New store on Main Street would be a first in Gloucester
Raphaella Teschner has found her calling – helping women who wear plus-size clothing feel good about themselves and think – KNOW – the are beautiful.
Teschner’s business concept, the Beautiful Plus Boutique, will sell exclusively plus-size women’s clothing and fashion accessories on Main Street in the Gloucester Village. She also plans on offering a specialized, personal shopping experience to include in-store alterations.
“I want to help women find their own beauty and extend that to the outside,” Teschner said. “Even jeans and a t-shirt can look good. Having women feel good about themselves is my goal. When you feel beautiful you really do look beautiful because that aura extends around you.”
Teschner is specifically vying to be one of three prospective business owners selected from a pool of local entrepreneurs to receive a combined value of $95,000 in goods, services and start-up capital to launch a business on Main Street (the three winners will share the total value of the prize package). The Launch Gloucester program is part of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia Community Business Launch initiative and is locally overseen by Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust and Gloucester Main Street Association.
As a plus-size woman herself, Teschner said she, too, has had trouble finding clothes that are fashionable, high quality and fit well.
“Just finding clothing that I could go work in and not look like my grandmother and that fit me well was very difficult,” Teschner said. “It really became a passion of mine (to create a store where) people could come and find something that they were confident in and makes them feel beautiful.”
Teschner envisions her store helping empower plus-size women on a deeper level. When she wears clothes she feels good about, it carries over to her identity, she said.
“I really want to help the women that walk into my store appreciate their own beauty and be more self-confident themselves. I’ve struggled with self-confidence. But now I feel I have more self-confidence than I have in a long time.”
Teschner’s mother, Yolanda Teschner, has a women’s clothing store on Main Street – Yolanda’s. Although it’s not always been full-time, Raphaella Teschner has worked for her mother doing the books and other “behind the scenes” duties that she said will help her open her own store and make it successful.