Gussied Up Inc
By YP Contributor

Plus-Sized Fashion

For Victoria McGroarty, finding plus-sized clothing she actually wanted to wear was a constant battle. She wanted fashionable, well-made clothing in larger sizes, but couldn't find it. It soon became clear that many other people felt the same way.

This gap in the market planted the seed of an idea in Victoria's mind. Over the course of four years, she gave herself a complete education in the plus-sized clothing industry. She comes from a corporate technology background, but realized that her passion lay elsewhere.

Victoria spent four years building the idea of Gussied Up. She researched tirelessly, learning all about plus-sized designers and brands. She assembled her business plan while taking retail courses to learn about retail management, retail buying and more. Finally, the stars aligned and her shop Gussied Up was born in March 2011.

The best part is having people come in and not just having to settle on a style because it fits. It’s something they get excited about. - Victoria McGroarty, owner
Gussied Up - plus-size, clothing, women
Betty provides great company for Victoria McGroarty, owner of Gussied up,

Building Community Through Clothing

Victoria didn't know what to expect when she opened her doors. Having never worked retail, she had no idea how the public would receive her new venture. However, the response has been incredibly positive. People tell her how coming into the store feels like coming into someone's home, which always makes her laugh.

"This actually was a home,” she will happily tell you. "We're standing in what used to be my friend's living room. We used to have great parties here, but I could see my store and I would tell him, ‘My change rooms will be there and the cash register will be there!’”

Victoria and her store are part of a community. She knows about her customer's lives, and has seen them get married, get new jobs and go off to school. She chose to open her store on Bathurst Street, in the same neighborhood she grew up in. Before opening, she had a blog devoted to the plus-sized industry, which built a community surely made up of many of the same people who now frequent Gussied Up.

Gussied Up - plus-size, clothing, women

From Outerwear to Underwear

The love of fashion and high quality clothing is apparent throughout the store. Gussied Up carries outerwear, underwear and everything in between. Victoria focuses on Canadian designers and more than half of the product in the store comes from Canada. She includes products from Canadian designers such as Joseph Ribkoff, Cherry Velvet, and Duchess and Duchess, among others.

Gussied Up believes in customers not having to settle. Victoria doesn't want her customers to buy things because they’re “good enough.”

“The best part is having people come in and not just having to settle on a style because it fits,” she adds. “It’s something they get excited about.”

According to Victoria, the hardest part of the business is deciding what to carry. With so many great options on the market, she constantly has tough decisions to make when stocking her shelves. For someone who loves shopping, clothes, and her community of customers, it’s a great problem to have.

Gussied Up - plus-size, clothing, women
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