Crystal Johnson, a Chico citizen for 30 years and the buyer of Ample Gurlz Boutique, has been acutely complex in caring for bodies her accomplished life. She and her mom, Kathy Baker (pictured at left), who was a nurse, opened and ran two affliction homes for the aged from 1994 to 2002. That closing year, Crystal absitively to become a advance parent. She concluded up adopting twins who are now about 5 years old. In 2014, Johnson began the Making a Difference in America (M.A.D.I.A.) Project, a nonprofit advised to advice advance families accommodate accouterment for the accouchement in their care. Two years later, she opened up Ample Gurlz Boutique, a plus-size austerity store, to abutment and affix with added plus-size women. This accomplished summer, she begin a way to amalgamate both of her passions—supporting advance families and ample women—with the women’s bazaar in the advanced of her boutique and children’s clothes for the M.A.D.I.A. Activity in the back. Check out Ample Gurlz at 1376 Longfellow Ave. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
What gave you the abstraction for Ample Gurlz?
I’ve been a plus-size my accomplished activity and so has my daughter. So, I got this abstraction to see if I could do a plus-size store. This acquaintance of mine, I told her that I capital to do that and … she had all these clothes and she aloof capital to get rid of everything. Again some of my accompany started giving me their being and appealing anon I had a appealing acceptable inventory, so I absitively to aloof go for it.
Tell me about the M.A.D.I.A. Project.
The M.A.D.I.A. Activity came out of the actuality that back you do advance care, they accompany kids into your affliction and, best of the time, they appear with nothing, no added clothes besides what they’re wearing. We came up with the abstraction of accepting a accouterment barter affectionate of thing, and it started out area we were accomplishing it amidst some of the added advance families and again I aloof started accession stuff. I started activity to backyard sales and talking about the project. Appealing anon … we had to buy shelving and bins. It became its own affair appealing quick.
How does it work?
We accept vouchers for families in need, if they qualify—and absolutely it’s if they’re on aliment stamps or banknote aid or article like that, if they’re low-income. We accept a affiliation with the Chico Unified School District, so they accord us referrals and again we assurance them up to the affairs and they get a voucher. It’s meant to be a acting affair to advice bodies out, but if bodies appetite to advance here, they can acquire vouchers, too.
What are your affairs for the future?
What I’d like to accept Ample Gurlz be is added than aloof a store, but a affectionate of movement. I’d like to accept amusing events, things area we’re interacting. I absolutely feel acerb about women in business, too, so I absolutely appetite to try to affix with added women, abnormally plus-size, so that it can be chip into our movement of anatomy absolute and be yourself and all that.
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