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Why I’m an Unapologetic Evangelist for MiB
by Sally E. Smith

It’s been a quarter of a century since Making it Big launched its first plus- and super-size designs. Like some of you, I’ve been a customer for the last two decades. In fact, my entire wardrobe is from MiB; it’s probably been six or seven years since I’ve purchased clothing from anyplace else.

My long history with MiB began when I saw their advertisement in the NAAFA Chelsea modeling our new Matti Skirted Swimsuit Newsletter. At the time, plus-size clothes were typically drab and made from polyester. I couldn’t believe my good fortune in finding a company that offered natural fiber clothing in a wide range of colors. After becoming a customer, and after becoming executive director of NAAFA in the late 1980s, I uncovered a different facet of MiB: their commitment to the plus-size community.

The company supported size-related organizations in a variety of ways, but they always went the extra mile. While I was at NAAFA, our convention T-shirt supplier flaked out at the last minute, telling us that he could only provide shirts in sizes up to 4X. MiB saved the day with a last-minute shipment of super-size T-shirts. They understood that women all sizes of large deserved to be full participants in the conference.

But MiB’s largesse wasn’t limited to size-related groups. I vividly recall speaking at Dreamers from I Have a Dream - East Oakland the company’s tenth anniversary celebration and bidding on several items in the silent auction, the proceeds of which went to a local charity. Even today, MiB’s philanthropic efforts shine through; the company actively supports “I Have a Dream,” a nonprofit that is making higher education a reality for socioeconomically disadvantaged children.

When I moved into the editorship of BBW Magazine in the late 1990s, MiB was my ace in the hole. I simply couldn’t get manufacturers of plus-size clothing to provide us with apparel larger than a size 16 for our photo shoots. This was especially problematic for our annual model search, when it was imperative that we have clothing in all sizes of large. Again, MiB came to the rescue, providing us with truly plus- and super-size fashion.

Even after the magazine stopped publication, I continued to feel a kinship Valerie modeling our new Noelani Top with MiB, and was all too happy to start writing articles for the MiB community. I’ve never wavered in my loyalty to the company, and they’ll have my business for life. I’m a firm believer in voting with my dollars, and I want to support a company that supports our plus-size community.

I’m an unapologetic evangelist for MiB because apparel for plus- and super-size women isn’t frivolous; for many of us, it means the difference between being able to compete in a job market where the cards are already stacked against us. It means the difference between being stuck at home and being able to swim, to cycle, and to move our bodies in clothing that’s up to the task. It means the difference between feeling self-conscious because we don’t fit in and having confidence in knowing that we’re dressed properly for any occasion.

Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I still love the fabrications Tesia modeling our new Brush Stroke Tee and the colors, and I appreciate that MiB’s clothes are designed to last. I like being able to email or call the company and talk to a real woman who knows MiB’s styles, and who can make sensible recommendations. I appreciate that they’ll come through in a pinch, because they understand that I can’t simply go to my local mall to buy what I need. And I recognize that their commitment to our community extends to the service they provide to each one of their customers. In fact, it’s customers like you and me who fuel MiB’s passion to provide us with the styles we’ve grown to love, and to design new offerings that keep us on the fashion curve.

I know countless other women who feel as loyal to MiB as I do, but ask them why and they’ll name a variety of reasons. I’d like to invite you to drop me a note and share the reasons why you’re committed to MiB. I’ll share your experiences and feedback in a future article.

Click HERE to see what your MiB Community had to say about one of my recent articles, "Fashion's Invisible Majority"!

Let us know what you think of this article! mib@makingitbig.com

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