Aimee Cheshire was a fashion-obsessed teen – transfixed by trends and high style, she pored over images of the latest designer clothes each season. Her delight in fashion was a major part of her life, and yet it was restricted: A plus-size girl, Cheshire felt cut off from the high-end clothing she so adored. There wasn’t anything like that available in her size, she observed; it seemed like stylish modern designs were just “not for her.”
But her worries didn’t last. Instead, they gave way to a revolutionary idea. Realizing there was a blatant problem – and fueled by genuine empathy for full-figured women – Cheshire began to make a plan to change the relationship between the fashion industry and the plus-size market.
Earning degrees in both psychology and fashion merchandising, and working as a plus-size model and product developer/buyer for a major plus size brand, she gained a sharp understanding of both plus-size women’s issues and the business of fashion.
“I couldn’t find what I needed – it didn’t exist. I had to create it!”
Cheshire’s unique experience gave way to her vision: a website that could stand on its own as a fashion and lifestyle guide for plus-size women. When design director/image and brand consultant Kari Hansbarger entered the picture in 2009, Cheshire’s vision became reality – together they launched the influential blog, “The Dish,” and Madison Plus was born. It would be a groundbreaking moment in the plus-size industry, and an answer to the prayers of countless curvy women who had for too long lived with the daily challenge of finding great clothing made for their bodies.