The interview so many of our curvy fashionista have been waiting for! Our Queen Grace Weekly Dish Q&A with the lovely and savvy Gwen DeVoe is here! Taking time from her maddening schedule a a producer and event planner was a gracious gesture and we are very grateful for Gwen’s efforts and insight – take a read and enjoy the exchange, and if you’d like to know more about Gwen’s signature project, the Full Figured Fashion Week (FFFWeek) you can click here or visit the Facebook page for this special, plus-size designer showcase event.
QG) Can you share with us Gwen about how you got your start in entrepreneurship?
GD) I started out as a “party promoter” which is now known as an event planner. I, along with 4 other partners, held large events that were frequented and often held in honor of NBA and NFL players.
QG) What do you empower to other women who want to be independent and start their own businesses?
GD) First and foremost, take the necessary steps to legally protect your brand/business. Next, network to build your network by stepping outside of your comfort zone to meet new people. Lastly, take advantage of social media. The rewards are amazing!
QG) What do you do you think of the “new” economy and how does it affect women and their families?
GD)I think that the new economy is about to surge upwards and women will continue to find ways to manage household budgets, etc. Two years ago, most people, including women, were being very conscious of how much was being spent, particularly in retail. I think this has eased somewhat. Women, in particular, have become a bit more comfortable with their spending patterns and although we still love a discount, we also appreciate the value of a few high end items as well. On average, most women will always find a way to get what is needed for themselves and their families.
QG) Tell us about the inspiration for the Full Figured Fashion Week (FFFWeek); Where did the idea come from?
GD) After attending my first Fashion Week event under the famous “tents” in NYC, and not seeing anything on the runway that could fit ME, I was inspired to create a similar event for plus sizes. Thus, the birth of Full Figured Fashion Week!
QG) Why do you think now is such a perfect time for full figured and curvy women?
GD) I think this is a perfect time for us because now more than ever, we accept who we are right now, we know what we want and we acknowledge our value. Needless to say, fashion has played a crucial role in our positive consciousness. You just can’t help but feel good when you look good!
QG) Tell us, what do you say to yourself on those days when you feel it’s all just too tough to manage?
GD) I say “time to go to sleep”. Sleep has medicinal qualities for me. I wake up each morning with more clarity and profoundness than the day before and the realization that it’s another day to improve on what I did the day before.
QG) Who were your mentors?
GD) My mentors were (and still are) executives that I used to work for. I have had the opportunity to work for quite a few inspiring and supportive people who left a positive impression on my life. There is a saying: “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” I was “dressing” both physically and mentally as an executive for many years!
QG) Who do you admire? What qualities do they have that you respect?
GD) I admire several people. Too many to list, but they all possess similar qualities. I admire people who are honest, creative, driven, passionate.
QG) Tell our readers what is in store for you and your bright future in 2012…
GD) This may be off topic a bit, but I eagerly await the second half of 2012. I’m afraid I’ve been bitten by the travel bug and am eager to leave NYC and explore other parts of the country. Hopefully, this will be the year I get to do it.
QG) If you were not doing what you are doing now, where would you be instead?
GD) I would probably be devising a plan to find a way to do what I do now (smile).
Thank you Gwen for your fabulous responses and all the best on all your remarkable endeavors from the QG WD!