BY JAYA MONTAGUE
When Adrienne Ray graduated in 2004 from Temple with a degree in advertising, the 35-year-old did not know that she would open the first plus-size consignment shop in Philadelphia.
A copywriter for 10 years, Ray noticed the lack of representation of curvier women in the fashion industry. She specified her focus with consignment stores and saw that these stores would not accept clothes that were over a large.
Ray opened Curve Conscious in 2016 to provide a safe space for women who do not see their size when going to other consignments. Ray says that she wants the boutique-style store to be somewhere customers can shop comfortably without fear of judgment.
“I decided to start my own business… that I could find something that would have a lasting and positive impact and I felt like reaching out to the plus-size community where there’s this need for stores like Curve Conscious that offer reasonably priced clothes that are still fashionable and stylish,” Ray said.
Located on 2719 W. Girard Ave., her store is one of 140 black-owned businesses listed in Beech Companies’ “North Philadelphia Black Biz Directory.” Ray says that she found out about her place in the directory from someone who was looking at the list online and is happy to be in company with other owners that believe in serving their communities.
Corin Clarke, a case manager and consignment worker for the store believes that Curve Conscious is progressive when it comes to creating a new lane for fashion in the city.
“[Curve Conscious] provides unique affordable clothing for plus-sized women and she [Ray] also holds community events,” said Clarke.
Ray would like to see her brand expand to collecting men’s and children’s clothing in the future.