BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about your concept.
Kim Dobie: Curvaceous Consignments was created to help women look and feel their best for less. The mainstream women’s consignment stores did not offer the selection to the size-14-and-up women who wanted to celebrate their curves.
BTB: What made you decide to start this business?
KD: While managing a large plus-size chain store, I heard customers saying they had lost weight or gained weight and were looking for some “cheap in-between” clothes. A very popular local consignment shop was suggested but their comment was “they did not carry my size”. From this, the concept of Curvaceous Consignments was born.
BTB: What was your background prior to starting Curvaceous Consignments?
KD: I have been self-employed, operating successful businesses in Ontario for the past 25 years, as well as managing a large 14-and-up chain store.
BTB: Why is Curvaceous Consignments a fantastic franchise opportunity?
KD: Curvaceous Consignments’ leadership team will be with you every step of the way—teaching, counseling, and coaching. Training is ongoing, and our franchisees become experts in the field of plus-size consignment.
BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?
KD: Our ideal franchisee is a woman who loves to help other women look and feel their best. They are, or have been, a size 14-and-up at some point in their lives and understand the needs of the plus-size woman.
BTB: Tell us a little about the plus size clothing market.
KD: Over 30% of the female population is a size 14 and up, and this percentage is increasing annually in Canada; we can offer a unique opportunity for the franchisees to be a part of this untapped market. The sale of gently-used women’s clothing is seeing exponential growth; as a result, we are seeing a continuing increase in available merchandise along with the demand from our clients. Consignments are THE hottest trend today and shall remain so for the foreseeable future.
BTB: What have you learned in growing your business?
KD: I have learned it is best to take your time and do it right. Listen to your customer and the hard part -- as I love to help others—is that sometimes you have to say “no”.
BTB: Do you have any mentors that have guided you?
KD: I actually have 2 mentors: My father who always had the concept of what a great feeling it is to be in business for yourself; he encouraged me from a young age to take business courses. He also taught me to treat others as you would like to be treated which, of course, does translate to offering excellent, honest customer service.