We’re turning the spotlight on our community to share their stories and flaunt our styles — after all, who would we rather see than the women who really wear them? Watch this space for more incredible style and stories. If you would like to be considered for an upcoming installment of “We’re Inspired By…”, submit your unique story!
For this edition, we travel to member Katie’s bustling city of D.C. Katie tells us about training the next wave of politicians, which trend has recently taken over her wardrobe, and about a time she met a GB member on the street. Read on to learn more about why We’re Inspired By… Katie!
1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself!
I was raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania in a small coal miner town and moved to Washington, DC to attend college in 2009. I went to a small women’s college, Trinity Washington University, and majored in political science. I’ve always loved politics and living in Washington, DC has given me a great opportunity to see politics up close and personal.
In my day job, I travel the country training young adults how to lobby Congress. I work with a group of 20 organizers around the country who lobby Congress, and I truly believe that this group of young people are going to be are future Senators and Presidents. I also recruit young adults to come to Washington, DC every march for our Spring Lobby Weekend. It’s great to see so many young adults engaging with Congress by lobbying them. I love my job because it gives me a sneak peek at the talent that is coming up in the political world. It gives me hope that our future is in good hands.
2. What inspired you to become a Gwynnie Bee member?
A good friend of mine named Nancy knew I loved clothes and recommended that I join. She was always wearing amazing dresses and looked so put together. I live in DC, so closet space is limited. As I saw her clothing throughout the seasons, I realized how valuable it was to get unlimited clothing for different seasons.
Many people in DC wear name brand clothing, and as a plus size woman who works at a nonprofit, that’s not always an option. Gwynnie Bee has made that more of an option by creating a relatively affordable option to rent clothing that is name brand and high quality. I’m able to stay on trend for less money than it would cost to constantly buy items in those trends.
3. What has your Gwynnie Bee experience been like thus far?
I’ve loved being a member of GB. It has made such an impact on my style. I’ve loved having access to lots of different options. My favorite part of Gwynnie Bee is having access to the Gwynnie Bee store. Now most of my clothing is from Gwynnie Bee!
Because I travel for work, Gwynnie Bee makes trips a lot easier. I can bring GB clothing on the road and put them in the mail regardless of where I am. It also makes my suitcase lighter on the way home!
I’ve also loved the GB community. One of my favorite parts of this community is the comment section on a GB item. You can tell that there’s so much love in the comments about each piece. I almost never make comments, but I find myself wanting to cheer on or warn my fellow GBs about an item that they might want to try on. Earlier this month I was taking the metro and I saw a woman wearing a dress that I bought from GB last year. I immediately tapped her on the shoulder and was so excited to talk to her about GB. It was an incredible feeling to be able to share something I love so much with a complete stranger!
4. Has Gwynnie Bee changed the way you approach fashion?
Absolutely. Like many plus size women, I often times felt frustrated by the lack of clothing options at standalone stores. Gwynnie Bee introduced me to so many new companies and let me experiment with different styles in the comforts of my own home. I can’t believe there was a world where I didn’t know City Chic, Eloquii, and other Gwynnie Bee regulars!
5. What pieces have you been most excited to receive? Has any piece surprised you with how much you love it?
I was surprised how much I loved the sheer trend, to be honest. I wasn’t sure if it was going to fit in with my style vibe. That’s why I love the INC International Concepts Floral Border Hi Lo Dress so much. When I tried it on for the first time, I almost didn’t want to take it off!
My favorite GB dress is a black and white London Times dress that I got from the GB Shop. I loved it so much that I bought a second one after I got a stain on the first dress!
6. How would you describe your sense of style? What influences your fashion sense?
I love clothing with a lot of drama. Most of my clothes include big prints and sheer elements to make a big statement. As a plus size woman, I feel that it is important to not be afraid to take up space because there are so many ways society tells us to make ourselves smaller. Wearing clothing that is more colorful and bold makes me feel like I’m pushing back against that narrative.
7. Who are the women who inspire you?
Living in DC means I am constantly surrounded by incredible women who inspire me every day. The women who inspire me most are women who are willing to be bold. Many women in my group of friends fall into that category, and I’m grateful to learn from them about how to take risks and be assertive.
As for role models, I have been inspired by many of the women who are serving in the Senate right now. Senator Kamala Harris in particular has been someone I’ve enjoyed following in the news because I think she is an example of a woman who is able to be firm yet understanding. Hillary Clinton, especially post-election Hillary, has also been incredibly inspiring to me late. Lately it seems like she has been able to let loose and I am very here for that. As for a non-politician role model, Elaine Welteroth has become one of my absolute idols. I love how she is able to balance politics and fashion in a way that is incredibly approachable. I hate the notion that you can’t be serious if you like fashion. Elaine Welteroth has created a publication that lets me read about the latest makeup trends and the latest political commentary – how amazing is that!
If you would like to be considered for an upcoming installment of “We’re Inspired By…”, submit your unique story!
Photography by: Sarah Marcella Hallee