SAYVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – When newly-engaged Long Islander Curinne Polizzi began the hunt for her wedding gown in 2018, she noticed something was missing.
“I was looking for a plus-size store, and I could not find one,” she said.READ MORE: Source of Knowledge: A Newark Bookstore Honors African Ancestry
She got the idea to start her own, and within four months, Ivory & Main had opened its doors on Main Street in Sayville, becoming the first plus-size bridal shop in New York State.
The store’s roughly 300 designer dresses range in size from 14 to 32 and in silhouette from empire to mermaid.
Curinne can relate to the brides walking into the store, often worrying over whether they’ll find something that fits.
“I know where they’re coming from. I’ve been them,” she said. “It’s great to see them come in with the anxiety, and then, it kind of just disappears. Their whole face glows. They’re so excited. They’re so happy.”
Many of her staff have been plus-size brides themselves, including some former Ivory & Main customers.
“We’re not just here selling dresses. We’re here understanding what your whole life has been about if you’re a plus-size woman,” she said.
The Ivory & Main team has taken their message of support online, offering wedding style advice as “the Curvy Godmothers” and amassing a large following across social media.
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Customer Chasiti Davis feels embraced by the Ivory & Main community.
“When I came here, it pretty much changed my life,” she said.
The bonds she’s built with the staff have outlasted her dress appointment.
“It’s more than just a bridal experience. It’s family,” her mother Terrel Davis said.
“My favorite thing is just to make women feel beautiful, especially in the plus-size, curvy community. Girls come in so defeated and so down on themselves, and they’re the most beautiful woman you’ll ever see in your life,” manager Cassidy Wilkinson said. “It’s our job to make them see it.”
Curinne is proud to promote inclusivity in the wedding industry and beyond.
“Not everyone is the same size. Not everyone is the same color, same shape. It’s important for people to see that.”MORE NEWS: Kelewele: A Brooklyn Food Stall Where Plantains Are The Main Event
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