We had the good fortune of connecting with Whitney McLendon (Ms. CurvyPhase) and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Whitney, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I absolutely love this question,
My thought process behind starting Curvy Phase, was to encourage the Curvy Queens of the world to embrace who and what they are. Being Curvy is not a bad thing, being curvy makes you unique. No two women are the same. Curvy Phase shows and represent that. We just want our curvy love ones to feel good about themselves, and let their personalities shine and grow, even our young curvy princesses who will one day be our new/future curvy queens and wear this heavy well deserved crown that we will pass to them.
What should our readers know about your business?
What sets Curvy Phase a part is we ARE the people. We listened to the people and we ARE the people. What I mean by that is this…. I held a tell and ask. I had woman of all shapes and sizes and walks of life sit down with me and tell me what they wanted in their ideal garment. You want believe the feedback I got. I learned a lot. It was no small order, let me tell you. 1. We as women are PICKY (LOL)
2. We are OPINIONATED (LOL)
3. We don’t mind paying for what we like and want (especially something of great quality)
And I listened and I created Curvy Phase. It is designed for the picky, opinionated, free thinking curvy woman.
Curvy Phase has something for everyone.
There was a lot of challenges when you are dealing with creating something for uniquely shaped, powerful, confident women. But I wouldn’t give up till I found what my fellow curvy queens wanted, and I think they will be happy and proud of what we are able to deliver.
The feel, the fabric, the price, the look, the presentation, even the source has to be right, or it will not work.
I have learned to PRAY, be patient, and listen to the client. Another big thing I learned throughout this process is, If I love it and I take my time with each and every garment to make it my own, and create something I am proud of, others will love it to. It may be a slow start and they may have to warm up to it, but they will see the love and passion and love it and realize that they have to have these pieces in their collection.
I want the world to know that Curvy Phase will be a top brand, we are not afraid to listen, learn, grown and evolve. We are here to stay and we will only get bigger and better.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There is always something to do in the heart of the South….Atlanta is where it’s at. I would take them to the city life of Atlanta, GA. I would have her take a pick if she wanted to do family oriented things during the day, maybe lets take the family to the Aquarium, World of Coke a Cola, Lego, Zoo, MLK Center (you are never to old or young to learn) (My kids love it there). Just because the sun is down in the A don’t mean the day is done. I would see what is popping in the city and let the adult day begin. LOL. ATL city night life here we come.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would dedicate my shoutout to GOD and my children. With GOD I am everything without GOD I am nothing. My children, Kylie (Ky), Reagan (Rea) Kennedy (Ken/Kenny Girl) are the reason my life and my heart continue to grow and beat. Them and GOD are the reason my eyes open every morning and my feet hit the floor to do what I love, to be able to grow Curvy Phase and make it as big as it can be. Family is always involved in my businesses. My business partner is not just that I consider him family. My management team is family like real blood family members (Tony/T-Baby). No matter when and where I have a photoshoot, a commercial shoot, an interview etc, no matter what it is. My husband is by my side, my kids, my bestfriend (Who is also involved in another business we started together) MiMi, my blood cousin J (our moms are sisters) to the models (Pooh- who is blood family member, our moms are sisters as well, Chasity-who is my kids nanny) to the makeup artist (Franny-who is a very close friend of mine, Jazzy-I have know most of my life) to my hairstylist (Franny), to my décor’/treat/gift maker all around go-getter (Nita) all the way to my security team (E-My big brother Blood brother same mother same father, Tall-I’ve known since I meet my husband over 15 years ago) The constant prayers of my mother (Lisa) and the support of my other brothers and sisters (Talecia, Shandon, Brandon, and Debo) who keep me grounded and my Uncle Mac who hates to tell me no but tells me what I need to hear. To my mentor and his wife Kevin and Kathy J.) who continually support me and my family. And the legacy and memory of my late maternal grandmother (Alma). Are all my support, motivation, and encouragement.