The thing you’ll notice about all these clothing items is that they’re plus-sized.
For more than a decade, the consignment store has made shopping a fun and enjoyable experience for people who often have a difficult time finding their size in most apparel stores.
Erica Bauer took ownership of the business 10 months ago and said she’s working to ensure the shop remains a special place.
“Taking over a spot that has had so much history and so much love was a little intimidating at first,” she said. “I can only do the best I can and the best way for me to do that is to really turn the shop into a reflection of me.”
In Bauer’s words, that means making the store “a little bit extra.”
She’s added to the artwork around the store and in addition to selling plus-size clothing, she’s added products made by plus-size creators.
Otherwise, for the most part, the store Portlanders have known and loved for years remains the same.
Bauer said she’d been a longtime customer at Fat Fancy before she offered to help out around the store. One thing led to another and the owner one day asked if she’d like to be a business partner.
Her passion for the shop continued to grow and when her partner decided to pursue other passions, Bauer bought the store. She’s the fourth owner in the store’s history and while the shop has changed hands over the years, its mission has withstood the test of time.
“It really was, I think, just built out of love for the community and a need to keep us clothed in fashionable ways and fun ways because our bodies deserve that too,” Bauer said.
She said there’s always a box of tissues available at the store, because for some people the experience of walking into a store where there are clothes that fit them, where they’re not forced to only shop a small, pluz-size selection in the back corner of a store, can be overwhelming.
“Even the art that we buy, it reflects our customers’ faces and curves and double chins and it’s so wonderful to walk into a space that’s made just for you,” Bauer said.
The store has received international attention over the years, but Bauer knows there are still people in Portland who haven’t discovered it yet. She hopes those people walk through her doors one day so she can share the space she loves so much with them.
Fat Fancy does not accept or refuse consigned clothing by style. Bauer said store employees simply determine whether or not they’ll keep it based on its condition. Bauer thinks this process helps ensure there’s something in the store for everyone.
She wants her customers to know that “You’re still a body. You’re still important and what you do and what you are should be celebrated.”