should do, but sadly, many of us do not.) beyone black friday Feel free to add to the list and please pass along!

Happy Thanksgiving from Curvy CEO!

Multi Generation Family Celebrating ThanksgivingMulti Generation Family Celebrating Thanksgiving  

"For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving...." - 1 Timothy 4:4

My prayer for you today, dear readers, is that you are surrounded by people you love, eating food you enjoy, and basking in a well deserved break from your corporate adventures. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Beware, The Food Police Are Coming!

Dangerous foodDangerous foodHere in the USA, we're preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving this week - that wonderful time of year when family members from near and far descend on one central location to eat, talk, and get on each others' nerves. (I mean this in the most loving way, of course :) Some of us are bypassing the stress of Thanksgiving altogether by focusing on what we're going to nab on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. (Shameless Self-Plug: If you [pullquote]From the Curvy CEO Files: [/pullquote]haven't quite figured out your shopping list yet, be sure to come back here tomorrow :) Most of us, though, are still fretting about the upcoming reunion with family and any looks, questions, or remarks about our weight. How to deflect against this? I say, dress just as carefully for Thanksgiving dinner as you would for a day at work. How might you do that without looking like you're trying too hard? I vote for a curated casual ensemble - one that is relaxed, comfortable, and appropriate for the occasion, yet still fashionable and flattering. No matter what, the best defense against those well-meaning comments is confidence and a smile. And a smart comeback. [/tweetthis]Of course, it's important to be appropriate. This is your grandmother/auntie/great-uncle we're dealing the little ones with listening ears might be nearby.... [tweetthis]No matter what, the best defense against those well-meaning comments is confidence & a smile. And a smart comeback. [/tweetthis] This is where I need a bit of help from you, dear readers - what are some appropriate, but firm comebacks to shut down any fat-shaming over the Thanksgiving holiday? Post your thoughts in the comments section! Feel like you're rather share on social media? Head to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+ to share your thoughts using the hashtag #FoodPoliceFree

Monday Morning Memo – Gratitude for Life Experience

monday-morning-memo NEW"“You’re not in control so stay calm, be kind and everything will turn out alright.” - Iman, on what she would tell her college-self now

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving here in the USA this week, one thing I think we can all express gratitude for is the learning that comes from life experience. Whether positive or negative, we all learned something from what has happened in the past. In fact, looking back on my life, I have more regrets now about the things that I didn't do than the things that I did do that turned out worse than I would've hoped. So, that's what I'm most thankful for this week.

What about you, dear readers? What are you thankful for? Please share in the comments section!

Monday Morning Memo – It’s OK to Ask for Help

inspirational-quotemonday-morning-memo NEW"Having everything doesn't mean doing everything yourself. It's ok to ask for help." - White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, it is so easy to get weighed down by the competing demands for our time and attention. There are invitations to send, decorations to set up, meals to make, gifts to buy, etc., etc. And oh yeah, regular life and it's ever-present demands are still there as well. As the days move past swiftly on the calendar, don't be afraid to ask for help. It may just be the key to your sanity between now and December 31.

New Feature: Shop Your Salary!

SYS LogoYoung woman in business wear with sale signIt is often said that we should "dress for the job we want, not the job we have." At the same time, financial stability demands that we also live within (or, indeed, beneath) our means. Ultimately, I am a firm believer that anyone can put together a good look at just about any price point if you pay close attention to details like construction, fabric, and the like. With the proliferation of "clearance" or "warehouse" shops that offer discounted items that failed to sell in their high-end parent stores - places like Neiman Marcus Last Call and Saks 5th Avenue/Off 5th - as well as the option of thrift shopping and even fast fashion, there is virtually no excuse for today's working woman to look anything but her best while on the job.

Of course, I would be lying if I didn't admit that your position creates a certain expectation level in terms of your wardrobe. No one is going to take you seriously as a Senior VP if everyone else in the C-Suite is decked out in Donna Karan and Ferragamo and you are rocking a pair of plastic shoes from Payless and a faux leather handbag from that store that shall not be named.

Likewise, if you're the personal assistant to the CEO and making only slightly more than minimum wage, everyone is going to start getting really curious about those red-bottom shoes you seem to rock on the regular. Pretty soon, people are going to start placing bets as to whether:
  • (A) you're parading around in the boss's hand-me-downs (which, if you are, ew because...feet)
  • (B) you got a hook-up from the guy selling knock-offs in the van a few blocks away from the office or
  • (C) everyone was right about the income source of that sketchy dude who picks you up after work and always reeks of illegal substances

    No matter what the truth is, it is NOT a good look!

    The good news is that, after years of shopping, I can state pretty firmly that it is fairly easy to find nearly identical versions of the SAME ITEM OF CLOTHING at astronomically different prices if you just look hard enough. By doing so, you can look absolutely fabulous and still meet the goals of dressing for the job you want AND living beneath your means. Therefore, I'm so pleased to present this new feature to Curvy CEO.... *fanfare*

    SYS Logo

    Through this feature, we will compare very similar (if not darn near identical) items that are available at VERY different prices.

    Ready? First up is something that combines two of my absolute favorite things - handbags and leopard print! *drool*


    jimmy choo
    Jimmy Choo Riley Tote - $1,885.00


    kate spade kensington tote
    kate spade new york 'charles street leopard - kensington' tote - $398.00


    The Limited Leopard Mini Dome Satchel Bag - $79.95


    Apt. 9 Olivia Dome Lock Satchel - $34.99

    Again, this is a new series. What items would YOU like to see featured? Leave a note in the comments section or shoot me an email!
  • Office Style for Creatives – #WorkwearWednesday

    A few weeks ago, I inquired on Twitter what kind of info you all might like to see me cover in a future webinar. (Still pondering that, by the way. I have an idea in mind...just wondering if I actually have the time to pull it together!) Anyhoo, one of the responses I received was from DC-to-Seattle transplant ChicFemmeNoire, who said:

    business casual creative environment

    To me, part of the key for dressing well in a creative office environment (e.g., advertising, fashion, beauty, etc.) is to wear what you would wear in a traditional office environment, but to swap it out one piece something with an extra "pop." For example, a pair of black slacks, button down top and, say, an animal print blazer. Or, a simple neutral twinset with a uniquely patterned skirt or pair of pants.

    Here are a few examples...

    ELOQUII Plus Size Leopard Jacket - Animal Print

    heart print skirt
    ELOQUII Plus Size Heart Print Scuba Pencil - Pink

    johnny collar shirt
    Foxcroft Shaped Johnny Collar Shirt (Plus Size) Electric Blue 20W

    zac posen
    ZAC by Zac Posen Happy Shopper, Dahlia Red
    Hush Puppies Cosette Women's Dress Shoes (10 M in Aqua Suede)

    Get the idea? Have a great day, everyone!

    Shopaholics Suite = SUCCESS!!!

    title picplus
    The Shopaholics Suite occurred last Saturday in Silver Spring, I must say, it was quite the success! I was overwhelmed by the support from blog readers who came out as well as sponsors like Fashion to Figure and partners like the Aveda Institute of Washington.

    But enough of me and all my talk...see for yourself, courtesy of these great images captured by Mickey Armstrong...

    [caption id="attachment_8426" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]A glimpse of the clothes, the snacks, and the shoppers. (I actually still have that that purple sequin purse. If anyone would like to buy it, drop me a line!!!) A glimpse of the clothes, the snacks, and the shoppers. (I actually still have that that purple sequin purse. If anyone would like to buy it, drop me a line!!!)[/caption]

    [caption id="attachment_8431" align="aligncenter" width="868"]Nel's Shoe Game! Nel's Shoe Game![/caption]

    [caption id="attachment_8432" align="aligncenter" width="667"]Ola of the Road to Fashionable making sales!!! Ola of the Road to Fashionable making sales!!![/caption]

    [caption id="attachment_8434" align="aligncenter" width="749"]Students from the Aveda Institute of DC provided FREE hair styling and hand, neck, and shoulder massages for guests. (You KNOW this was a huge hit!) Students from the Aveda Institute of DC provided FREE hair styling and hand, neck, and shoulder massages for guests. (You KNOW this was a huge hit!)[/caption]

    [caption id="attachment_8435" align="aligncenter" width="965"]My girl Tekisha, Independent Sales Representative for Silpada Designs! My girl Tekisha, Independent Sales Representative for Silpada Designs![/caption]

    Now, one thing we promised at the Shopaholics Suite was lots of giveaways...and give away, we did!!! Thanks to sponsors and partners like SimplyBe, Torrid, Dress Barn, Avenue, Shoba, Your Hair to There, and the aforementioned Fashion to Figure, we were able to give away several hundred dollars worth of prizes!

    [caption id="attachment_8439" align="aligncenter" width="369"]The winner of our "beauty basket" - including Your Hair to There Shea Butter and Torrid Haute Cash - strikes a pose! The winner of our "beauty basket" - including Your Hair to There Shea Butter and Torrid Haute Cash - strikes a pose![/caption]

    [caption id="attachment_8440" align="aligncenter" width="846"]The winner of the Fashion to Figure gift card giveaway strikes a pose with company reps! The winner of the Fashion to Figure gift card giveaway strikes a pose with company reps![/caption]

    [caption id="attachment_8441" align="aligncenter" width="667"]Our grand prize winner walked away with several prizes, including a $200 coupon from SimplyBe and her very own "Work Your Curves" sweatshirt courtesy of moi! Our grand prize winner walked away with several prizes, including a $200 coupon from SimplyBe and her very own "Work Your Curves" sweatshirt courtesy of moi![/caption]

    Ok, self-promotional moment: Several people stopped by my table and expressed interest in purchasing the "Work Your Curves" sweatshirt that we were raffling away - blew me away! You can actually purchase "Work Your Curves" apparel - sweatshirts, hoodies, t-shirts, pajamas, etc. via my Cafepress store. (You can also click the Products link at the top of the blog!) /self-promotion

    [caption id="attachment_8443" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]Team Picture (minus yours truly know my deal :) Team Picture (minus yours truly know my deal :)[/caption]
    One of my favorite expressions is "Team work makes the dream work" and that was no more evident than with this event. The Shopaholics Suite was truly a humbling experience for a control freak like me. I learned that no matter how smart or how sufficient you think you are, you cannot accomplish anything great on your own. You absolutely need the support of other people to ensure success. So, I want to give a massive shout out to fellow co-organizers Vivi of Heart, Print, and Style and Sherra of Ivie Rose Boutique. Also, without bloggers to sell apparel, there would be no event, so extra special thanks to title vendors Kym of Curvy Girl's Kitchen, Elle of Eat Style Play, Jann'l of Girls of Plenty, Deb of Real Girl Runway, Ola of The Road to Fashionable, and ChiChi of SuppleChic. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention sweets vendor Leola's Bakery and Cameo Person of Perfectly Posh for providing swag for the gift bags.

    I'm sure it will take me several weeks to recover from the Shopaholics Suite, but it was, indeed, a labor of love. I hope you all had as much fun as we did!!!