fablove

Love!: Vive La Femme…Plus Size Boutique

Posted on: May 19, 2009

Vive La Femme is the only plus size boutique located in trendy Bucktown onIMG_0058 the North Side of Chicago.  On Saturday of this past weekend, I was given the opportunity to hang out with the staff and shoppers during one of the store’s 7-year Anniversary events.  The owner, Stephanie Sack (a high-energy, doll of a woman), held three days of events along with her staff (fascinating women themselves).

Friday kicked everything off with a book signing with Kate Harding, the Co-Author of Lessons from the Fat-O-Sphere.  Kate is also the founder of Shapely Prose, a blog of which I am a fan. Saturday was the day for customers to receive Mini-Makeovers from Nars, but the make-up artists never showed up (tisk, tisk Nars representatives).  Sunday capped off the events with a shoe trunk show with Kathryn Kerrigan; her shoes go from U.S. sizes 6-15 and Euro sizes 36-46.

When  I arrived, I fully expected to see a store with women eager to find something perfect (which I did), and racks of clothes to die for (which I also saw) and I thought I would only have the opportunity to write about Vive La Femme as a great store that you must visit (and buy something 🙂).  IMG_0063

However, what I did not expect was to get a chance to meet a group of employees who have such great stories to tell about becoming Vive La Femme staff members.   

It was great just getting to know the girls and their stories.  They love the store and they are some of the best sales people I’ve met in a long time.  Let me introduce you to the women of Vive La Femme…

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To start, there is Hannah, the first person who greeted me when I walked in the store. She pulled some of the best clothes for me. I nearly passed out when I tried on theKiyonna Posey Patio dress.  It fit wonderfully, but alas, my money is funny at the moment, and I had to leave the dress at the store :-(.  Hannah is a recent graduate of Inidana University Bloomington, (also my alma-mater), where she majored in Design and Apparel Merchandising.  This is how she described her move to work at Vive La Femme, “I walked in for interview clothing and I walked out with a job.”  Very cool.  She wants to start a line of scarves in the near future to get her feet wet in the clothing industry.  I’ll let you know when they are available, as I am hoping they are the flowy, feminine kind.

 

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Anna was the first employee I was able to interview.  It was only her second day on the job.  Anna is originally from Miami, Florida and she recently graduated from Florida International University as an Art major.  She was introduced to the store by another employee, Amanda, and invited to attend an event called Curves and Cocktails (you gotta love that name), where customers were shown how to wear 1960’s-styled clothing.   When Anna saw the clothing and bought a couple of pieces, she knew she had to work there.  Oh, and I must mention, Anna offered me cookies…one of my weaknesses, they were very tasty and I wish I’d taken two more of the peanut butter :-).

 

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Stephanie, (a.k.a. Stephanie 2.0), is also a customer-turned-employee.  She lives in the area, and as a customer would hang out at the store because of the “relaxed atmosphere” it has.  When she found out there was an opening, she jumped on it and she’s been there now for over a year.  Stephanie says that plus size fashion is a prominent part of her life and that’s why she enjoys working at Vive La Femme.  She still shows up just to hang out sometimes.  It’s always great when work is a place where you can also relax.  She just graduated from Loyola University with a degree in Social Work, so look for her to be changing lives in the future.  IMG_0068

 

And last, but certainly not least, there is Amanda.  Amanda shopped at Vive La Femme for a year before becoming an employee.  Her initial introduction to the space was as a designer.  She rents the basement of the store as studio space for her line of skirts, Red Skew.  Amanda has agreed to do an interview for fablove and I’ll be showing her pieces and giving more of her story in a future posting.

 

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I will also be doing an interview with Stephanie Sack, who had to focus on the customers in the store.  Giving them tips and helping them find what looked best on their bodies.  Although, whenever she had a few seconds she gave me some really good tips on what to mix and match in the store.  She really knows her stuff.

 

Here’s a customer testimony about Stephanie Sack of Vive La Femme:

“….I love Stephanie, she cuts the fat and doesn’t BS you [on what looks good on for your body type].  I told her she’s my new best friend.” 

The customer, Gale, has only been shopping at the store for one month and came out to support the 7-year Anniversary events.  That shows you loyalty builds quickly at Vive La Femme and the clothing selection is wonderful. 

 

It really is a great store and I wish I lived closer to it.  Vive La Femme is highly recommended by fablove.  I will definitely be going back.

Stephanie was nice enough to give me a free container of lip gloss as recompense for the Nars Reps’ absence.  It’s her own brand, Belle Du Jour and it’s very creamy and luxurious.  Thanks, Stephanie :-)!

Visit Vive La Femme @ 2048 North Damen Avenue, Chicago Illinois, 60647 and on the web @ www.vivelafemme.com.

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2 Responses to "Love!: Vive La Femme…Plus Size Boutique"

Omg I am so jealous!!I want to awknowledge Viva La Femme Boutique and say I will definately visit if I am ever in the area.I love boutiques and there arent nearly enough for us plus girls.The staff there seems lovely..its hard to get good customer service and appreciation anymore..just wonderful..I will definately promote you.Good luck with everything!!

It’s a great boutique. Whenever you’re in Chicago, visit!!! It’s a worthwhile experience. You’ll love it!

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