Style maven and brand ambassador Marie Denee began blogging in the fall of 2008 by accident. Denee graduated with a MBA in Marketing with the hopes of opening a plus size boutique, but things didn't quite turn out as planned. With her love for photos, style, and a thirst for creation, the Atlanta-based business woman created the Curvy Fashionista, an exhaustive style resource for women that not only helps them upgrade their wardrobe, but also empowers them to shop confidently and to live their best life–NOW.
“I want women to feel acknowledged, appreciated, and welcomed, knowing that there is a plus size community for them, designers who cater to them, and a place that they can engage and interact with those who look like them," Denee told EBONY.com about her website, which pulls in millions of views each month. "It really is about providing resources and a building community."
With more than 500,000 Facebook fans and a dedicated readership, Denee's mission is to include her fellow fashionistas every step of the way. So how does she bring the viewers along for the journey? Denee incorporates eye-popping photos and videos, and has built partnerships with several fashion lines. Her latest project is a campaign with Old Navy.
“I love being able to bring them the newest and latest in plus size fashion. So that means creating and establishing relationships with brands, designers, bloggers, and my readers," she explained. "My readers know that if it is fashion newsworthy, it is on the site! I really try hard to be THAT resource! I also try to be as consistent as possible, by posting news, inspiration, and fashion everyday.”
While Denee's motto is "curvy, confident, chic," being a blogger has its challenging moments too, especially in the image-conscious style world.
“What I have learned the most these past years is to believe in yourself. As a full-time blogger, I’ve had moments of second guessing my walk, path and purpose. You do not have the luxury of being under someone else's umbrella or brand. It is all you," she said. "On this walk, you learn just who you are and what you are made out of. Conversely, you learn just how high you can soar. This is a roller coaster and being bold in the face of fear is both scary and exhilarating!”
Ready to take your style to the next level? The curly-haired muse shares 5 chic summer looks for curvy ladies.
Tip #1: Short suits are IN!
I have longed for a shorts suit. Add in a bold yellow?! I was beyond geeked and hyped to play in this set! Why not?!
Tip #2: Try something new
I fell in love with this top and wanted a playful way to rock it and push myself outside of my box, so I tucked in this off the shoulder top and popped on some heels with my jeans! I will say that tucking in the top took a bit of nerve from me, especially because I have hips and a little bit of a belly!
Tip #3: Rock a crop top
Who says that plus size women shouldn't rock the crop? For me, playing with a higher waisted pair of jeans was perfection. I felt comfortable and playful! It helps that this top also had a shelf bra underneath it all!
Tip #4: Cop a cool romper & show some leg
Sometimes you have to let the legs out, and for my brunch, I wanted to show off and play in this green romper from Monif C!
Tip #5: Put a twist on jeans and a t-shirt
This is a different take on a white tee and jeans! I wanted to have a little fun and do something I hadn't, but had seen from my fellow plus bloggers. Turns out I really dig it!
Marie's bottom line: "Push yourself outside of your box, you never know what you'll find on the other side!"
Want more tips? Catch up with Marie Denee at her second annual TCFStyle Expo in Atlanta, presented by Ashley Stewart. This is a plus size shopping and social event, bringing the blog offline and serving up some of her favorite plus size brands (over 40 vendors) in one house. It's all going down August 12-13. For more info visit TCFStyleExpo.com.