Fun fact: I’m a former eBay addict. Between my late 20s and early 30s, I was an avid shopper and seller on the auction site, scouring it daily for designer deals and vintage gems alike, and garnering a 100 percent rating and any number of useless pieces of clothing in the process. Another fun fact? For most of my adult life, my body has fluctuated between a size 10 and a size 16, meaning that at any given moment, approximately 30-60 percent of my closet doesn’t fit.
In short, I’ve got a lot of clothes.
So I was thrilled to hear about the April launch of Curvsi, a new buy/sell/trade app exclusively for women sizes 10 and up (up to a 6X, in some categories) who are looking to reduce or refresh their closets with some never- to gently used quality merchandise. According to Curvsi’s press release:
On average, curvy women only wear 20% of their clothing on a regular basis. With the overflowing abundance of quality clothing already in our closets, CURVSI realized that great plus-size fashion isn’t a myth, and that there needed to be a platform that brought it all into a single shopping destination.
Following in the tradition of popular trade and resale marketplace apps and sites like Poshmark, ThreadUp and Tradesy, Curvsi’s size-curated platform allows women to “buy, sell and share their style straight from their phone.” In the app’s press release, co-founder and public relations professional Kayla Rose, a 20-something size 22 herself, writes:
I’ve witnessed the fashion industry largely ignore curvy women and especially curvy black women, and rather than waiting on brands and retail stores to respond, we’re turning to our closets. We created a platform that connects the closets and boutiques of curvy women everywhere.
Rose spoke with The Glow Up about the inspiration behind Curvsi, which seeks not only to connect women’s closets but also to create a community of style-conscious, curvy women who are now the national average at a size 16 or above. Says Rose:
I am a plus-sized woman, and witnessing the fashion industry and some of those fashion markets that are out there for us to do the trading and selling—such as Poshmark and ThreadUp, and things like that—I just noticed how we were always on the back end or always as a specialty consumer. Like, we were never in their marketing campaigns, or even though they cater to us, their social media doesn’t always show that they are, in fact, caring about the plus-sized section of those trading websites. It’s really just that they did it out of convenience; they did it out of a trend. And so I thought, “Well, how great would it be to have our own app, designed just for us, to share our closets, where we know that we [are] at the forefront?”
Working with a tech-savvy (but press-shy) co-founder, Rose created what she calls a “seamless shopping experience.” Trying it out for myself, I have to agree: Curvsi’s platform is comprehensive, easy to use and surprisingly friendly. You create an account, enter your preferred sizes and brands, and you’re ready to shop.
In the first week of its April 2 soft launch, Curvsi amassed 2,500 users. Since that time, approximately 100 items are listed daily, on average, indicating that this is a platform women have been craving. Early feedback says the same, with users remarking on what a great experience they’re having buying and selling in a size-specific community.
“Hey, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for,” one user comments, while another raves, “I’ve purchased so many items now without issue.” But Rose hopes that Curvsi’s presence will extend beyond just sales, telling us:
My hope for Curvsi is to be that No. 1 place in the market for plus-size women to come and be supportive of one another, shop their own closets and be able to build a community while also helping one another create their personal style. I’m hoping that this does become as big as some of those other trading marketplaces, but I also really want it to become a place where women who are size 10 and up can just come, [knowing] that they have a place to go when they need to find something really trendy, really cute.
Rose also hopes that as the app’s visibility grows, plus-size influencers and bloggers will use Curvsi to sell their closets and connect with their fans. And as a further means of supporting the plus-size community and the retailers serving it, there are also plans to invest a portion of Curvsi’s profits into emerging curvy brands and boutiques that are often ignored. Visibility of the plus-size consumer is a prime goal for Rose:
We have to start catering to the real women of the world. The curvy woman shouldn’t be on the back burner; we shouldn’t be left on red. We should really be at the forefront of this market, because that’s how many women [there are] out there in the world who are already plus-sized. So the message is really, we’re tired of waiting on the fashion industry to kind of catch up—we’re tired of waiting on them to understand that we’re here. We’re here to stay, and we can be fashionable, we can be trendy, we can be cute, we can build community. We don’t have to wait on you to do that for us. So we’re just doing it ourselves now.
And what does Kayla Rose want Curvsi’s prospective customers to know?
“I want them to know that this is really an app for them,” she says. “And you know, we really want to make this a marketplace where they feel uplifted and inspired and empowered to create that style that they’re looking for.”
The Glow Up tip: Curvsi is exclusively available for mobile use, and currently available for iOS in the App Store.