Spotlight on a Stallholder: Alice Bottomley

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A Plus Market is an absolute bonanza of plus size fashion bargains.

Women of all shapes, size and styles bring their fashion to be rehomed.

Excitingly this month you can shop Alice Bottomley’s wardrobe.

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For those that live under a rock or like me don’t have a T.V. Alice, recently starred in the reality music competition X-Factor. Self identifying as Fat and Fabulous Alice definitely has the rock chick groove and the snippets of video I have seen and her instagram as testament she has fabulous style.

I put some questions to Alice so we can get to know her before raiding her wardrobe Saturday Nov 29!

Describe your style?
My style is so hard to describe because it’s ever changing, but I think across the board it can be very rock chick, but often with softer tones and prints.

Where has your style evolved from?

It’s definitely evolved quite a bit from when I was younger, because I’ve always been that little bit bigger, I never really bothered with fashion because I didn’t think it would work on someone like me, but I think that has a lot to do with being comfortable in your own skin as well and I’m quite a different person now to who I was back then!

Where do you gain inspiration from?

I think the biggest inspiration for me throughout my years has been my mother; she is an incredibly immaculate looking lady with a stunning sense of style. I remember sitting on the steps at home watching my parents going to balls and events and thinking ‘Wow, I hope someday I look as good as she does’. And she’s still my go to fashion guru, if I’m not sure about an outfit, I’ll go straight to her and ask her opinion and sometimes I even do a sneaky check through her draws to see what new stuff she has!

Does your style reflect your personality, musical tastes or other?

I have quite a large, loud and vivacious type of personality and I feel if I also dressed to reflect this, it might knock people a bit for six! I generally wear dark colours, blacks, army greens, black and more black! But will always have a cheeky pop of something over the top as an ode to my personality, whether it be a massive statement necklace, head piece or a pair of leopard print shoes.

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Do you dress based on your mood?

Definitely! When I’m lazy, I love nothing more than throwing on my running skins (which are rarely used for the latter) and an oversized t-shirt with my Nike runners to a breakfast date. But, if I wake up feeling like I want to look a rockstar, then its diamonds and wedges with coffee!

 

What been your most embarrassing outfit decision?

Circa 1998 – 2002 there were a lot of them! Two really spring to mind, ‘Santa’ bought me these amazing hot pink flared pants one Christmas and they were just the love of my life, couldn’t get them off me! I also owned a pleather baby pink blazer that did the rounds for many years; thankfully these items have since been destroyed or re-homed.

Tell us about your X-Factor experience?

Where to begin, my X Factor journey was so poignant for so many reasons but I think the major thing I walked away with was a newfound confidence in myself. The people that I worked with along the way, constantly instilled in me that I was beautiful and talented and that I deserved to be where I was, I was never asked to change and I was never mistreated. You have this pre conceived notion of these celebrities and of their opinions of people who don’t fit that superstar mould, but my pre conceived notions were incredibly incorrect especially when it came to the four judges that I worked with during my time on the show. To stand up and be measured up against these skinny, sexy talented girls and be the one that was chosen was an incredible feeling. I still have days when I wake up and look in the mirror and think ‘Yuck’ but now, most days I look in the mirror with pride and admiration for who I am and what I’ve achieved.

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What are the fashion rules you love to break?

Patterns with prints and prints with patters, who says you can’t wear a floral shirt with a polka dot skirt? As long as you feel like a superstar, who cares what anyone else thinks!

You are on the body positive train, tell us about your journey.

My body positive journey spans many years, and I still have many more to go. At this time in my life, I think I’m almost where I need to be. This year in particular has been a massive year in my body positive journey; it’s potentially the biggest growth I have seen within myself for a number of years.

What are your tips for becoming and staying in a body positive mind set?

Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself, the haters are so few in numbers, to let them make you feel bad about yourself is a waste of time. Push boundaries, walk through life with pride and confidence – no one will EVER question you. Finally, don’t ever think you don’t deserve to look your best because you’re plus sized, you deserve to feel and look like a Rockstar!

When something brings you down, what’s your go to pick me up?

Shoes! I love them… I have a real obsession with furry shoes, in leopard print! I just love them! And also Sex and the City re-runs, if I can stroke my furry shoes whilst I watch the girls shop on 5th avenue, I’m in heaven!

Why are you having a stall at A Plus Market?

I just think it’s a fantastic concept, not only is it a place where you’re almost certain to find something gorgeous to wear it’s also a chance to meet other like minded plus sized fashionistas who can inspire me and perhaps introduce me to new fashion ideas!

What will you be selling at A Plus Market?

There’ll be a massive range of dresses, tops, jeans, jewellery. I’m a bit of a clothes hoarder so it’s time to de clutter 6 years of collecting!

 Come along Saturday 29th, enjoy some hula hooping, cake and buy up big!

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Hey Fatty

A Plus Market (Preston)

Lucy testimonial

A Plus Market brings such a diverse range of plus size fashion together, there really is something for everyone no matter their style.

 

For those that love vintage A Plus Market’s August Birthday market is going to thrill you as we have the fierce and fabulous ladies from Hey Fatty attending with their extensive range of pre-90’s vintage.

I’ve been privileged to work quite closely with both the ladies behind Hey Fatty as we form part of the organising committee for The Curvy Couture Roadshow. Through this experience I have got to know them well and am pleased to call them my mates. Here though you can get to know them too and of course find out more about their brand and what inspires them.
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Very kindly they have shared an interview they did recently with a pretty well known Australian Women’s mag, as they wanted to share the unedited story with us.

 How did HEY FATTY come about?

We both work in the same office and have been carpooling for about 5 years. In the car every day together we have plenty of time for ranting about everything we like and don’t like, and both being fatties it was natural for us to find a mutual dissatisfaction for the lack lustre plus size fashion available to us. As we’re both vintage and recycled clothing fans, we like to make our own fashion up and as it’s even harder to find anything above a size 16 in Australian second-hand stores, let alone unique pieces, Teresa joked one day that we should start our own business. We both stopped and decided it was no joke and have never looked back.

Where do you find your pieces?

We work with different wholesalers who source clothes from Europe and USA. It’s tricky because they are used to supplying stores bulk lots up to size 14, so we have to spend some more time sorting through stock to find what we need. We’ve found some really helpful suppliers who love what we’re doing. We also have private collectors or shopaholics who approach us and let us raid their wardrobe which is always fun. One contact has a huge collection and we’ve been convincing her for 2 years to let us come over, and a few weeks ago she finally said yes! We are always on the lookout for pre 1990s size 22 or beyond, as these are the hardest to find.

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Who are your customers? Young? Old?

Our customers range from young fashionistas who are looking for unique pieces to women in their 30s and 40s who are tired of cheap fast fashion and love clothes with a story, plus the women of all ages who are vintage fans with a passion for a specific era.
There is a real movement towards sustainable and ethical fashion with a lot of customers trying vintage for the first time, exploring bold patterns and unique cuts they would not have previously considered, which we love!

 What is the price range of your pieces?

Mostly we stock dresses and our pieces range from sleeveless simple cotton summer frocks to over the top vintage and retro evening wear with prices starting at around $30 up to around $60 depending on era, fabric and rarity.
We tend to focus on fashion from 1960s to 1990s with a more affordable price tag.

We rarely have items earlier than 1950s as prices then skyrocket and we are more about day to day fashion then rare collectible items.

 

How do you feel about the plus size industry in Australia?

There are so many great up and coming plus size specific designers in Australia, it was great to see them at the recent Curvy Couture Roadshow.

What is disappointing is that you don’t see these brands represented in major retailers, so the average shopper feels like there is little choice. If you go to a shopping centre you can find so much low end fast fashion in plus sizes but it’s still really hard to find quality, unique items like you can in Europe.

We’d just love to see more diversity and creativity in mainstream Australian plus size fashion, so hopefully buyers start investing in the local brands to lift the game for shoppers.

As we are focussed on vintage and recycled, we are quite niche but we know that if mainstream plus size fashion was more bold and interesting, we’d have more customers willing to experiment with clothes from other eras.
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 Why the name Hey Fatty?

Well it is a bit tongue in cheek but also we want to turn the tables on using the word fat as an insult. We aren’t skinny and don’t pretend to be anything else so why not proudly call ourselves fatties and have some fun with our business name too?
At markets we always have people smile and have a laugh with us, it’s been a great ice breaker and of course gets people’s attention pretty quickly. Online we sometimes have people that don’t like the name but there will always be people that aren’t on the same page as us, but there are plenty more that are!


What is truly fabulous about the Hey Fatty ladies, is that they know their vintage and are styling gurus, so if you have been thinking “I like the idea of vintage but I never see anything for me, it just doesn’t seem to suit”, then this is your opportunity.
Say Hi to Teresa and Melissa on market day and let them play dress up’s with you, finding the vintage style that’s right for you.

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Hope & Harvest

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Now those who have been following A Plus Market, have probably figured out that I can get pretty excited about the stallholders we showcase. Now, this market around there are no exceptions and if truth be told my excitement levels have been turned up a notch.

The upcoming A Plus Market is not only in an extra beautiful building but there will also be some extra awesome stallholders too.

So without anymore adieu I’d like to announce that the wonderful and fabulous
Hope & Harvest
will be joining us at A Plus Market Ballarat, Saturday May 3.

WOOOP! and even better news is that they aren’t just joining us they will be totally bringing IT
– WITH UP TO 70% OFF RETAIL PRICES – total WOOP! –
Go A Plus Market Prices!
BOHO

For those in the know – you’re probably now as excited as me and those who haven’t heard about Hope & Harvest yet, here’s a little education.

Hope & Harvest are local designers based out of Melbourne/Ballarat who have been named by Madison Plus N.Y.C & Essence Magazine as one of the top plus size labels in the world. How amazing is that!

Just as exciting, Hope and Harvest have just been featured in Volup2 magazine, you can see it HERE, Pages 53 to 73.

I really like lots of Hope & Harvest’s designs as many have that cool BOHO feel while others have that little bit of allure (and some  a lot) and all are available in sizes 14 to 26.

Harvest, one half of Hope & Harvest’s design team says,

“We get our ideas by thinking about what we want to wear. By looking at fashion that inspires us and using our experience to find a way to create pieces that really work for us”

I guess that’s also why the designs work for so many of us.

So now back to what’s happening at A Plus Market on Saturday May 3.

Hope & Harvest will be showcasing both new season and SALE stock with as I said before
UP TO 70% OFF RETAIL PRICES,

But wait there’s more.
Become a Hope & Harvest VIP and get 20% off everything, this is in addition to the already reduced stuff. You’ll need to sign up before the market and take your VIP number along with you on market day.
Sign up as a Hope & Harvest VIP HERE.

AND by coming along to A Plus Market Ballarat you’ll get a chance to WIN a $100 Hope & Harvest Voucher!

So save the date, get the girls organised for a road trip and get along to Ballarat Saturday May 3
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CCR from the inside

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The Curvy Couture Roadshow (CCR) has now been and gone. Many of you were there (thanks so much for coming) and many more of you have probably now seen the coverage showing just how amazingly epic this past weekend’s event was (if you haven’t check out the CCR Facebook page here).
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Some of you may not though know that I was one of the core committee members who slaved over the past months to get this production off the ground and into the history books (it’s great to blow your own horn every now and then, no? Toot Toot!). So this post is a little bit about that and a little bit about how the event was for A Plus Market.

I am very proud and honoured to have worked on this event, namely because of the wonderful team I worked alongside. Each member played a pivotal role in making this all happen. I thank them for their effort but also just for being the hardworking creative individuals that they are.

The team comprised of Kate Millett from Bombshell Vintage who thankfully shared her vision and brought together such an awesome get it done team, Kerry Pietrobon from Harlow who sustained such enthusiasm (what an inspiration), Teresa Raso from Hey Fatty, a gorgeous level headed, passionate woman full of belly laughs, Jessica West of Fox Parse, so hardworking, clever and kind and lastly but not least Jess Tracey, this girl is an absolute cracker and has an awesome fashion IG check it out here.

There are so many other wonderful people who were involved in making this all happen, you can see the full list of thanks here.

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The fashionable line up awaiting the event. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Emme.

 

So onto the A Plus Market side of things…..

A Plus Market held a mini pop up market stall within the CCR market arena. Due to my obligations as a committee member I wasn’t manning the stall as much as I would have wanted, so missed saying “Hi’ to many of you :(.

Instead the ever fun and wonderful Ayse and hardworking Bec from Parlour manned the stall to showcase to the masses what A Plus Market is all about.
I am so appreciative of these two girls as they not only made it possible for A Plus Market’s stall to run but also meant I could tend to all the little things that needed to get done behind the scenes.

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The packed out A Plus Market stall. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Emme

 

The A Plus Market stall showcased just a small portion of our regular stall holders (some more where even there on the own accord, Yay). Available were the most comfortable and lovely plus sized PJ’s around from Big Blossom’s PJ’s. These hung alongside Parlour’s very pretty skirts, Suniitopaz Creations eclectic and original handmade jewellery and belly dance belts and Pretty vixen’s vintage collection. Our ever popular pre-loved stallholder Ayse brought with her a range of contemporary and fashionable pieces which sat beside A Plus Market’s very own pre-loved and vintage collection. So much to fit in such a small area, but it still looked fantastic and was very well received.

In fact we had many memorable customers which were not limited but included, the lovely Ashley Rose (watch out for the announcement of her stall at an upcoming A Plus Market) bought a gorgeous pink coat (check it out here) and the very beautiful plus sized model Hayley Hasselhoff bought herself a groovy purple vintage dress (can’t wait to see her in it).

So that was all very exciting! Hope to see you next time, if not before 😉

Curvy Couture Roadshow

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This weekend A Plus Market will be trying something different…
We’ll be heading to the Curvy Couture Roadshow to hold a mini market pop up.
Indie Poster GirlSo What’s the Curvy Couture Roadshow all about?
The Curvy Couture Roadhsow is a proud member of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program. Showcased will be independent and established Australian and New Zealand designers of plus size clothing, swimwear, found fashion and accessories.

There’ll be both an extensive market (that’s where we come in) and exciting runway shows featuring local Melbourne women and professional models.

The A Plus Mini Market Pop Up will feature some of our favourite stallholders including Big Blossom PJ’s, Parlour and Suniitopaz alongside a healthy amount of gorgeous pre-loved and vintage garb. Just on the quiet there is some fabulous vintage coats on offer, just right fro these Autumnal days.

If you love fashion, which I know you do, you defnitely want to head to this event.

As the only regular plus size fashion market in town, A Plus Market supports this event wholeheartedly. It shines light on the blossoming Australian plus size fashion industry, definitely a cause to be celebrated and supported.
So I expect to see you there, OK?

So when is it and how do you get tickets?
The Curvy Couture Roadshow is this Sunday, the 30tth of March from 12-5pm
at the Meat Market Pavillion, 5 Blackwood Street, North Melbourne.

You can by tickets from ticketek by clicking HERE or get them at the door

Kaiser & Pasche

A Plus Market (Preston)
A Plus Market is thrilled to be joined by Kaiser & Pasche this Saturday.
KAiser and Pasche
Kaiser & Pasche are personal shoppers/stylists who specialise in size16 and over.

Serena and Sharon started Kaiser & Pasche after working within the plus size industry, only to find that customers were not being offered what they were really looking for.

Their fashion inspiration is drawn from the ‘regular, straight sized’ fashions of the day. They translate this to wearable and flattering looks for the fuller figure.

After collecting all the best looks Kaiser & Pasche bring them to you in their mobile boutique! So you can have a private shopping experience in their ready made mini store, or you can pop down to A Plus Market to experience it there.

For their debut at A Plus Market Kaiser & Pasche will be offering a great range of brand new clothing all under $100, styling tips all day and if you spend over $50, you’ll receive a little goodie bag from us. How cool is that?
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So be there or be squared! See you on Saturday between 10am and 3pm.
Preston March 22

Spotlight on a stallholder – Aarathi

A Plus Market (Preston)

spotlight on a stall holder
As is usual for each A Plus Market there is bag loads of pre-loved plus size beauties fit to be rehomed. The upcoming A Plus Market  in Preston is no different. Well it’s a little different as there are more pre-loved sellers than ever before, meaning there are bag loads more bargains to be had!

It is fitting that we begin the stallholder introductions with one of the many gorgeous women who are clearing out their wardrobes.

Today we meet the beautiful Aarathi. untitledAarathi is an international aid worker, and have travelled the world extensively (I know right…. good looks and nice!). Aarathi lives in Country Victoria (Kilmore) and loves the wide open spaces that surround her. To top off the package she is happiest when cooking! She even has a food blog, Chocolate and curry, check it out HERE.

So to get to know Aarathi a bit better before market day here are the questions I asked:

Describe your fashion style?

I would say I dress more classically, and love bright colours. I don’t subscribe to any one particular trend, but believe in buying good quality clothes that can withstand the trends of different seasons. I love vintage styles as well. My style is classic, straight lines, not fussy that makes me feel confident and beautiful 🙂

If you had to wear an outfit that was your most hated colour, how would you make it bearable? 

Pairing it with accessories that complimented the colour or took the attention away from it!

Are you a hat person? Or any type of headwear? What do or don’t you like and why?

Lol no….I have like 2 hats. I don’t mind fascinators, but small ones. I don’t think I’ve ever been cool enough to carry off headwear confidently!
Fashion rule that you love to break?
To be able to wear sleeveless for us curvy girls! 

If you were going around the world for 12 months what are your 3 must take pieces of clothing? Why?

My CC skinny jeans, my Witchery light grey wool top and a pair of my Sambag ballet flats. They go with everything, the jeans are complimentary and can be worn day or night. The Witchery top can be paired with anything, worn under blazers or by itself and is light and can be packed lightly. The Sambag ballet flats because they are the most comfortable shoes in the world, last a good long while and they are totally adorable and would remind me of home 🙂

 

What’s your favourite article of clothing for the in between season’s such as Autumn?

BLAZERS! Definitely a must have!

Aarathi has too many clothes (a common story), she has changed sizes  and her tastes have changed. This is her chance to de-clutter!

Aarathi wants to find her beautiful clothes some new loving homes.
She needs YOU!

Aarathi will be selling:

Casual and work clothes, with a few dressier items. Dresses, pants, skirts, shirts, and casual tops. Brands include City Chic, Marks and Spencer, Dream Diva, Sussan, Bonds, Peta Pledger, and other designers

Come and grab some of this gorgeous woman’s clothes and lighten her load.
Preston March 22THIS SATUDAY!

Spotlight on a stall holder – Aurelia

December 2013 A Plus Market (Altona)

spotlight on a stall holder

One of the best things about an A Plus Market, bar the extraordinary amount of gorgeous plus size clothing available, is the awesome new friends one can make and why not start here with one of this weekends pre-loved stall holders, Aurelia.

aurelia
Aurelia, a stay at home Mum who loves socialising, cooking and of course FASHION, has agreed to give us a glimpse into her life and style.

In a few words describe your fashion style?

My fashion style at the moment is very casual yet funky as I will always accessorise my outfits even if I am just wearing a pair of jeans. Fashion to me is about colour, I might be a plus size but that doesn’t mean I have to wear black!

Where do find your fashion inspiration?

My fashion inspiration started in the 80’s with Lind Evangelista. She was my icon as a teenage girl and she was such a stunning woman and is I loved the 80’s for their colour and I think I have kept that with me, albeit a bit toned down.

Thinking about what draws you to an article of clothing is it the cut or colour that first grabs your attention.

When looking for clothing I think that the colour will grab me at first. I tend to go for bright colours such as aqua, red and orange. Then of course the cut and style and the price plays a part too.

Where is your favourite place to shop?

I love to op shop as there is always a bargain that I can find, I love markets as well and going through so many different items of clothing is like Aladdin in his cave of treasure.

What’s your best summer fashion tip?

Best summer fashion tip moisturiser with SPF 15 bronzer and lip gloss will make you feel like you have just come back from a summer holiday a nice pair of sandals and maxi dress you will always look a million dollars.

Aurelia’s stall will be stocked full of evening gowns, tops, skirts pants and shoes, a lot of it NZ designer with items from City Chic and other High End fashions.
Come down to A Plus Market – Altona THIS SUNDAY and raid Aurelia’s wardrobe and help her out with a little extra Christmas spending money!

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In the News

December 2013 A Plus Market (Altona), More media

aplus market hobson Bay Leader The Hobson Bay Leader has included a story about the upcoming A Plus Market in Altona. Thanks to the wonderful Marji & Jean for providing the gorgeous dresses that are modelled.
Here’s a link  to the story on line. Check out page 14.
altona final flyerClick on the above flyer to see the Facebook event listing.

A Plus Market – my personal shopping adventure

September A Plus Market (Box Hill) - Info

Some of the stall holders at September’s A Plus Market figured out quite quickly that my decision to create A Plus Market is more than a way to enter the work force but also an elaborate way of getting my shopping done.

Augmenting one’s wardrobe has never been so much FUN!

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Playing dress up’s with friends new and old, having personal dressers (thanks Ayse), all in comfortable and relaxed surrounds can not be beaten.

Or can it?

I think YES, because I forgot to mention the BARGAIN prices!

The above haul with some other pieces too, like a glamorous full length, thigh high split ASOS Curve black (NWOT) dress and a cute flirty LBD didn’t blow the credit card. I won’t say exactly how much I spent. Let’s just say if I had two pineapples to start with, I still had some change!

A Plus Market isn’t just about bargains though because there is always some very gorgeous NEW wares there too.

Whether it be original handmade dresses, new designer clothing or the
beautiful handbags, sparkly jewels, sandals, boots and even more glorious products, no matter what size you are, there is sure to be something for you.

So my advice to you, is MAKE SURE YOU MAKE IT to the NEXT A Plus Market!

Follow this link to this years market dates!

PS My hat goes off to all the fashion bloggers out there, as the above photos took ages. Too many selfies and too many groans from the hubby. Thanks darl.

I’d love to see what you got on the day too!
Upload some pics of you in your A Plus Market finds to the A Plus Market Facebook page

and get a chance to WIN
a copy of
Janine Mison’s, Curvy Girl’s Guide to Shopping, Melbourne e-book!