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Here are all the posts in our Forum/Blog on the topic of Emma Plus: promotions/events...

Alisha Cesa    Sunday 11 December 2016 at 22:26

 Post #489 



 
Subject: Plus Size Clothing in Sussex

 
Hi All ,

I need some help, I have got to the final of the Miss British Beauty Curve, and I will be the candidate to represent Sussex. I was so sad to see Emma plus going as it would of been an ideal store for me to get my gowns from.

I was wondering if anyone knew of any sort of companies local to Sussex that would be willing to sponsor me for this pageant. What I want to leave as a message is that Plus size is equal and that everyone should be happy in their own skin , a number on a bit of clothing shouldn't outshine you.

So if anyone could help me that would be fantastic.

 

 Emma    Monday 12 December 2016 at 23:38

 
Hi Alisha,
Congratulations in getting into the pageant! I do hope that you do really well!
There is a marvelous company that does the most fabulous desinger-eveningwear, and it's called Dynasty.
Their website is http://www.dynastyuk.co.uk/.
I can't emphasise enough how classy their clothing is: I believe that if they do lend you something, you will look a million dollars in it. Their size range is quite comprehensive, as well. I don't know what size you wear, but they are sure to have something for you.

 

 Nikita    Monday 08 May 2017 at 08:37

 
Well, you can check

 

Emma    Sunday 02 October 2016 at 05:33

 Post #482 



 
Subject: Our Last Supper

Last night we all got together to celebrate the life of Emma Plus.

We remembered all the funny incidents, the lovely customers (and, dare I say it, some less than lovely ones), the fashion, the disasters, and the triumphs.

We drank a lot of champagne, and, in true Emma Plus style, finished the whole thing off with an enormous trifle!

Fabulous.

 

 Kim P    Thursday 06 October 2016 at 20:43

 
It is so lovely that you could all get together to celebrate all your hard work and success over the years. I hope everyone has managed to find new opportunities since the closure.

I also hope you can keep some kind of blog going Emma, you always have such a pulse on what is going on in Plus Size fashion. It would be great if we could all let each other know if we find any shops coming close to what Emma Plus offered in terms of fashion (not much chance I know!) if not service.

 

Emma    Friday 09 September 2016 at 10:18

 Post #479 



 
Subject: Closing Down

This is the saddest post imaginable: we are going to close down.

The trade in European designer fashions suffered a severe shock this summer, and the resulting tsunami hit Emma Plus in such a way that it has been fatally damaged-we have had to close down.

I have owned this shop for over 22 years, and I can honestly say that I have had the very best of times. I've loved the gorgeous fashion, I've loved the camaraderie of working with such wonderful colleagues, I've loved working in the North Laine area of Brighton-surely one of the best places in the country in which to have an independent business. But most of all, I have loved my lovely, gorgeous, stylish, generous, loyal and beautiful customers.

I really do wish you all the best, and hope that you will continue to find the glamourous, stylish and beautiful fashion that you deserve.

 

 Mary    Friday 09 September 2016 at 10:20

 
I am so sorry to hear this news. I have loved coming to shop with you because you always knew your stock and gave us a wonderful shopping experience which I especially appreciated as shopping for clothes is often a very depressing experience for us bigger girls! I am particularly disappointed as my eldest son is getting married next July and I was relying on you to help me find something sensational to wear....

I will not be able to come and say goodbye as we will be on holiday in Malta but I wish you all the very best

Kind regards

Mary

 

 Sara    Friday 09 September 2016 at 10:20

 
This is very sad news.
I have enjoyed my visits to Brighton to see you.
All the best for the future
Thank you for all your lovely clothes
Sara

 

 Gladys    Friday 09 September 2016 at 10:21

 
Hello Emma and team,
How sad am I. Emma plus closing will be such a loss. What are we non-zero sized ladies who like fashion and curves going to do now. I'm not going back to Eastex and Evans :-( I would like to thank you for bringing so many wonderful styles and fun to fashion, it has always been a pleasure shopping with you and I would like to wish you the best of luck for the future.
Best wishes Gladys

 

 Finola    Friday 09 September 2016 at 10:22

 
Oh no!!!!!
Emma we are so sorry to hear this. You have changed our lives and helped us both to feel and think differently about our bodies and what we wear. You've really helped to boost confidence and a whole lot more.. We're away at the moment so can't come to see you yet- not just to see what clothes there may be left but to give you all a huge hug and to commiserate with you. We still can't believe it.

If there's anything we can do to help please let us know.

Love

Finola and Liz xxxx (Worthing)

 

 Gill    Friday 09 September 2016 at 10:23

 
Dear Emma,

Just wanted to say how much we are all going to miss coming to Emma Plus, and to say a big thank you to you and all your delightful colleagues who have provided myself and numerous customers over these years with such wonderful stylish clothes.
It was always a real pleasure to come to your shop because customers were always greeted by yourself or other members of your team with a genuine warm hearted welcome, followed by a cheery offer of a cup of tea/coffee or cold drink. It always felt as though I was popping in to friends for a cuppa and a chat while trying on some lovely clothes. Everyone was always attentive and helpful in searching something for me to wear, or suggesting I might like to try a different style or another colour other than blue, its thanks to you I now wear trousers!

I am going on holiday tomorrow returning on the 23rd, so unfortunately will not be able to come in to say goodbye.
I wish you and your colleagues good health, much happiness and joy for the future. Thank you once again for providing Brighton with such a special place to shop.

Kind regards,

Gill

 

 Jessamy    Friday 09 September 2016 at 10:23

 
Such sad news. I only get to Brighton
now and again but love coming
to see your beautiful clothes.

I have a trip planned at the end of
October but I cannot get before.

Good luck with both your futures

Jessamy

 

 rosemary    Friday 09 September 2016 at 10:25

 
Hi Emma

Well, that was a real curve ball! What an absolutely soul-destroying situation and you must be gutted at having to wind things up.

On a personal note, let me just say that you and the team have given me fantastic service and styling over the past 10 years – I really don’t know what I’m going to do without you.

I am not sure what I am doing Bank Holiday weekend, if I am going to be around, I will definitely let you know and pop in. I will try and get down before then, though, to say a proper goodbye.

Hope to see you soon.

xxx

Kind regards

 

 Sharon    Friday 09 September 2016 at 10:28

 
Oh Emma, I'm so sad to hear that not just because you run an amazing shop, but because I know you're so passionate about the plus size fashion industry.

 

 Sue    Friday 09 September 2016 at 10:50

 
Dear Emma,

I am so sorry that you are closing after all this time......I can still remember when you worked there before you owned it!!! I have enjoyed very much being a customer, there was always a warm welcome at Emma Plus. You and all your staff have also always been helpful and caring, you will be sadly missed by your customers. I am in France at the moment, so I am sad that I won't be able to enjoy your closing down sale, but "c'est la vie".

I would like to wish you all the luck in the world for the future, wherever and whatever that holds for you.

All the best,

Sue x

 

 Alison    Friday 09 September 2016 at 17:58

 
So sorry to hear this, have really valued my trips to Brighton over the years. And how on earth can I be expected to buy trousers without Kim's advice?

Such a shame!

Wishing you all the best for the future

Alison

 

 susan    Saturday 10 September 2016 at 10:20

 
Dear Emma

I was so sorry to hear you are closing – but feel very fortunate that you have given us all the chance to purchase some beautiful clothes over the years – with your advice and that from your staff.

I hope to get over for one last visit before 22nd September.

With best wishes to you all for whatever the future holds from Susan

 

 Nicola    Saturday 10 September 2016 at 22:25

 
Emma

What can I say, I am likewise devastated to hear the news that you are closing down. After 20 years shopping at Emma Plus I have come to think of you all as friends and at this moment I am at a loss of what more to say.

Nicola

 

 Kim P    Sunday 11 September 2016 at 11:45

 
I can only echo the sentiments already posted. Such a shame it has come to an end but I'm sure it was not a decision that would be taken lightly. I really hope everyone manages to fix themselves up a new position somewhere. Very sad times.

 

 Kate    Monday 12 September 2016 at 10:05

 
Dear Emma, I am so very sorry to hear this news.  Although my move up to Lincolnshire has prevented my regular shopping trips, I will always remember them with great fondness.  You and your staff were always so very kind and helpful and I have been complimented many times on the clothes that I purchased from you. 

I wish you well in whatever challenge you decide to tackle next.

 

 Janet    Monday 12 September 2016 at 13:53

 
Dear Emma,

I can't tell you how sad I am. You have been my favourite shop for so many years and helped me out so many times when I have been uncertain as to what to buy. Indeed, when I was living in Sussex, it was like having a personal shopping team. You and your staff, with your excellent alterations service made clothes buying a pleasure. 

Of course, it hasn't been so easy to get to you since I moved to Suffolk. I know I managed a few visits in the early days but they have become more infrequent and I confess, I haven't found anywhere I like nearly as much here.

These are uncertain times and I wish you well in whatever venture you turn your hand to.

Do keep in touch, and if you are this way ( near Bury St Edmunds, another town which would benefit from a shop like yours)look me up. It would be lovely to see you.

All good wishes for the future.

 

 Annie    Monday 12 September 2016 at 13:55

 
Dear Emma

I can't tell you how sorry I am that you are finding it necessary to close the business that I know has been very close to your heart.

You were one of the last links I have with mum so you will be missed on her account as well as for the lovely outfits you have provided for me over many years.  I have to say that I don't know where I will go now for special occasion wear that will match your flare for design and colour.

with very fond regards

 

 Pam    Monday 12 September 2016 at 13:57

 
I'm so sorry to hear the shop's closing down. Such beautiful clothes and lovely staff.

Wishing you all good luck for the future.

Pam

Xx

 

 Julia    Monday 12 September 2016 at 13:58

 
Really sorry to read your news.  Its always been such a delight coming 

into your shop and being made to feel really special.

 

Good luck in the future to you and your colleagues

 

 

Julia

 

 Jenny    Monday 12 September 2016 at 13:59

 
That's really sad news- been great to find those special items and be treated as completely normal and in fact spoilt- an usual experience for us plus size ladies.

Whatever you do next, wish you much happiness and success - you will be missed

Jenny 

 

 Sid    Monday 12 September 2016 at 14:00

 
Hi Emma,

 

I was shocked and then saddened to read your email. I know I haven't been in as much of late as I've not had as much work and therefore less disposable to buy lovely clothes. I'm coming to Brighton next Tuesday for several reasons, so I'll pop in then. It's the end of an era though. Very sad news.

 

 

 Kathy    Saturday 17 September 2016 at 13:23

 
Hi
Passed the store Saturday night after the theatre. Saw the sign...
Don't know what to make of it...but I do know you have done so much for women like me Your style,courage and good advice.
Brighton will be a lesser place with out Emma plus As for me. You folks were a large part of my life for so long...
I still have some of the pieces I bought from you...

 

 Ronnie    Wednesday 21 September 2016 at 14:44

 
Emma,  I walked to work past your shop this morning and got a dreadful shock.  I am sorry to hear this devastating news, not only for me (woe is me, what am I going to do for trousers?) but for you and your team who have always been sooo understanding and compassionate and accommodating towards those of us with non-standard body shapes!!!  This is a catastrophe for you, us and for Brighton as a whole, frankly. I am going to miss you and your team in a chronic and fundamental way.  I don't know why this closure has happened, but is there any chance of you setting up somewhere else or starting a mail service?  And if so, would the services of Denisa still be available?  I literally don't know what I'll do with myself and my big fat bum otherwise!  Are you yourself bearing up-ish?  Thinking of you lots, Ronnie. 

 

 Janet Taylor    Wednesday 21 September 2016 at 22:28

 
Emma, I did send an email to you. Not sure if you got it but I am so sorry to hear your news. I have shopped with you for many years,as you know. Although my visits are less frequent since we have moved away I miss the wonderful selection and service you provided. You and all your staff have always been so helpful and your clothes made me feel so much more confident.Your alterations service was second to none.So disappointed but always hope your links with Suffolk will encourage you to open somewhere here in time!
All the best Janetxx

 

Emma    Sunday 07 August 2016 at 10:34

 Post #477 



 
Subject: Stock Clearance Event

Readers of this blog who know Emma Plus well may be surprised and delighted to discover that we are about to embark on a Clearance Sale.

Surprised, because we very rarely have Clearance Sales - I think that the last one we had was at least 5 years ago -and delighted because this news reflects the fact that there will be MASSIVE discounts on all sale stock.

The minimum reduction on Sale stock is 50% (however, most is in the region of 70%!), and even our new Autumn/Winter 16 stock is enjoying an introductory offer of 25% across the board.

The Clearance starts immediately, so it's really worth calling in.

Just my usual gentle reminder - we have one of the best air conditioning units known to womankind, and even on the hottest summer days, we have the technology to keep us cool as cucumbers!

 

Emma    Thursday 28 July 2016 at 13:58

 Post #476 



 
Subject: Our Sale

Well, it's that time of year again.....the time of the Great Emma Plus Summer Sale!

This year summer has come late, meaning that many gorgeous summer clothes that may usually have been sold in June are still gracing our rails. Since last month two things have changed: we now have a summer (with more to come by all accounts), and all this season's stock is at least 50% reduced.

What hasn't changed is the beauty of the clothes. Lovely vibrant colours of blue, pink, lilac and green in gorgeous natural fabrics and softly tailored shapes nestle together on our shop floor, awaiting the lucky women who will enter our cool, air-conditioned space and buy them in our Sale.

The Sale starts tomorrow morning (Friday 29th July) and Saturday, at 10am.

We look forward to seeing you in store!

 

 Kim P    Tuesday 02 August 2016 at 19:11

 
What a fantastic sale, I was so pleased I came into the shop on Saturday. So many really beautiful clothes at half price. I can't normally run to Sallie Sahne or Persona but with the reductions I was able to buy super items from these top designers. Thanks again for the wonderful service from you Emma, Anna and Kim.

 

 Emma    Wednesday 03 August 2016 at 13:11

 
Thanks, Kim!

Yes, I have to agree with you - it really has been an amazing sale so far this year!

We've actually got loads of fantastic stock, nearly all of which is now at least half price, and many items are 70% off. It's a rare situation, and I would advise anyone thinking of coming into Brighton to pop in and pick up some amazing bargains.

I think that now may also be a good time to remember that our store is beautifully air-conditioned, making it the perfect place to spend a cool hour or two!

 

Emma    Friday 15 April 2016 at 15:17

 Post #470 



 
Subject: Our Spring Range

I love this time of year-the birds twittering (there are sky larks over the field where I walk my dog every morning), the little baby rabbits scampering about (whilst I try to distract my dog's killer instincts), the trees budding with blossom....all our lovely clothes in the shop. Yes, it is truly a joy to be alive!

This year the colours are pink, cobalt blue, denim blue, lilac, greens (of all hues!), black and white, and silver. The silhouette is soft, the fabrics light and natural. Never have we had so much cotton and silk, and never have there been such a choice of lightweight fabrics. Bamboo is making its mark, as are sports fabrics that are as cool as cucumbers!

Everyone on our mailing list is entitled to have a £20 gift voucher subtracted from their purchase of clothing (not accessories, and not in conjunction with any other offer), so it's a very good time to come into our store!

For those who cannot travel into our store(or simply have other things to do), just a reminder that we are now selling online! Just click on the large pink square on the homepage of this website, or go into our 'Mail Order' page to visit our Shoptiques shop. It's always changing, so it's worth looking at it every now and again.

 

 Wonderful selection of clothes    Saturday 23 April 2016 at 13:02

 
Hi, I really enjoyed my visit to the shop yesterday and Kin and Anna were so helpful as always picking out items for me to try on. I am so pleased with my Tomo and Q'Neel dresses and KJ Brand cut offs, I am all ready for Summer just need the sun to shine now! Kim

 

 Emma    Sunday 24 April 2016 at 14:34

 
Hi Kim,

Thank you so much for your post, & kind words! I was sorry to have missed you yesterday! I'm glad that you liked the collection, and came away with some finds.

My only one regret is that I think that you have missed the best of the waistcoats this season -you know how quick you have to be to snap them up......;)

 

Emma    Monday 22 February 2016 at 08:53

 Post #467 



 
Subject: Shoptiques

The model has been recruited, the stock has been selected. Our shop has been turned into a part -time photographic studio. The photos have been taken, selected and edited. We are now on the starting block for a new way of trading.

I've been on record for years as having reservations about selling online -there are a number of disadvantages. In my opinion, there is simply no comparison with actually being able to come into a fashion shop, try everything on, and make an informed choice as to what to by.

''Being able to come into a fashion shop '' is a bit of a rub. Not everyone, at every time, is able to come into our little shop, here on the south coast of England. For these people, buying online is not a choice, but a necessity.

However, there has been an enormous growth in the other kind of online shopping -people who DO choose to shop this way, simply because they enjoy it. Sitting at home, (perhaps furtively ) at work, or sipping coffee in a café, browsing the Internet for something gorgeous for the weekend -it's the modern way of life.

Luckily, many of my initial objections to selling online appear to have been met by the American website, Shoptiques. It's a company that really knows it's stuff. It deals exclusively with small boutiques like ourselves, and provides the practical solutions that allow us to maintain the exclusivity, quality and choice that we feel is so important.

I'm very excited about it, and really hope that it works for us. Diversity and equality of opportunity in the world of fashion is something that we are passionate about. Shoptiques should help us enable more women access to better and more fitting fashion, no matter where they are, or how they choose to shop.

I will keep you posted as to when we go live!

 

Emma    Friday 05 February 2016 at 20:05

 Post #466 



 
Subject: Lighting up Church Street

If any of our locally -based customers were passing by our shop either today or over the weekend, they may have a bit of a surprise by what is in our window.

A company specialising in transparent LED screens, SIS Digital, has lent us the use of one of their amazing screens at the moment.

It is a fantastic way to showcase a store, and I'm certain that it's the future of store display.

It looks beautiful by day, but after dark it looks quite magical. ....

 

Emma    Thursday 04 February 2016 at 17:34

 Post #465 



 
Subject: Sale Continues

Our Sale continues from strength to strength, and we have reached the stage where all Sale stock is now at least 50% off, and certain items are 70% reduced.

As our regular customers know, we do like to clear all Winter stock before we have our full contingent of Summer season's clothing arrives, so we are now giving it away!

The Summer stock is now flooding in, so if you do pop in to take a look at the Sale, you may find that it will be well worth rifling through the gorgeous new looks.....

 

Emma    Wednesday 03 February 2016 at 18:00

 Post #464 



 
Subject: Our Photographic Studio

We had the best time at the weekend, transforming our store into a photographic studio in preparation for our new Shoptiques venture.

We will soon be putting photographs of our stock online through the fantastic Shoptiques.com website, where customers can browse exclusive designer clothes from fantastic boutiques all over the world.

We are delighted to have been invited to join their website, and are so excited to be able to offer our more distant customers the opportunity to buy online from us-something that has been denied to them in the past.

We will be inviting people to email us at emma.plus@yahoo.com to tell us of any clothes that they are particularly seeking, in order for us find it in stock, or obtain it and post it on Shoptiques for them to buy. An amazing system, and a useful service.

 

Emma    Wednesday 23 December 2015 at 09:14

 Post #458 



 
Subject: Christmas Sale

Just a quick note to remind readers of this forum that we are now in Sale!

Usually, our Sales start immediately on the return from the Christmas holidays, but this year we are shaking things up a little, and offering our customers a chance to buy themselves something a little bit special at a wonderful price, just in time for the festive season.

It's a very good Sale -with many gorgeous things up to half price -so it's well worth finding a minute or two to take a look (and a cup of our excellent coffee!) between frenzied bouts of last -minute Christmas shopping!

 

Emma    Monday 07 December 2015 at 08:40

 Post #457 



 
Subject: Bake-Off Meets Cup Cake-Off

We had such fun on Friday and Saturday with our charity scoffing event. The picture shows me (on the left), Olivia (in the middle) and Kim on the right. The cakes featured were sticky toffee, trifle, banana, Victoria sandwich, black forest and chocolate rice crispie.

We're not yet able to give a figure for the collection, because it's all in our charity collection tin! We will keep you posted.

 

 Emma    Tuesday 15 December 2015 at 15:48

We've had the results back from the Cake-Off, and it was that we collected £175.10 for Climb.

We are so delighted, and would like to pass on our thanks to all who took part. We will be having another cake event in 2016.....
 

Emma    Wednesday 18 November 2015 at 15:48

 Post #454 



 
Subject: Pop-Up Sale

Always on the look-out for a new and fun way to spend a day, we have decided to take Emma Plus out on the road to do a one-day pop-up sale.

We are joining with our lovely friends from Larger Than Life, a super plus-size fashion business based around Kew, and are visiting Cobham in Surrey.

We will be in Cobham's lovely new and spacious Village Hall, where there is free parking, and plenty of space to see all our sale stock, which will be at 75% discount.

There will be refreshments and a prize draw, plus the opportunity to see beautiful clothes that you have never seen before-at a 75% discount!

This is all happening on Sunday November 29th between 11am and 3pm. We can't wait to see you there!

 

 Emma    Thursday 03 December 2015 at 17:53

Many thanks for all our (and Larger Than Life's) lovely customers who turned up on Sunday for our fantastic Pop-Up sale in Cobham.

The event went off wonderfully, with hoards of happy customers descending on the Village Hall, and walking away with armfuls of booty. I don't think that Cobham has seen anything like it since the Vikings!

Claire (from Larger Than Life), I and our helpers had a wonderful day-I didn't realise how enjoyable it was going to be.

Watch this space for the winner of the prize draw....
 

 Angela Brown    Friday 04 December 2015 at 19:59

 
It was lovely seeing you both at Cobham on Sunday. Thanks for all the help with my purchases.

 

Emma    Wednesday 18 November 2015 at 15:31

 Post #452 



 
Subject: Climb Charity

Over the years, we at Emma Plus have always made a point of sponsoring a charity. We began with sponsoring Scope, the charity in support of people living with Cerebral Palsy, then we supported The Lifeboats, and also a small local charity seeking to help fund research into a childhood disease, Niman Pick.

We have now started to sponsor Climb, a charity that helps support children and families who are living with inherited metabolic diseases.

The reason for our choosing this charity is that our manager, the fabulous Kim, is grandmother to a gorgeous boy, Nathaniel, who suffers from such a condition.

In order to hit the ground running with this new charity, we have decided to do a 'ladder of cakes' day. On Friday 4th and Saturday 5th December, we will come over all 'Bake Off' and have a new take on cupcakes . As you can imagine, there are some rather good cooks associated with Emma Plus, and we will be cooking some tasty and imaginative cup-cakes. Customers (and passers-by!) will be invited to partake of a cake, and a free cup of tea of coffee, and, if the spirit moves them, to donate to the charity. The cakes will be available between 11am and 4pm.

We look forward to seeing you in our store!

 

Emma    Saturday 05 September 2015 at 17:09

 Post #450 



 
Subject: Autumn Promotion

Now that we are having our lovely Autumn/Winter 15 stock flooding into store, we have decided to do a special Autumn Promotion, just to kick the season off with a bit of extra excitement.

We looked around and saw that we have some of the very best coats that we've ever had, and decided that we will promote them with a discount offer.

The offer is £50-plus off selected coats, and £25-plus off certain trousers, and is for a limited time only!

 

 Kim P    Saturday 12 September 2015 at 19:44

 
What a great offer. I picked up a beautiful Christina Felix coat last year when you ran a similar promotion and I've lost count of the number of compliments I've had wearing it.

I must try and get into the store soon and pick up my new Tomo dress. Kim and Anna were so helpful when I called today.

 

 Emma    Sunday 13 September 2015 at 16:40

 
Ooooooo......Kim! Beware! We've had some AMAZING things in!

Thank you for your kind words -look forward to seeing you soon.

Ex

 

Emma    Saturday 20 June 2015 at 16:18

 Post #445 



 
Subject: Our Fashion Show

We had such fun with our fashion show this year! For a change, we co-operated with two wonderful local businesses: a fantastic shoe shop called Mo Brog (situated in Bond Street, just round the corner from our shop), and a lingerie store called She Said, which is in Duke Street, about ten minutes' walk from us.

If you look carefully at this picture, you can see the results of this collaboration....we have teamed our lovely Emma Plus Spring/Summer 15 clothes with some gorgeous and steamy She Said erotic lingerie, and, as a finishing touch, worn them with some amazing borrowed shoes.

The day went off with so much fun-every time we do these events we are left with the feeling that we should do it every week......

 

Emma    Friday 29 May 2015 at 11:41

 Post #435 



 
Subject: Fashion Show

In the shop at the moment we are running around like mad things, sorting out the finishing touches to our fantastic Fashion Show next Saturday (the 6th June).

It promises to be a lovely day: We never like to skimp on things, so of course we will be providing some scrummy refreshments. We will also be having a fun competition, the first prize being a £50 gift voucher to spend in our store.

Our centerpiece, however, is going to be the fashion show: a stylish but lighthearted take on what we are stocking for our summer collection this year. Very often it's a revelation to see clothes actually being worn, rather than just looked at on a mannequin or hanger.

Just to add extra delight and spice to the proceedings, we have also liaised with our colleagues in a couple of fabulous local stores. Erotic boutique She Said (just around the corner for us in Duke Street) has been providing gorgeous plus-size lingerie for those in the know, and we have decided to help them spread the word about what is available now for our customers. I won't say anything more than that!

Designer shoe shop Mo Broag, from Bond Street (again, just 3 or 4 minutes' walk from our shop) is providing some gorgeous and stylish shoes to go with our collection.

All in all, it promises to be a fun, fascinating and enjoyable afternoon!

The nibbles and competition are on all day, but the fashion show itself is taking part at 2pm - and we look forward to seeing you!

 

 Kim P    Monday 01 June 2015 at 14:09

 
I'm pleased that I am able to come to this. Must remember to pick up my leggings that have been patiently waiting for collection!

 

 Emma    Tuesday 02 June 2015 at 17:44

 
Really looking forward to seeing you here....it's going to be a fun day.....

 

 Kim P    Saturday 06 June 2015 at 20:33

 
What a super day, thank you so much to all at Emma Plus. I really enjoyed the fashion show, the models were all beautiful and poised yet somehow vaguely familiar! The food and drink was super and the competition good fun.

I loved seeing the jewellery "tattoos" in gold, silver and turquoise. I have not seen anything like them before and they looked fantastic on the skin.

As always I am delighted with my purchases. The white seersucker cut offs are fabulous and brilliant for the warm weather. I really look forward to seeing the Q'Neel polka dot jacket/top after alteration.

Thank you again, a tremendous amount of hard work must have gone in to planning the event and it was much appreciated by those of us there.

 

Emma    Thursday 09 April 2015 at 17:17

 Post #434 



 
Subject: Trouser Day

We are revving up for one of our exciting events this weekend - our Trouser Day!

Trouser Day is an event that brings together all the trousers that will fit all the different shapes of our customers and places them alongside all our trouser experts.

We have a guest expert (the fabulous Claire Lunnen-Kaye, from leading plus-size retailer, Larger than Life... with her 25 years in plus size fashion, what she doesn't know about plus-size trousers really isn't worth knowing), our own trouser experts (Kim the trouser queen, and myself, a trouser fit obsessive, along with Anna De Lannoy who also has years of experience as a plus-size fashion business owner).

We also have guest trousers, sent in by our suppliers, in styles and fabrics not usually found in our store.

In short, we have brought together all the elements that could possibly be required to find our customers the perfect pair of pants!

Add to this, our fun competition (win a £50 gift voucher), yummy refreshments, and a fantastic offer whereby our customers are able to buy one pair of trousers and have a second pair from a selection at half price, and you see what we mean by a Trouser Day!

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow (Friday the 10th April) and Saturday!

 

 Kim P    Saturday 11 April 2015 at 19:40

 
Disappointed not to be able to make trouser day but hope it was a great success. I never knew what a comfortable and well fitting pair of trousers were until I found Emma Plus!

 

 Emma    Wednesday 15 April 2015 at 19:58

 
Hi Kim,

You were much missed, but the day did go off tremendously well. I think I'm right in saying that we sold more trousers last week than any other week in our history!

It's always such a good laugh. ....can't wait until our next event day, which I can exclusively reveal now is going to be our Fashion Show on Saturday 6th June!

Hope you will be able to make that one, Kim....

Ex

 

Emma    Thursday 04 December 2014 at 12:02

 Post #420 



 
Subject: Emma Plus Winter Sale

As luck would have it, just as the weather has taken a turn for cold, we will be having our Winter Sale!

This year, our sale has more knits than ever before. There are black knits, long knits, shorter knits, colourful knits, soft knits, smooth knits, light knits, heavy knits...knitted skirts, dresses, jumpers, jackets, tops....you name it! All awaiting the cold weather we have been promised, and all at incredibly low prices!

Along side these gorgeous winter warmers we also have lovely Christmassy dresses, jackets, tops and dresses for those planning on attending a smart occasion this year.

To complete the picture, we have our usual supply of lovely everyday beauties: trousers, tops, jeans etc.....again, at super-low prices.

We open the doors to our wonderful winterland Sale on on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th December at 10am.

For those with an interest in gorgeous plus-size clothing, it would be wise to attend....!

 

 Kim P    Sunday 21 December 2014 at 11:54

 
Hi, I imagine it has been very busy the last couple of days! Will the sale be continuing after Christmas?

Hope everyone has a great festive season.

Regards
Kim

 

 Emma    Sunday 21 December 2014 at 18:01

 
Hi Kim,

Yes, you're right: our sale continues with a vengeance after Christmas. We will be re - opening at 10 am on Saturday 27th December.

This year, because of the unseasonably warm autumn, we have some absolutely gorgeous knits and coats, the like of which almost never make it into the sale. They are heavily reduced, just in time for the real cold weather to set in.

I can thoroughly recommend calling in to have a look after Christmas, if you haven't done before.

Happy Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year to all our wonderful customers.

 

 Kim P    Monday 22 December 2014 at 20:43

 
Thanks, I may try and come down on the Saturday!

 

 Emma    Saturday 27 December 2014 at 00:46

 
Oooooo. ...It would be lovely to see you, Kim. I'll tell the girls. ...There are some fantastic bargains to be had-I hope you make it in.

 

Emma    Thursday 27 November 2014 at 17:37

 Post #419 



 
Subject: Our Competition

Now that we are in the competition fortnight, I can reveal what it is!

Our fun competition is an updating of the graphics we used to play with when we were children-the dress the dolly game!

We have three models ('Kim', 'Anne' and 'Emma'-there is a reason why I have put our names in quotation marks-), who are on our magnetic board. Alongside them are all manner of gorgeous clothes and accessories that have been supplied by us this season. The object of the game is to dress the models in the most flattering, yet original way. The participants can have as many attempts as they like. We will pick the top three entries (originality is key: all duplications will be disqualified), and these three will be placed on our Twitter and Facebook page. Then the public (one vote per person) will decide on the best outfit. The anonymous winner will receive their fabulous prize -the £100 Emma Plus gift voucher.

Such fun!

 

Emma    Monday 24 November 2014 at 14:44

 Post #418 



 
Subject: Christmas Special

This Saturday (the 29th November), we are going to have a lovely event at the shop. It's called our Christmas Special, and it's part of our 20 year celebration year.

We are going to provide refreshments and free gifts (chosen at random with some really exciting presents), but most of all, we are going to do a fantastic and fun competition.

I wish I could say what the competition is going to involve - but that would spoil the surprise! Suffice to say, however, that it's a fun, unique and creative one which will tax our customers' stylistic abilities to the full. The top prize for this will be a £100 gift voucher to spend in store, so it's a great way to have a few moments' fun, whilst having the opportunity to get some lovely new clothes for free!

Our doors open at 10am, and we will be here running our lovely Special Day until 5pm. We look forward to seeing you in store!

 

Emma    Friday 26 September 2014 at 12:57

 Post #411 



 
Subject: Trouser Day

Have you ever bought a pair of lovely-looking trousers online, only to discover when they arrive that they look like someone has draped you in a sack from the waist down? Or gone into a chain store and tried on a pair that are supposed to be your size, only to find that you can only get them half way up your calves?

Have you ever looked at women walking down the street looking fabulous in pairs of trousers that fit them the way you can never get trousers to fit you? Or wondered whether you can pull off a pair of this years must-have styles? And if you could, where on earth would you find them? Have you longed to get the perfect pair of trousers to go with your favourite tops? You need long no longer!

Emma Plus is remedying these problems by holding our third Trouser Day. To those in the know, these incredibly popular events showcase every different shape, style and fabric of trousers, and bring together all our trouser-fit expertise in one place at one time. This Trouser Day is going to be on Saturday 27th September. We will open our doors at 10am.

As a special treat for our regulars, with every pair of our trousers you buy, you can choose from a selection of trousers to have a second pair half price! This half price offer lasts for the length of this season.

As with all our special events, there will be a lovely social atmosphere on the day, and yummy refreshments will be served.

Anyone spending over 100 will be given 2 hours' free parking at our next-door car park....

We look forward to seeing you in store.

 

Emma    Friday 08 August 2014 at 13:39

 Post #403 



 
Subject: Sale Special

For anyone wanting to really dig out a superb bargain now is the time, here in store.

As it is the last few days of our Sale, we have reduced all Sale items by a further 25%. This means that many of our Sale items are 75% off, or even less!

It really is a fantastic time to pick up some lovely super-quality summer clothes at a fraction of what you would normally pay.

When you wear those clothes for years to come, you might also wear a satisfied little smile, smug in the knowledge that you got something to treasure at very little expense....

 

Emma    Friday 18 July 2014 at 16:55

 Post #402 



 
Subject: Curvy is Sexy


For those who haven't read my blog before, I usually keep a journal of my buying, partly to help readers keep abreast of latest fashion trends (and we really are talking about hot-off-the-press news: these are looks that will not be seen in store until next summer), and partly to give an insider view on my particular corner of the fashion business.

I have been going over to the big fashion fairs in Germany for many years now. I used to go to Dusseldorf, where, back in the day, all the ready-to-wear fashion labels that were worth knowing would accumulate in the massive CPD Messe Centre. Just to give an idea of the CPD centre: imagine the NEC in Birmingham, and times roughly by three, and then you barely have the scale of it.

About ten years ago, this massive fashion show welcomed ranges from all over the world, and saw a huge traffic of buyers and sellers who came to one of the few venues that really had everything. Great Britain had (and has) its own big trade shows, but nothing ever like this.

However, the recession hit, and this big show began to fade away. I still visited Dusseldorf every season to do my buying (there really wasn't anywhere in the UK that could be relied on to show all the plus-size clothing that I need to look at), but eventually the show moved out of the huge Messe and into the fashion showrooms in Dusseldorf. It began to be a shadow of its former self.

The recession had another impact: many of the small independent plus-size fashion stores in the UK went by the wall. This meant that it really wasn't that essential for the collections to be shown over here. Putting it bluntly, the ranges did not find it worthwhile to have agents or shows of their collections in a country where there was no-one to buy their wares.

So my best option is still to go to Germany to do my buying, but I would have to find somewhere that had more to offer now than Dusseldorf. I opted for the new plus-size fashion show, called 'Curvy is Sexy' in Berlin.

There were some arguments against going to this show. Obviously, there was the usual type of objection when faced to doing anything new. Would I find what I wanted in this alien environment? Isn't it going to be awfully difficult to navigate a place I was completely unfamiliar with? This kind of objection (basically, the fear of the unknown) always has to be set aside in fashion. Our industry is all about the new, and welcoming change. If I ever find myself fearing changing my long-held habits, I should start to think that I am in the wrong business!

But then there is a potential objection about this particular show.

My main worry is that I do not really want to go to a specialist plus-size fashion event. This is because, as a buyer, my job isn't just to buy clothes for my store. Pretentious as it sounds, it is to be a person who has some level of expertise in my subject. I really should know what is happening in the world of fashion.

When going to a plus-size exhibition, there is one main drawback, in my opinion. It is that you do not get an overview of what fashion as a whole is doing at any one time. Some looks are simply not produced in plus sizes, so I would never get to see them in this kind of a show. Yet I strongly believe that I should know they are happening, in the wide world of 'small' fashion. This is because I have the self-belief that I am capable of finding equivalent looks in the plus-size field that may in some way 'channel' the mainstream zeitgeist. Putting it succinctly, I don't want to become stuck in a plus-size cul-de-sac.

However, after visiting the Berlin show, I was happy. There was plenty here to feel enthusiastic about (I will blog later about what I found), and it was a bit of a relief to know that, wherever I looked, I would see clothes that are made in sizes to fit larger women. This is not a common occurrence, I can assure you!

And if I want to make sure that Emma Plus does not get side-lined in a fashion dead-end, it is my job to do what fashion stylists do the world over: watch mainstream retailers, look at street fashion, and continually read trade journals and fashion magazines.

In short, do all the things I really enjoy doing anyway.

 

Emma    Saturday 12 April 2014 at 15:39

 Post #396 



 
Subject: Our Birthday Celebrations

There are moments in life that really stand out, and today is one of them. I can honestly say that I will remember it forever.

I simply couldn't believe how many of our lovely customers came today to help us celebrate our 20 years in existence.

Women were queuing at our door before we were open, and, when we swung the door wide, everyone poured in, and a kind of happy melee ensued.

It didn't take long before our ladies were perusing our gorgeous, colourful summer collection, and selecting items for closer inspection. For the first time ever, we had to give out numbers to people waiting to go into our four changing rooms. It has been one of our best days ever.

Some people brought us cards, some chocolates, some plants, flowers, and other gifts, but all brought us their best wishes.

There was a wonderful feeling of esprit de corps amongst customers who chatted to each other and to us as old friends, which most of us are.

In return, we proffered bubbly, punch, nibbles, and a birthday cake (see picture, right).

I think we are very lucky to be able to work in a place where we deal with such lovely people, and I hope that we will be able to serve our community of like-minded plus-sized fashionistas for many years to come.

 

 Kim P    Sunday 13 April 2014 at 12:49

 
Hi Emma
Big thanks to you and all the super ladies at Emma Plus for hosting such a great event yesterday. The window display was lovely and the food and drink provided very much appreciated. The cake was delicious! It was exciting to enter the shop and be greeted with a goody bag; I am delighted with the contents! What an achievement it is for an independent retailer to be in business for 20 years and still going strong. I can honestly say the day I first walked into Emma Plus drastically changed the way I dressed and viewed clothes shopping and all for the better. Heres to the next 20 years!
As usual the shop looked beautiful with so many wonderful clothes to see and try on. I think this must be one of the best seasons collections and with new designers complimenting the tried and trusted it was fun to look through all the displays. The event was so popular I was in awe at how hard everyone was working to make everything run smoothly. The shop was buzzing and everyone had a super time. Kim even had time to show me the latest collection of waistcoats.
It was lovely seeing Jackie and Jaq again, both looking great. In fact seeing Jaq trying on a gorgeous linen coat prompted me to try it on myself and I ended up buying one! I am also delighted with the gorgeous Verpass and Nanso summer tops purchased. I cant wait for the sun to start shining so that I can wear them.
Thank you again for your generosity and hospitality; it really was a fabulous day.

 

 Kim P    Sunday 13 April 2014 at 14:53

 
Just putting my purchases away and I didn't buy a Nanso top at all, it was KJ Brand haha! I'm not very good with labels, the "Verpass" tops I was talking to you about yesterday were NP! Never mind, whatever the label they are gorgeous tops.

 

 Emma    Tuesday 15 April 2014 at 11:14

 
H Kim,

Thank you so much for your lovely comments. Yes, I am still recovering from the weekend, which was amazing.

I can't help feeling that we should have a birthday party every year!

I'm so glad that you found some lovely items: yes, I do think it's the best ever summer season. The colours this year are unique and beautiful.

I am looking forward to-perhaps not the next 20 years: that may be a bit too much, even for me-the next 10 years of Emma Plus!

 

Emma    Friday 11 April 2014 at 13:57

 Post #395 



 
Subject: Our Pearl Anniversary

I wish I could have a clearer photograph to show our lovely pearl anniversary window, but our problem is that there are reflections of our sunny street that obscure our picture. This is because the sun always shines in Brighton!

We are now putting the finishing touches to our party: the gift bags and tokens are ready, our fun quiz is devised, drinks are bought and food is ordered. The cake is on its way! We are all party girls, so we are really looking forward to a lovely buzz tomorrow. We hope you can make it.....

 

 Maureen Kirby    Saturday 12 April 2014 at 14:23

 
Hi Emma and the girls

Really enjoyed being part of your day and came away with some lovely things. Good to see Jaq as well. Hope the rest of the day goes well and you can have a bit of a relax over the weekend. Nice to see Kim again and meet Anna. See you soon.

Love Mo

 

 Emma    Tuesday 15 April 2014 at 11:17

 
Hi Maureen!

So glad to see you again: you were looking amazing!

The day was a wonderful one, and it was so unique to have an environment which was essentially a party involving all my good friends, at the same time as showing off all the lovely clothes!

Everyone seemed to have such a wonderful time, and I loved it......

 

Emma    Thursday 10 April 2014 at 11:21

 Post #394 



 
Subject: Goodies

We are up to our ears in gift bags right now, making the final preparations for our birthday celebration on Saturday.

We will be giving our first 50 customers a fantastic gift bag stuffed with fantastic goodies, and our first 20 customers a fantastic free gift worth 69.

We don't expect to see all 50 customers on Saturday, which means that we will in all probability be giving gift bags to customers for at least a week. So, even if you can't make the first day, it would be worth calling in to the store to pick up the gift bag if you happen to be passing soon-

We look forward to seeing you in store!

 

Emma    Saturday 29 March 2014 at 11:51

 Post #393 



 
Subject: Our 20th Birthday

We are so excited to be able to announce the celebration of our 20th birthday, here at Emma Plus.

Our store openened in spring 1994, and, although it does seem to have gone in a flash, that means we have been here a whole two decades!

To mark the occasion, we have decided to have a fantastic party, to which everyone is invited, and provide lovely presents for all.

The birthday party is going to be on the 12th April...all day, starting at 10.30 in the morning, and ending at 5pm. There is going to be extremely yummy food, and lovely drink (both alcoholic, and non). We are going to have a competition, with a prize, and there will be fabulous gift bags for all.

Most important, though, is our wonderful gift that we have especially commissioned, and which will be given free to the first 20 customers in our door on or after the 12th April. We are not going to tell you what it is, but it is limited edition, beautiful, hand-finished, unique, of the best quality, and will retail at 69...

We look forward to being able to thank our wonderful customers for all their fantastic support over the years. Without that, we would not be here. In many ways Emma Plus belongs to you.

 

 Kim P    Sunday 30 March 2014 at 21:30

 
Wonderful! Congratulations, I bet the 20 years have flown by!

I will be there!

 

 Emma    Thursday 03 April 2014 at 15:01

 
Thanks, Kim!

It promises to be a fantastic day. Our gift bags are causing a bit of excitement, and our free gift really is amazing.

More than anything, though, I think it will be the people on the day that will really make the whole event so special.

I am so glad to hear that you will be one of us!

 

 Maureen Kirby    Thursday 03 April 2014 at 16:51

 
hi Emma and Jaq

Remember me! We used to live in Surrey but now live in Hampshire and due to a lot of circumstances I haven't been able to get to Emma Plus for over 2 years - but guess what I am hoping to come and see you on the 12th. Will you both be there - hope so it would be lovely to catch up with you both.

Love Maureen

 

 Emma    Friday 04 April 2014 at 16:52

 
Hi Maureen!!!

How could we have ever forgotten you!? How are you? I often think about you and hope you are well...

I will definitely be here on the 12th. It's a big day for us, and I am so looking forward to it. It would be fantastic to see you again. You should see it here now: one week to go, and the excitement is brimming!

Jaq has become a lady of leisure, and no longer works for us in the shop. However, she is a dear friend, both to me, and to Emma Plus! I have every hope you will see her here on the day.

 

 Jane    Thursday 10 April 2014 at 08:59

 
Dear Emma

Happy 20 years and many more of them.

Good luck for Saturday

Jane

 

 Emma    Thursday 10 April 2014 at 11:14

 
Hi Jane!

Thank you so much for your kind words of support!

I hope you have a lovely weekend: perhaps we will see you?

Emma

 

Emma    Monday 20 January 2014 at 21:26

 Post #383 



 
Subject: A Proud Moment

We had such a wonderful surprise, and such a proud moment last week when we found out that we had won the prize for the 'Best Concept' section of the 'Dressed For Success' Christmas window display competition.

We had previously mentioned our shop window, which showcased our alteration service, and had asked on this blog for our customers to vote for us. Well, apparently you did, for which we are very grateful.

We must also have garnered some votes from the general public, though, because there were over 2000 votes in the competition as a whole, and I was told by one of the organisers that we got a great many votes.

We have always been proud of our window displays, which all members of staff take a turn in helping with, so it is fantastic to get some recognition. This special window was put together mainly by Kim and Olivia.

We had such a wonderful evening at the awards ceremony, a glitzy affair for which we dressed in our glad-rags (all in Anna Scholz, actually!) and enjoyed a lovely meal in the Dome Bar, just down the road from our shop. The photograph on the right shows all the winners with their awards (a framed picture of the winning window, and an engraved glass plaque).

The evening was particularly rewarding as an opportunity to hear a talk from the wonderful retail advice agency, Metamorphosis, as well as ejoying some welcome networking with other independent retailers.

I really would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for us in this competition: we really do feel chuffed.

 

 Kim P    Wednesday 22 January 2014 at 22:21

 
Congratulations! That is wonderful news. The window displays are always so cheerful and inviting.

 

 Emma    Friday 24 January 2014 at 15:48

Thanks, Kim!

yes, we were very proud, and clearly (from this picture!) look like the cats that got the cream.
 

Emma    Wednesday 08 January 2014 at 16:47

 Post #381 



 
Subject: SuperSale

For readers of this blog we have some very exciting news. We will be holding a SuperSale this Friday 10th and Saturday 11th January.

The SuperSale means that all Sale stock will have an extra 20% off, over and above the already significant discounts. Many items will be reduced by 75% or even more.

Our regular customers will know that our SuperSales are very rare events. It has been a number of years since our last one, and it may well be the only one for a long time to come. All our sales offer good bargains - we use them to 'clear down' before all our new stock arrives - but a SuperSale is an opportunity to get beautiful designer clothing at a fraction of what it normally costs.

In stock you will find gorgeous coats, knits, fantastic practical trousers, tops and dresses - all in the gorgeous jewel colours of this season. It's possible to get a real investment piece for less than the price of its low-cost imitation.

During these special two days, we will also be offering 10% off all new stock, and, as ever, any customer spending 100 or more and who is parked at the Theatre Car Park adjacent to our store will get 2 hours' free parking.

We look forward to seeing you in the SuperSale!

 

 Kim P    Sunday 12 January 2014 at 11:58

 
What a great sale, I am so pleased I came into the shop yesterday to see you all again and the brilliant bargains. To be able to buy such good quality clothes for no more than you would pay for an average quality, poorly fitting item elsewhere is fantastic.

It is funny how sometimes you see an item on the rail and think it's not for me but then try it on and it looks great. I am delighted with my Anna Scholz and Elena Miro dresses, I'll be wearing the latter to work tomorrow.

Thank you again, the service and hospitality are second to none even though Kim was threatening to order some waistcoats for me!

 

 Emma Hayes    Monday 13 January 2014 at 00:15

 
Hi Kim,

Yes, I'm tremendously excited at us getting in a checked waistcoat for you this spring, which Kim has especially ordered for you. Can't wait to see you in it. We aim to please!

 

Emma    Thursday 19 December 2013 at 16:43

 Post #379 



 
Subject: There's no time like the present

Now is the time for my seasonal reminder that a Gift Voucher is a true thing of beauty.

In the past, when the only gift tokens that could be bought would be from Boots (fun, but not something to get every year), book tokens (somewhat worthy) or postal orders (no imagination whatsoever), gift vouchers used to be considered to be a rather lacklustre present.

Nowadays, when there is a massive variety of companies that provide this kind of gift, they can be an expression of thoughtfulness and good judgement, as well as generosity.

Over the years, I have often had my very first meeting with a customer after they have received one of our vouchers, and this is a delight to both them and me. How lovely that a friend or member of their family has taken enough time and thought, not just to give them something that is a personal indulgence, but also an invitation into a hitherto undiscovered world: the land of plus-size designer fashion. The recipient is sometimes a quite changed person afterwards: not something that could be said from most Christmas presents!

Our gift vouchers can be bought over the phone or via this website, or instore, in a variety of different denominations. At the moment we have a special offer, allowing the lucky purchaser to receive an extra 10% added free.

Happy Christmas!

 

Emma    Thursday 19 December 2013 at 11:31

 Post #378 



 
Subject: SALE!

The time of tense waiting is over....we can now announce that the Emma Plus Winter Sale is upon us.

The Sale starts on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st December at 10am.

This year, due to the warm autumn, we have a plethora of beautiful knits and coats in gorgeous rich colours, all heavily discounted, in time for the colder weather ahead.

We also have some fantastic last-minute party clothes, just in time for the festive season.

This, along with our lovely tops and famous trousers, all add up to a bumper sale this year. Don't forget that if you are spending 100 or more and parked in the NCP car park adjacent to us, you will qualify for 2 hours' free parking.

We look forward to seeing you in store.

 

Emma    Saturday 07 December 2013 at 11:25

 Post #377 



 
Subject: Our Christmas Window Comptetition....please vote

Now it is December, officially we are permitted to wish all our wonderful customers a very Happy Christmas, and a Fabulous New Year.

This year, we are incredibly honoured to have been entered by Brighton and Hove City Council into their wonderful 'Dressed For Success' Christmas Window competition.

In our window this year (which marks our nearly 20 years of trading), we have tried to express a lot of our passion. Our theme is personal skill and attention to detail. As regular customers will know, we offer an alteration service, which enables us to offer a perfectly fitted, individually finished garment for every customer, which is usually completely free of charge. Never before have we tried to refer to our alteration service in our window.

Our store dummies have been stripped of their usual covering, revealing that they are not just shop fittings. In fact, they represent a little bit of history: they are very rare plus-size vintage dressmaker's manequins, salvaged from a factory in Brighton which produced fashion for many years. Now that tradition has died out, but we hope we now echo their skills with our own alteration professionals, so the gorgeous Christmas clothes being displayed on them are in the process of being fitted, ready for the party season.

Christmas is represented by snowflakes, which if you look closely enough are all actually hand-made lace and crochet doilies, again from a time when incredibly skilled handicrafts were prevalent locally. In amongst the snowflakes flutter our Christmas Gift Vouchers, this year in a limited-edition vintage design, hand-written and individually embossed. They are available in all denominations for those who wish to bring a little bit of fashion magic into the life of their loved one.

We would be so grateful if readers of this blog would consider voting for our window: it would mean so much for us to win this prestigious event. The voting form is: brighton-hove.gov.uk/dressed2013vote and the category we are hoping to be placed in is 'Cleverest Concept'.

 

 Kim P    Saturday 07 December 2013 at 22:36

 
Just voted!

The window display looks wonderful, I hope you win!

 

 Emma    Sunday 08 December 2013 at 10:04

 
Thank you so much, Kim! That's very good of you....as always!

I do hope you are well, and that you have a wonderful Christmas.

 

 Kim P    Tuesday 17 December 2013 at 19:19

 
Thank you Emma! Happy Christmas and I hope 2014 is Healthy and Prosperous for you and all the ladies who make visiting your store such a pleasure.

I hope to be popping in before the year is out!

 

 Emma    Thursday 19 December 2013 at 11:24

 
Hi Kim,

I can't tell you how much we would like that!

Hope to see you soon-

 

Natalie    Thursday 14 November 2013 at 18:14

 Post #375 



 
Subject: Ms Curvaceous UK 2013


Just a reminder that Ms Curvaceous UK grand final is only a week away! We are so excited to find out who will be crowned Ms Curvaceous UK 2013 and I hope you're just as excited as we are.

The night will be hosted by Remel London with co-host Asia Love and Gracie. We will also have a performance from UK rapper and actor Bashy plus a fashion show with our finalists!

Tickets are on sale now!

 

Emma    Friday 25 October 2013 at 18:39

 Post #374 



 
Subject: Prize winner

When deciding how to choose the winner of our 100 prize draw - part of our recent Fashion Show event - we had to think about who was impartial enough to be able to select the winning entry.

All the entrants had put their names in the hat, and we thought it would be a good idea to let our shop dog, Pickle, 'pick' his favourite. As soon as we emptied all the names on the floor, he ran forward and grabbed one of them.

After 'prizing' the paper from his mouth, we found that the lucky winner was Valerie Cotter.

Later, when Mrs Cotter came in to collect her gift voucher, she took the time to thank Pickle with a snack....

 

Emma    Saturday 12 October 2013 at 16:40

 Post #372 



 
Subject: Fashion Show

Exhausted but delighted, we are now winding down after our fantastic Fashion Show.

Our fashion shows are always enormous fun, and this time even more so. We started the event on the catwalk with our 'Pick and Mix' separates, then moved on to this season's very strong monochrome looks. We then showed an Anna Scholz story, and the event climaxed with our 'Snuggle' section, which showcased our fabulous warm winter looks.

Interspersed in the show we had a fun quiz, entry to a prize draw (the winner will be announced later this week on this forum) and refreshments.

There was such a wonderful buzz in the shop; several women told me that they would definitely be coming to our next show, and I found myself wondering why I didn't do them more often!

 

Emma    Thursday 10 October 2013 at 17:08

 Post #371 



 
Subject: Fashion Show

Just a quick reminder about our wonderful Fashion Show, which is happening this Saturday (the 12th October).

At 2pm, we will be having a catwalk show, showcasing all our most beautiful winter looks, entitled 'Snuggle'. There will be yummy refreshments, a prize draw (top prize a 100 gift voucher for Emma Plus) and a fun quiz.

As ever, anyone spending 100 or more who is parked in the NCP Theatre Car Park (adjacent to our shop) will be given two hours' free parking.

We look forward to seeing you here!

 

Emma    Thursday 03 October 2013 at 11:55

 Post #370 



 
Subject: Tribal fashion

While preparing for next weeks Emma Plus Fashion Show (taking place, of course, at the store in Brighton on 12 October at 2.00pm), I found myself cogitating on the subject of fashion tribes.

There is no shame in not knowing what a fashion tribe is (in fact, I almost think less of myself because I know about this kind of thing). To the uninitiated the term refers to the different groups that most fashion-conscious women fall into when developing their style.

One very common tribe among plus-size women is the Medieval Robe dresser. You may not have consciously noticed this kind of woman, but chances are that you have seen her. In the summer she wears almost full-length linen dresses with long coat-like jackets over the top. Trousers are always full and tops rarely finish above the knee. She loves handkerchief hems, often with the pointed edges of her tops almost scraping the pavement as she swishes along. In the winter she will often wear knitted serapes and long knitted jumpers with huge cowl necks - and she teams it all with scarves and snoods. Colours are purple, beige, terracotta and mustard.

A close 'relative' of hers (although both would be horrified to hear me say this) is the Japanese Modernist. She wears architectural clothes, with a futuristic twist. In the summer she will wear heavily textured linen (almost seersucker), often cut into asymmetric shapes. She may well have a long sleeve on one arm, and an elongated collar hanging over the other. One side of her outfit looks like a dress, the other side rises to reveal a trouser leg. What she shares with the Medieval Robe woman is an unwillingness to display her body; clothes drape and flow around the physique creating ambiguity. Colours are strict: black, white, beige and red are the only shades allowed under any circumstances. She will often top-off her outfit with a severe pair of spectacles.

At the other end of the scale for dressing is the Yummy Mummy. She is usually in her thirties or forties, and lives a very busy life. There is no way in the world she would have time and space to cope with a robe, or a long collar dangling over one elbow. Her clothes are pretty, but incredibly practical. In the summer she wears a cotton jersey dress teamed with a pair of cut-off leggings. A cheerful print with a splash of colour (often picked up in her jolly choice of shoes - usually Fitflops or Crocks - or a colourful handbag) never goes amiss. In the winter she will wear skinny jeans teamed with a colourful knit and waterproof jacket, plus ankle boots. She is eclectic with her colours; she wants to wear what suits her, but she has a penchant for spots and Breton-style stripes.

Among my customers are a disproportionate number of Luxe Euro women. These are ladies of impeccable taste. They abhor what they refer to as shapeless clothes (there is no overlap whatsoever with the Japanese Modernist or Medieval Robe women), and they are obsessed with the tactile quality of garments. They can smell quality from ten yards, and their fingertips can detect cashmere while they are still several millimetres above the fabric. They will not buy anything unless it fits to a T. Not all these women possess the financial resources which you would expect to facilitate this kind of taste, but no matter... they simply become past-masters at sniffing out the truly gorgeous bargains, and they buy clothes that give them a lot of use. In the summer they will often wear a high-quality linen blouse, teamed with impeccably cut, toning trousers. In the winter they will emerge with the most gorgeous Italian cashmere winter coats known to mankind, teamed with printed silk scarves. Many of these women prefer the Italian palette: navy, beige, red, charcoal, pale grey and bright coral.

I could go on all day (there are so many different types), but I have a Fashion Show to arrange... Hopefully, it will hold something for all those who attend - whatever their particular fashion tribe.

 

 Kim P    Friday 04 October 2013 at 23:22

 
Hopefully Kim will be modelling for the Waistcoat tribe!

 

 Emma    Saturday 05 October 2013 at 15:04

Hi Kim

Funnily enough, this is the waistcoat that Kim is going to get!

x
 

Emma    Friday 27 September 2013 at 11:37

 Post #369 



 
Subject: Fashion Show October 12th

We are very excited to announce our Fashion Show, which is taking place on Saturday 12th October.

All day there will be refreshments, a prize draw, a quiz and special offers... while the Fashion Show itself will begin at 2pm. We will be showcasing all this Autumn/Winter's most gorgeous looks. We have called the show 'Snuggle' to reflect the fact that our store is at present teeming with gorgeous knits, sumptuous tops and fabulous, practical coats, in preparation for the cold months ahead.

The look this year is all about soft sophistication, with the emphasis on lovely fabrics. The colours are varied, from aubergine, through magenta to red and terracotta... or cobalt blue, through teal and petrol to turquoise... these are objects of desire!

It's worth putting in the usual reminder: anyone spending 100 or more who is parked right next door in the NCP Theatre Car Park will get 2 hours' free parking.

These days are always fantastic fun; a real opportunity to sit back and enjoy the show!

 

 Kim P    Sunday 29 September 2013 at 13:13

 
I am away that weekend :-(

I know it will be a fantastic day, hope everyone lucky enough to go has a wonderful time.

 

 Emma    Thursday 03 October 2013 at 11:59

 
Hi Kim,

Sorry to hear that...you will be missed!

Thanks for your kind words, I hope to see you soon!

x

 

Natalie    Thursday 19 September 2013 at 14:58

 Post #368 



 
Subject: CALLING ALL CURVACEOUS LADIES!!!

Ms Curvaceous UK is a modelling competition and fashion show that aims to empower women with a fuller figure and allow them to embrace and celebrate their curves. Ms Curvaceous UK is the only curvy modelling competition with regional heats In Manchester, Birmingham and London, the only competition providing photo shoots and professional model training for contestants! The grand prize includes 500 cash, an opportunity to meet with Hughes models, bespoke jewellery plus much more!

The regional heats will be in Manchester on the 29th September, Birmingham on the 6th October and London on the 13th October!

To audition it couldn't be easier, you can apply online at Mscurvaceousuk.com or just come along to the auditions.

This is an opportunity not to be missed!
For more information go to Mscurvaceousukcom

Many thanks...

 

 Natalie    Wednesday 16 October 2013 at 11:59

 
A couple of important updates:

Firstly we are excited to announce that The Curve Project, founded by plus size model Saffi Karina, has joined us as our official sponsors for Ms Curvaceous UK 2013! Curve Project offers masterclasses for curvy women all over the UK, these workshops aim to help curvy women explore their inner supermodel and create confidence.

Also, due to record numbers of applicants this year we have added an extra audtition date for this Sunday (20th) at the Grosvenor G Casino in Picadilly,London from 12PM-8PM!

 

Emma    Saturday 31 August 2013 at 14:26

 Post #367 



 
Subject: Anna Scholz Discount

After the tremendous success of our Anna Scholz Day earlier this year, we have become quite keen on the idea of encouraging our lovely Anna Scholz customers with a surprise treat whenever we can.

All our Anna Scholz Days have showcased Spring/Summer collections, so to give a little something to those who love Autumn/Winter clothes (or who just love Anna Scholz clothing of any season) we are offering a 10% discount on all new-season Anna Scholz clothes. This offer starts right now, and will go on for a limited period only, so I suggest that if you feel tempted by anything you have seen so far this autumn, now may be a very good time to invest!

 

Emma    Friday 02 August 2013 at 13:50

 Post #363 



 
Subject: Super Reductions

It's worth mentioning to the readers of our blog that we have a slightly unusual situation here in our shop.

Our Summer Sale has moved into its final stages-the extra reduction stage-when many of our items are either half price or 75% off. So much so usual....we always clear all our season's stock before the next collection comes into store. This is how we keep fresh and new all the time, and why we end up giving items away towards the end of our Sale.

The big difference this year is that this lovely selection of light and bright, practical summer clothing is all being sold at the VERY MOMENT THAT IT IS NEEDED MOST. In other words, anyone finding that they need some cool clothes to wear in hot weather will be able to find them now substantially reduced. After all, it is still only the beginning of August.

Regular readers of this blog may not need to read the rest of this post! It consists of the two reminders that usually accompany my comments. The first is the observation that we have 'total climate control' here in the shop, and would challenge anyone to feel anything other than super-cool and comfortable in store.

The second is to mention the fact that anyone parked in the NCP Theatre car park (adjacent to our shop) who spends 100 or more will be given 2 hours' free parking.

We look forward to being deluged by bargain-hunters as of now!

 

 Kim P    Monday 05 August 2013 at 19:48

 
How long will the sale be on for?

 

 Emma    Monday 05 August 2013 at 20:44

 
Hi Kim,

The Sale will continue until the end of August, but stock does sell through as time goes on!

The 'final reductions' that we have at the moment are some of the most radical we've done: I'm keen for customers to have some of the fantastic summer Sale clothes whilst they can be enjoyed most!

 

Emma    Wednesday 24 July 2013 at 09:45

 Post #362 



 
Subject: SALE!

The time has come again for our wonderful Summer Sale!

This year, more than ever, we have all been wearing our lovely cool summer clothes, and now there is an opportunity to top-up our summer wardrobe at substantially reduced prices.

This is a very colourful season, and the summer clothes in our sale are a rainbow of gorgeous shades. Of course, they look even better now some of them are half price or less.

There are two important facts to cogitate about our Sale. The first is that if you spend 100 or more in store and park in the NCP car park adjacent to our shop, you will qualify for 2 hours free parking.

The second is that Emma Plus enjoys an airconditioning system to beat all others, and any customer choosing to spend a little time in our store will leave relaxed, happy and as cool as a cucumber.

Our Sale starts at 10.30am on Friday 26th and continues at 10.00am on Saturday 27th July.

We look forward to seeing you in store!

 

 Sharon    Thursday 01 August 2013 at 14:44

 
Marvellous! I have booked a day off Friday next week for some bargain hunting and hopefully a peak at some new season stock.

 

 Emma    Friday 02 August 2013 at 13:36

 
That's fab, Sharon!

I think you will be coming at a very good time. We've already had some gorgeous A/W 13 items delivered, and our sale stock is up to 75% off, so there are some fantastic bargains to be had.

Look forward to seeing you soon-

 

Emma    Saturday 04 May 2013 at 17:22

 Post #355 



 
Subject: And the winner is...

It's been a week since the ASD and we have now performed our solemn duty... picking the winner of the 100 gift voucher prize.

The prize goes to Amanda Richards, who came along on the day and put her name into our hat. Now she can never say that she doesn't win anything!

We hope she really enjoys her prize!

 

 Amanda Richards    Friday 10 May 2013 at 13:43

 
To all the lovely ladies of Emma Plus,

Just wanted to say thank you very much for letting me know that I won the vouchers. When you rang on Saturday I was so excited!

Really enjoyed the ASD, love my clothes, and great to meet Anna, she was beautiful!

Kind regards,

Amanda Richards.

PS. Your ladies are so helpful. They make buying clothes a pleasure not a misery.

 

 Nicola Sutherland    Saturday 11 May 2013 at 11:32

 
I may not have got the call that Amanda did, but I did get my altered purchases from ASD in the mail yesterday. They all fit beautifully, and thank you for exceeding my expectations and getting all three items to me in time for my trip next week.

Nicola

 

 Emma    Sunday 12 May 2013 at 21:19

 
Hi Nicola,

Thank you so much for your kind words, which are much appreciated.

So glad you got your clothes on time, and were happy with them. I really hope you enjoy wearing them.

Hope to see you again soon-

Emma

 

Emma    Thursday 02 May 2013 at 11:54

 Post #354 



 
Subject: Anna Scholz Day #3

We are still both high and exhausted after our Anna Scholz Day on Saturday. Having had these days before (this was our third ASD), we thought we knew what to expect. On the day of the event the shop looks very different after the special delivery of Anna Scholz items has arrived, and it feels different, too: its very unusual for all of the women who work here to be present, all at one time. There is always a buzz as we gird up our loins for the busy day ahead.

At the beginning of the day, before we are open, there is a pregnant pause. We gather together to have an early morning coffee, and to examine our handiwork. The shop floor looks great, with the Anna Scholz collection providing a riot of summer colour, and new shop floor displays created to showcase the event. The window display has been carefully devised to give maximum impact. The dainty nibbles (courtesy of John Lewis) are ready on their plates, and the fruit punch is already in its bowl. All the decks are cleared, and the pin-cushions are stuck full of pins. Outside, the sun shines brightly.

Then its opening time... We turn the open sign on the door, and the key in the lock. And almost instantly the shop is full of people. Within minutes you can hear the laughing and the giggling. People are trying on colours and looks that they have always wanted to try, but they just didnt KNOW they wanted to try them! Women move in and out of the changing rooms - a kaleidoscope of colour and pattern.

The day goes in a whirl. This particular ASD was the busiest yet. Personally, I had no time to think about anything for about seven hours: it is a kind of meditative experience. I am lost in the moment, and my head is cleared of everything except what is in front of me. Not being at all sporty, I guess this is what it must feel like to compete in a sporting event. I actually think this kind of thing is good for me (and the other members of staff) psychologically. I am certain it is very good for our customers, who, quite clearly, are having a blast.

At the end of the day we have waved Anna and Darren off, sat back down on our sofa, almost too tired to start on the journey home. And we all feel happy and grateful that we work in such a lovely job.

 

Emma    Saturday 20 April 2013 at 16:14

 Post #353 



 
Subject: Anna Scholz

I have been cogitating on the designer, Anna Scholz. Not surprising, because next week we are hosting our third Anna Scholz Day on Saturday 27th April, where the designer herself will visit our store, meet her customers and bring much of her range with her.

Its always a great day. We have lots of scrummy nibbles and drinks, oodles of fantastic Anna Scholz clothes, loads of happy customers and, of course, the lady herself - a beautiful, charismatic presence.

Many times I have had people ask me why I love Anna Scholz and her oeuvre so much. In order to explain this phenomenon I will have to go back to the beginning...

I started working at this store 23 years ago. It was then, just as it is now, a proper plus-size shop. When I say proper, I mean that it has never been one of those irritating shops that call themselves plus size but start at a size 12 (why?) and go all the way up to a size 22 (surely, this doesnt even count as a plus-size these days?). When I first came here we stocked fashions from a size 16 up to a size 26; nowadays we stock mainly between size 20 and 32.

Back then, it was very difficult to find really lovely clothing in those proper plus sizes. The main reason was good old-fashioned prejudice. Against all the available evidence it seemed that our own plus-size industry had decided a number of things about its customers. It had decided that we were elderly (or middle-aged in a particularly frumpy way). It had decided that we were dowdy (dull and lacklustre). It had decided we were sexless (heaven forbid that we showed a bit of femininity). It had decided we were shapeless and wanted nothing more than cover-ups. We were supposed to lack the energy to bother about fabric care (there was a disproportionate amount of drip-dry clothes). We werent prepared to spend on our clothing. And, more than anything else, we hated colour.

Im not saying that it was impossible to find lovely clothes back then. It was just very, very difficult. And they were few and far between. It was a difficult time for our shop.

I will never forget the first time I saw Annas collection. It was at the huge clothes fair that used to take place at the NEC in Birmingham and it was in February 1994. I had seen a picture of one of her dresses, and I had already decided that I was going to look her up if I got the chance. I walked on to her stand at the exhibition, and the rest is history: my shop has never been without an Anna Scholz garment from that day to this.

Anna (as far as I know) was the first plus-size woman to have her own fashion line, and it showed. She didnt need anyone else to tell her what larger women wanted. She was young, vibrant, attractive, driven, enthusiastic, uncompromising, skilful, and anything but apologetic about her size (she is still all of these things). Her clothes were a revelation, and we couldnt get enough of them.

Looking around today its easy to think that she is just one among many designers producing fashion-forward, sexy, joyful, colourful clothes. Yet she was the first, and still the best. And she has been a powerhouse, turning out fabulous items that have been a joy to consumers and an education to our industry for the past almost two decades.

 

 Kim P    Wednesday 24 April 2013 at 18:43

 
I hope everyone has a great day on Saturday, so many beautiful designs to choose from! They are always great fun and I am sad to be missing it.

 

 Emma    Thursday 25 April 2013 at 13:18

Hi Kim

Thank you very much... We're sorry you can't make it.

We've already had the delivery in and we're trying it all on, stomping up and down, pouting, squatting, swinging our hair around and posing girlishly - just like the models in the photograph!
 

Emma    Wednesday 20 February 2013 at 18:28

 Post #340 



 
Subject: Future shock?

Customers particularly interested in fashion will probably already know that London Fashion Week is happening at the moment. Its existed since 1984, and is a well-established date on the international calendar of the clothing industry, providing a platform for fashion designers to show their wares in the UK.

What has never been provided within this event, however, is any kind of platform specifically for the plus-size fashion business. So I was fascinated to hear that this was the inaugural year for the British Plus Size Fashion Weekend, founded by renowned plus-size blogger Remi Ray, and timed to coincide with the beginning of Fashion Week.

I decided to make the pilgrimage to Shoreditch Town Hall, a mid-Victorian monolith of a building, whose shabby-chic interior offered an impressive backdrop to the event. I am used to going to the kind of industry happenings that are for insiders only - basically buying events strictly for doing business. In the kind of fashion shows that I have been attending for the past 20 years, the public is certainly not entertained. They tend to be non-controversial, rather swish occasions set in plush environments, comfortably insulated from the outside world.

This new show exploded on to Shoreditch with an unashamed enthusiasm, energy, and overt point of view that I have never experienced before.

My day there began when I arrived mid-afternoon, and joined the throng of women looking over the sponsors stands. I was interested to see the range of clothing of the kind that we wouldnt normally sell in our store. These are clothes, in the main, sold directly to the customer, either through small independents online, or with the large retailers like Simply Be or Evans. It fascinates me to see the difference between the kind of fashion they provide for an event like this (which showcases the designer-led capsules that they would bring to a full-on fashion affair), and their mainstream clothing.

The main part of the big plus-size retailers offer is relatively pedestrian, but when the big companies go in for designer fashion it is very youthful. The quality is low, and this complements the particular type of edgy fashion, which is possibly only intended to last a single season. There is a vibrancy and excitement about the styles which is infectious. However, I cant help feeling that a store owner like me had better tread carefully, and not be too seduced by the youthful enthusiasm of the looks. The kind of woman who buys a pair of silver leggings, and teams them with a cropped top, or pops a transparent chiffon cape over a bra and hot pants, is unlikely to purchase such items in my store!

It was during the fantastic catwalk show later that evening that this miss-match between different plus-size fashion aesthetics became most evident. It really was wonderful to see a proper plus-size catwalk show. Having been to too many fashion shows even to begin to count, over too many years to admit, I can honestly say I have never seen one before. Yes, I have seen shows that have a few plus-size women here and there, and I have seen mainstream fashion shows that have a section for a plus-size designer. Online, I have watched the lovely Elena Miro catwalk shows in Milan, but this is the very first show I have witnessed myself, and it was a revelation.

Designer Anna Scholzs clothes were there (see picture), and her collection was truly superb. I would argue that she knocked all other designers out of the park with her offer. However, that is just my opinion, and she represented just one end of a very diverse spectrum.

I have always believed that women who take the time and effort (and spend the money!) to shop in a store like mine, wish to purchase something that they will get a lot of use from. So I have tried to avoid flash-in-the-pan styling, no matter how inviting it might appear at first sight. This is because our clothes are made to last and to treasure, and it would be a shame if the style dated after one or two seasons.

I have also always thought (and my thinking was so ingrained that I have to confess that I simply took it as a given) that our clothes should be flattering, and that they should make the most of our assets, whilst unashamedly hiding our weaker points. This, more than anything is what we stand for, and where a designer like Anna Scholz takes prominence.

Looking at the different kinds of fashion on the catwalk, however, I was struck by the fact that my own views are just that: views. They are there to be disagreed with. If this show is to be taken literally, there is seemingly a huge wave of young, large women charging forward into the future with a whole different aesthetic. They want style, and they dont care if they show off their bodies. They want looks, and they dont care if they last. They want fashion, and they want it in quantity. They want it now, and they dont intend to save up for it. They want what they want, and they dont mind whether they look thinner of fatter wearing it. If you have a problem with their clothing not looking flattering enough, then it is your problem, not theirs. They have attitude and not a little courage.

There is an argument that what is seen on the catwalk should never be taken literally. The looks are designed to be controversial and argumentative. However, these werent haute couture catwalk looks: they were all commercially produced items that someone out there is selling.

Im still digesting this new information. It has yet to be shown whether this is something that I am going to have to take on board in the future.

One thing is certain: it did me good to be drawn out of my comfort zone and to see a different point of view.

 

 natashasimpson    Thursday 06 June 2013 at 09:33

 
Wow amazing size plus fashion.
Sounds like amazing.
Dressing sense is amazing like from excel clothing....!!!

 

Emma    Saturday 09 February 2013 at 15:44

 Post #337 



 
Subject: ASD (Anna Scholz Day): 27 April 2013

We now have the best possible news! We have been successful in persuading the fabulous Anna Scholz to create another Anna Scholz Day here in our store!

For those who have already heard about the famous Anna Scholz Days, this will come as long-awaited news. For readers of this blog who are unfamilliar with the Anna Scholz Days (ASDs), this is the most exciting event of the Brighton fashion year.

During the ASD, Anna's latest range is shipped into our store - including many pieces that have never been seen in any store in the UK. We have our superb alteration service on hand to fit the gorgeous clothes to our customers there and then (and items can be sent on for you to receive at home, beautifully fitted, and usually with no extra charge). Anyone spending over 100 will be able to enjoy 2 hours' free parking in the Theatre Car Park adjacent to our store.

But it gets even better. Anna herself will attend, bringing key members of her team. She is a true plus-size fashion icon and is a very beautiful, glamorous fashion expert and visionary, who knows just about everything there is to know about plus-size styling.

During the day there will be refreshments, and a prize draw for all those who attend.

We do hope you can pop this date in your diary, because it really will be a unique and wonderful experience!

 

 Sharon    Saturday 09 February 2013 at 17:53

 
Excellent news and just after my birthday so I can buy presents ;-)

Love the coat you're wearing in the picture too.

 

 Kim P    Saturday 09 February 2013 at 19:38

 
Wonderful news, I would very much like to come!

 

 Kirsten    Tuesday 12 February 2013 at 18:54

 
Wish I could fly over for that day! Love the pic of you and Anna in the AW 13 and looking forward to your blog post about that collection!

 

 Emma    Thursday 14 February 2013 at 14:11

 
Hi Sharon...yes, the coat (from autumn/winter 13) is superb, a lovely soft boiled wool, edged with leather. I particularly loved it teamed with the little co-ordinating tweedy tunic dress. Until you have tried on a coat or jacket with contrasting sleeves, it's easy not to realise how flattering they are. This is because any look that breaks up the width of the body makes you look narrower. In this coat, I only look as wide as my torso: the arms do not add to my silhouette.

Hi Kirsten...how lovely to hear from you! I really wish you could make it to the ASD. If it's anything like the previous ones, it's going to be fantastic.

 

 Nicola Sutherland    Friday 15 February 2013 at 18:43

 
Perfect timing - already have the reason to treat myself - the perfect birthday day out for me!

 

Jackie    Thursday 07 February 2013 at 13:39

 Post #334 



 
Subject: Anna Scholz Day

Hi girls

have you a date planned for an Anna Scholz Day this year. I ask because last year it was in May and I have been asked to attend the conference in US Again in May and really don't want to miss your Anna day, as I had such fun last year.

 

 Emma    Thursday 07 February 2013 at 13:41

Hi Jackie

Thanks for your enquiry. Yes, we are all getting very excited about the prospect of another ASD this season!

I will be meeting Anna tomorrow to do my buying for the Autumn/Winter 13 collection, and I will be trying to sort out the date of the next ASD. Of course, we cant say for certain that Anna will definitely agree to come and participate in another ASD, but we are hoping that we can persuade her!

I would recommend anyone to come to the ASD: as you say, it's such fun, and a really wonderful, authentic plus-size fashion event.
 

Emma    Wednesday 26 December 2012 at 10:29

 Post #325 



 
Subject: EMMA PLUS WINTER SALE starts 28 December

So I was in a shop just round the corner. It wasn't a shop I normally frequent, as it was a 'proper' sports clothing store. You know the kind of thing: micro-sized cycling shorts, with the little bra-type tops that ultra-slim women choose to wear when they are feeling the burn down the gym. Everything, in a nutshell, that doesn't interest me at all.

However, I was on a mission. I had received valuable intelligence, via a text message from a friend, that this store had Fitflops at half price! Fitflops (the stylish, comfortable, practical footwear of choice for the retailer with - how shall we put this? - rather shop-worn feet) at half price! It was certainly worth my squeezing past the shocking pink micro-bras to get to those. My feet thanked me as we walked away with a gorgeous pair of soft leather ankle boots.

I love good sales. Who doesn't? I like them from whatever angle I look at them. It's lovely when, as was the case with the Fitflops, I am a customer able to find something that is new stock, useful, perfectly fitted to me, of a style that pleases me, and I'm being charged a massively discounted price.

But it's also lovely for me, as a retailer, watching my items disappearing out of my store. You see, we clear everything, every season, during the very exciting run-up to the new season's deliveries. We have huge deliveries on order, and we need to make space for all that lovely summer clothing.

The fact is it's possible that the cold weather has hardly begun yet (I have an inkling we are going to be experiencing the chill just a little bit more before we start to feel the warmth of spring), so the winter items that we're now 'clearing away' are essential, gorgeous clothing that will see a lot of action before this winter is out. Yet, in the fashion business, it just has to go! It's one of those happy incidences where the customer and the retailer are in perfect harmony.

People who already know about our wonderful sales will alreay be preparing for the opportunity to come in and get some really lovely bargains. For those of you who have never indulged, I recommend it as a fun and profitable way of spending part of your Christmas leave, if you have the time.

The Emma Plus Winter Sale starts on 28 and 29 December (this Friday and Saturday) at 10.00am. Don't forget, if you park in the adjacent NCP car park and spend 100 or more in-store, you will have two hours' free parking.

We look forward to seeing you!

 

Emma    Wednesday 19 December 2012 at 14:41

 Post #324 



 
Subject: Christmas 2012

This Sunday was something of a red-letter day here at the shop. It was the day of our annual Emma Plus Christmas Lunch.

As you can imagine, we don't like to stint, so we sashayed round the corner to a wonderful restaurant in the North Laine of Brighton called Temptations.

The owner of Temptations, Peter Allinson, a stalwart of the local independent traders that surround our shop, did us proud - with beautiful, locally-sourced, delicious food.

Lunch went on all afternoon, and I have to confess that afterwards I had to go home to sleep it off. I think it could be said that a good time was had by all...!

We at Emma Plus would like to wish our lovely customers an equally good time over the holiday period, and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year...

 

 Kim P    Thursday 20 December 2012 at 22:01

 
Looks like everyone is having a great time!

I hope you all have a great Christmas and that 2013 is a great year for everyone at Emma Plus!

 

 Emma    Friday 21 December 2012 at 20:23

 
Hi Kim,

Thank you so much for your kind sentiments. I wish you have a lovely Christmas, and a super New Year.

I do hope that we get to see you soon, Kim.....

 

 Emma    Saturday 22 December 2012 at 16:09

 
By the way, Kim.....the other Kim has asked if she will be seeing you at our sale (whisper it: it's on the 28th December)?

She thinks that, should you feel the need for anything that isn't drab, there will be plenty to choose from....

 

 Kim P    Sunday 23 December 2012 at 14:09

 
That's interesting! I may well make my way down and have first dibs on the tartan waistcoats!

 

 Emma    Wednesday 26 December 2012 at 10:34

 
Latest news, Kim....! We've had a run on the tartan waistcoats, and have none left. Would you believe it!

I would suggest going to the Tartan Woollen Mill, but I'm not too sure you would have any luck there, either. You know how these ultra-trendy things sell out so quickly! Sorry.

 

 Emma    Friday 28 December 2012 at 16:32

 
Lovely to see you today, Kim,. You look great, and I really loved your choices, which updated your wardrobe perfectly to suit your evolving style. Happy New Year...

 

 Kim P    Tuesday 01 January 2013 at 16:48

 
Thank you, you are so kind Emma! I was quite poorly but the trip was a great pick me up.

I wish you all a great 2013 too!

 

Emma    Thursday 08 November 2012 at 12:29

 Post #320 



 
Subject: Claire from Larger than Life

It was so lovely to have a welcome visitor into our shop this week: the gorgeous Claire, owner of the plus-size retailer, Larger Than Life (based around the Kew area), came in.

Claire is involved in a very exciting new venture: pop-up shops, specialising in designer plus-size clothing. Her very first pop-up shop will be quite soon. It will be on/at:

24th November 2012
12noon - 4pm
The Bull
Oxford Road
Gerrards Cross
Buckinghamshire
SL9 7PA

I do wish her all the best, and hope that any fashion-forward plus-size women in the Buckinghamshire area (and beyond) able to attend on that day will join her and her team there for what sounds like a fantastic event.

 

Emma    Thursday 19 July 2012 at 18:16

 Post #302 



 
Subject: Emma Plus Summer Sale Starts 10.30am Friday 20th July

Its not every year when the stars align to the advantage of the British consumer, but this year does seem to be one of them!

We have been waiting for summer for so long (and almost giving up hope), when along it comes - just in time to take advantage of summer clothes at super-bargain prices!

As our regulars already know, we clear all stock every season to make way for the next tranche of goodies. This means that all current stock has to go. In this instance, that opens up a gorgeous collection of summer clothes at truly wonderful prices.

I have mentioned before that, in my opinion, the best possible option for the stylish plus-size woman who is thrifty (either by necessity, or by nature!), is to buy designer clothes in the sale. The difference in price between designer and high-street clothing, even at full price, is nowhere near as great as the difference in what you get for your money.

Designer clothes are fashion-forward (in the main, the style of a designer item will look band-box fresh for at least two years, and usually considerably longer); the quality means they are a delight to wear, and the fit is superb. Adding that to the fact that designer clothes tend (these days) to be easy-care and incredibly durable, the only possible argument against buying high-end clothing is the price. However, if you are lucky enough to source items that are correct for you in the sale, then even this disadvantage melts away. And this season, not only are the prices fantastic, but the choice is brilliant.

I really would recommend any plus-size woman interested in looking good to hurry along to our Sale. She will not be disappointed.

The Sale starts tomorrow (Friday 20th July) at 10.30am. We look forward to seeing you in store!

 

 Sharon Cross    Thursday 26 July 2012 at 13:55

 
I've booked a day off work tomorrow to come down and have a good attack on your sale stock. Hope the weather holds up :-)

 

 Emma    Thursday 26 July 2012 at 23:05

 
Hi Sharon!

You are indeed a very discerning woman, if you don't mind my saying so!

I can't think of anything better to do with a lovely day than come down to Brighton, park in the NCP car park next to Emma Plus (to get two hours' free parking), have a spot of lunch in one of the North Laine's gorgeous little cafes in the sunshine, see a few of the sights of Brighton, and find some goodies in the Emma Plus sale, in the air-conditioned cool......what's not to like?

I do hope the weather holds up, and that you have a lovely time on your precious day off....

 

Emma    Wednesday 30 May 2012 at 10:56

 Post #293 



 
Subject: Bank Holiday opening hours

During the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, many people will take the opportunity that a longer bank holiday weekend will afford to have a bit of a mini-break.

If the weather is good, my experience is that there will be a significant number of my customers who decide to come down to the seaside for a welcome change of scene. Brighton is a very good place to visit, as - being on the south coast - it tends to have some of the best weather in the country, an - as it is a very varied city - there is something for everyone.

We have our piers (the Brighton Pier, with its traditional British seaside attractions, and the old Palace Pier, which has now become a romantic ruin), and our beach. There is also the Brighton Eye, which provides an unrivaled view of the city and coast for miles around.

In my opinion, though (and I would say this!), none of this compares to the wonderful attractions of the North Laine area. We have super little artisan food shops and cafes, theatres, pubs - in fact venues of every kind. But most of all we just have fantastic shops. These include amazing fashion shops (everything from clothes to shoes and accessories) - which make a stunning contribution to the attractions of the area.

I can't imagine anything I would like more (especially if the weather is good) than to come down to Brighton and visit the North Laine. I would drive to the NCP car park in Church Street (where, if I spent 100 or more at Emma Plus, I would get 2 hours' free parking). It's nearly always possible to get an easily-accessible spot to park in there. I would then pop out of the Church Street entrance, walk the two or three yards necessary, then disappear into Emma Plus. There I would find refreshments, air conditioning and beautiful clothes!

Once I had finished indulging my inner fashion goddess, I would exit Emma Plus, and walk just a few steps down the road to the plethora of lovely restaurants. I would probably decide to lunch at Temptations - a scrummy cafe just on the next corner.

Then, having enjoyed a relaxing, delicious and leisurely lunch, for the first time I would find myself in a dilemma: what to do next? I could browse through the intriguing variety of different, individual shops of the North Laine, or I could wander down to the gorgeous and classy mainstream stores on East Street. On the other hand, simply by crossing the road and wandering a few dozen yards, I could visit Brighton Pavilion - surely one of the most quirky and amazing palaces in the country.

In any case, I may choose to do all of this on Tuesday 5th June (which is a Bank Holiday in the UK), because we at Emma Plus (along with most of Brighton) will be open for business!

Here in the shop we wish all our customers a thoroughly lovely day, whatever you decide to do!

Bank Holiday Opening hours: Saturday 2nd June - open as usual (10am-5pm). Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th - closed. Tuesday 5th June - open as usual.

 

Emma    Thursday 17 May 2012 at 12:46

 Post #291 



 
Subject: ASD

Anna Scholz doesnt come to town every day, so it was a huge red-letter day on Saturday when she and her sales manager, Darren, came down to visit us. The sun was shining and everything was looking really bright and colourful in our store. To celebrate our ASD ('Anna Scholz Day'), we had decked out the shop in Anna Scholz displays, and had given her collection pride of place in the centre of our store.

We ordered scrummy nibbles (hors d'oeuvres and darling little cakes from Waitrose... bless em!), and put plenty of bubbly on ice. We had our whole staff working together for this day, and of course we were all wearing Annas creations.

The stage was set, and we gathered expectantly at the beginning of the day. It didnt take long before the shop was flooded with people. Anna fans had travelled from all over to get to us, partly because Anna had decreed that we be stocked with the largest collection of her Spring/Summer 2012 collection that you could find in our country, and partly to meet the lady herself.

Weve had an ASD before, and it was one of the happiest working days I have ever spent - so I knew it was going to be highly enjoyable. However, it is only in the thick of things that you really understand what fun it is. There is something colourful, joyful, glamorous and decadent about Anna Scholz clothing, and all the women who had come into the store on Saturday knew and appreciated this. It was a meeting of like-minds!

Anna drew two lucky winners for the prizes that were available in our lucky draw. The first prize, for a voucher for 250 worth of Anna Scholz fashion, was won by Sidonie Stevens. The second, an Emma Plus necklace, was won by Jane Steven (the similarity in names is co-incidental: we didnt go out trying to find Stevens!). This was a particularly happy chance, because Ms Steven, as a small person wouldnt have benefitted from the Anna Scholz prize, but as she happened to be in the store when the draw took place, found a gorgeous vintage blue/green necklace that matched the peacock-print dress she was wearing at the time.

Quite what Sidonie Stevens is going to do with her voucher is yet to be decided... the delight and excitement was palpable when we telephoned to inform her!

 

 Emma    Saturday 26 May 2012 at 17:10

Just a little pickie of Jane Steven with her lovely vintage necklace prize.

We are hoping to get a photograph of the delightful Sidonie Stevens wearing her gorgeous Anna Scholz prize....when we do, we will post it onto our forum!
 

 Emma    Saturday 26 May 2012 at 17:14

On the ASD, our lovely customer, Anna Martin, cooked a fantastic cake in the shape of a saucy basque.

Anna Scholz cut the cake, and we all had a piece...it was light, fluffy, delicious....risen!.....everything my cakes are not. Thanks so much Anna!
 

 Emma    Saturday 26 May 2012 at 17:34

It was lovely to see past and present members of staff at the ASD. Jan, who used to work with us, still shops here, and is one of our most stylish regulars.

Of course, she loves to wear Anna Scholz's clothes, so it was only fitting that she looked resplendent when she met the designer in person!
 

 Emma    Saturday 26 May 2012 at 17:40

I was particularly taken by the way that Kim P, who travelled down to Brighton especially to attend the ASD, managed to channel the Anna Scholz livery with her own outfit.

She perfectly matched the promotional material for the Spring/Summer Anna Scholz.

We had to keep an eye out for her as, camoflaged as she was, she was able disappear into her 'natural habitat' on the day.
 

 Emma    Saturday 26 May 2012 at 17:46

Part of the 'dream team' on the day....on the left, Jackie and Lisa, with Kim on the right. Centre right is our 'intern for the day', the lovely Leo.

All are looking superb wearing Anna Scholz, and showcasing the variety on offer in the range.
 

 charlie conley    Wednesday 13 June 2012 at 10:29

 
Please upload the image before completing the rest of the form or your data will be lost!

 

Emma    Friday 11 May 2012 at 17:40

 Post #289 



 
Subject: ASD minus one

So here we are, the night before our ASD (to the uninitiated, Anna Scholz Day), and, although I know this does mean that I am a very excitable girlie, I am feeling really hyper...

We have had a large delivery of gorgeous things: dresses, tops, jackets etc., and the Anna Scholz butterfly colours have really given our little shop a zing. There is something life-affirming about those lovely shades.

The stage is set... let the trying-on begin!

 

 Jackie Newman    Sunday 13 May 2012 at 09:13

 
What a brilliant time I had at ASD!!! Loved meeting Anna and Darren. Great personalities! Can't wait to see the photos. Loved the clothes and can't wait to wear the Cornelli dress on the cruise!

 

 Kim P    Sunday 13 May 2012 at 12:58

 
Just to echo Jackie's post, it was wonderful yesterday and I am so pleased I went. A joy to see so many ladies looking beautiful in their new outfits. Anna and Darren are such lovely people too. Thank you again!

 

 Nicola Sutherland    Sunday 13 May 2012 at 14:20

 
Sorry I didn't get to meet Anna but was early/lucky enough to have lots of gorgeous things in my size to choose from. Am really pleased with all three of my gorgeous new dresses. lAnd as always the lovely welcome, service and honesty on what suits me best that I always get with you. Look forward to the next Anna day.

 

 Emma    Thursday 17 May 2012 at 12:49

Thank you, Jackie, Kim and Nicola for coming, but also for helping to make the ASD such a success!

I'm so glad you enjoyed it... it really was fantastic, and we are now actively persuading Anna to come down again next year. The ASD only seems to get bigger and better!
 

Emma    Saturday 05 May 2012 at 12:34

 Post #287 



 
Subject: Anna Scholz Day 12th May

There was a time when plus-size womens clothing was never designed by plus-size women. What am I saying?... the fact is that the lions share of plus-size womens clothing is still not being designed by plus-size women! This can create problems of perception within the industry.

Until relatively recently I was told by agents, pretty regularly, that larger women didnt like to show themselves off too much (by the way, in our industry, quite a few agents are men - but we would get this kind of comment from the female agents as well), so, apparently, we hated to show any cleavage. These agents often went on to explain that this was the reason why larger women didnt want fitted clothes, preferring the baggy look. And, as luck would have it, they didnt like colour either: black, dark grey, brown, navy... these were the order of the day.

Im quite a strong person, but I dont see the point in being actively offensive, so I would bite my tongue when greeted with comments like these, and simply quietly and politely tell the agents that what they were saying was mistaken. In reality I was maddened to the extent that I would want to burst forth with my opinions about how you would have to be wilfully deluded not to notice the huge number of beautiful, sexy women desperate for something to wear that didnt make them look ready to take up holy orders.

On one occasion, however, the discussion (which had been continuing in the vein for a few minutes - a few minutes too long in my book) was taken out of my hands. There were actually two male agents in the shop: my agent and his boss, the national manager. I was politely trying to convince the men that, after (at that time) spending about five years dealing on a daily basis with larger women (and being one myself), I didnt really need a masterclass from these two gentlemen on what we wanted. But they werent having any of this. Neither man had apparently ever met a plus-size woman who wanted to dress sexily.

Then, suddenly, the curtain of my changing room was whipped back, and the lovely lady who had been within (trying on a blouse) issued forth like a ship in full sail. She did not feel the need to pussyfoot around the subject, and told the two of them in words of one syllable what she thought of their point of view, and their so-called experience of larger women. Lets just say that those two gentlemen were never able to boast about their knowledge of plus-size women again. Not without carefully checking behind every innocent-looking curtain in the vicinity, that is!

This story leads me on to my preoccupation this week: the visit of the fabulous plus-size designer, Anna Scholz (pictured), to our store... an event that is happening on Saturday 12th May 2012.

Anna is a beautiful plus-size woman herself, who started her line when she realised that the sort of clothes she required were simply not being produced. From the very beginning Anna has been entirely true to herself. Regardless of how her own size has varied over the years, she is, and always will be, able to see the world through the eyes of a larger woman. She wanted to create clothes that enhance the body, revealing the attractive assets that most of us have, while providing an extremely flattering silhouette.

She is innovative - she was the first in our industry to use stretch silk, and this material (which she uses to fantastic effect) remains one of her signature fabrics. She is bold - she uncompromisingly creates sexy clothing; her attitude is that women are beautiful... and size has nothing to do with it. She is celebratory - I have never seen a designer more prepared to use gorgeous, singing colours.

Other designers now follow behind Anna. That is her contribution to our industry. It is incredibly helpful that people realise that there are ample (in every sense of the word) women out there who want to look very, very good. But it is not easy to be able to recreate that celebratory, uncompromising and bold aesthetic, because to be able to carry it off, first and foremost, you need to be able to get the fit right. She's a tough act to follow.

So Anna Scholz was the catalyst that set off a massive change in our industry. No-one any more attempts to tell me that plus-size women are not interested in looking gorgeous. If they did, they themselves would know that they sound like dinosaurs. How did Anna manage to achieve so much?

Arguably, it all started with her being a larger woman herself.

 

 Kim P    Sunday 06 May 2012 at 19:46

 
Looking forward to next Saturday and seeing all the gorgeous clothes. I love my Anna Sholz dresses and tops and I was living in her leggings over the winter. They are so well made and the colourful prints are stunning. Web photos rarely do them justice.

As you know I am not keen on too low a neckline but the beauty of buying from Emma Plus is the ability to have clothes altered professionally ( and often FOC ) to suit customers wishes so everyone is catered for!

 

 Emma    Tuesday 08 May 2012 at 13:10

 
Hi Kim!

So looking forward to seeing you this coming weekend! If it's anything like last time, it will be a blast!

Yes, I think your reply has pointed out a bit of a problem with my post about Anna Scholz, which left the impression, firstly, that she is only about flashing a bit of cleavage, and secondly, that this is the only way to look fabulous and sexy!

That would be wrong on both counts, of course! Although no-one does decolotage quite like Anna (and I mean no-one!), she is also all about every aspect of looking fantastic, encompasing all different looks from understated, through classic, to demure, and items such as business suiting, knits, coats, trousers etc, do also form part of her line...not just sexy low-cut tops and dresses!

 

Emma    Friday 20 April 2012 at 17:18

 Post #282 



 
Subject: Anna Scholz Day 12th May

I have to confess to being extremely excited... we have managed to persuade the gorgeous Anna Scholz to come to our store again, to celebrate another Anna Scholz Day!

For those who attended our last Anna Scholz Day, I dont think I will have to say anything about this event in order to encourage them to attend - other than that we will be participating in all the same enjoyments as before.

We will have - specially delivered - the cream of Annas Spring/Summer 12 collection, many items of which have not been seen in any stores. And the collection itself will be far more comprehensively represented than one would usually find in one place. There will be items that neither I, nor any of my team, have even seen before (so you can imagine the heightened atmosphere that we will be in the shop when the deliveries arrive; a heady mix of fashion-obsessed women bursting open a delivery of fantastic Anna Scholz fashion).

There will be a competition, where the first prize is 250 worth of Anna Scholz fashion, and second prize a beautiful Emma Plus necklace of the winner's choice.

We will have refreshments, and Anna herself will be coming into the store to meet her ultimate customers, answer questions and get feedback.

There will be a sociable, happy, festive atmosphere... this is truly one of the happiest days of the year - and well worth calling in to the store to join us for.

Anna Scholz Day at Emma Plus is on 12 May. We open at 10am, and are expecting Anna in our store around noon. All are welcome!

 

 Anna    Saturday 21 April 2012 at 08:05

 
Hello Emma,

Well I can not wait. Came into your shop with my friend Tori, but that day you were in London, I think. I love Anna's clothing. Looking forward to meeting.

Anna

 

 Emma    Monday 23 April 2012 at 14:29

 
Hi Anna!

When I first saw your post, for a moment I thought it was from Anna Scholz, commenting on her Anna Scholz Day...it wouldn't be the first time she has posted on this forum!

I was sad I missed you the time that you came into store with your friend and mine, Tori, so I look forward to seeing you next time. I don't know whether Tori should go in for the prize draw this year: as last year's winner, she may find that winning it two years in a row may create 'Anna Scholz clothing envy' amongst the other customers!

Having said that, the chance to win another Anna outfit would certainly be worth it..it certainly wouldn't put me off!

 

Emma    Thursday 12 April 2012 at 11:39

 Post #279 



 
Subject: Trouser Day 21st April

We've decided to burst forth this spring (actually, we always burst forth, not just during springtime but at any time of the year... but I digress) and go for it with an emphasis on really fantastic events.

I feel sure that any right-thinking plus-size woman would agree that one of the great struggles of modern life is the eternal quest for the perfect pair of good trousers'. Trousers are a particular problem, not just for plus-size women, but for all of womankind (and perhaps mankind for that matter). There are so many variables in the proportions of the lower portions of the human body that its a bit of a wonder that anyone would ever undertake the thankless task of creating a pair of good trousers. I use the term good trousers to mean not the kind of trousers that are bought in a sale, or picked up in a budget-priced high street store, or online, scooped up amongst the bewildering array of styles - all of which are displayed in photographs on generically-shaped models. These are simply will-do trousers, which will spend a short but useful life providing leg-coverage during the routine tasks of ones everyday life... shopping in the supermarket, walking the dog, housework, doing a spot of gardening - that kind of thing.

No, good trousers are quite a different beast, and cannot easily be picked up in such ways. I can honestly say that I have never heard the phrase these trousers fit me beautifully, are incredibly flattering, lasted for ages and feel gorgeous... I picked them up online. Its not that I dont think such an occurrence is possible; one look at the internet will immediately make you understand that, with the vast scale of humanity, virtually anything is possible - from a cat that speaks to a man capable of summersaulting from the top of one building to another. It just means it isnt really all that likely.

Good trousers are a treasure. You slip them on and feel confident about your nether regions. You can put them on and forget about them. But if you were not inclined to forget about them, then thinking about them would give you nothing but pleasure. They look good, they feel good, and they have no vices (like a visible panty line, showing your cellulite, riding up, being baggy on the bum... the list of trouser problems goes on).

A really good pair of trousers will take you into the office on an important day. You can wear them on a date, or out for lunch with the girls that you havent seen since you left school. They will see you through the tough times (when you don't have time to do the ironing, but still have to look 'put together') and the good (effortlessly looking smart at a moments notice). They will be your secret weapon, and your quiet, useful little friend that will stay around for years. They are quite literally worth three times the price that you'd pay for your high-street trousers - and a whole lot more!

And, of course, if you choose to also wear them to walk the dog, do the gardening or suchlike, then there will also be life left in them for that when they grow old!

A pair of good trousers should, first and foremost, fit you superbly. Until recently it was a bit of a mystery why this presented such a problem. The top designers were doing their best. They were cutting the trousers as perfectly as they could in order to fit the body shapes that they had identified. And yes, for the lucky women who enjoyed these body shapes, there were always superb trousers to be had. Yet there were very many women who found those trousers unsuitable. Routinely women would tell me that they just didnt suit trousers.

Then of course there was the problem that one range tended to vary in shape from another. Some suited the slim-waisted bigger-bottomed woman, some the snake-hipped lady with the wide waist. How on earth was the customer to know which range was going to suit her best?

During the past 20 years the plus-size industry has expanded and improved immeasurably. More ranges have come on to the market, there is more choice, with the look becoming more directional and varied. Suddenly not only were there a host of different ranges from which to source trousers, but there was a greater selection of looks. It was all only serving to become more bewildering - but luckily, at the same time, independent stores were also improving and trying to develop an expertise in the whole area of body shape.

Recently, some manufacturers, like Finnish company, NP, for example, did widespread studies of body shape as it applied to trousers - and the reality started to emerge from the gloom. Not only were we in the plus-size industry able to identify what shapes of trousers would suit women with any number of different body shapes, but we were offering the differing shaped trousers to satisfy these requirements.

Hence the advent of our Trouser Day. We have had a couple of these events before, and they have been some of the most successful days we've had in our store. We assemble the biggest selection of trousers we can, and we identify which body shapes will suit which trouser styles. Then we train our staff and ensure that the most knowledgeable will be in the shop on this day.

Trousers are sorted into different groups, and our customers are fitted properly with trousers that many could never imagine would look as good.

On this day there will be refreshments and a prize draw, where a lucky customer will win a pair of trousers. Moreover, when a customer buys one pair of trousers they can then purchase a second pair at half price (exclusions apply). This generous offer is almost unheard-of at this end of the season - when choice is so wide.

The atmosphere buzzes on our Trouser Days and most customers find it a sociable and pleasant way to pass a Saturday!

Anyone spending 100 or more on the day will also get a ticket for two hours free parking at the NCP car park, adjacent to our shop.

Emma Plus's Trouser Day is on 21 April 2012, between 10.00am and 5.00pm. We really look forward to seeing you in store!

 

 Kim P    Friday 20 April 2012 at 19:10

 
Good luck with the day! A fantastic opporunity to buy flattering and comfortable trousers which as you mention is not something easily achieved in larger sizes. Some of my best buys fron you have been various wonderful trousers by Brand. I know the Trouser Queen aka Kim will be in her element! Can't make tomorrow but hope to pop in again soon.

 

 Emma    Saturday 21 April 2012 at 17:03

Hi Kim

Thank you for your lovely words of encouragement! I am here at the end of the day in the shop, tired, but very happy!

We had a wonderful Trouser Day... We were very busy and sold dozens of pairs of trousers to very happy customers.

I love these events; we always have a really lively, pleasant atmosphere here.

Now, the next event to look forward to is Anna Scholz Day...!
 

 Kim P    Saturday 21 April 2012 at 23:02

 
So pleased everyone had a great time, very hard work for the Emma Plus ladies but must be so satisfying seeing the joy on customers faces when they have found their perfect trousers.

I noticed the Anna Scholz event on the 12th May. Very exciting news!

 

 Emma    Thursday 10 May 2012 at 18:16

Just a quick update...we held our 'prize draw' for our Trouser Day event. All those who went in for it were placed in a jar, and a friend of Emma Plus (my old schoolfriend, Clare!) pulled the winner out. The winner is Debbie Bright.

Debbie is now the proud owner of another pair of Emma Plus trousers!
 

Emma    Saturday 21 January 2012 at 17:28

 Post #268 



 
Subject: SuperSale

Now is the moment to reveal that we will be having a SuperSale next week! The SuperSale will be on Friday 27th, and Saturday 28th January, between 10am and 5.30pm.

So what is so special about a SuperSale, as opposed to your standard (fabulous) Emma Plus Sale? As regular customers will know, our normal sale is usually anything but normal, because we like to clear all stock at the end of each season - so we mark down quite radically, enabling our lucky customers to pick up really current, fantastic designer clothes at ridiculous prices.

That happens every season, but what does not happen every season (or indeed, very often at all) is our SuperSale. This is a sale whereby members of our mailing list are sent a card, entitling them to a further major reduction on sale items. This SuperSale is offering a further 20% extra discount, over and above sale discounting (some of which is already at substantially less than half price).

There are two other very significant aspects to this particular SuperSale. One is that we will also be offering 10% off all new stock. This is particularly exciting, because we have already had some gorgeous new deliveries in, and may well have more in before Friday (we are expecting some of the new Anna Scholz in next week). This really is a one-off for anyone thirsting for the new looks....

A couple of years ago, we had a trouser day in the store, and this proved to be incredibly popular. So we decided to throw one more exceptional temptation into the mix. We will be having a special trouser event on our SuperSale days... all trousers (including new season) will be 20% off.

These offers are normally just open to those who have received a card, but for any customers reading this blog, you may, by simply turning up on the day and joining our mailing list, enjoy the same benefits... it pays to read the blog!

I can't remember the last time we had a SuperSale; it was a long time ago. They are not events that come round very often, so it may well be worthwhile popping in on the day and having a look at what is on offer!

I look forward to seeing you in store!

 

 Kim P    Saturday 21 January 2012 at 22:23

 
Wow! Those offers are brilliant Emma. I suspect the Trouser Queen is going to be very busy!

 

 Emma    Sunday 22 January 2012 at 19:58

 
Thanks, Kim....

Also, it's worth remembering that we will still give 2 hours' free parking to anyone spending 100 or more, if they are parked in the car park adjacent to the shop!

Actually, I don't think we have ever done such a good deal: the trouser queen (AKA Kim) is chomping at the bit....

 

 Emma    Thursday 02 February 2012 at 19:06

 
Just a quick comment about the SuperSale. We were so delighted with the response to it....it was our most successful ever sale. I am delighted that our customers really know and understand the significance of these rather rare events, that we make such a tremendous effort to make special.

I have decided, having spoken to some customers who were not able to attend the two days of the SuperSale, to create a further option. Anyone who has received a card, can bring it in to the store, and still have the further 20% off sale stock, for as long as the sale lasts this time.

There are still some sale bargains, and I know that, with the return of the cold weather, there may be some women who may wish to buy some more beautiful, useful winter clothing....particularly at such ridiculously low prices!

I think the sale will continue for at least the next two weeks, and the further discount will be applicable even from the final reductions......

 

Emma    Wednesday 28 December 2011 at 20:25

 Post #265 



 
Subject: Sale starts Friday 30th December at 10.30am!

For those scanning this forum in the hope of quickly picking up vital information about our sale, I can confirm that the Emma Plus Winter Sale starts this Friday 30th and Saturday 31st December...

This year promises to be a superb sale, with many items half price and others marked at even greater discounts. This is because we like to clear all current seasonal stock before the bulk of the new deliveries arrive for Spring/Summer 12.

This year there are gorgeous knits, coats, blouses and tops (I could go on!) - all of which must go in order to make way for the new. As the Winter 11 season was particularly gorgeous (with lovely colours and beautiful soft, natural fabrics) this represents a fantastic opportunity to acquire a significant prize from this collection at a very modest price.

Those who have attended our sales before will know that the first two days of sale is also marked by a 10% discount off new stock - and, as we have already had some lovely new items delivered, customers will have a very unusual opportunity to sample the new season with a bit of extra seasonal cheer, courtesy of Emma Plus.

Another 'sweetie' that may interest those thinking of attending our store, either during the sale or (subject to availability) at any time during the next season... if you spend 100 or more at one time in our store then you can park in the NCP car park adjacent to us, for two hours, completely free of charge!

We look forward to seeing you in store.

 

Kay    Thursday 08 December 2011 at 17:37

 Post #260 



 
Subject: christmas opening

 
hello,
Im planning on making a special trip down from London either before or after christmas for a new year outfit. More likely after christmas, as Im a busy bee at the moment.
Please could you tell me your opening hours over christmas and the new year.
thanks Kay

 

 Emma    Thursday 08 December 2011 at 18:15

Hi Kay!

Thank you for your very useful question: useful because it is reminding me to do something that I should have already have published on this forum!

Our hours are as follows:
Saturday 24th December 10am-3pm
Sunday 25th Closed
Monday 26th Closed
Tuesday 27th Closed
Wednesday 28th Closed
Thursday 29th Closed
Friday 30th 10.30am-5.30pm
Saturday 31st 10am-5.30pm

Sunday 1st January 2012 Closed
Monday 2nd Closed
Tuesday 3rd (onwards), normal opening hours.

Now, Kay, I am going to throw caution to the winds, and tell the readers of this blog something, at this early stage, that is normally only revealed to the lucky ones who are on our mailing list. Our Emma Plus Winter Sale starts on the 30th December at 10.30am.

I would advise coming early because those who get notice of this will be thronging to us (our sales are well-appreciated, as it is our custom to reduce everything from the current season so as to be completely freshly-stocked with the new collection, which will be in store soon after the New Year). So we always have good reductions, and this year the selection of gorgeous evening wear is particularly delectable....

It may also be worth reiterating that anyone spending over 100 in store will be eligible for two hours' free car parking at the NCP car park adjacent to our shop.

I look forward to seeing you in store, and if I don't see you until after Christmas, may I wish you, and all other readers of the forum a very Happy Holiday!
 

 Victoria Hollis    Friday 09 December 2011 at 12:41

 
I dont know if you saw this but I wrote about it in my blog.

Computer generated models - what is the fashion industry coming to when they have to create a body to display their clothes?

 

Emma    Thursday 01 December 2011 at 15:10

 Post #258 



 
Subject: Parking!

After much thought and effort, we think we have come across a way to help our hard-pressed customer with her parking needs.....

We have introduced a scheme where anyone spending 100 or more in our shop can have 2 hour's free parking in the NCP car park right next door to our shop. This is effective immediately, and is for any day (including Saturdays).

This is a trial, and it will be effective all the time this post is up. For details, call us on 01273 327240, or just ask us whilst you are in store....

 

 Kim P    Thursday 01 December 2011 at 22:57

 
Great idea Emma, that really is a saving worth having as is the 10% off the gift vouchers.

 

 Emma    Friday 02 December 2011 at 13:59

 
Hi Kim!

Thanks for your post. Yes, I think it is so convenient to just park next door and stroll over. Knowing that you can get 2 hours for free does make the difference!

 

Emma    Saturday 26 November 2011 at 15:09

 Post #256 



 
Subject: Happy seasonal news...

Although the mild weather tells us otherwise, the fact is that its nearly December, and Christmas is thundering towards us, leading inexorably towards the thought... 'what on earth am I going to give as presents this year?'!

In our shop we often have people buying gifts for loved ones. Its a bit of a fraught area, because it isnt always easy to pick out something that will fit someone else, not to mention suit them! So more often than not, when seeking something lovely, friends and family choose to buy a voucher from us.

I know that, among some people, gift vouchers have a bit of a bad name as a lazy or unimaginative present. However, I think that the truth rests entirely on the kind of vouchers they are. Like flowers - which, if picked out individually with love and care from a wonderful florist, rather than bought at the last minute from a petrol station - there are some gifts that show thought and love, and some that are used to merely satisfy an obligation at the last minute.

Some of our happiest experiences here at the store have been with the recipients of our gift vouchers. Many women have absolutely no knowledge that we existed, whilst others knew we were here, but for a long time had mistakenly felt intimidated about visiting us. Some larger women need permission to feel OK about spending time and money on themselves, and others dont feel it appropriate for them to buy a beautiful garment while they are this size.

A voucher can drive a coach and horses through these objections. Someone has thought about you, as a larger woman, and seen you as a person who is attractive and fashion-minded. They have heard you mention how difficult it is to find lovely clothes. They have gone to the time and effort to find a shop that has the very things that you would love to have. And they have had the foresight to completely disregard any comments made by you about how you should just put up with not having anything nice to wear, at least until you are down to a size 14.

Over the years I have seen many women who have come in to spend their voucher, never having stepped over our threshold until that day. Often they are amazed and delighted; it can be a whole new world to someone who has not seen designer clothes in plus sizes before. To these women the gift is two-fold. On the one hand it is the present of a garment, and on the other it is the gift of our store. These women become our regular customers... and many of them have become my friends.

Last year we had a special offer on our gift vouchers, which was very popular, so we have decided to do one again this year: 10% extra free when you purchase online. This means that, each voucher is worth 10% more than it costs you. The offer is available until Christmas Day, and the vouchers are redeemable at any time.

Please click here to go to the Gift Voucher section.

 

Emma    Saturday 23 July 2011 at 11:26

 Post #227 



 
Subject: SALE STARTS 29th July

Well, it's that time of year again... bargain time! I am wondering if this year may be a very good year for the bargain-hunters among us?

I say this because so far our summer has been somewhat (ahem) lackslustre, meaning that many of our high-summer clothes (which are particularly beautiful this year) have been overlooked by customers, and are still hanging on our rails.

As we are hammering towards our sale (which starts at 10.30 this Friday 29th July), it looks like we will be heavily marking down our high-summer styles. This means that, unusually, beautiful blouses, dresses, trousers etc, in gorgeous natural fabrics and superb colours will, in every probablity, be on sale for ridiculous prices.

What would that matter, one may ask, if the summer is as good as over? Well, I would reply that we are not into August yet. And, those among you who, like me, make a particular study of the weather, will know that it often follows the American experience... only shortly afterwards. This is because we tend to find their weather travelling towards us 'across the pond', following the prevailing winds.

And what kind of weather are they having in the US right now? It may still end up being a very hot August, by which time our beloved bargain-snafflers will have, in all probability, had all the gorgeous summer wear at very good prices. Anyone rushing-in to buy a summer dress in August will probably be faced with our (beautiful) autumn/winter collection of knits.

We look forward to seeing the wise and well-informed on Friday or Saturday...

 

 Kim P    Wednesday 27 July 2011 at 21:16

 
Good luck with the sale, it will be hardwork for you all! I know from previous sale vists how great the reductions are. There will be plenty of lucky ladies picking up fab bargains!

 

 Emma    Friday 29 July 2011 at 15:17

 
Thanks, Kim!

Yes, the first day of our Sale has been very busy....the reductions this year are quite radical, and I think word got out about that (we are famous for our sales).

All I can say is, thank heaven for the air conditioning!

 

 Emma    Saturday 06 August 2011 at 11:00

Just a quick update...we have now had a round of 'further reductions', and, true to form, have placed a whole new group of items onto our 'everything must go' rail....

We love to clear all summer stock in order to make way for the new autumn/winter collection, and we are quite ruthless with our reductions!
 

Emma    Saturday 14 May 2011 at 18:32

 Post #217 



 
Subject: The Meet Anna Scholz Day

As readers of this blog will already know, I was very excited by the prospect of our Meet Anna Scholz Day, which happened on the 7th May.

I had several reasons for this. The most important one, of course, was that the event heralded an influx of Anna Scholz clothes (she sent in the cream of her Spring/Summer 11 collection), which always manages to raise my pulse-rate to dangerous levels. True to form, I ended up combing the delivery and selecting some new clothes for myself (like, for instance, a fabulous black silk dupion dress that oozed 1950s retro style).

Another reason to be cheerful was the imminent arrival of Anna herself (and her wonderful sales manager, Darren). I love Anna: she is beautiful, funny, lively, and unique. She tells it like it is, and doesnt stand on ceremony. If she thinks something, she says it, with a German bluntness, which I often find quite hilarious. We always have a fantastic time when we meet up.

We are getting used to the fact that our events are great fun, so I was anticipating an enjoyable day. Our fashion days last year were absolutely wonderful. They are a way to connect with our customers on a personal level: for a while, we arent a shop, we are a scene of entertainment and socialising. During the show, several customers approached me, telling me how much they were enjoying it. Afterwards, all the staff told me that they had a wonderful time, and everyone suggested we do more such events.

Anna Scholz, the clothing brand, has its own following, and I was keen that some of it was enticed into Emma Plus, because nationally there are so few stockists, not just of her line, but of any other good plus-size designer range. I cant help feeling that, once someone has taken the plunge to come down to Brighton, they would realise that it is not all that difficult to come here (it takes 50 minutes by train from Victoria, and our store is just round the corner from the railway station. Also, we are situated right next to a car park). Inside our shop, new customers are often surprised to see the selection that we have. So I was hoping that, whilst visiting us in order to see the Anna Scholz range, women would discover a whole new resource to benefit their wardrobe!

The day itself really was lovely. We re-merchandised everything so that the hardened Anna Scholz clothes-hunters would be able to see at a glance what they were looking for. We had some delicious refreshments (I can recommend Waitrose party food!), and some alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. There was a real party atmosphere, and the shop was packed to the rafters at times. We even had a little chill-out area in our garden (or, more precisely, our back yard) for our ladies to sit and relax.

It was marvellous to see people trying on the clothes, and realising the possibilities of different shapes and colours. I really enjoy the way women bounce ideas off each other, and off members of staff.

When Anna came to do our prize draw towards the end of the day, I was so delighted that the winner was still in the store. I could see there were tears in her eyes when Tori Hollis picked out the dress that she had fallen in love with. It felt good to see her wending her way back to Portsmouth with her treasured prize.


 

 Kim P    Friday 20 May 2011 at 14:59

 
You all look super, I'm glad the day was such a success and hopefully mean more lucky ladies know about Emma Plus. I'm sure the air conditioning came into its own with so many people being in the store. I will try and visit Brighton soon!

 

 Emma    Saturday 21 May 2011 at 14:01

 
Hi Kim!

Thanks for that-we all felt great!

You're not joking about the air-conditioning! It makes such an incredible difference. It's so nice not to be at the mercy of the weather, particularly when you are trying on clothes.....

 

Victoria Hollis    Tuesday 10 May 2011 at 22:13

 Post #214 



 
Subject: The Anna Scholz Event 07/05/11

 
Hello Ladies,

I just wanted to say thankyou for such a fantastic event. Meeting Anna and Darren was such a total and utter pleasure and dream come true.

I was over the moon to win the prize draw. I LOVE MY DRESS ! Can I ask that you post the pictures for the reason that my dress isn't on Anna's website for some reason (it's the parrot print with a contrast trim but it's not the wrap dress - can you tell me which one it is lol.

What was so nice was everyone in the shop was getting the thrill of seeing exactly how well Anna's designs work. You had a multitude of shapes, sizes and ages and we all looked fantastic wearing Anna's designs. The cocktails and nibbles were a wonderful treat too. I think Pickle enjoyed all the attention as well - he seemed besotted with Anna too.

I will be back soon without a doubt

 

 Emma    Tuesday 10 May 2011 at 22:28

Hi Tori-

Yes, I can confirm to all those disappointed ladies out there...you did win the Anna Scholz prize draw!

You looked resplendent in the Parrot Maxi dress. I'm so glad you won, because I know how much you loved that dress, and how good you looked in it.

I will write a blog about the 'Meeet Anna Scholz Day', which was one of the most enjoyable days I have ever spent at Emma Plus. I have been recovering from the exhaustion brought about by it, but hope to be back blogging some time soon!

It was so lovely to meet up with you, and to also meet some customers completely new to Emma Plus, who came and mingled with our lovely regulars. It really was a fantastic day.
 

 Victoria Hollis    Tuesday 10 May 2011 at 22:59

 
Can I ask if there's any possibility you can email the pictures of me ? I have several people chomping at the bit to see them

 

 Emma    Wednesday 11 May 2011 at 13:56

Consider it done!
 

Emma    Monday 02 May 2011 at 21:42

 Post #213 



 
Subject: Meet Anna Scholz Day...

Here in the shop we are getting very excited about the upcoming Meet Anna Scholz Day, which is happening on Saturday (the 7th May).

We are expecting the Anna Scholz Spring/Summer range any minute now, and are really looking forward to seeing all the clothes that we dont already have in stock. Her range is so large that no shop can realistically stock it all that is except us, just on that one day!

I think it would probably be a good idea to talk about the logistics of visiting us on the day. In the morning (between 8.30am and 1pm) our road, Church Street, is closed for the yearly Childrens Parade. This shouldnt really affect our visitors, as there are a couple of ways to bypass the diversions.

The first one is that many attendees of our special day will come after the road re-opens at 1pm, because Anna is arriving in store at 2pm and will be here until we close at 5pm.

Those wanting to come in the morning (and get first dibs at the refreshments and clothing range) could either park in the Churchill Square car park, which is unaffected by the road closure, or could follow the following diversions...

When coming into Brighton (down the London Road) drive as far as Preston Circus traffic lights (where the fire station is). Then take a right turn up New England Road.

Drive right up to the top of that road, until you come to a kind of roundabout (Seven Dials) and take the first left.

This road leads you past Brighton Station (Queens Road). Follow this all the way down to the bottom (The Clocktower).

Take a left (North Street), and drive a few hundred yards down the hill, watching out for Bond Street, on your left. Take this road (its been reversed for the day).

At the end of Bond Street, is our own dear Church Street, turn left and you are virtually there at our car park.

I would recommend doing this; it sounds involved, but it isnt, and will be a neat and fast way of bypassing any other Saturday morning traffic. The car park may in fact be mostly empty, because not everyone will know about this ruse, so it will be rather convenient.

Arriving in the morning would mean you will have more time to browse the collection. Plus, there is the prospect of watching the Childrens Parade, which is spectacular!

Everyone is welcome on the day, but anyone wanting to be put into our prize draw (250 worth of Anna Scholz fashion to be won, with no purchase necessary), should pre-register, by either emailing us, or calling 01273 327240.

We look forward to seeing you on the day...

 

 Kim P    Thursday 05 May 2011 at 14:47

 
I'm sure the day will be a fantastic success and a great opportunity for everyone to see the beautiful clothes, meet such a renowned designer and the equally renowned ladies at Emma Plus! I wish I was able to attend but look forward to reading all about the day on this blog. Best wishes Kim.

 

 Emma    Friday 06 May 2011 at 14:56

Hi Kim!

Thank you so much for your good wishes...I wish you could be here. We are getting ridiculously excited about it now.

The Anna Scholz stock has arrived, and we are running about like mad things trying everything on (forget the shop, we have to think about what we want for ourselves!!), and changing everything around ahead of the big day.....
 

Emma    Sunday 17 April 2011 at 21:24

 Post #210 



 
Subject: Macmillan Charity Show

Last month, we were thrilled to be invited to take part in a fashion show in aid of the excellent charity, Macmillan Cancer Care.

All the models looked beautiful, and the clothes, provided by several Brighton stores, looked fabulous....as did the photographs, courtesy of www.mibewick.co.uk .

For those interested in donating to Macmillan, please go to: macmillan.org.uk.

 

 Emma    Friday 17 June 2011 at 13:15

 
I am very sad to tell readers of our blog that our wonderful model, Sharon, pictured here in the Macmillan charity fashion show, has passed away.

We were all so sorry to hear the sad news, but, with the permission of Sharon's family, we have left this post in place as a celebration of what she was able to do to aid a cause she really believed in.

It is also here to make readers of the forum aware of the work that is being done by Macmillan, and have access to the charity website, where they are able to accept donations.

 

Emma    Thursday 03 March 2011 at 15:19

 Post #198 



 
Subject: The Fabulous Ms Scholz!

I am dashing to my computer to give my forum/blog readers some super-exciting news! Anna Scholz and her team are paying a special visit to our shop, and they are bringing their current range with them!

The date for this event is Saturday 7th May, on which day we will be open between 10am and 5.30pm (as usual), and our shop will have a different look... we will be stocked with the full Anna Scholz Spring/Summer 2011 range, and will be welcoming the cream of her sales team, who will advise us about the collection. More exciting still, during the hours between 2.00pm and 5.00pm we will be graced with the presence of Anna herself, who will be joining us for the afternoon!

The day promises to be a fantastic experience: we will have the Anna Scholz range in a width and depth that can be found nowhere else. Although we usually have a superb collection of Anna Scholz designs, we could never hope to cover the range in its entirety, so this is a wonderful opportunity. That this is happening during the best-ever collection is particularly exciting!

We will be offering refreshments, showing-off the clothes, and consulting with the designer herself. Our customers will have a unique opportunity to meet their favourite designer, hear her views and inspirations and give feedback. For anyone tempted by the gorgeous items, we will have our own dressmaker on hand to undertake alterations to ensure the clothes fit like a second skin.

For those who would like to register in advance, there will also be a superb prize draw, the winner walking away with 250 worth of Anna Scholz clothes!

Everyone is more than welcome to come along at any time during the day, but customers who would like to enter the prize draw should call 01273 327240, or contact us through our website. We will send you an entrance card... no purchase necessary!

I do hope you will be able to come... our special days are a fun, social way to enjoy a day in town, and this one promises to be the best yet!

 

 Vikki    Thursday 10 March 2011 at 15:28

 
This sounds great, I shall register to come along!

 

Caroline Abram    Monday 24 January 2011 at 13:39

 Post #192 



 
Subject: Miranda Hart

 
Hi Emma,
Did you spot Miranda Hart's Anna Scholz dress that she wore when collecting her Comedy awards at the weekend? As soon as i saw her i turned to my husband and said ''i bet that's an Anna dress'' and of course, i was right!!! I am a huge fan, of both ladies, and can't wait to see the new spring collection in your shop. Any news on a date yet for the fashion show?
Look forward to my next visit very soon,
Caroline

 

 Emma    Monday 24 January 2011 at 14:17

Hi Caroline

Thank you so much for your message - which hits the bullseye of two of my obsessions!

I love Miranda Hart, and I have been following everything she has done for years. There's something about her that just tickles my funny bone. I know it's really sad, but I have been toying with the idea of writing to the BBC to see if they will let me send her an invitation to come and visit our shop... any time, day or night! I think she would like our style...

Our fashion show with Anna Scholz is happening in April (another source of great excitement and enthusiasm for me). I will give out the exact dates just as soon as I get them. I really think it is going to be the event of the year. I just love what Anna has got in store for us this summer... On the right you'll see another showing of the photograph taken of Jaq and me (with the Anna Scholz model, Anna, and their sales director, Penny) trying on some of her gorgeous stretch silk dresses that will shortly be coming into store!

Miranda obviously likes Anna's clothes (she looked fabulous in the Triangle Anna Scholz dress receiving her award at the Comedy Awards), so who knows, she might even turn up!
 

Emma    Thursday 30 December 2010 at 15:32

 Post #182 



 
Subject: Opening hours...

As the Christmas/New Year's holiday this year lands in a rather unusual way, I think it may be a good idea to mention our opening hours over the next few days.

We will be open on the 31st December (Friday) for our usual hours (10am to 5pm), but this year New Year's Day lands on a Saturday, so we will be closed, as we have always been closed for New Year.

To be honest, we have decided to be closed on the Saturday because it has always been our tradition to close, not just on this day, but on all bank holidays. We have found that our customers do not expect us to be open at such times, and would not be planning to call into the store anyway. However, we are always keen to move with the times, so would be very interested to hear any comments about this issue!

We will be open again on Tuesday 4th January, and from then on, for our normal working hours...

We expect our sale (which, as I have mentioned previously, is a superb one this year), to go on until the end of January. However, the earlier you are able to come into the shop, the more prized the items are likely to be!

 

 Kim P    Friday 31 December 2010 at 17:03

 
I'm a reletively new customer of Emma Plus so did assume you'd be open on the Saturday. It's going to be a normal shopping day with the BH being on the Monday so perhaps some customers who work during the week might have wanted to come for the sale? Having said that your sale runs for a while so it should give everyone a chance to visit the shop should they wish to.

 

 Emma    Monday 03 January 2011 at 12:26

 
Hi Kim!

Thank you for taking the time to give your opinion on the subject... it really means a lot to us to know what our customers think about this. Really, we will only know how to decide these things once we have found out what our customers feel, and what their needs are.

The background to our closure on New Year's Day is our past experience of opening on Good Fridays. This was the only regular bank holiday that fell on a day that we were normally open (we are always closed on Mondays, when most bank holidays apply). For the first seven years of running our shop we opened on Good Fridays, and in that time I did not make a single penny in takings! This was because we were sitting in an empty shop (at what is normally a very busy time of year), whilst our customers went elsewhere because they expected us to be closed.

However, there is a subtle difference in this case: Saturday may have been New Year's Day, but it was not a bank holiday!

The only way to know whether there were many other customers who, like yourself, would have expected us to be open is for us to canvas opinions.

I walked the North Laine on the day, and it did seem that many of the established independent businesses (like Dockerill's, for example) were closed. However, the funky young stores (catering to teenagers) and chain-owned shops were all open... interesting!

The only good thing I can take from this experience is this: I have been here for over 20 years and this is the first time we have been faced with such a dilemma on a Saturday. It's very rare, and by the time it happens again, our shopping culture will no doubt have changed definitively, and there will be an obvious solution!

 

Emma    Thursday 23 December 2010 at 12:29

 Post #181 



 
Subject: Emma Plus Winter Sale

The time has now come to announce the Emma Plus Winter Sale, which starts at 10.30am on Thursday 30th December.

This year, due to the difficulty customers have had in travelling into the shop, we have more stock in our sale than usual. As our regular customers will confirm, our sales are always good, but this time it is superb!

In particular, we have plenty of lovely winter stock, from coats, warm knits, tops and knitted skirts, to scarves and trousers.

Much of our stock is half price this year, which means that if you only make it to one sale this winter, make sure it is the Emma Plus Sale.

We look forward to seeing you in store!

 

Emma    Friday 03 December 2010 at 12:04

 Post #179 



 
Subject: Gift vouchers!

Its December, and the thoughts of many people are turning to the exciting, yet sometimes thorny subject of Christmas presents.

At this time of year we usually see friends, partners or family members surreptitiously entering our shop, discreetly seeking out the perfect gifts for their loved ones.

Some people worry that buying clothing for a larger woman can be a bit difficult. Most of us do not like to reveal our size to all and sundry even our nearest and dearest and, of course, there is the issue of fit when clothes are bought without having been tried on. So there are many people who would love to buy clothes from Emma Plus or elsewhere for someone special in their lives, but find the prospect of it somewhat complicated!

The truth is, buying a present from us is actually quite problem free! Although (as a true English person) I hate to blow my own trumpet, I cant help mentioning that I think we are passed-masters at helping with the selection of the perfect present. We have items of clothing for just about any larger woman, and we have a lot of experience in asking the right questions. We are also very adept at remembering the requirements of many of our established customers.

To put it mildly, our sizing can be very discreet, often with husband only aware that we have sold him a size small for his wife! Unsurprisingly, many in the know make the pilgrimage every year to our shop to pick up a present from us, in the knowledge that we will recommend an array of lovely items from with to select their perfect choice.

As a fail-safe, anyone who buys items from us is welcome to bring them back within the season in order to exchange them, should they need to, and our alteration service extends (of course) to items bought as gifts. Many of our customers are really touched that someone has really paid attention to them to the extent of specially seeking out their shop from which to buy their present.

Another great favourite for a present is a gift voucher. It is a real delight to watch a customer stride purposefully through the door in the New Year, with a glint in her eye, and a gift voucher in her purse! Our vouchers come in denominations of 10, 25, 50 and 100.

Because we are aware that some people are a little behind this year in getting their presents (due to the inclement weather), we have decided to do something we have never done before... a special offer on gift vouchers! For every 50 in vouchers bought this December, we will give an extra 10. At an unprecedented 20%-off, we have produced a limited edition of gift vouchers, which are being sold strictly on a first-come-first-served basis, and you will need to quote this Blog when you purchase. We will happily supply these vouchers by post in time for Christmas. You only have to telephone us on 01273 327240.

How pleasant to be able to find a thoughtful, appropriate present (with added value!), without even having to leave the house!

 

 Kim P    Friday 10 December 2010 at 13:17

 
This is a fabulous deal! My vouchers arrived this morning and they are a gift from me to me!

 

 Emma    Friday 10 December 2010 at 17:04

Hi Kim

Yes, it is such a good deal that we have had to do it as a 'limited edition'! The truth is that a wise woman (but only one who reads this blog regularly!) can end up getting 20 percent extra off her sale purchases after Christmas, or from new season's stock!

It's a special treasure reserved for our blog customers... and they don't even have to come into the store!
 

Emma    Thursday 02 December 2010 at 20:49

 Post #177 



 
Subject: Who wants to be a model?

I have been away from my desk again... not playing truant, but suffering from another health problem that has necessitated yet another operation. It does seem like dj vu, because I was in almost exactly the same situation this time last year, and was convalescing then as now during the winter wonderland of a beautiful snow-bound England. Lets face it (as some teachers may confirm), if you have to have some time off in the winter, its very lucky for it to coincide with the snow. One is able to enjoy the beauty of the seasonal weather without the worry of travelling anywhere in it!

One of the lovely things about being at home these days is the possibilities the internet provides for information and entertainment. I have been visiting my favourite sites, looking at the latest news and comment in the on-line plus-size community. There are a number of very interesting sites, like, for instance, Anna Scholzs fascinating blog (www.blog.annascholz.com). Im always interested to read what Anna has to say: she must surely be at the centre of the British plus-size fashion world.

Another site that I really like is called Plus-Size Tall (www.plus-size-tall.com). I admire the support that these people give to the cause of plus-size and taller-fitting clothing. At the moment they have introduced a very exciting new competition, looking for a new plus-size model. The winning woman will be offered a trip to Las Vegas in February 2011, where she will hit the catwalk at the Curvy Revolution, the worlds biggest plus-size fashion convention.

I am often asked by various organisations (usually TV companies) to mention to my customers some kind of competition or search for a larger woman who can take part in something-or-other. In general I take these searches with a pinch of salt; not all actually present a real, positive opportunity for larger women. However, in this case, I think what is on offer is a fantastic, exciting event for some lucky women. And most importantly, it is being run by a really good, genuine organisation that is truly interested in larger womens fashion.

I hope that if someone reading my blog knows anyone who would be interested, they may mention it to them. I think it would be great fun, and I would love to hear the outcome!

 

Emma    Tuesday 15 June 2010 at 22:40

 Post #141 



 
Subject: The fashion shows...

We had the last of this years fashion shows on Saturday, and I think we have learned a lot from doing them. Emma Plus had never done any fashion shows before (the store did a number of shows when it was under previous ownership) and, although I had anticipated that they would be fun, I didnt really harbour great hopes for them.

Actually, I think that in many instances fashion shows are a frustrating experience for larger women. It can be rather alienating (not to mention patronising) to watch a succession of perfectly-proportioned women sporting the smallest sizes of the type of super-smart clothing that real people dont often get the chance to wear. Its all very interesting, but you can find yourself wondering how this has any relevance to your own life.

So when we did our fashion shows we tried to put the clothes together in a way that we would expect our customers to understand, and be interested in. Out went the matchy-matchy suits, and in came the kind of smart-casual co-ordinates that women want to wear in their everyday lives. And we put them on ourselves and our customers - in sizes that were right in the middle of our size range.

And we didnt take ourselves too seriously. We wanted it to be a pleasant, amusing way of spending a Saturday afternoon!

The result was a sort of explanation of the kind of looks that we are putting together every day for our customers: colourful, comfortable, casual and sassy, with a fashion-forward edge. In other words, just the sort of clothing it is so difficult to find in larger sizes.

The main feedback we had from audience members was that the show helped them to understand how we put our outfits together, and that it was great fun. It is for this reason that we are considering doing at least one fashion show a year from now on...

 

 Kim P    Friday 18 June 2010 at 21:06

 
I had such a lovely day last Saturday, it was so enjoyable watching the fashion show and trying on numerous goodies. Seeing your gorgeous models wearing the clothes with diferent colour combos and mix and match items was so helpful. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to buy an item seen modelled that if had just been seen on the hanger would have been overlooked!

 

 Emma    Saturday 19 June 2010 at 17:15

Hi Kim

Thank you for your kind remarks... Yes, we've had quite a few women tell us that they have spotted an item being worn by one of our models and ended up buying it, even though they would not have picked out had they seen it on the rails!

The other lovely thing about the shows (which you will know all about now!) is that it is a great social occasion, where we can have a chat, some refreshments, catch a show(!) and generally pass a very pleasant afternoon!

It is our duty, we feel, to offer an alternative to anything drab or dreary!

 

Emma    Wednesday 26 May 2010 at 22:39

 Post #137 



 
Subject: Dressing-up

I was lucky enough to have a mother who had a wonderful attitude towards clothes. My mum was a very stylish lady: fascinated by colour and with a natural, sophisticated ability to pick out good quality in all things. She was very much the county lady, not at all fashion-forward (at least in her later years), but always highly appreciative of good design.

When I was a child she was happy to let me play dressing-up with her clothes. I dont think I was told that anything was out of bounds in her wardrobe, although I can remember I did not seek to try on her smartest outfits; I knew some of them were delicate and expensive.

My sister and I still have some of her dresses today. I cant help feeling that my mother had an uncanny ability to capture the fashion zeitgeist for each decade she lived through - summed up in at least one perfect dress. There is a cotton satin dress with a wide skirt, for example, emblazoned with large blue roses, that could only be from the fifties. There is a cream, gold and turquoise beaded column dress that epitomises the glamour of the sixties. And there is a patterned chiffon evening gown, complete with long, fairytale sleeves in gorgeous Monet water-lilly colours that shouts the best of the nineteen seventies.

Actually, come to think of it, it was probably the fact that I would not have dreamed of taking these gowns out of their wrappings that permitted my mother to let me get at her wardrobe!

So the times that I spent trying on her other, more everyday clothes and matching them up with her accessories were very happy ones. I would find scarves, necklaces, bags, blouses and colourful knits, and team them up; parading each look through the house for my own little fashion show.

I had almost forgotten the simple, childish joy of this, but I have been reminded of it while organising our recent set of fashion shows here in the store. How fantastic it is to be trying-on outfits and selecting combinations. Not with a view to actually buying anything - or even to find something appropriate for someone else. No, the joy is in being a different person for a while and seeing the models putting on looks that were not about themselves, but simply about the look.

When you are doing fashion shows like ours, you have carte blanche to explore a large, beautiful wardrobe, with no ego - no reason to be sensible or adult. You can experiment, and just try to look different and lovely.

This may be one of the reasons why the fashion shows have proved to be such fun. We will definitely be doing more of them in future.

Our next fashion show (the last this year), however, is on Saturday 12th June at 2.30pm.

 

 Kim P    Friday 28 May 2010 at 20:17

 
Your mother's wardrobe sounds wonderful. I was picturing each decade's outfit as you described them.

I really want to come to the event on the 12th, depends how I'm feeling after an evening at the 20/20 cricket the night before! Please let Jaq know that she really does know what is best for me. The blue flower Nanso top I had passed over is a joy to wear and has received several compliments.

 

 Emma    Saturday 29 May 2010 at 14:28

Hi Kim!

Thanks for your kind words about your top... I have passed them on to Jaq. We do think these Nanso tops are lovely (I don't know whether you saw this one when you were here?). There's something about them that is so smart, and yet easy to wear.

I wish I could have showed you some of the dresses I had kept from my mum's wardrobe - I had them here in the store for years! They have since gone to my sister's house, where her daughters may be interested in making some use of them. All of my nieces have keen fashion eyes.

I suppose it isn't difficult to see where I got my fascination with fashion from!

I hope your night of 20/20 cricket goes well... and that we are able to see you on the 12th!
 

Emma    Tuesday 18 May 2010 at 16:04

 Post #136 



 
Subject: Size matters...

Before our recent fashion show we spread out all our accessories and had a high old time selecting the right items to complete the looks that the models would be wearing. There was plenty to choose from... at Emma Plus we do quite a wide range of accessories to co-ordinate with our clothing ranges.

When I first started at the store I really wasnt anticipating that I would be providing accessories, because I felt it was so difficult to find beautiful clothes in larger sizes, that that should take priority.

When you first think about it, buying the right accessories should be the easiest thing a larger woman can achieve for her wardrobe. After all, every street corner seems to have a shop providing beautiful handbags, jewellery, scarves, shawls, etc., yet women often have to travel for hours to get to a store that will sell them the clothes to go with them!

However, I have discovered that providing the correct accessories to go with our range in store is key. So over the years we have sourced suppliers that create exactly the right look for the larger woman... and one that is very specific to our requirements.

For instance, many of our scarves are specially made for us, to our own design. One of our designers, Jennifer Lumer, creates wonderful bias-cut scarves in a shape and unique design that is so practical for the larger woman. They are lightweight, yet quite long, and open out so that they can be worn as a shawl (essential if you find that you have to take your jacket off, yet are self-conscious about showing your arms). They are also cut very narrowly at the back of the neck, so they will not create extra heat and bulk when worn as a scarf, and will help to make your neck look longer.

For many years we have been specially commissioning necklaces from designers all over the world. This enables us to get the colours that tone with our range (and eliminates the need for our customers to adopt the time-honoured trudging the pavement ceremony associated with trying to find the right colour of necklace to match a new outfit).

However, the single most important feature of all our accessories is that of scale. Our bags, scarves and necklaces are subtly selected to effortlessly reflect the larger scale of our size range.

I was reminded of the importance of this over the weekend. During May, Brighton has its arts festival. And Brighton festival means the Artists Open Houses - a wonderful local event whereby the artists and craftspeople of Brighton open their doors to the public to buy their wares. I can thoroughly recommend it to all my customers, as I know a high proportion of them are very interested in design.

At one such open house I spotted a beautiful silver necklace, which I tried on with a view to buying it myself as a treat. When I had put it on, however, I was a little disappointed. It was gorgeous (two silver swallows, all hand made, delicately flying on a silver chain). However, it did not seem to be quite as lovely as the one being worn by the artist herself. This necklace, although identical in every other way, was considerably larger. I would have said that the chain was at least 4 or 5 centimetres longer, and the birds probably a third bigger. I asked the jeweller if I could commission her to make me a necklace just like the one she was wearing.

She looked at me with surprise, and took her necklace off; laying it side by side with the one I had been trying on. The two necklaces were exactly the same. Because I was a larger woman than the designer, the proportions of her piece looked entirely different on each of us. Although the size looked perfect on her, it was too small for me.

It was a confirmation of the need to select all aspects of ones look with care - not just with reference to colour, fashion and style, but also with careful attention to size and proportion. Something professional stylists have known for years...

 

Emma    Saturday 15 May 2010 at 16:50

 Post #135 



 
Subject: Our next fashion show...

We are already getting excited about our next fashion show next Saturday (the 22nd May). All of us agree that the last one was one of the most enjoyable days of the year!

Some members of staff who were not originally timetabled to work that day have asked to come in because it was such a pleasure to be involved with. We are glad, because we now realise that we will probably really need the extra help!

The show next week may end-up being completely different from the previous one, because we sold a lot of the items that were modelled!

Anyone is welcome to come, but if you are thinking of attending and would like to sit down, then please contact us and we will reserve you a seat...

 

Emma    Monday 10 May 2010 at 18:57

 Post #134 



 
Subject: Our fashion show...

Its Monday, and we are still buzzing from the fashion show on Saturday. As it was our very first show we thought we would start off in a modest way (!), and did not invite all our mailing list customers. This explains why many of you did not get an invitation. Those of you who have not yet had an invitation will find yourselves invited to one of the subsequent events.

In real life, however, the show was anything but modest! The models looked absolutely gorgeous, and strutted their stuff superbly. Our invited customers gave us fabulous feedback about the show, and also expressed their appreciation of our refreshments in the most sincere way they knew how!

After the show we all immediately set-to, showing the ladies the latest looks that they could recreate for themselves, and it was one of the most fun trying-on sessions we have ever had in the store... something I had not anticipated at all.

I can honestly say that if I had any inkling of how enjoyable the event would be, I would have arranged one years ago! I will definitely try to do at least one fashion show a year from now on, and all the women who attended told me that they would come back every time!

Our next fashion show is on Saturday 22nd May at 2.30pm, and the last one this season will be on Saturday 12th June at the same time.

This is a picture of our glamourous line-up of models....

 

 Kim P    Sunday 16 May 2010 at 12:08

 
I wasn't able to stay for the fashion show but I enjoyed being in the shop that morning seeing all the preparations for what I'm sure was a great event. The models would have looked sensational in their outfits that were being so carefully selected and accessorized. I am delighted with my new Nanso top and as always it's a joy to enter a shop and know that nothing drab lurks within!

 

 Emma    Sunday 16 May 2010 at 21:06

Hi Kim

Thank you for your post... It was great to see you on Saturday, although it was a shame you weren't able to come to the show. I hope you can make it to one of the next!

We were so lucky with our models - they all looked lovely, and I know they really enjoyed choosing their outfits. The whole thing was like a sort of game, fitting the different looks together to make a perfect whole.

Kim has asked me to assure you that, although she has been keeping a very careful look-out, she cannot spot anything drab in the store.....!
 

Emma    Saturday 01 May 2010 at 16:04

 Post #132 



 
Subject: Fashion Shows on Saturdays 8th May, 22nd May and 12th June, at 2.30pm

As ever, Im back from holiday and straight back into the thick of it with events at the store!

This time we are preparing for the first of our fashion shows, taking place on Saturday 8th May at 2.30pm.

This is the first fashion show that Emma Plus has ever put on! I suppose, if I were to offer an excuse for this omission, I would say that we have previously always left the fashion shows to the experts. I consider Emma Plus to be very good at being a store... but how would we perform when putting on a fashion show?

Well were about to find out! To celebrate our refit we decided to showcase the new-look store, alongside the new seasons stock (which is the widest choice we have ever had). Accordingly, on Saturday, we will be gathering together some models (our staff and customers!), providing some refreshments, and plunging in...

We will be having three shows in all. After this one, we will be showing again on Saturday 22nd May, and on Saturday 12th June - all shows taking place at 2.30pm.

Everyone reading this blog is welcome to attend... I dont know exactly how it is all going to pan out, but I do know it will be fabulous!

 

 Kim P    Wednesday 05 May 2010 at 12:44

 
Will the shop be open as normal before the fashion show on the 8th May. I was hoping to call in but it will be in the morning not afternoon. Hope the fashion show goes well, sounds like good fun.

 

 Emma    Saturday 15 May 2010 at 18:30

Hi Kim!

So sorry that due to technical reasons, I didn't answer your post before. Obviously, you now know the answer, as you came in last Saturday!

But it does occur to me that this may be a question that other customers are asking, so I had better post an answer to it.

Yes, we are open as usual on our fashion show days, which means that we will be here from 10am to 5.30pm for customers to make their purchases. It is only from 2.30 until about 3pm that purchases will probably not be possible!
 

Kim P    Thursday 31 December 2009 at 17:08

 Post #103 



 
Subject: Super Sale!

 
Dear ladies at Emma Plus
Luckily I was able to come into the shop today to pick up the Nanso top I had already ordered. I walked in and saw a shop full of wonderful clothes well reduced in price. I was delighted to pick up bargains in Anna Scholz, Sallie Sahne and Verpass and the alteration service allowed me to choose lovely items I would not of otherwise been able to wear. I hope other ladies are able to go along between now and your refit as you still had plenty quality clothes at excellent prices. Have a great 2010 and I look forward to visiting your new improved Emmas Plus shop.
Regards
Kim

 

 Emma    Friday 01 January 2010 at 11:42

 
Hi Kim

Wow - what lovely reaction to our Sale! I think it was your first experience of the Emma Plus Sale? If so, you found us at the right season - just when we were planning a refit!

Actually, to tell the truth, it breaks my retailer's heart to make such big reductions on really lovely clothes - but having had refits before, I know that we just can't do the building and redecorating work with any stock left in the store!

I think you should be in the fashion business, Kim, because you are developing an encyclopaedic knowledge of all the ranges - it took me years to remember the names of all the collections we stock. I do think you are right to build-up your knowledge of what you like, because it was you that mentioned Sempre Pui to us (on this blog), which encouraged us to buy the Chalou brand. This shows the power of customer feedback!

One of the nicest things that keeps being said to us by customers at this time (which you said yourself, when you were here yesterday) was that people were really looking forward to seeing the new shop after the refit - as am I!

I like to think that I can run a fashion business (after all this time), and I really enjoy the selection and buying of our stock. However, I can't honestly say that I have any of the necessary skills for overseeing building and decorating work, so the end result will be as much a matter of surprise to me as it will be to our customers! I am completely out of my comfort zone! It really is a very exciting time...

I hope that 2010 progesses into a healthy, happy and peaceful year for all readers and contributors to our forum!

 

Emma    Sunday 20 December 2009 at 22:36

 Post #100 



 
Subject: Latest Sale update

Giving a Sale is like giving a party: you get everything ready, you send out the invitations, and you wait for your guests to arrive.

Our Emma Plus 'parties' are very well attended; usually it's standing-room only and there's a wonderful buzz. However, sometimes - like even with the very best parties - something goes wrong, and for one reason or another the guests don't quite make it.

This year, Brighton (and most of the South East of England) experienced what is for us a very unusual event... snow in December.

As this has meant that most of the people intending to come to our Sale were unable to make it, we have decided to re-schedule it. The new date for the Major Stock Clearance Sale will be Thursay 31st December, and Saturday 2nd January. As is our tradition, we will be closed on New Year's Day.

The true bargain-hunters amongst you will probably have already guessed that this means that the bargains will be even better, because every day that passes brings us nearer to our refit date, by which time we have to have all our stock cleared.

Weather permitting, we hope to see anyone interested in a really superb bargain on our doorstep at 10.30am on Thursday 31st December, or Saturday 2nd January!

All of us at Emma Plus would like to take this opportunity to wish our customers a very Happy Christmas, and a peaceful and prosperous New Year!

 

Emma    Friday 04 December 2009 at 20:20

 Post #97 



 
Subject: Major Stock Clearance 18–19th December...
Store Closure 11–26th January

 
In previous blogs I have hinted that there was some exciting news about developments at the Emma Plus store, and now is the time for all to be revealed!

We have decided to have a store refit in January next year. This means that there is a lot of good news, and a little bad news. The bad news is that we will be closed whilst the builders are doing their work. Its incredibly rare for us to close during our normal trading periods, because we are all too aware that customers are relying on us. Some of our customers drive all day to get to our store, and it is our worst nightmare that someone travels from, say, Yorkshire (believe it or not that is not a unique occurrence) only to find that we are closed.

So we keep our closures to the minimum, and the last time we had a refit was about nine years ago, during which time our little shop has been displaying some signs of wear and tear. Eventually we have had to bite the bullet and opt to close for the shortest possible time in order to undertake our refit. We will be closed from January 11th, and will not reopen until January 26th 2010.

Of course, one aspect of good news about this, is that we will have a lovely shiny new store, providing a suitable backdrop to our beautiful clothes. But there are other excellent aspects to our refit.

For a long time, I have wanted to have a fully air-conditioned store. This is because I think we may be able to offer a particularly comfortable experience to our customers in the summer. Many of our visitors have air-conditioned cars, and if they decide to park in the car park right next to our store (there is plenty of room; its a very large one), they will only have a one-minute walk to get into our shop.

This means that on those super-hot summer days, when everything seems to be such an effort, it would be possible to pop into a cool car, drive down to Brighton, and stroll over into a pleasant and cool store to have a really good trying-on session. There are even some superb restaurants nearby in which to lunch, also in cool comfort. What a lovely, pleasant and productive way to spend what may otherwise be just be a rather uncomfortable hot and sticky summers day!

I was always rather concerned about the effect that running an air-conditioning unit would have on the environment. However, we have been able to opt for one of the environmentally friendly units that are now available (integrated with greener heating systems) and which are acceptable from an ecological point of view.

The other piece of sparkling news about our refit is our 'Major Stock Clearance Sale'. Having had previous experience of refits, I have learned that is essential to clear just about every piece of stock being held in the store. This is to avoid the possibility of stock being damaged or tainted, as well as enabling the builders to have free access to all areas of the store.

So we have a limited time in which to clear all our stock, which is where the Clearance Sale comes in. This sale will start on Friday 18th December at 10.30, and Saturday 19th at 10.00am. I would recommend you attend if at all possible, because this is a very rare event and the reductions will be far beyond our normal sale reductions.

For those with a nose for an extreme bargain it may be worth biding your time and coming into the store on the final few days before the refit, when we will be clearing out our stock with gusto, and there may be some ridiculous markdowns!

Its worth remembering that we normally clear most of our stock every season (albeit usually six weeks later, and without the urgency we have during this sale), so that the stock in our Clearance Sale is beautiful, current-season clothing. It will be well worth a look.

When the store will reopens on January 26th we will be introducing our new collection. During the Spring/Summer season we will be inviting our customers to all sorts of exciting events to showcase our shiny new store. We will be keeping our forum readers up to date about everything thats happening.

One way or another, we look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Emma    Thursday 16 July 2009 at 15:20

 Post #61 



 
Subject: Emma Plus Summer Sale -Final Reductions Now

The retailers life is a busy one: no sooner had we got back from our holidays than we were getting our summer sale ready.

Our sale is one of the big events of our year. Because we are very much a fashion shop (as opposed to a clothes shop - something rather different!), we are more or less obliged to clear all our stock at the end of each season. Even though the designer collections are usually far ahead of the game when it comes to the latest looks, this is really the only way to keep the shop looking fresh and directional.

I know shops (lets be honest, Ive worked in them) that try to filter-in their past collections clothing into their current range, cutting out much of the sale reductions bother. One can see why people do this. It does seem a terrible shame to sell beautiful new clothes at a considerable discount, just because the season has come to an end - especially as the season finishes so early. For the summer, this means the season ends in mid-to-end July... ridiculously early when you think about when it is that women are really going to wear their warm-weather clothes. In August and early September the canny customer can be making full use of her steal items, bought for far less than their true market worth. For the retailer, who has herself paid top dollar for these lovely items, its heartbreaking to contemplate selling them at a loss, and the temptation is simply to hang on to the best of the last seasons stock. These items are secreted away, whilst the rump of the collection is discounted. After the sale, they are then put out again when the new collection arrives... or salted away for the next summer.

With classic items, the shops that do this can sometimes get away with it. Yet there is a price to pay: this can never happen if the shop is presenting a fashion-forward philosophy. It just doesnt work with the fashion-conscious consumer, who hasnt made the trip into the store just to find the same old, 'same-old' being trotted out every season. The stock holding will start to look very woolly after a few seasons if this policy is continued. Not to mention the fact that the sale will be a rather disappointing affair, with all the best items withheld.

Its a truth generally unacknowledged in the trade that some customers are far more fashion aware than some store owners! Many of them are true experts in their field, and they are in the store looking for excitement and inspiration. These women sometimes take this attempt to fob them off with slightly older looks as a personal affront. And they dont take kindly to lack-lustre sales!

So no matter how painful it is to the poor retailer, the sale is the natural cut-off point where the vast majority of the past seasons collection is given away at a knock-down price, and the store is left clear and empty for the new deliveries.

For us, this means that quite new, beautiful clothes, that only came into stock a very few weeks ago, are put on our rails at a considerable discount, and I get to watch people walking out my door, having paid a low price for something really rather beautiful. Very often my nose is rubbed in it even further, by my seeing the customer really delighted with her purchase, leaving with a big smug smile on her face. And so she should!

Weve had rather a good season this summer (there are many reasons why: the internet, the loss of our competitors... various things), but nevertheless we do have a wide range of stock that is going to be discounted very heavily this year. Actually, it will probably be our best ever sale. Even now that the sale has been running for a few weeks, the further reductions are exceptionally good.

One can never second-guess what is going to end up in the sale. In our store, if you see something you like, it really is advisable to buy it when you first see it - probably paying full-price. I know what youre thinking - I would say that, wouldnt I? But our seasoned customers know that the vast majority of our clothing is there for just weeks if not days in the store. Things tend to get snapped up quickly in a specialist shop. If something you have had your eye on ends up in the sale, that is particularly lucky for you. Yet the items left behind by the tide of consumer choice are in no way rejects. Bizarrely, sometimes the most beautiful things are overlooked, and await the sale - like pearls abandoned on the seashore.

So if you are of a slightly cruel disposition, and would enjoy rubbing my nose in it by buying something rather beautiful for far less than I consider it to be worth, then perhaps I may see you in the store some time soon?

Our sale continues until the end of September, and new reductions are added weekly. The prices for the summer collection are at clearance levels now.....

 

Emma    Monday 16 March 2009 at 11:46

 Post #19 



 
Subject: Trouser days 24th and 25th April 2009 (now passed!)

In the winter of 2007 we had an fascinating and unique event. One of our suppliers, NP, has been making a long-term study on womens body shapes and how they affect the fit of trousers. And they suggested we do a 'Trouser Day' - a special trouser event for the benefit of our customers.

Ordinarily, for a supplier to find out more about the many different ideal trouser shapes for women, wouldnt really make much difference. Most ranges only do a small number of trouser styles, and these form part of their collections. To put it succinctly, if you like the jacket of a trouser suit, you have to take the trousers that match it, or leave them - there is only one style on offer.

NP is very different, though. It is one of the oldest and best-established of all the large size brands, and has a massive range. Im lucky enough to have visited its superb factory in Helsinki, Finland, and I got a deeper understanding of the NP philosophy. Looking around its very large, gleaming, and excellently organised facility, you realise that NP is really passionate about what it is doing. And it has brought a serious, studious and comprehensive attitude to pattern cutting and fit.

When it researched womens shapes, it came up with a comprehensive range of trouser styles, one of which (unless you are spectacularly unlucky) will fit you.

It is very proud of what it has done, and in order to try to bring this knowledge to customers, it has sent trained members of staff into selected stores, equipped with a computer, programmed to do the work of analysis. Place your measurements into its system, and you will be given your ideal trouser shape. To top this off, it has sent consignments of hundreds of pairs of trousers into the stores, so women will be able to try them on straight away.

We were the very first store in the UK to hold a trouser day, and it was a fantastic success. I think for the first time countless women actually realised that they were not alone in having trouble getting a good fit with trousers, and were able to walk away, for once, with their perfect pair.

When it comes to computers, I am a born cynic - but even I was impressed with the system it has developed. It was so wonderful for all of us to have the tools to do the job of finding the right trousers for all our customers.

I know that some women were not able to make the trouser day last time, and I have been asked to do another one. Actually, many of those who did attend have asked for another one, this time in the spring/summer season, so we are now meeting the demand. We are running the trouser days on 24th and 25th April.

Those of you who are looking at your calendars right now will realise that, sadly, you have missed the Trouser Days, for 2009, anyway! Please see below for details....

 

 Emma    Sunday 26 April 2009 at 20:44

 
Trouser Days update...

It's the Sunday after the Trouser Days, and I am still recovering from my efforts, which have exhausted me. These days were a fantastic success this year - even better attended than the last ones. All the girls pulled together and collated the pairs of trousers that flooded into the store. They then worked incredibly hard to make sure that the many customers (who also flooded in) got the best service possible on the two days. I know that the girls are as exhausted as I am right now! Jaq, in particular, was in charge of the very different shop floor - which took a lot of organisation. It was a huge project, which she managed to perfection.

I was the only one that didn't achieve optimum performance - I was going to take a photograph of the Trouser Days in full flight to place on this blog, but it was just so incredibly busy that I never got the chance. Actually, on past experience, I should have known that was going to happen - duh!

We had to send some of the trousers back straight away (there were just too many to keep in the store), but we have retained as many as possible. So despite the success of the Trouser Days, for anyone who wasn't able to make it on Friday and Saturday it's worth knowing that for the next month or so there are an unusually high number of trousers in differing styles, colours and sizes in the store.

 
 

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