With a majority of the fashion industry praising rail-thin physiques and sample-size garments, Marie Denee, better known in the fashion community as The Curvy Fashionista, is proof that you can love your figureâ€”and look contemporary and chic at any size. Denee, 30, has made that her personal mission, helping plus-size women â€ścelebrate, embrace and love their curves.â€ť
After gathering information about plus-size retail while conducting research for her MBA in marketing, the Los Angeles resident launched The Curvy Fashionista at the end of 2008. Denee went on to establish Marie Denee LLC, offering her services and expertise as a stylist and sought-after fashion expert. Since its launch, The Curvy Fashionista has won numerous accolades, including the Black Weblog Awards 2011 Judges Pick for Best Plus Size Blog, Full Figured Fashion Week Industry Award for Best Plus Fashion Blog of the Year in 2012, and was recognized as one of this yearâ€™s Top 50 Self-Acceptance Bloggers. With 12 years of retail experience in merchandising and management, the fashion and style editor for Plus Model has released an e-book entitled Keeping it Curvy. Confident. Chic, contributed to various outlets such as Vogue Curvy and Seventeen, and appeared in Elle, Instyle and Bloomberg BusinessWeek, among other publications.
As part of Black Blogger Month, the fashion-forward blogger tells BlackEnterprise.com how sheâ€™s been able to extend her brand and why sheâ€™s personally invested in the plus-size market.
I started bloggingâ€¦
To save all the plus-size fashion resources I found while I was in school. Â I knew that if it was hard for me to find, then it would be a battle for others.
The Curvy Fashionista stands out becauseâ€¦
I have made it my personal passion and goal to help plus-size women celebrate, embrace, and love their curves. I wanted to be that resource for that woman who is coming into her own and wants to know what is available to her beyond the traditional outlets. Building a relationship with my reader is very important to me.
Getting paid to write about fashion is amazing becauseâ€¦
I really love grinding for myself rather than someone else. It doesnâ€™t feel like work, but rather itâ€™s fun and quite rewarding.
I realized blogging was a businessâ€¦
The moment I received an item to review. I moved slow, though, careful to understand and realize how to do this without losing my voice.Â That coupled with me losing my job of five years, on Friday the 13th, in March 2009. Â That combination fueled me to charge ahead, and I have never looked back.
The biggest mistake I ever made in business wasâ€¦
Trying to do too much, too fast.Â Once upon a time, I had an online store that was bigger than just me, especially with my blog growing and extending myself to outside activities.Â I missed a buy, being pulled too far.Â Although I was tirelessly passionate about helping and working, eventually something had to give and [my] energies needed to be refocused.
What I learned from that wasâ€¦
Itâ€™s okay to fail at some things; you are always learning your limits as well as your strengths. I had enough foresight to realize that my blog was where I needed to be.