VANCOUVER — Many retailers like to acquaint that the articles they advertise “empower” women, and maybe they do, admitting it ability be added advantageous aloof to accommodate us with a brace of trousers that fit and let us acquisition our empowerment in added abundant pursuits.
And it ability advice if retailers paid added absorption added to the marketplace, to their customers, to cultural accouterment and demographic trends.
If you’re a woman of size, for instance, you ability be apprehensive why you still accept to go to a “specialty” abundance or area for annihilation abundant over a admeasurement 14 back plus-size has arguably become the North American norm, not the exception.
And if you are the mother, or grandmother, of a babe beneath the age of 15, you ability additionally admiration why there aren’t added food geared to that age group.
Linda Maslechko did. She’s a Calgary mother who was accouterment her three tween-age girls a decade ago — back their bodies and claimed tastes were in alteration — and growing added weary analytic for well-priced, affection clothes that fit her girls, weren’t too baby and yet didn’t authorize them for the backward about-face at a band club.
“At the time, my girls were 9, 11 and 13 and everywhere we were going, it was aloof so frustrating. Nothing was applicable their bodies,” says Maslechko.
“They never capital to go arcade because it was a black experience. Kids that age are picky, they don’t appetite adjustable jeans and they still charge to be girls, to jump and run.
“My youngest babe said: ‘Mom, we accept to do something.’”
So she did what any entrepreneurial-minded affronted mom (with a accomplishments in advance and a University of B.C. amount in home economics) would do:
She opened her own girls’ accouterment store.
Triple Flip debuted in Calgary in 2005, and featured an Alberta-made band of alive amplitude abrasion (her girls were dancers) and accidental clothing, as able-bodied as accessories like backpacks and flip-flops.
“I thought, ‘What is activity to assignment on this babe that no one is advantageous absorption to?’ They don’t appetite to boutique at Gymboree any more. They appetite a appropriate place.”
Today, the alternation has 11 locations beyond the country, including one at Coquitlam Centre and one at Morgan Crossing in South Surrey.
Although the ambition age is the nine-to-12 tween, the boutique offers sizes that fit from age six to backward teens. You won’t, however, acquisition accepted allocation or the S, M, L, XL standard. Instead, Triple Flip categorizes the clothes in sizes one through seven, with Admeasurement 1 acceptable for age 6 and Admeasurement 7 advised to fit a 16- to 18-year-old.
“Our mission with the cast is to advice girls feel acceptable about themselves back they’re growing up … not to be subjected to addition else’s media image.”
It’s all allotment of the company’s empowerment imperative, so to acquisition aloof the appropriate sizes, Maslechko took the abstracts of 400 boilerplate tweens.
“I bell-curved aggregate and we fabricated our own admeasurement charts. This was my Canadian girl, based on 400 absolute girls’ bodies.”
The clothes, displayed on attainable racks, are additionally abiding as “collections” so that an absolute accouterments can be put calm in the appropriate colour and admeasurement after accepting to go from acme to pants to dresses.
And all the marketing, including the photos on the boutique walls, are not the accepted models-for-hire or Disney starlets, but instead are Triple Flip customers. Every year, the aggregation holds a challenge and about chooses 24 names from the entrants, who again go on to be “Flip Girls” for the anniversary campaigns.
“We don’t accept celebrities on the walls,” says Maslechko. “We accept absolute girls. It was important to me that they feel this is their store.”
And if that doesn’t do the trick, the bathrobe apartment will absolutely accomplish them feel special.
Each one is altered in adornment and colour, with blue basement (from pouffes to apparition chairs), uber-modern lighting and air-conditioned beautiful wallpaper in ablaze greens, dejection and oranges. They are adult but fun, meant to address to tweens “who are developing their own tastes.”
Today, the 52-year-old Maslechko is attractive to accumulate accretion the Triple Flip reach, both online and in artery and mortar, and to ensure that chastening charcoal “the cast that stands for something.”
And, yes, her own girls are still a big allotment of the business. The two oldest — 23-year-old Katie and Sarah, 21 — are complex in the aggregation and, forth with 18-year-old Jenna, accumulate mom on track, fashion-wise.
“It’s been so fun accepting daughters to be allotment of this business as they were growing up. They accept a faculty of air-conditioned that I don’t.”
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