Amanda Reynolds and Melissa Williams, a mother-daughter duo, have opened Plus by Design, a business focused on providing clothing and accessories for larger-sized women in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, April 29, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Amanda Reynolds and Melissa Williams, a mother-daughter duo, have opened Plus by Design, a business focused on providing clothing and accessories for larger-sized women in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, April 29, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Fashioning a new business

Shop Talk: Plus by Design

Mother and daughter duo Amanda Reynolds and Melissa Williams are hoping to fill a gap in the local retail market with their new business, Plus by Design. The two are focusing on providing clothing, intimates, swimwear and more for women who wear larger sizes. The two have had their own individual business ventures, but wanted to find a business they could pursue together. The retail shop, located near Trading Bay Road in Kenai, opened its doors March 1.

Clarion reporter Victoria Petersen: What prompted you both to open Plus by Design?

Reynolds: We have been wanting to open a store together for quite some time, we just hadn’t really decided on what we were going to do. We determined that it sure would be nice for the larger ladies in the community to have a place they could go and buy something that makes them feel beautiful at a reasonable price.

Williams: And something that not everybody is wearing.

Clarion: When working to open the shop, did you run into any challenges or anything unexpected?

Reynolds: We felt well prepared. We haven’t had any real challenges. I’d say everything’s gone very smoothly.

Clarion: What’s your favorite part about running a business together?

Williams: Spending time together is my favorite. My favorite part of the business is making women feel beautiful.

Reynolds: My favorite part is all of the women we get to meet and talk to.

Clarion: How have you been getting the word to the community?

Reynolds: Facebook has been our biggest asset in advertising. We’ve also done radio ads and flyers. Word of mouth has been great also.

Clarion: What kinds of shoppers are you hoping to attract? Are you trying to reach a specific age group or women with certain styles?

Williams: We have a lot of different vendors, that way we can provide for a wide variety of people of all ages.

Reynolds: We both order so we can cover both ends of the spectrum. We have totally different tastes. We’re trying to meet as wide of a variety as we can. It’s difficult. It’s a bit of a learning curve.

Williams: Usually everyone that comes in here is pretty happy with what we have. We’re excited and everyone else seems to be too, to not have to go to Anchorage for an outfit for a wedding or whatever they have going on.

Clarion: Was there a particular reason you chose to set up shop in Kenai?

Reynolds: It’s near where we live. Hometown pride.

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