People often ask how I came up with the concept of a plus size store that caters to the mind, body and spirit of the curvaceous woman. To be honest, I have been extremely tall and overweight my entire life. When I was 13 years old I weighed 250lbs and I was 5’10” tall. There wasn’t a lot offered in the early 80’s for plus size women.
At the age of 15, I started working in local boutiques and that is when I fell in LOVE with retail. I went on to fashion school and worked in the fashion industry in NYC. You would think it would be easier to find plus size fashions in NYC, but in truth the philosophy industry wide, was (and still is) that you can “look but you can’t have” the styles skinny girls have. I spent DECADES drooling over fashions that I could never have because no one made them for me no matter how much I was willing to spend.
My AH-HA moment came in 2002. Sadly, we had a death in my family and I had NOTHING TO WEAR to the wake and funeral. A nightmare many of you have shared, I know. Though it was a LOT of money for me in those days, I had budgeted $300 for some new clothes. I spent the next 2 days in a frantic search for something that was of good quality and had some style to it. I drove from Boston to Hartford and my efforts were fruitless. After the funeral, many of the women in my family sat around and swapped war stories of trying to find clothes for the funeral and we all had the same tale to tell. That was the day that I said, “I’ll do it myself.” So, in 2003 and at the tender age of 29 I opened Botticelli.
This has been an amazing experience for me. Though this venture started out as a profession it has really morphed into a vocation for me. It is impossible to not get emotionally involved when a woman grabs and hugs you for dear life because she thought it impossible for a dress to fit or that she could look beautiful in it. I have watched countless women transform from shy and self conscious to bubbly and audacious before my very eyes. The thrill of watching them has become nothing less than an addiction for me. I have been so blessed to be a part of so many women’s BIG LIFE moments and I am humbled every day by their faith and trust they have placed in us. I hope that I have taught them that clothing is not an enemy but rather a friend that can make their days brighter no matter the challenges they face. I will never cease to be amazed by the courageous women that Botticelli has brought into my life.
The countless referrals and positive reviews make me think I’m on the right path. My life’s mission is to leave the world a better place than I found it…one gorgeous woman at a time.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know us and I invite you to visit with us and see for yourself why our customers rave about the Botticelli experience.