Yolanda Williams – Transformation from the Inside, Out
I’d like to think that every entrepreneur has an ah-ha moment where they realize that every experience, every disappointment, every life lesson was divinely ordered to bring them to where they are today. At least that’s what I’ve come to realize. I wake up every day–astonished that I own a company–thanking God for bringing me to where I am today. But this road definitely wasn’t easy. From childhood experiences, to low self-esteem, to starting a business… none of it was a cake walk, but it was all a blessing.
I’m Yolanda, founder and CEO of Just Curves, an activewear line for plus size women. I’ll be 35 in a few weeks, the eldest of three daughters, raised by a single mother. My childhood wasn’t an easy one, but it was where my personality started to take shape. We were broke, so we moved a lot; which meant I was always the new girl at school. I learned how to talk to anyone about anything and I learned that making people laugh goes a long way. As the oldest, I learned how to take responsibility for other people. I also learned how to lead by example, how to listen, and how to be resourceful.
Fast-forward to my 20’s when I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. From the age of 19 to 26, I was with someone who made me feel ugly every day because of my weight. I was horribly depressed. I hated myself, my body, and my life. I really felt like I deserved to be treated as badly as I did, because who else would want me; which is why I stayed for so long. Because of that experience, I’m committed to helping women realize they’re beautiful no matter their size. My own experiences with low self-confidence and almost no sense of self-worth have equipped me to help another woman transform her thoughts about her beauty through fashion.
Just Curves isn’t just about clothes. The weight of the weight we carry isn’t just measured in pounds; it’s measured in tears. So many women look in the mirror every day, hating themselves; wishing for a miracle that will take away their muffin-top and waiting to live their lives thinking that losing weight will solve their problems. How many times have you heard someone say something like, “I’m too fat for the gym’ or “I have to lose weight before I can do __________ ?” Too many of us are letting our lives pass us by, because we place so much weight on our weight.
Enter Just Curves, fashionable activewear made just for plus size women by yours truly. I created this line because I want to empower my curvy sisters through fashion toward health and strength. I know when I was trying desperately to lose weight; the fugly clothes available to me were a huge deterrent and distraction. I remember walking into a gym one time, looking at all the thin chicks in their LuLu’s–catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror–then walking right back out. Other times, I would spend 90% of my workout worried about my pants falling down or my shirt creeping up, not concentrating on what I was doing, so I left, still feeling like a failure. Now, I’m not saying that Just Curves apparel will magically help women overcome all the other issues that are holding women back from living fully, but it’s a start. Clothing is emotional. When we put them on, we feel something and people feel something when they see us in them. Why not feel sexy and confident while you work out? Just Curves is about empowerment. We are about helping women realize their beauty isn’t based on a number on a scale and their worth isn’t determined by their weight. I want to challenge the standards of beauty that tell women they are only beautiful if they’re a size 4. I want to use my past pain to help usher in a new standard of health and beauty that’s encouraging and inclusive.
On the horizon for Just Curves is Full Figured Fashion Week in New York, June 19, 2015 in the Indie Fashion Show where we will debut a preview of the next collection. I’m so excited to show the world what can happen if you put sweat and determination behind a dream. Looking back at who I was when I was 19, at the broken girl I was, I know I never would have been able to do what I’m doing today. However, I couldn’t have made it this far if that girl never existed. She is the part of me that keeps me moving toward a greater purpose. You grow through what you go through–IF you can see the lesson and the blessing in every experience.
If there are any would-be entrepreneurs out there reading this, still on the fence about taking that leap of faith, I implore you to look back over your life and think about all the experiences you had that can be used to prepare you for the journey ahead. Those “bad” experiences were put in your path for a reason. Use your past experiences to help navigate you through the craziness that is entrepreneurship. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. A lot of people have no desire to ever take that risk. But if you’re thinking about it, then go for it! I can’t tell you the pride I feel as I watch my dreams come to fruition. I know I have an amazing product, a unique brand, and an under-served market that is as excited as I am for my future. Just Curves will be the premier activewear collection for plus size women. Don’t believe me…just watch!
Yolanda Williams, Founder and CEO of Just Curves, activewear for the fashionable curvy girl, sizes 10-28. She was inspired to create the company by her story and those of the many women that she had the pleasure of meeting while serving as the Social Media for weight-loss product.
Learn more about Yolanda and Just Curves by visiting her online: