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2023 Year in Review

2023 Year in Review

Happy New Year from Bawdy Plus! As I’m writing this, we’re in the midst of our first big snowstorm in I can’t remember how long. Yay! Plus, it’s almost Aquarius season, I’ve been treating myself to so many nice hot drinks, and I haven’t accidentally written the wrong year on anything. I’m taking the wins where I can get them.

Maybe I’m a little late, but we’re only a week into 2024 so I think there’s still time for me to write a little year in review post. 2023 was our first full year in our brick-and-mortar shop in Jim Thorpe, so we’ve really gotten to settle into our space. When I look at pictures from when I first opened compared to now, I’m amazed at how much I’ve been able to expand our second hand and vintage collection and add some really unique gifts and accessories too. 

Last spring, the shop next to ours on the second floor of the Douglas House Marketplace, Scentimental Journeys, closed so that the owner, Suzanne, could enjoy a well-deserved semi-retirement. Shortly after, two other great businesses moved into the building: Mrs. C.E. Phelps by Northampton Jewelers and Flower Moon Plants & Crafts. I couldn’t ask for better neighbors - Matte and Jill have both brought so much energy and awesome new ideas to the building. If you’re visiting us, you definitely should check out their shops. One of the new initiatives around the building is Third Thursdays, spearheaded by Matte from Mrs. C.E. Phelps. Every Third Thursday of the month, shops in the Douglas House and around town are open later and parking is free after 5. There’s been some other great Third Thursday fun like tarot readings and craft workshops, with more planned for 2024.

We had a very busy summer season, which included Jim Thorpe welcoming more train passengers than ever thanks to new round trip excursions from Pittston. We did a LOT of bulk buying (did you know we buy most of our clothing inventory from our customers?) so our collection has been rotating pretty quickly. All the interest in selling to us has also led to us being a little more selective with what we can accept - I promise it’s not personal! We have a limited amount of space, and I’m always trying hard to curate the best possible collection in the shop at any given time. Some truly unique pieces also came and went this year. I still think about that retrio multicolored Ms. Frizzle-core blouse/skirt combo, the denim jumpsuit and patchwork jackets from the 70s, and some beautiful ren-faire pieces.

Towards the end of summer we soft-launched our new e-commerce website. As you may have noticed, I’ve been trying to transition away from third-party platforms like Poshmark. Instead, I’ve been working on getting inventory listed here - we have big things planned for this space. We also had the honor of being named Best Consignment Shop in the Readers Choice edition of the Times News, our local newspaper. Huge thanks to everyone who voted!

Jim Thorpe is always a bit chaotic around the fall foliage season. During four festival weekends in October, the town welcomed thousands of visitors. If I’m being honest, big crowds aren’t always my favorite (I’m a walking talking ball of anxiety), but the appeal of our magical little town in the mountains is undeniable, especially when the leaves change.  

During the last week of October, we decided to forego the last weekend of Fall Foliage Festival to attend and vend at Philly Fatcon. Philly Fatcon was created by Adrienne Ray, Donnelle Jageman, and Kenyetta Harris as a way to celebrate fat people and fat bodies. The Fatcon even got covered by The Philadelphia Inquirer (and BawdyPlus got a mention!)

We were one of many fat-owned and fat-friendly small businesses vending in the marketplace. There were workshops, movement sessions, and a costume party (it was Halloween, after all) but my favorite part by far was meeting so many amazing people. It’s so important to create safe and inclusive spaces to build fat community, and I’m so grateful to the organizers for their tireless work.

We also had the honor of supporting this great event as a Super Sponsor! I’m definitely keeping my ear to the ground for any info about the next event.

BawdyPlus also closed out the year strong as part of a brand new shopping event in Jim Thorpe called Shop and Be Merry. Some of our friends at the Jim Thorpe Tourism Association came up with this idea as a way to support our small business community during the holidays. Visitors could buy a swag bag that came with a punchcard, and anyone who filled their punchcard by visiting 16 participating merchants could enter to win some great prizes. Everybody we talked to seemed to have a great time!

As for 2024, exciting things are in the works! I’m still meeting and getting to know other business owners around Jim Thorpe, and a lot of local folks are still finding out about the shop (don’t forget to tell your friends about us!). Third Thursdays will continue, and Winterfest 2024 is around the corner - mark your calendar for February 15-18, 2024!

I’m also planning to branch out with some special events! Watch for an announcements of events focused on sustainable and ethical fashion - like workshops on clothing mending and upcycling. We’re also exploring other possible events like a plus-size pool or beach party. What other kinds of special events would you like to see? Your ideas are welcome!

Our longtime friends know that before I opened the shop in Jim Thorpe in 2022, I did some pop-up events. Last year, Philly Fatcon was the only pop we did, but in 2024, I’m hoping to take BawdyPlus on the road a little more often. If you know of any vendor events that you think would be a good fit for us, let me know!

I think that’s it for now - there’s an endless pile of inventory waiting to be tagged and prepared to go out on the racks. A big and sincere THANK YOU! to everyone who supported BawdyPlus in any way in 2023. Building this thing has been a dream come true and all the support I’ve gotten from my family, friends, and neighbors has warmed my heart. See you in 2024!