Long Island’s First Plus Sized Wedding Boutique
At least that’s what Curinne Polizzi wants you to do! We have featured Ivory and Main during our events and even here on the site. Well, we finally caught up with Polizzi and got a full interview with her. Here’s the scoop!
Bold Magazine: Curinne, we love the story. Tell us how Ivory & Main started?
Curinne Polizzi: Ivory & Main started out of my own desire to find a plus size wedding dress shop to shop for my own gown. Once I realized that there were none in New York state, I went to my fiancé and spoke to him about opening a shop. After the initial “Are you out of your mind” reaction, he came around and started to take it more seriously and see there really was a need for this. We started looking for spaces for a shop thinking that would take months to find the perfect spot, and we found one in just a couple of weeks, and it kind of just snowballed (really really fast) from there.
Bold Magazine: Wow! Incredible! What are some other fashion struggles you’ve encountered other than the whole wedding dilemma?
Curinne Polizzi: I think now in my 40’s I don’t struggle as much as I did in my younger years. I think with age also came a sort of understanding that this is who I am and I need to roll with it so to speak. I’ve always loved fashion, but now I wear what I like and looks good as opposed to being more self conscious and saying to myself “I can’t wear that” or the dreaded “What will people think if I wear this?”
Bold Magazine: Well we LOVE that! Can you tell us a positive story?
Curinne Polizzi: I think the best story was from a bride, she came in and you could visibly see she was somewhat nervous and apprehensive. We were maybe 4 dresses into her appt when she found her dress. I remember when she came out of the dressing room, her face had completely changed, she started crying and her mom came up on the platform with her and they were embracing so tightly and she said to her “I never thought I’d be able to try on a wedding gown let alone love it!” They were hugging and crying, in fact we were all crying, the family, the consultants, tissues for the whole room, It was probably the most beautiful moment I have ever experienced in the shop, and there have been quite a few.
Bold Magazine: Wow! How did you take that moment?
Curinne Polizzi: I think that moment impacted me more so than others, because of the raw emotion, these were true feelings, not just because she found a gown. She felt good about herself and had a moment of pure enjoyment and a release of the anxiety. These moments are why I opened the shop. Don’t get me wrong, the dresses are gorgeous, but there is something very euphoric about helping someone feel good about themselves and realizing that no matter what your size you are beautiful.
Bold Magazine: Definitely! I know everyone is asking you, but now when is your wedding going to be?
Curinne Polizzi: So my wedding will be this year! Sept 28, 2019, we are planning as we speak. We are so very excited to finally be celebrating with our friends and family. We did wind up eloping on Xmas eve 2018 privately, it was our 15 year anniversary and we had planned to have the wedding then but because we used all of our savings and wedding fund for the shop that wasn’t possible, but we still wanted to be married by the end of the year.
Bold Magazine: Amazing! That’s so soon! So, what has been your biggest challenge in beginning this store?
Curinne Polizzi: The biggest challenge I feel so far is having something for everyone. There are so many gorgeous dresses and silhouettes so we are constantly having to go against the grain to look for things that others stores might have over looked because they thought that wouldn’t be good for a plus size women. That isn’t the case. There are so many different shapes and there is something for everyone.
Bold Magazine: Yes! Which are some brands that your customers can’t get enough of?
Curinne Polizzi: O-M-G Essense of Australia, they literally can’t get enough! Maggie Sottero and Sottero and Midgley come in right behind them with some of the most beautiful dresses we have in the shop.
Bold Magazine: Awesome! So, where do you see your store and yourself in 5-10 years?
Curinne Polizzi: That’s a good question. For me the wheels are always turning, I’m a tried and true idea person. My mind goes 150mph at all times, my fabulous staff can attest to this lol. So really the sky is the limit for Ivory & Main anything can happen. But for now, we’ve just completed the expansion of our Sayville shop, we’ve added an addition 900 sqft, which is really nice to spread out a bit and be able to accommodate more brides. we’ll see in the next year or so about opening up another location in New York. We are also working on a plus size bridal lingerie line as well. There are a few other things that are in the works for us, but we shall see how things pan out.
Bold Magazine: We love it! So, how did this really come about in your brain? What was the first thing that popped into your head when you realized a store like yours didn’t exist in this market? What do you think that says about the plus size fashion world?
Curinne Polizzi: Truth be told I was in complete shock, I figured New York of all places would have this. It is the fashion capital of the world after all. It doesn’t say a whole lot, I mean when you think about it, what does it say that the one state that spends the most on weddings has no bridal shop that caters to roughly about 65% of brides out there? More then half of brides today are plus size, so really when you think about it’s mind boggling.
Bold Magazine: Yes! Tell us, Curinne, what’s a normal day like look for you?
Curinne Polizzi: A normal day…loaded question…on any given day you will find me at the shop, I come in and check the schedule, I assign brides to a consultant based on their needs and who I believe would work best with them, we check orders and inventory, make sure the boutique is always in show room condition. I have hanger OCD so they should always be straight and neat. Nothing is a bigger turn off than messy racks. Lol. We check for new lines and for what is trending out there currently. Staying on top of trends is key, no ones wants to look dated on their wedding day. I work daily on marketing with Brianna my media manager. We are always working on how we can be better and improve our service and how the shop can run smoother. We are still new so these are key components to growing our business.
Bold Magazine: LOL! Hanger OCD! Lastly, Curinne, Why are you BOLD?
Curinne Polizzi: I think that being Bold means going after what you want. I had an idea and a vision and I put that into motion. I’m not afraid to take risks, I think people sometimes are afraid of the unknown and it holds them Back. I just jump in. Wide eyed and ready to take over the world.