Running a Size Inclusive Shop;
Why this shop owner decided she wanted her shop to be size inclusive.
Guest post by: Valencia Boutique owner, Paige Butz
Imagine this: You are out for a girl’s day with a friend. After lunch she asks you if you want to pop into the local boutique around the corner. You are a size 20, your friend is a size 2. You enter the store and find out from browsing the first few racks that the largest size they carry is a 10/12. More than likely this makes you feel like 1. you don't matter to them 2. you feel excluded & not welcomed since they have nothing in your size 3. You feel judged. The sales associate might make you feel welcomed but their size range shows that you aren’t accepted.
Over 65% of women in North America are size 14+ but less than half of stores carry above a size 12. Explain to me how this makes sense?!
Hi guys, I’m Paige, the owner of Valencia Boutique, and am proud to say Valencia offers a size range of XS-5X. I opened Valencia with the idea that two best friends shouldn’t have to shop separately just because they are different sizes. I cringe when I hear the stories from girls about only being able to shop accessories, feeling left out or uncomfortable going into stores because they are worried they won’t have anything that fits them or that they will be judged for their size.
I started in the fashion industry working in the buying team at National retail chain right out of University and I loved the buying side of the fashion world. A few years into my career I realized that I wanted to work in a more trend driven environment and have more control over the pieces I was designing/ purchasing. I applied for an internal promotion and was devastated when I didn’t get the job. I knew that I was ready for more creative freedom and since Winnipeg has so few options in the fashion world I decided I should open my own boutique.
Valencia started out mainly as a dress shop, something that at the time Winnipeg was lacking. When COVID-19 hit 10 months after opening it quickly shifted into a lifestyle brand carrying everything from dresses, tops, denim & loungewear, to candles, dried florals and we’re currently expanding into some bath & body products.
Our motto is that we are about style not size! Our straight sizes and plus sizes (we call it curve) are virtually identical. I was very intentional with never wanting plus size women to feel like they were being sent to the back of the store, or some dark, dusty corner to find their size. Everyone shops equally side by side at Valencia.
Our team always makes sure your shopping experience is as fun as possible. No pushy sales people or following you around the store, we have a super laid back sales approach. We’re just a group of girls who genuinely love fashion and connecting with our community.
I just had my first baby 3 months ago and it feels like I should be slowing down so I can have more time at home, but I feel like Valencia has so much to offer our community and I love our clients so much that I’m boiling over with ideas on how to make Valencia better & better.
I hope you keep following along to see all the things I have planned for Valencia in the next few years!
"I opened Valencia with the idea that two best friends shouldn’t have to shop separately just because they are different sizes."