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Motivation

I hold many keys to Plus size self-love, it’s time to start unlocking.

A common conversation in Hayley Joy retail is body image. This quote made me start thinking about how every conversation has the same thread…if only I could lose some weight.

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Imagine….❤️

Well let’s be honest, by now we do understand that we didn’t arrive at our current weight in one month, so it definitely isn’t going to take one month to lose it. We spend so much unnecessary time obsessing about our size, and what other people think about our size!!

I love walking on the beach, but I don’t love being in a bathing costume, so I don’t walk on the beach. Why? Oh because I think the whole beach is looking at me, well they’re not. They are more likely to be doing a bunch of other things, than they are ever likely to be looking at me. So why do I allow my insecurities to define what I do and don’t do.

I have a very strong opinion about this fact, actually I have two options. The first one is, what makes us think that we are so special that everybody is looking at us, because they aren’t, they are looking at their cellphone screen, scrolling on Facebook…that’s the reality. My second opinion is that if we spent as much time loving ourselves as we do bashing ourselves, we would have so much more time to do the things that make us happy.

In my never ending quest to make women feel better about themselves, I have started to design styles that I would normally never have designed, because I was being led by my assumption that nobody would wear sleeveless, nobody would wear white, nobody would wear anything that wasn’t a traditional cover up for Plus sizes. The response has been phenomenal and I am loving how I’m getting previous stalwarts to shift their emphatic ‘no I will never go sleeveless’, to ‘what the hell, I’m done worrying what everybody thinks’. It is a very important shift for me and my business going forward, because I hold many keys to unlocking self love.

I strive to be the Plus size fashion designer who designs respectful and well fitting fashion, and now I’m taking it a step further and pushing the limits ever so slightly, by designing Odd size and Plus size styles that are not perceived as normal for these sizes.
I’ve designed a fabulous sleeveless swing top sized from S – 7XL, with perfectly engineered armholes, because we don’t get fat in our armholes. I never understand why Plus size armholes are always cut out so deeply, that every bit that we don’t want to stick out, sticks out. I’ve incorporated every design aspect that is required to fit and flatter all shapes and sizes, and every time I see this design on the various body shapes, I gain more confidence to push the design boundary even further.

My design journey is a very inspiring one and it is now becoming a very fulfilling one. More love for ourselves ❤️ Hayley

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Today I’m a brave and proud Plus-size woman.

Brave, because posting a photo of myself on social media, is a huge step out of my comfort zone, and proud because this photo is the beginning of a whole new venture…Hayley Joy Miracle Active wear has been born.

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My legs…stepping out of my comfort zone.

Exercising is not my thing, I don’t yearn to run, skip and jump, but I know that it’s important for me to move. After all the years of being bent over a cutting table making patterns, my muscles were shrunken and inactive. At a very bad stage in my life, when I was in so much pain I could barely move, I was introduced to Linda Green who owns My Pilates. After much convincing (MUCH), she convinced me to give Pilates a try, and 3 years later I diligently go and stretch my painful body.

Being overweight doesn’t help my cause, but it is what it is, and I cannot allow that to be an excuse to not do some form of exercise.

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Hayley Joy Active wear honouring all Shapes and Sizes.

Now comes the big question…what to wear! I have had this conversation in-store and online for a while, and it has set me on a very determined path. I started researching, and to my horror I have discovered that if you want to make an effort to be healthy, you are in trouble from the word go, because there is very little (if any), respectfully designed exercise wear out there, for Plus size women. Our needs are VERY different, and you cannot take normal size exercise wear, and ‘Upsize’ it. We need more fabric at the top of the pants, because if you have a tummy and a generous behind, a hipster cut crutch is definitely not going to be appropriate. There is nothing worse than spending an hour pulling your pants up because they keep rolling down under your tummy, and the appropriate tops are non-existent.

My commitment to all things Plus size has inspired me to develop a range of active wear so that no size is excluded from exercise.
I am about to embark on a very exciting design journey, and I am starting off by sharing a photo of me in the very first pair of Plus size, genuine Lycra, leggings. I have done a full hours Pilates class in them, and oh my word, they are AMAZING!! No rolling down, no cutting into my waist, they are just perfect.

Watch this space, I’m on an ‘Active’ mission!!
❤️ Hayley

Grateful for the acknowledgement, always.

Honoured and privileged for the acknowledgement and affirmation, for my commitment to making a difference in the lives of women, of all shapes and sizes.

My committment to changing perceptions about Odd and Plus sizes, is unwavering, and this is a wonderful reward for that commitment, from The Saturday Star.

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I am so grateful for my ability to design and manufacture ranges of clothing, that make a difference in the lives of so many women. Together with my amazing team, I am living a dream that has no limits.

With our newly launched online store http://hayleyjoy.com my dream of reaching so many more of you is such a wonderful reality.
❤️ Hayley

 

Balance in Leadership

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Balance in Leadership

I enjoy leading and learning, and am privileged to have nurtured a team, who are comfortable to give me constructive feedback that I continuously learn from.

Allowing my team members to express themselves and to actively participate in making decisions about fabric, designs and the final look and feel of collections, has proved to me that the Boss doesn’t always have to make all the decisions. Some of our most successful designs have come from input from the seamstresses who vary in age from 30 – 60 years old.

For so long I did this alone, now working as a team, is so much more rewarding than working solo.

❤️ Hayley

 

 

 

It’s the gratitude that is my true motivation.

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Ev’s Hayley Joy clothing collection.

I’m sharing my true motivation with you today, about why I do what I do everyday, with a passion that has no bounds. I believe there are many lessons to be learnt, from this interaction I’ve been having, with a very special and loyal client. It really is about building relationships, beyond just the numbers.

So the story goes…my wonderful client who shared this with me, we’ll call her Ev, needed to find a way to get through some particularly trying meetings. Here’s the first message I received:

Hi Hayley….long complicated story but I have to attend a meeting every second Wednesday. This meeting upsets me tremendously…so I have put myself on a star system. For every meeting I manage to disengage, I earn a star. Five stars equals a new HJ outfit. Got my first star today!! You are really a motivation and motivator!

And every so often I receive these messages.

Earned my second star today…it was THAT meeting again!

Darn…I blew it today. Didn’t disengage and therefore don’t deserve my star……still only on 3 stars! As punishment I have to walk an additional kilometer today as well. Academics are at times just soooo totally out of reality about what goes on in private practice!

Fourth star today…yay yay yay. One more to go then I can come a shopping…!

Got my 5th star today! Yeahhhhh see you soon!

I have loved this interaction because the lady in question is one serious academic, with the most wonderful sense of humour. Interestingly, as funny as this interaction has been, I’ve also learnt a lot from her about turning bad situations into good situations, by attaching a reward. I think if we all started rewarding ourselves for dealing with what really pushes our buttons, we would learn to overcome those situations and possibly learn a whole new coping mechanism.

And then as if Ev hadn’t provided me with enough entertainment, she sends me a photo of her Hayley Joy collection, with this message, ‘Stock taking at my branch of the HJ shop…good grief. I am shocked. No more stars for me….!!’

I am so blessed to have built up relationships with so many amazing women that I dress. And I am honoured that we have this kind of relationship, where we can share our frustrations in life, and establish supportive relationships outside of just selling clothes. It’s this kind of interaction that maintains my faith in what I do, against the odds, of which there are some. Being an Entrepeneur, and being the Boss, doesn’t often allow for frivolous moments, but having established relationships that transcend ‘just business alone’ I am part of much more than just work!!
❤️ Hayley

Positivity in Negativity…

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I’m sharing this little rant of mine because it’s one of those stories that starts out as a negative, and turns into a huge positive.
I try my hardest to provide the best service I can, and yes I’m human, but I have as many checks in place as I can, to make sure that we don’t slip up, and if we do, they are minor slip-ups that won’t destroy a relationship with either a client or a supplier. So when I’m on the receiving end of really bad service, that is potentially damaging to my business and my reputation, I do tend to get a little angry, and worried about who I am entrusting my brand to.
 This was my question (quite a long one.)

‘Why am I teaching my courier company who are going to handle all my online deliveries, and my bank who are going to handle the payments, about customer service and communication?
’

Uncollected parcels…no communication for reasons.

Undelivered business credit card ordered end Feb, been sitting with relationship manager since first week of March.

Am I missing something here? I thought collecting parcels and delivering credit cards was the easiest part of both jobs!

So whilst sitting pondering a whole lot of things about these two situations, this pertinent quote popped into my head. And that is the positivity that came out of the rant. The bigger I dream for Hayley Joy, the bigger and better I am going to deliver. I want to prove, that it doesn’t matter how big we grow, my commitment to providing good service when I opened Hayley Joy retail 9 years ago, was and is, always going to be my number one priority. I have hand picked the right people in the right positions, and together we are going to make your online shopping experience, is as good as your physical experience is, when you shop at Hayley Joy retail.

Rant over…HJ feeling much calmer and wiser. ❤️

Being your best judge, Meryl Streep style.

You’re just one opinion in a sea of thousands, I’m going to find a kinder tide – Meryl Streep

These words resonate on many levels for me. Choosing to focus on designing for Plus sizes was met with enormous negativity, by many. I was unwavering in my choice, and going by the amount of lives I have changed, through my dedication to honouring all shapes and sizes, I definitely found a kinder tide.
❤️ Hayley

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Meryl Streep, a true inspiration.

Welcome to my Shape Revolution, it’s all about a Shape, not a Size.

EMPOWERING WOMEN OF ALL SIZES

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A Shape not a Size

In a bold move, I have opted to remove all sizes from the labels in my garments, and am replacing the sizes with shapes.

A Small at Hayley Joy is now a Lilac Square
We’re shaping not sizing at Hayley Joy, a Small is now a Lilac Square.

After seven years on the shop floor at Hayley Joy, I feel it’s time for me to lead the way in eliminating body shaming, with dignity. I’ve spent many hours in one-on-one consultations and it always comes down to the same thing – low self-esteem – which isn’t helped by having to buy clothing with a 5XL, 6XL and 7XL label in it. Removing sizes from my garment labels, seemed the most obvious thing to do, after the umpteenth call from a client asking us to cut out the labels from their clothing, because their husband, son, son-in-law or boss were coming to collect on their behalf, and “they absolutely couldn’t have them see what size she is buying.” The final affirmation for me was when a client sent me a picture of a Hayley Joy garment belonging to her mom, that had the corner of the label cut out, where the size normally is.

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We’re shaping not sizing at Hayley Joy, a Medium is now a Yellow Diamond.

I’m never one to play it safe, so I decided to go where no other clothing designer and manufacturer has really gone before. I allocated colours to the various sizes, and it felt so good to say you’re a yellow, or a pink, or a green. And then at 3am one morning, which is when my brain tends to decide to have its real moments, I woke with absolute clarity…I needed to have coloured labels with shapes. This would mean that instead of clients referring to their size as a 2XL, they become a pink heart (which is the new label for a 2XL HJ garment). As a shapely women, it made perfect sense to me, and I knew would make perfect sense to my clients, and in turn, would eliminate the stress of a number in a label.

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We’re shaping not sizing at Hayley Joy, a Large is now an Orange Crown.

Many clothing brands are dropping the plus-size from the description of their ranges, and are seeing a marked increase in profits, but nobody has gone as far as removing sizes completely. Practically I think it’s difficult to remove sizes if you are a store carrying multiple brands. For Hayley Joy it makes perfect sense, because we manufacture all our collections in our own production facility, exclusively for our retail store. It’s easier for us to educate our present and future clients on how to buy the ranges. It also allows for us to demonstrate our respect for the issues around sizing. I’ve spent months on the internet reading comments on anything Plus-size related, and the recurring gripe is this, ‘Why do we have to be labelled, why can’t we just be part of the consumer chain?’

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we’re shaping not sizing at hayley Joy, an XL is now a Lime Flower.

I have given it much thought, and am in agreement. It’s time to start offering fashion in all sizes, with no stigma. HJ is known as a Plus-size brand, but the reality is that we cater for all sizes. I have many clients who buy HJ small, because they like the styles and the look and feel. They are really not fazed by what size we go up to. In fact, they are often in awe, that there is a brand who is taking a small pattern, and sizing it all the way up to a 7XL.

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We’re shaping not sizing at Hayley Joy, a 2XL is now a Pink Heart.

As a small independent boutique, attempting to do something this radical, within the clothing space, is risky. But for me, I believe that the time is right, for somebody to make a move in this very maligned area of fashion.

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We’re shaping not sizing at Hayley Joy, a 3XL is now a Turquoise Bow.

Plus-size clothing has a stigma, there is no denying it. I’m hoping that by making this change and removing sizes completely, HJ can create a precedent going forward, and at the same time, demonstrate to women out there, that somebody has taken heed of all the feedback, and come up with a fun, quirky way to limit the stigma and remove the trauma of shopping by size. I think we’ve been so fixated on size for so long, that we’ve forgotten that we have a shape too, and it’s our shape that defines the clothing we wish to wear.

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We’re shaping not sizing at Hayley Joy, a 4XL is now a Red Star.

I hope that this will revolutionise the way women are marketed to in fashion, globally. It’s time for women of all shapes and sizes to be honoured. I want this to become a global undertaking. We the designers, who are claiming to know a thing or two about Plus-size fashion, need to start realising that our clients needs are not that complicated, they just want respectfully designed, well fitting, fashion forward clothing, without stigma around their size.

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We’re shaping not sizing  at Hayley Joy, a 5XL is now an Emerald Triangle.

I want to be that designer who changed the way women of all sizes are marketed to. In my own small way, I believe the first step is to take the trauma out of sizing…and the first step for HJ, toward this, is by making fashion about a Shape, not a Size.

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We’re shaping not sizing at Hayley Joy, a 6XL is now a Blue Circle.

Welcome to my Shape Revolution.

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We’re shaping not sizing at Hayley Joy, a 7XL is now a Purple Triangle.

❤️ Hayley Joy

It’s a sign!!

Now A Shape not a Size is a reality. Is it really possible that on day one of Hayley Joy’s Shape Revolution, we were featured by @PumpOracle on Jan Smuts Ave. This is all taking great SHAPE!!

Xxx H

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