Curvy Rose

A Size Inclusive Bridal Boutique

(678) 957-ROSE

Serving Brides up to Size 32. Strictly by Appointment Only.

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Our Curvy Rose Story

I love weddings, but I REALLY love the splendor of a bride in her dress. In my mind, the dress sets the tone for everything. It's a direct reflection of a bride's personal style and for this special moment she gets to create a vision, an emotion, a radiance that is uniquely her own.

Curvy Rose was inspired by my own experience shopping for a wedding dress 10 years ago. I was stuffed into gowns that were way too small and asked to imagine how I would look. When there was no way for me to get into a dress, I was told to slip my head into the dress hanger and imagine the gown that way as I watched smaller woman try on various styles, textures and shapes. I tried not to cry as a large chunk of my backside was hanging out from a dress the consultant was certain would work. This scene played out time after time in all the bridal boutiques I visited. It was 2008 and no one carried gowns in sizes larger than a bridal size 14, which fit like a size 10.

Curvy Rose opened its doors in April 2016 in our parents home. After almost a year gathering inventory and weathering the fits and starts of building a business from scratch, it was time to meet our first bride. Chanza and I were so nervous. This crazy idea began with less than $1k in the bank, a lot of ingenuity and the style sense we inherited from our grandmother, Rosa. With only five dresses to show, would that be good enough? With our mom and my mother-in-law looking on, the doorbell rang promptly at 2pm. With a deep breath, Chanza and I opened the door. There stood Tavi and her sister. Our first bride. 

I greeted Tavi like I'd known her forever. She was radiant in a colorful cold-shoulder blouse. We quickly chatted about how excited we were to meet and welcome her to Curvy Rose. She shared that she had driven from a small town in Louisiana and it was her sister who had found us online. Finally their eyes landed on the few dresses that hung on the rack in my parents foyer. The moment of truth. 

Even if Tavi and her sister were disappointed, they were gracious enough not to show it. Chanza carefully showed them each gown and we began. If memory serves, Tavi tried on four dresses and fell in love with two of them. Watching her eyes light up with every gown, made our day.  All of them were looked great on her, so it really came down to how she wanted to look on her special day. 

In the end, Tavi didn't say "Yes to the dress" that day. We were disappointed, but optimistic about how things went. Chanza and I knew that if we continued to provide great customer service, personal attention and beautiful dresses, Curvy Rose could help more curvy women find the dress of their dreams. By the next Saturday, we had moved our modest little rack into a one room suite in a bank building. It was far from a typical storefront. 

Our first store, a pop-up shop in a bank building that we set-up for every appointment. 

Our first store, a pop-up shop in a bank building that we set-up for every appointment. 

We continued to meet brides and their families in our tiny pop-up shop after business hours and on Saturdays confident that we were on the right track. Two months passed and no one said, "Yes." Then Tavi called and said to one of our dresses! We were elated. Two more months passed and more beautiful brides visited Curvy Rose. Most said we had gorgeous gowns, many were surprised by how great they looked. But in the end, only a couple said "Yes." 

Our first Curvy Rose bride, Tavi on her wedding day. 

Our first Curvy Rose bride, Tavi on her wedding day. 

By the end of the first summer, we had 15 dresses to show brides, but it seemed that number still wasn't enough. Doubt began to creep in. Every penny went into buying each dress we had on that rack. It felt like we were drowning and taking on more water in our sinking life raft. Call it grit or sheer craziness, we kept going, setting up for every appointment, smiling with every bride and committing to find her dress whether she chose us or not. Some took a chance and ALL were empowered to feel gorgeous on their wedding day. 

A stunning Curvy Rose bride and her BFF saying "Yes" to her dress!

A stunning Curvy Rose bride and her BFF saying "Yes" to her dress!

One of our gorgeous Curvy Rose brides picking up her Sophia Tolli dress. 

One of our gorgeous Curvy Rose brides picking up her Sophia Tolli dress. 

A gorgeous bride-to-be in one of our unique dresses. 

A gorgeous bride-to-be in one of our unique dresses. 

 

By the end of our first year our little shop was bursting at the seams. We had more than 30 dresses in our inventory. Moving to a larger space became a priority. So the search began for our first storefront. We investigated a lot of options and locations in other cities, but decided that Fayetteville, GA was the place for us. 

One of my DD's in our one room shop during our first year.  

One of my DD's in our one room shop during our first year.  

If there's anything to take away from this story is that hard work and steadfast commitment are the tools that make dreams fly.  If you want a bridal experience where you will be empowered to be your most radiant self, visit Curvy Rose.  Just like the woman who helped me look gorgeous on my day, we will guide you through the process and honor your privacy while helping to create the vision, emotion and radiance that is uniquely your own.

Our new storefront full of beautiful dresses for curvy brides!

Our new storefront full of beautiful dresses for curvy brides!

We hope that Curvy Rose visitors will experience the love and support I had in finding a dress, but more importantly I wish every person who walks through our doors a marriage filled with joy and a romance that will last forever.

To book your appointment at Curvy Rose, give us a call at 678-884-3175 or click on the Appointment tab at the top of this page. Get the bridal experience you deserve!

 

A photo of me in my custom wedding dress in 2008. I worked with this wonderful woman who helped to bring my vision to life. It took a lot of trust, but it worked out great!

A photo of me in my custom wedding dress in 2008. I worked with this wonderful woman who helped to bring my vision to life. It took a lot of trust, but it worked out great!

What shape looks best on me?

One of my pet peeves is watching a curvy bride be pressured into trying on a dress that is too small, encouraged to buy an unflattering gown, or asked to imagine how a gown would like on her, all because the salon has a limited number of gowns in her size. It makes me down right angry to see women degraded with words like, "well we only have a limited number of plus size gowns to choose from," or "there's only so much we can do, sorry." It's down right mean. What the bridal industry considers to be a beautiful bride is changing and I want you, as a bride-to-be, to arm yourself with the bridal vocabulary to clearly communicate what you are looking for, predetermine what looks best on you, and quickly assess if the salon you are visiting can accommodate your needs. Your time is precious and you don't need to spend time in places that are unwilling to help you look your best on your special day. At Curvy Rose, we know what looks good on women of all shapes and sizes and we want to partner with you in finding the gown that reflects your personality, vision and love for your partner.  

One of the most important aspects of finding the right gown is understanding the shapes and fabrics you will encounter on your journey. If you are like many women, telling the difference between a ball gown  and a sheath is easy, but figuring out the difference between a mermaid, trumpet or in some cases an A-line is tough. Depending on the design and details of a gown it could be a smash-up of two different shapes. The wonderful news is, there is always a dominant shape to every wedding gown and more importantly, you have a dominant shape. Once you marry the two, you'll win every time. 

So let's tackle each shape individually and give you some ideas on the wedding gown shapes that would look best on you. 

photo courtesy of: http://nulayerdev.com/plus-size-jeans-for-apple-shape.html

photo courtesy of: http://nulayerdev.com/plus-size-jeans-for-apple-shape.html

 

If you carry most of your weight around your middle, you are an Apple shape, like me. What's great about being an Apple? You have killer legs, nice shoulders and a great bust line. It's time to show them off! 

What to Look for: Look for gowns that define the waist and show off your shoulders or legs. Whether you opt for ruching (wrap details), empire waist, off the shoulder or lace appliqué, dresses with a defined skirt that begins at the thigh or higher work best for you. 

Try on: Sweetheart and V-necklines on A-line (skirt skims along your body into an A shape) and fit and flare (where the full skirt begins at the thigh) and even shorter dresses like Tea length A-lines to show off those gams. Details like beading, especially under the bust are flattering.

Say no: As an Apple shape myself, I'm not a huge fan of the ball gown. I feel like a mound of whipped cream with a sparkly brooch on top, but I've known Apples who love them. Ball gowns do make your waist look smaller. Other shapes to avoid: Sheath (column type dresses) and dropped waist A-lines (where the bodice ends well below the natural waist).

Sophia Tolli - Thema.jpg | Curvy Rose | curvy bride | plus size bridal store
plus size bridal store | Sophia Tolli Daria | Curvy Rose | Atlanta, GA
Sophia Tolli | Curvy Rose | Atlanta, GA | plus size bridal store

 

If you carry your weight evenly throughout, you are a Rectangle/Banana. What's great about Banana shapes is that you have AWESOME legs and arms. Give them LOVE! 

What to Look for: Dresses that will give you the illusion of a defined waist is key. Dresses that either gather at the waist (a belt can help fit the bill) or flare at the hip or knee. If you are into illusion necklines, opt for a sweetheart or V-neckline to draw attention to the bustline.  

Try on: A-line (where the skirt gradually flares from the waist) and fit-and-flare styles. Gowns with details like a peplum or overskirt work great. If you have a smaller bust, try gowns with spaghetti straps or a plunging neckline. Empire cuts and ball gowns are also a flattering option. 

Say no: Sheaths, clingy or shiny fabrics like satin and chiffon. 

Pronovias - Tamara.jpg | Curvy Rose | Atlanta, GA | plus size bridal store
Sophia Tolli Andria | Curvy Rose | plus size bridal store
Sophia Tolli - Adelie .jpg | Curvy Rose | plus size bridal store | Atlanta, GA

If that waist gap on that pair of jeans give you the blues, you're probably a Pear. What's great about being a Pear? You've got a great butt and nice hips!

What to Look for: Dresses with a lot of details on the top, lace appliqué, beading and details that draw the attention to your upper body. Ruching or wrap details that accentuate the waist are also stunning on this figure. 

Try on: A line gowns,  empire waist gowns (where the skirt begins under the bust), Fit and Flare dresses (where the skirt begins at the thigh or higher), and ball gowns. 

Say no: Sheaths and dresses made with clingy fabrics that will show every lump.  

MoriLee | Curvy Rose | Atlanta, GA | plus size bridal store
Pronovias.jpg | Curvy Rose | Plus size bridal store | Atlanta, GA
Sophia Tolli - Nightingale.jpg | Curvy Rose | Atlanta, GA | plus size bridal store

Last but not least, the most coveted of the female figure. If you're busty, got a defined waist and round hips, you are an Hourglass. What's great about being an Hourglass? EVERYTHING!!

What to Look for: Sweetheart, scoop or V-necklines do a great job of showing off your bust. Halters are not as popular today, but they are a nice option for you too. Look for full skirts on Fit and Flare's as well as Fit and Flare's with a slimmer skirt. Highlighting your waist and hips are key. 

Try on: Drop-waist (where the bodice extends well below the waist), Fit and Flare dresses that begin at the thigh and lower. Sheath and A line gowns are stunning on this figure too. 

Say no: Ruffles, ball gowns. These shapes distract the eye and hide your curves. 

Sophia Tolli - Marquesa.jpg | Curvy Rose | Atlanta, GA | plus size bridal
Sophia Tolli - Prinia.jpg | plus size bridal store | Curvy Rose | Atlanta, GA
MoriLee | Atlanta, GA | plus size bridal store | Curvy Rose

Even with all of these gown shapes as a guide, what you choose to wear on your special day is completely up to you. It's been our experience that a bride knows when she has found the one. Follow your intuition and you'll take your partner's breath away. 

Fashion Injustice: The Myth of Beauty in a Box

Like a lot of women, I'm learning how to embrace the body I have, not the one I had twenty years ago before my daughters were born. Funny that I've been in this skin all of my life and have never fully embraced all of it's rolls, curves, and stretch marks. It has been a lifelong struggle, a companion really. First, as a chubby kid whose thighs rubbed together and then as a tween who budded earlier than my peers. Depending on my self image at the time, I was either covering up, slimming down, or showing too much. I wanted to wear stylish, fashionable clothes that other girls were wearing, but I eventually gave up in my twenties. Either the proportion was off, the fit was too tight or loose or the length was too short. 

So when I got engaged, I had already been conditioned to believe that I wouldn't be able to find a dress that I loved. I was told there wasn't a demand for gowns for me to try on and that I'd have more success if I lost 20 pounds. But rather than accepting defeat, I fought back by creating a dress that I loved.

Almost ten years later and not much has changed in the fashion industry. Yes, there have been bright spots here and there, yet high-end designers refuse to create collections for curvier women. Like actress Leslie Jones, we have to politely ask someone to dress us for a red carpet premiere. Smaller women don't have to accept less than than deserve, so why are curvy women treated so poorly? This was all the more true at New York's Fashion Week that ended Friday. Other than model, Ashley Graham's lingerie line there was very little focus on women larger than a size 12. So I was ecstatic when Tim Gunn, co-host of LifeTime's cable show Project Runway, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post exposing the fashion industry's disdain for plus size women. 

 

Gunn took a stand and I'm thankful that he did. We need more people, including men in the industry to shatter the myth that beauty comes in a tall, thin and blonde package. If you don't fit into these boxes you're not gorgeous, deserving of love or worthy of clothes that look great. 

I hope that celebrities and plus size stores  continue to pressure the industry to change and that more designers will abandon the antiquated ideology that demeans women and distorts the virtues of true beauty. Actress Danielle Brooks just penned an essay charging the media to do a better job of reflecting plus the fact that 67% of American are plus size. 

Perhaps one day I'll make peace and love the curves I have right now. The pressure to conform only has power when you listen to the whisper that says you're not beautiful just as you are. I hope that the work we do at Curvy Rose allows women to silence that voice and embrace their plus size beauty fully and completely.  

Next week at Vow Bridal Market in Atlanta Chanza and I will be choosing another set of wedding gowns for Curvy Rose. Among the beautiful sequins, beads, and lace, we will be looking carefully at designers that understand proportion and fit for curvy plus size women.  Call us soldiers in the fight for fashion justice or advocates for women of all shapes and sizes, we'll keep whacking at that fashion ceiling until it all comes crashing down.  


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