With its U-Haul banker and arid appointment strips, Columbia’s Red Branch Road may not assume like a acceptable atom for a bazaar specializing in plus-size ball wear. But this accomplished June, the Bazaar by ShimmySista added some appearance to the area.
Glenna Cush, the store’s abdomen dancing founder, knows all too able-bodied what it’s like as a plus-size woman aggravating to acquisition article to abrasion that’s adulatory and beautiful — abnormally back it comes to ball and able-bodied wear. Back she started abdomen dancing in 2008, the options were scant, she recalls.
“Yeah, you can abrasion gym clothes and, you know, sweatpants,” says Cush, who performs beneath the moniker Iona. “But all the added girls had on these beautiful little tops. Hip scarves and all that affectionate of stuff. And I had a actual difficult time aggravating to acquisition … article that fit plus-size and looked attractive.”
After a bootless attack to acquisition an accouterments in time for her account at a convention, an abstraction struck.
“I thought, if I’m accepting trouble, added bodies charge be accepting trouble, too,” she says.
Cush started humbly, with a website, her own ShimmySista accumulating and booths at conventions and events. Still, Cush, who lives in Windsor Mill and works in business for the accompaniment government, acquired a animated following.
The brick-and-mortar abundance is beginning with decadence. You can acquisition sequined, bejeweled and bedazzled tops, wide-leg pants, dresses and sets. There are hip scarves covered in coins, T-shirts emblazoned with letters like “I [heart] my curves” and “Got curves?” forth with an all-embracing mix of jewelry. The abundance additionally sells accepted workout, “athleisure” and able accidental options.
“At added places there’s an asterisk for the additional sizes. But here, there’s an asterisk on the abate sizes,” says Cush.
The ShimmySista bazaar has become a array of springboard for the bounded abdomen dancing community. For starters, the abundance is staffed by added breadth abdomen dancers. Cush holds blessed hour abdomen dancing workshops, and bodies can book dancers for parties.
“I appetite bodies to see that you don’t accept to be a assertive anatomy blazon to alive your life,” says Cush.
Before Cush, women had to get artistic or artlessly appeal with the heavens, says adherent chump Narvia Summers.
“I was authoritative my own being because you couldn’t acquisition anything,” she says. “You either fabricated your own, or had somebody accomplish it, or you didn’t dance. And a lot of bodies didn’t ball because they didn’t accept annihilation to wear.”
“I was analytic the internet and adage a adoration that things would appear in from China,” says addition customer, Stephanie Franklin.
The testimonials abound. Cush recalls women arrant in her booths out of joy of assuredly award article to wear.
“The aspect of abdomen ball is allotment yourself through movement. And back you accept clothes that fit you absolutely well, it enhances and makes you feel added adequate in your movements,” says Franklin. “[Cush] offers that. She’s a hidden gem.”
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