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Around this time last year I was job searching, the blog was going well but after 18 months of being on maternity leave I knew it was time to get back to work. I applied for a few jobs in project management, and even a running development job, but I didn’t get them and secretly I was hoping that somehow I could find a way of becoming a fulltime blogger.

But when I took my business idea to a local small business advice centre I was told

What you have there is not a business it’s a hobby

And perhaps he had a point because despite having thousands of followers and a subject matter that was very topical the only thing I was selling was ebooks and at the price they were on sale for I would have to sell tens of thousands a month if I wanted to live on it.

But the flippant comments of that middle-aged business advisor who didn’t understand my mission didn’t put me off completely, and a few months later I was submitting a start-up loan application for £2500 to launch a quirky t-shirt and hoodie business.

and the rest is history.

However, as I sit here with a house full of new stock I ask myself do I REALLY want to sell hoodies and t-shirts for a living? Do I know anything AT ALL about fashion, design, manufacturing or distribution? And do I really want to spend hours packing stuff up and making regular trips to the postoffice…well NO not really!!

BUT!!!

JC 3 Mills Finals LR-47Have you seen the response online to the Too Fat to Run T-shirts? Or the excitement when ladies receive their “Don’t judge just run” hoodies and they fit them perfectly?

Seeing ladies proud to be supporting the brand and using the kit to motivate them to get out the door each week. Knowing that these items give my ladies confidence when they head out for a run and that the slogans are creating debate about inactivity out and about makes me feel happy.

Plus…at the moment, quite importantly it’s helping me to pay the bills.

Most of what I do via the blog involves giving out FREE support. For many years now I have supported plus size women, and commented on inactivity and obesity without charging for my services, and although that is slowly but surely changing, women still kind of expect to recieve regular motivation and information without having to put their hand in their pocket…so selling T-shirts helps me to balance up the books.

And there is of course the well known problem regarding the finding of kit that fits…especially if you want bright vibrant colours and fabrics which are going to aid not hinder your running progress.

So that is why I am sooooooo excited to tell you about a fantastic collaboration that is happening behind the scenes with an amazing fashion student called Iesha Parker who I luckily got to meet last Friday at our photoshoot.

Now Iesha got in contact with me via email a few weeks ago asking for some advice to help with her 2nd year fashion course, and I called her back to find out a little bit more. Now she is not plus sized herself, in fact she is a very petite size 6 and at first I thought

Why should I get involved in this, she can’t possibly understand our plight

JC 3 Mills Finals LR-42

Me and Iesha

But that was me being narrow-minded and after meeting this lovely lady I realised how driven and enthusiastic she is about the whole project. Over post shoot drinks she showed me her designs, and what she is inspired by for this brief, and even bits of fabric she has chosen and experimented with…she is really working hard to understand the issues we face and to find solutions.

Unfortunately I can’t show you any of her designs because she is currently taking part in an awesome competition with plus sized retailer EVANS, which if she wins she will see her designs (inspired by the Too Fat to Run campaign) in shops up and down the country.

How exciting would that be?

But even if she doesn’t win Iesha is keen to work with me on future collaborations including a 101 ways to wear your Too Fat to Run T-shirt feature helping you to customise your T-shirt to flatter your shape.

So keep your eyes peeled for updates on this collaboration and in the meantime please check out the new stock in our shop. Remember every time you buy an item from me you are supporting the campaign, and by supporting the campaign you are telling me that this campaign is important.

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