Despite an increase in options, full-figured ladies still have trouble finding great fitting clothes. It’s just a fact. And it’s one 22-year-old Kayla Rose knew all too well.
“As a plus-size Black woman, I’ve witnessed the fashion industry largely ignore curvy women and especially curvy Black women,” Rose told MadameNoire. So Rose, who owns a boutique public relations agency called The PR Rose, LLC., came up with a solution.
She co-founded and self-funded CURVSI, the first app dedicated to women sizes 10 and up to buy, sell, and share their style straight from their phone. “So rather than waiting on brands and retail stores to respond, we’re turning to our closets,” she said.
CURVSI launched in the iPhone APP store in early April and it immediately acquired more than 2,500 users with 100 items being sold in the app daily.
Rose talked to MadameNoire about why CURVSI is so much more than a shopping app.
MadameNoire (MN): What made you create CURVSI?
Kayla Rose (KR): The Fashion industry largely ignores curvy women. Designers often stop their clothing at a size 10 and if they do venture into plus it stops at a size 20.
MN: How does CURVSI work?
KR: With the CURVSI app, you can list an item for sale in under a minute, discover size-inclusive brands and trends, and shop a personalized feed full of fashion that actually fits. Users can also receive style advice or fashion tips from people they meet on the app. The seller keeps 80 percent of their profits.
MN: Why did you feel women would like to share clothes?
RS: I believe that women would like to share their clothes because we get tired of wearing the same thing over and over again. CURVSI is a great platform to sell what you have to purchase what you want! Another great thing to look at is that women are now able to sell and purchase those items that have gone out of production and are no longer sold in stores or online.
MN: What were your thoughts when the app went live?
RS: OMG, is this for real? Is this actually happening, someone downloaded it? Oh wait, it was me! Oh wow, more people are downloading! Oh, this is going to be amazing!
MN: How many subscribers do you have now?
RS: We have over 3,500-plus downloads since being in the app store for the past three weeks and hundreds of items being added daily.
MN: Had you been involved in tech before? If not, how did you navigate the process?
KR: I have not been involved in tech before, but my co-founder is a software engineer and he handles the tech side of the app while simultaneously teaching me all about the tech world. It has been a true learning process.
MN: What apps do you personally use?
MN: Fashion claims it is paying more attention to plus-size consumers, what are your thoughts on that?
RS: I think that it’s great and it’s overdue. Plus size women deserve to have trendy, stylish clothing and more in-store and online options to purchase from that are of excellent quality. I encourage those brands that are debuting plus-size lines to go beyond what’s typical – don’t cap your collection at a size 20-22. There are more women than you think that wear beyond that [size]who would love to wear your clothing.
MN: What are your goals for this year?
RS: My single goal for this year is to really grow this app into a staple in the Plus Size Community. We want to partner with influencers, brands, and boutiques and have them sell their closets or their excess surplus on the app. We are looking to invest a portion of profits into emerging curvy brands and boutiques that are often ignored by the industry. We want CURVSI to not just be an app but a community!
MN: What have you learned about entrepreneurship?
RS: With this venture, I have learned that if you start meeting the needs of the people in your community, they will come and support you. Literally, I’ve gotten so many positive responses to the app that just showed me that I filled a gap in the industry and you can’t go wrong with giving the people what they want!