This week’s Featured Buyer is also a seller here on Etsy. emilyaugust specializes in plus size fashion and wants to spread the word to both people who sell L and XL clothes and to the lovely ladies who wear them. Check out her favorite finds below and learn more about how to shop for and how to market to the buxom and curvacious!
I came to Etsy in a roundabout way. I started off being curious about the kinds of things for sale on Etsy, and being drawn here by other people’s success stories. However, what really drew me in was when I started searching for Plus Size clothing on Etsy and finding amazing things. At 5’10,” I have always found it difficult to find clothing that fits me well, and the prospect of finding larger sizes is enough to make my knees weak. A handful of really cool, unique designers were offering their designs in any size that you might need, and I was blown away by their offerings. I immediately knew I wanted to take part, and that Etsy would be a great place for me to feature plus sized vintage clothing.
Whether you are a buyer who happens to be big-boned, or if you are especially tiny, there are specific steps that buyers and sellers can take to make Etsy a more size-friendly place. I’ll share some of my favorites and give some tips along the way!
PLUS SIZED BUYERS: SPEAK UP!
Never before has there been such an open forum for communicating your needs as a consumer of clothing. Etsy allows you to converse with sellers directly, asking them for a garment to be made in your size, or just to double-check the size of something vintage or one of a kind. As long as body measurements are taken properly, buyers can request custom versions of the adorable items they find on Etsy.
Don’t be shy. Sellers love to make more sales and get positive feedback. Why hold back? There are plenty of designers on Etsy just itching to create something for you. This “custom” relationship is your key to finding pieces that cinch you in at the waist, give you a pop of color, and allow you to finally be who you are. Don’t be afraid to ask for longer hem lengths, shorter sleeves, or whatever it takes to fit your body. Also, don’t forget that vintage sizes are usually smaller than modern day sizes, and sewing patterns even more so.
Once you get a piece that you like, put yourself out there on forums and web sites to tell other shoppers what a great designer you’ve found. Join a group like wardrobe_remix on flickr, find a blog community, or even boast about your designer clothing in Etsy forums. Your new fashion cohorts will be totally grateful that you let them in on the secret that is Etsy.
TIPS FOR SELLERS: REACH OUT!
Are you scared to start sewing outside your comfort zone? Did you realize there was an entire set of buyers you may have been ignoring? The truth is, none of the sellers on Etsy are “manufacturers” with huge lots of standard clothing. Sure, if you buy wholesale t-shirts, you may have stock in the average Small, Medium, and Large sizes, but did you know that more and more companies like American Apparel are offering sizes like XXL and XXXL? If you are a maker, there is potential for you to fit a broader spectrum of body types. You may be ignoring a large group of buyers who would love to purchase your designs.
There are plenty of resources to help you start to think big when it comes to clothing design. The plus size category is made up of specific size measurements, but like the rest of the garment industry, these numbers vary between manufacturers. Check out web sites of major retailers for an idea of different “plus” measurement offerings. Always list measurements for bust, waist, hips, and even things like neck and shoulder openings. If you are willing to open your shop to the plus size customer, you may find that you are pleasantly surprised with more hearts, sales, and future buyers.
I also suggest that you make the first move. Create a garment or two in a bigger size, without having to have someone ask you to do so. This will show that your shop is open to the idea of working with a customer who may not be willing to contact you otherwise with their body measurements. A plus sized person may feel much put off if he or she has to tell you his or her chest size is three times bigger than anything else you are showing. Remember also that sizing issues also exist with items like rings, bracelets, and belts.
Think of it this way: if you are one of only a handful of clothing or jewelry designers on Etsy providing larger sizes, plus size shoppers are going to hone in on your shop and potentially give you more views, hearts, and sales!
Measure for measure, Etsy rocks for great fitting fashion! Let’s make it even more so.
Below you’ll find some more of her picks. Give a shout-out if you offer plus sizes in the comments below!