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My Story

Hi! My name is Warna Downey, founder of La Femme Fatale +. As an unapologetically plus-size woman, I know that style has no size. I believe that every BODY deserves beautiful things and I am so excited about having the opportunity to bring them to you.

I have loved fashion ever since I was a little girl. I grew up looking forward to watching fashion television with Jeanne Becker. I spent hours drawing the gowns, daydreaming about wearing them. One day I realized that my body was never going to fit in those clothes that were paraded down the cat walk. I didn’t fit into the norm. I saw many trendy pieces at the mall, but they would never fit my curvy body. I remember vividly walking into my first plus-size store thinking how I wouldn’t be caught dead in most of those clothes. Who wanted to look like an unfashionable grandmother at the age of 20. Somehow, I managed. At times that meant sewing my own shirt or skirt because that season’s fashions were just not fulfilling my own personal style.

Last year I walked by a traditionally straight size store and saw a sign advertising that they carried plus-size clothing. I was so enthralled. Their clothing was cute, some of the cuts fit great and I picked up some fabulous items. I told everyone who asked where I got my new threads and shared the knowledge with my curvy girl friends. Like me they also didn’t know that this store carried plus size. A few months later I went in to try on a fabulous red dress I saw on their website and much to my dismay the plus-size section was reduced to only clearance items. I asked the manager what was up and she told me that the plus size selection was only available online. I had A MELT DOWN. I was just short of yelling. I asked her if she had any idea how hard it was to shop for clothing as a fat lady. She told me I should be kinder to myself and again told me about their website. I had a good laugh. As large or as small as I have ever been shopping with a large bottom and thick thighs is tough. I have never not loved myself, though I do have a nefarious relationship with my scale that causes her to stay hidden in the bathroom closet.

The experience with losing a place to shop was a turning point for me. I have been talking about owning my own business. This was my chance to take action and do something I knew I would love with no regrets. A few days later I was out for lunch with a friend. On the way back to her car she asked me how my job hunt was going and when was I ever going to land that job as an academic. I shrugged (because everyone kept telling me to do something with my education) and said I was not sure it was in the cards. I really wanted to do my own thing. I told her that I wanted to open a plus-size clothing boutique in Halifax. A gentleman stopped in his tracks and turned around and said “You should totally do that! There are no options out there for big women.” #truth It was so encouraging to have a complete stranger encouraging me to move forward with my plan. My friend looked at my and said you should go for it! And so, I did.