Wednesday 21 March 2012

Simply Stockton

I don't think my urge to blog has been this strong before!! I left the Simply Be store in Stockton, feeling invigorated, feeling charged, and feeling like things were finally starting to change for the plus size world.

Having read a number of posts following the Doncaster launch a week or so ago, I thought I knew what to expect! For some reason, I expected the store to be closed, except to us 'VIPs' (what we were called on the 'List'!) and competetion winners. But in reality, it was better.

There are a lot of women out there crying out for stores like SimplyBe. And I mean STORES. SHOPS. Places where you can go, touch, feel, try on clothes in the safety of other people like them. They feel ostrasized by fashion, confined to a dark corner of New Look, or faced with a-now-empty Evans store. These women don't 'do' on line shopping. So ASOS Curve might as well not exist for them. SimplyBe are coming to the rescue for these ladies. And by the looks on their faces, they didn't think they needed rescuing!!

I wandered around the store, knowing what I was looking for... I'd seen all the clothes that were in store, pretty much, being a regular on their website(!) but seeing the women in that store, how excited they were, how HAPPY they were, I started to really look at these clothes, and it really hit me how much COLOUR SimplyBe use, how many bright patterns, how many on trend items there were! As well as how many staples were there.

I do think these women were bowled over by the choice, by the staff (even the straight sized staff were wearing SimplyBe fashion) and by the technology:

overheard - Daughter: What is this magic mirror?
Mother: Does it make you slimmer?
I explain the way the mirror works
Mother: Well, what is the use of that?

Now, I loved the mirror! I was the first to tweet from that mirror, and while I was taking the first dress off in the changing room, I was being tweeted as to how nice it looked:

I love this Anna Scholz dress! Review to come soon!!

But now I had an idea on how the camera worked, my next attempt with the mirror was:

Tunic: Glamourosa H - K size 20

Seriously, so much fun to be had with that mirror!!

I made the most of the time in store to wander around, chat to people, staff and customers alike, as well as a wonderful chat with the Face of SimplyBe 2011 - Abi Hill.

Abi and I have exchanged a number of tweets, and this is when social media gives you a distorted view of things!! Abi was of course lovely, but as I introduced myself as 'Kathryn, that lass that stalks you on twitter...' I could have thought that line through a little bit!!

But as I'm sure Abi would agree, the store opening was a huge success, with lots of positive responses from customers. Mainly about the staff!

Staff wise, there was a lovely mix of ladies, straight sized and plus, older, and younger, you name it! They were all passionate about the brand, and their mission statement. And all were looking forward to the Metro Centre launch with Freddy Flintoff on April 17!

I can't wait for the MetroCentre store to open, so I can Clik'n'Collect, so no more Hermes Delivery men to contend with! So I can take photos on the mirror - and apparently, there are CSI style additions to come as well!

I can't wait! See you all at the MetroCentre then ladies!!


  1. Is the metro centre opening the one in may? I need to come to this one. xx

    1. May 2nd, yup! Can't wait!!

      Will take the full day off work so I can make the most of the store (helloooooooo bra fitting!!)


  2. ooo sounds fantastic. it`s so great to find actual shops
    to oggle pretty clothing. so much of plus size is still only online. phoo. and still waiting for simply be to open japoonian gateways..^^ *does her everyday mantra...simply be deliver to japaaaan simply be deliver to japaaaaan...mamma need to shop at simply be...deliver to japan pleeeease* ~(*0*)~
    praying this will work. x(^.^)x
    thanks for sharing this experience! ^^d

    1. Not a problem my dear!! Of course, if you really wanted something, paypal to mine or someone else's account, then we'll buy it, get it delivered and ship it over for you?? Just a thought xx

    2. Cover your ears please because I might squeel for a bit...*ihiiiiiiii!!!* I`d hate to trouble you or anyone..but occasionally I do get quite desperate over some pieces. ^^;;;;;; If I find something absolutely `must have`, would you mind if I asked for such a favour? *blinks pretty pweeease?* ^^<3 Thankies megamucho for the suggestion anyhoops! ^^<3 I think you just made my whole day..year..ok LIFE^^; with that luvly thought! \^^/ MMxoxo
      Ps. Yes, I`m just a sad old shopaholic but darn these shops have such cute thingies. ^^;;;

  3. I had a fab time, it was a lovely store and I can't wait to go back and try more things on! I still feel bad about saying no to the denim dress, you look fab in the pics! But I love the Anna dress on you it fits so well.

    1. I do love the Anna dress, but the denim was so slimming as well... decisions Kaye DECISIONS!

      And, it was a pleasure to meet you as well - you asked about joining the Metro Centre fun?

      K x

  4. This is one of my favourite posts in ages! Your energy and joy is so evident. OMG - I LOVE this post.

    I was so excited last night as you were tweeting images from the mirror. The Anna Scholz dress was my fave, so I was so pleased to read that you bought it. I think you really capture the essence of the night with this post and you have made me jealous! You said yesterday that you'd take loads of pictures and this is the first post where I felt like I was along for the ride at one of the openings - because you had taken me along by tweeting from the magic mirror all night.


    1. Thanks my dear!

      I'm not a camera type person, I have one, I have it on my phone, but I enjoy the moment, THEN think about taking the picture!! This meant that I could use the mirror to reflect after the event as well - like 'I really should have bought the denim dress'!

      I've been writing this post in my head all day, and I'm so glad that it turned out well!

      K x

  5. AMAZING. SB opening stores is like the best thing to happen to plus size fashion (plus size WOMEN) in years! So glad you loved it, can't wait for them to come further south so I can set up camp in one!

    Also your use for the magic mirror is ingenious :D xx

    1. That energy really came across last night, that excitement that it was new and different. A positive event all round!

      I threatened to apply to work in the one at the Metro Centre, and I seriously wish that I had!!

      K x

  6. I saw your tweets last night using magic mirror - I love the Anna Scholz on you (much prettier than it looked on me) and that denim dress looks fab.
    You are so right, i think Simply Be stores will appeal to so many different plus size women who wouldn't ordinarily have fantastic shopping experiences in stores. I really hope they evntually open a store in London or the south-east. It would literally make my life complete! xXx

  7. Seriously fab post! I really like how you've managed to capture the atmosphere of the event, because Doncaster was really like that too, I just didnt blog for about five days afterwards so I think I lost the magic!

    But I agree that every shopping centre in the land needs a Simply Be store...there's just something in the mix of everything that really makes you feel like you've a true shopping experience, rather than just in and out in two seconds flat...

    Lucky you, because for some reason, I had shonky luck getting anywhere near the magic mirror during my trying on spree....I think I'm developing an action plan for when I go to the Leicester opening!

  8. Brilliant post - I can't wait to go home to my parents to visit the Metro Centre store since there are none down South.

    That Denim dress looks fab on you!