Michele Varon

Owner Abundance – A Plus Size Boutique

Abundance is a Los Angeles-area specialty boutique catering to women sizes 12 and up. Owner Michele Varon started the business in 1998 after years of working in entertainment industry accounting.

Tell us about Abundance.

“Abundance is one of the very few upscale, independent, plus-size fashion boutiques in the entire United States. The purpose of Abundance is to help each woman gain confidence and feel empowered about herself exactly as she is. We help her choose a wardrobe that expresses her creative side and accentuates her positive qualities.”

How do you remain true to yourself and find your own voice in your industry?

“I buy what I like and what I think my customers like. I have a very specific aesthetic about what I will and won’t bring into my store. It has to be interesting. It has to have a style. I like it to have an edgy-ness. I love interesting fabrics. I need to be proud of everything I bring into the store because it is a reflection of me.”

What is your best piece of advice for a female entrepreneur just starting out?

“Don’t quit your job that pays the bills as you start on your new venture. It takes more time, energy and a lot of working capital to start and sustain a business. You may need that paycheck to fund your new business. Keep a lot of money in the bank so you never have to worry about paying your employees or your vendors on time. Hire talented and dedicated women to be part of your team. Take chances, talk to others and get their opinions, and then do what you think is best for you and your business. Follow your passion and dreams. Be grateful.”

What question or concern do you frequently hear from clients?

“We are always hearing from our customers that it is hard to find clothing in their size that is fashionable, functional and comfortable, that expresses their personality. They don’t want to look like everyone else, and they don’t like the service and the items available in department stores. Our customers are looking for someone who understands them, understands their needs, understands their body shape and size and can help them create a wardrobe that works for them.”