Angela Hargro said that the boutique in downtown Decatur that she opened with partner Melanie Williams was “born out of frustration as a shopper.”
“It was so hard to find clothes in my size that didn’t look like something somebody’s grandmother would wear,” Hargro said.
The name Twelve 24 reflects the range of sizes carried in the boutique on East Ponce de Leon Avenue that owners say was created to meet the needs of “curvy women.”
“Women want to look good and feel good in what they wear no matter their size,” Williams said. “We want to help them to do that.”
“As a curvy woman, I grew increasingly frustrated in my quest to find fashion forward clothing in my size,” Hargro said. “Shopping in the basement and corners of department stores on three racks of clothing is not a pleasant experience. Women with curves have been neglected long enough. Plus size women deserve to have the same or better shopping experience as women that are a size 2. I love boutiques and I wanted all women to be able to experience the joy of finding a cute outfit in a comfortable and welcoming setting.”
The business partners both still work at the health care corporation where they met, but said they hope to soon be in the fashion business fulltime. Friends and co-workers, they decided that they shared an “entrepreneurial spirit.” More than two years ago they launched a successful jewelry business that they have merged with the clothing store.
Hargro said Williams’ fashion sense is the perfect complement to her eagerness to meet the needs of what she says is an underserved segment of the population. The large number of women attending the grand opening June 21 suggests that many women share her enthusiasm for fashionable clothes in larger sizes.
Williams said that they look for designers who create clothes that would look good on larger women, “not just the same design but in a larger size.” A number of their designers are local, they say, and are excited that a shop wants to specialize in the type of fashions they design. The owners describe the selections at Twelve 24 Boutique as “affordable, trendy, one-of-a-kind clothing from top designers as well as accessories, gifts and more.”
“Our goal is to provide a great selection of clothing and jewelry that curvy women actually want to wear,” Hargro said. “We want to provide exceptional personal service along with private appointment shopping. We will become the shopping destination for women size 12 - 24.” The store is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, but owners say they will open Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment.
Hargro said the response from customers has been great. “Shoppers tell us they are so excited to find someone who ‘gets it,’ who understands what curvy women are looking for,” she said.
The partners say the Decatur business community has been helpful, friendly and welcoming. “We chose downtown Decatur because we felt it would be a great location for our target customers, but we have been delighted that the local business community has been so supportive,” Williams said.