Can you believe it, I’m actually a little bit speechless. I know, ME, speechless! That almost never happens right!
But I’ve got a doozy for you folks. You may have seen a campaign going around the fatosphere and fatshion world calling for support and funding for a Kickstarter loan for a new company called Cabiria Style. A new “plus-size” startup fashion company, really pushing hard for people to donate to their Kickstarter and promote their new company. Now I’ve had a busy week, so I saw the tweets and stuff and thought “Cool, I’ll have a look at that later, always good to see new plus-size brands starting up.” I finally got a chance to have a look today and was disappointed to see that the person behind this company only intends to cater up to size 24US – I take a 28-30-32US depending on the brand. Happens all the time, gives me the shits, but yeah, I’m used to it. I saw that someone had asked if they intended to extend their sizes in the future so I retweeted the question and said that it was important:
I made it clear that it isn’t fair to ask me to support or promote a company that excludes me, especially when they promote themselves as an “inclusive” line. I expected to get the usual line about how “we hope to expand our sizes in the future”. At least it’s an acknowledgement that they don’t go up to the higher sizes, even if it is a bit of a fob off, right? I mean, indie designer, baby steps, fair enough.
What I didn’t expect was a whole lot of hostile attitude about how it’s too difficult/expensive to do higher sizes and that our questions as to whether we were included in the sizing were “criticism” of the company/range. Apparently, simply ASKING if the sizes will be expanded is a “personal attack”.
Oh boy, there is some really fucking entitled bullshit that has come from this woman. I’ll let the tweets do the talking (she has blocked me because you know, calling her out on shitty marketing and excluding people in an “inclusive” range is such a horrible thing to do – so I have to copy and paste):
@fatheffalump there is an entire section on why to donate if you’re not plus size. Many of the donors are not plus size.
Umm… I’m not plus-size because I’m over a size 24US? What the fuck am I then? I’m “too big” to be considered “plus-size” but you still expect me to donate and promote your range?
@fatheffalump I’m making higher quality options than most. Pretty different in another parameter.
This is her response to how she is not doing anything new and different by only doing to size 24US. What use to me is “higher quality” if you won’t include me in the sizing? What kind of logic is this?
@fatheffalump if you look at the photos you may notice I shop in the plus section myself, and not everything fits.
This is supposed to justify that NOTHING fucking fits in her range for me or any other person over a size 24US. So I’m supposed to consider this justification for excluding anyone over a size 24US to the range.
@Fatheffalump The options are to buy the clothes or not. Same as everyone else. Buy this apple.Don’t buy that pear. Options.
What fucking options? Buy WHAT clothes? You’re not providing them in my size! Where the fuck is the logic here? “Buy this apple, but if you’re a pear, fuck off we don’t cater to you – there, you have options now”.
Look, I know it’s not easy to start up as a company. I’ve done it myself. There’s a reason I’m no longer self employed. But there’s one thing you need to remember. If you want people to give you their money for your goods or services, you’d better fucking include them. How difficult is that to comprehend? If you don’t cater to them (and hey, not every business does, such as life), DON’T EXPECT THEM TO GIVE YOU MONEY OR PROMOTE YOU!
And if you are a company selling size 12-24, don’t call yourself inclusive, don’t promote to the fatshion/fatosphere and don’t call yourself “plus-size”. You are an inbetweenie company. Go market to them.
So I’m doing the opposite of promoting this company. I am urging you, my somewhat considerable following of thousands of awesome fat people here on Fat Heffalump and on my social media platforms, DO NOT spend your money with Cabiria. In fact, if you have pledged a donation through Kickstarter – go cancel it. Never shop with them, ever. Withdraw your funds whatever size you are and show this person that if they want to be a success, perhaps they should invest in some marketing training before anything else.
Instead, I would like you to go buy some brilliant clothes from the following small companies:
- Domino Dollhouse – when DD first started I asked Tracy about catering to larger sizes, she told me she was working on expanding that in the future. It took a little while, but she did, and she is now doing AWESOME things. Hat tip to Tracy and Domino Dollhouse. I hope you’re raking in the $$ Tracy!
- LucieLu – they go to 5X and are a really gorgeous quality.
- No Xceptions – Up to size 32AU. Small range, but HOT prices and excellent customer service. Extra points for being an Aussie company.
- Sweetooth Couture – Up to 6X. Gorgeous.
- eShakti – yeah not exactly small and they don’t ship to Australia yet, but hey, they do gorgeous clothes in good quality and have no size limit (costs about $7.50 extra to get custom sizing – less than 8 bucks to get custom sizing – how awesome is that?!)
- Cult of California – up to 5x.
Give these companies your money. Buy their products, promote the crap out of them and let them know they’re doing something right. If you know any other small companies that do past size 24AU, please leave them in the comments. Let’s show these companies that they are asking for our money and custom, they do not have the right to demand it.
And if you’re looking to start a plus-size clothing business, here’s a few hot tips for you:
- Size 12-24US is not special any more. Don’t label yourself as unique or inclusive if this is all you do.
- Market up to your customers, not down to them. If you want their custom and their money, treat them as valuable and they will reciprocate.
- Stick your neck out. Don’t start at a 12 or a 1X. If you can only afford a size range of 3 sizes, how about starting at size 3X and going to 6X and then expanding down later. After all, it’s a bloody captive market, there’s FAR less competition out there for you if you do that than the 12/1x – 24/3x range.
- If you get questions or feedback, answer the questions, be honest and don’t take it personally. If you turn it into a “You’re picking on me!” when people ask if you’re intending to expand your size range or say that they’re not willing to support a company that doesn’t cater to you, then you’ll lose ALL of your customers, not just the ones you are ignoring. A simple “We are currently only offering to size 24″ would have been annoying, but fair enough. “We are currently only offering to size 24, but hope to expand in the future.” would have been lovely.
- You are not doing anything new or offering options to someone you do not cater to. Don’t piss on our legs and tell us it’s raining.