Janesville26.3°

A real plus for women

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
November 24, 2007
— A Main Street shop has found a niche in what some say is an underserved market.

“It’s hard for plus-sized women to find something decent and affordable,” said Sarah Kopp, owner of Perfectly Plus Women’s Consignment.


Some people in the fashion industry seem to think that women who are plus-sized should have shapeless, unattractive clothing, she said.


But Kopp cited figures showing that plus-sized women—those who wear size 14 and above—make up almost half of the female population.


Kopp and her partner, Tanya Kimble, both 31, opened the store in August.


“We’re both plus-sized women ourselves, and it’s impossible to find clothes that look good and are at prices you can afford,” Kopp said.


“The better you look, the better you feel. Everybody should have beautiful clothes.


“It just seems crazy to me there are not more plus sizes.”


Sue Peterson of South Beloit, Ill., works near the downtown store at Material Girls on Main. Peterson was one of the store’s first customers.


She is losing weight and has been bringing in her clothes and exchanging them for something different.


Peterson agreed with Kopp. Many stores don’t carry larger sizes. If they do, the styles are plain and unattractive.


The prices at Perfectly Plus are about half of what you’d pay in retail stores, Peterson said.


No shop in Janesville specializes in plus-sized clothing, Kopp said.


She was looking for a job when she moved back here from North Carolina. She and Kimble have been friends since Brownies.


The women weren’t planning to open until spring, but they fell in love with the building when they saw it was for rent. They liked the setting, with the trees and benches out front. Inside, the building has exposed brick and woodwork.


“We just couldn’t pass it up,” Kopp said.


Initial worries that the downtown would not generate enough customers were unfounded, she said.


The farmers market this summer especially improved foot traffic.


“There’s really been a huge response,” Kopp said. “People hear about us and get so excited.”


The women accept clothes that are in good shape in current or classic styles. They take 20 pieces at a time. Kopp is amazed at how many items still have the tags attached. They also accept jewelry, purses, shoes and accessories.


The shop gets 55 percent of the split.


“Everyone gets a deal,” Kopp said.


The women opened with three racks of clothes. Today, they are packed.


The inventory turns quickly, and the quality is good, Peterson said.


“It’s something that Janesville really needs.”


Details

What: Perfectly Plus


Where: 119 N. Main St.


Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.



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