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Meet Kristine Thompson of KIN by Kristine in Downtown Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristine Thompson.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started a plus size fashion blog in September of 2013. Back then, the term “plus size” was not nearly as popular as it is today and was even seen as a negative description. There were very limited clothing brands that offered extended sizing. So me, being a plus-size woman myself, knew firsthand the struggles that fellow curvy women experienced when it came to fashion. However, I was never one to feel like I should be left out of trends simply because of my size so I became resourceful in the way that I shopped. I would often get asked where I got my outfits from, so I decided to take the leap and start a blog. The blog was to serve as a resource for women that didn’t know where to shop, as well as a source of inspiration showing that plus size women can be stylish too.

With the increase in popularity of social media (namely Instagram), I began to grow a following. I was building this community by posting content consistently and providing detailed information about where I bought my clothing, how it fit, sizing tips, etc. After doing this for about three years, that’s when brands started to take notice of me. It was right around the time that Ashley Graham was named the first plus-size model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. Suddenly, there was a big push from brands to have more size diversity and to be more inclusive. Since “influencers” were budding into its own industry and plus size fashion was now becoming a movement, I just found myself at the right place at the right time. Being at the apex of those two forces, I was able to turn my blog into a full-time job.

Fast forward to a few years later, I still felt like there were things missing in plus size fashion. Although we had come a long way, there was a lot of progress to be made. I felt that some brands offered plus sizes to be able to say that they were inclusive, but didn’t really take the time to understand the plus-size body. So, I decided to take on the challenge myself of creating my own fashion line, KIN by Kristine. I felt that I could add tremendous value to plus size fashion since I have lived it practically my whole life. There’s nothing like a plus-size woman designing for fellow plus-size women. That’s just a perspective that many brands cannot have. So in October of 2019, I launched my fashion line and here we are today!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think any road that is worth traveling is a smooth one. There, of course, have been many struggles along the way. Although I’m pretty well versed in plus size fashion, creating your own clothing line is a tremendous undertaking. I had no idea where to start. I have never been to design school and I had never truly seen the inner workings of a successful clothing brand. So to say that I was overwhelmed was an understatement. But I decided to tackle one thing at a time and the biggest question to me was, what do I want this line to look like? I knew that I had to have complete control over the designs, fabrications, just everything. Because of that, I decided that I really needed to learn how to sew and clothing construction. Now I wasn’t a complete novice. My mother taught me to sew years ago, but I never kept up with it so I was very much a beginner. So I decided to delve in and really figure it all out. And while my sewing is nowhere near seamstress level and it is not polished at all, I got to the point where I could create my own samples. It was definitely a difficult undertaking but I learned so much about garments and was really able to experiment with different ideas.

Once I got over that hurdle, then I had the task of finding clothing manufacturers, fabric vendors and just figuring out how this whole ecosystem works. It was daunting! Thankfully though, I was blessed with finding some great companies and people along the way that really helped to guide me through the process.

KIN by Kristine – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
KIN by Kristine is a fashion destination for sizes 14-26. It’s modern clothing for the modern woman. It’s bold and vibrant, while still being classic and chic. It’s for the women that are not afraid to flaunt their curves and take on current fashion trends.

What sets me apart is what I mentioned earlier. I am a plus-size woman so I know the needs and wants of plus size women when it comes to clothing. Of course, I cannot speak for all, but I have a deep understanding of what it takes to make us feel confident in our clothing. And it is reflected in my line and the many women that love it.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is making a positive impact on someone’s life. Plain and simple. Success is often synonymous with monetary growth and I think that can absolutely be a bi-product of that positive impact. However, it all starts with the value that you are bringing to someone’s life. I have always been invested in helping women to not only be able to dress themselves but feel confident in doing so. That has fueled my content long before any monetary gains were attached to it. Because I am so passionate about that, it has allowed me to build such a loyal and supportive community that has been the foundation of all of my endeavors.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photographer: Steve Suavemente (www.stevesuavemente.com)

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