When Vikki Stoddart discovered that resale shops for plus size women were virtually non-existent, she decided to launch a business that since has uncovered an eager customer base.
After working in marketing and advertising, Stoddart, a Ferndale resident, opened her first HIPS Resale Boutique
store four years ago at 10 S. Main St. in downtown Clawson. By October 2012, she added a second location on busy Gratiot Avenue in Roseville. At 2,000 square feet, it was double the size of her Clawson store.
It wasn't long after opening in Roseville that Stoddart began looking for a location for a third store. She needed to keep up with demand from an untapped market looking for quality, stylish clothing in sizes 12 and larger, especially sizes 18-24. She found her next store in downtown Detroit, where she had hoped to "be a part of the renaissance of the city."
On Monday, March 30, the newest HIPS Resale Boutique
opens in the Penobscot Building, a landmark Detroit skyscraper on Griswold Street. It will join other retailers as part of the Shops at Penobscot. A VIP celebration is planned for Friday, March 27.
Like other HIPS shops, the 1,200-square-foot Detroit store will sell clothing sizes 12 up to 6X and 7X, as well as handbags, jewelry and accessories for women of any size.
"We are so excited," says Stoddart. "The building itself is so amazing. We spent 30 hours scraping the floors, using five gallons of vinegar and scraping the glue left from the carpet we ripped up. Underneath is amazing white tile. It's just beautiful."
Stoddart realized there was a lack of plus size resale options after she and a friend began looking for a place to sell new, unworn, and lovely things that belonged to her friend.
"[Resale shops] definitely were not interested in the sizes I had, which were 2X and 3X," she says. "I did research and thought, 'How is this possible?' The average size of a woman in the USA is 14 and there is nothing out there for them."
About a year ago, HIPS opened an online store. "We began getting requests from out of state and from customers who had moved away and had nothing like this where they were living."
The online store, like the physical stores, is thriving, she says.
"There is absolutely a demand for this. Being a plus-sized woman, the options you have are already very limited, and the options you do have are expensive and overpriced."
Source: Vikki Stoddart, owner, HIPS Resale Boutique
Writer: Kim North Shine