A lot of you see our videos, our live streaming, and our handwriting on your package receipts. I’m sure you ladies have noticed that theukayqueen is growing. We have more employees than we’ve ever had, more clothes than we’ve ever had (can I get a “YASSSSS” ) and more responsibility than - you guessed - we’ve ever had. But it might not be for the reason you think.
Why? Because we’re not just about the clothes. Yes - We LOVE the clothes. We talk about them, how to style them to change an item’s look just by accessorizing, and, of course, how cute it is (because come on, no matter how many times we say an article of clothing is cute, it really IS cute.) But our heart and our vision is for so much more.
If you don't know, this company started because a woman - our one and only Jaree Reynolds, who if you haven't had the pleasure of meeting you totally should - began printing t-shirts in her living room and selling them online. She soon realized there was very limited sizing available in some of the styles she was looking for. Intrigued, she looked deeper into the clothing available online and she found that the limited sizing wasn’t just with t-shirts. It was most clothing items - tops, dresses, bottoms - all of it was only available through a 10 and IF more sizes were available, they were only solid colors and very plain. They also, on average, toted a price upwards of $10/$20/$30 higher than the "normal sizes." That intrigue never went away and so began theukayqueen’s journey.
In the last month, we launched our first line of items available in sizes 20-26, most of those actually coming in sizes 4-26. We have tried to carry sizes 4-24 before but we had a really hard time carrying these items consistently and trust us - we looked, hunted, and negotiated. It wasn’t until this last collection that we were able to convince our manufacturers to make our clothes - consistently - in these sizes. We know not all of our clothes are available in this new size range, but it’s a huge step in the right direction.
This goal started YEARS ago, and is the beginning of what we want - for it to bud into a beautifully inclusive and encouraging shopping experience. I say this just because it is a big, recent victory for our company, not because it is the only focus of theukayqueen. The heart of this company is that women from any size, any background, and any income can come to one place to be encouraged, told that she is beautiful, find things that she loves and genuinely feels STUNNING in. When you leave theukayqueen we don’t want to send you away with a few new pieces of clothing that will be hung in your closet and stay there, unworn forever, because it’s something you were convinced to buy. We want your items to be a confident expression of YOU. We hope that your best days are the days you throw on that comfortable dress and feel empowered and emboldened because you CHOSE it and love yourself in it.
We get stories of women who spent the last 2 years in pajamas but they found our site, met our women and now they are posting radiant selfies in our Facebook page for all to see. We have women come into our store, unsure of what to pick for themselves because it’s the first time they’ve been shopping in years and the thought of clothing shopping is overwhelming. Women who are open with the fact that they have experienced heartbreak, insecurities and judgement - as all of us women have. When a customer comes into our store or online to our VIP page and has been hit with a tragedy or uncertainty, we pray, encourage and provide an avenue where they can reach out and just be vulnerable with other women who genuinely care. There is a lot that can be said about the security provided when you have 300 ladies on your Facebook post telling you they are with you, that you can do this, that God is for you, and that you’re not alone.
Do we always meet this standard with 100% success? No. Sometimes we miss it completely, but our heart always strives to be that safe, wonderful place for women everyday to enjoy and have fun while finding clothes with other women who also love clothes. We get to enjoy fellowship with women we never would have met and so do all of our ladies. We always get a kick out of seeing the ladies friend each other outside of our VIP group, or Facebook page, seeing that they met up for lunch while one was on vacation or a customer calls us to tell us they want to send a gift to another customer. Every week, we laugh with our ladies as we tell jokes, cut up and enjoy each other’s company. We celebrate the accomplishments that have come their way, the new family member, healing, getting the job, newfound peace or just feeling out right HOT in something they just received from us. Women need each other. God made us this way. We sometimes get caught up in the day-to-day, but in the end- what we care about is our ladies. It is one of my favorite things when I see a woman post her first selfie on our Facebook page- usually with a few soft apologies for the background or for the hair not quite being done- and within minutes 35 ladies jump on there and tell her she looks stunning. It just warms my heart. It blesses me. It reminds me why we’re here. Here at theukayqueen we have clothes, but it’s not about the clothes.