A local businesswoman is on a mission to promote a positive body image for women of all shapes and sizes.
Alexa Fuhrman-Sherman plans to open a size-inclusive lingerie shop somewhere in downtown Bay City thanks to a recent financial boost from winning the CMURC 2019 Pitch-a-Dream competition.
The Pitch a Dream competition started in June and required entrepreneurs to develop business plans and submit pitches. Fuhrman-Sherman said that the process took about five months and required intensive research.
“That was a lot of fun and gave me a lot of clarity in what I really wanted,” she said.
Fuhrman-Sherman’s plan for her lingerie shop Lex & Co. was selected on Nov. 12 for the grand prize of $10,000 to help grow her business. She currently is looking at different storefront spaces available in Bay City and hopes to open in the spring.
Fuhrman-Sherman is no stranger to the lingerie world. She said that she inadvertently became an expert in lingerie because of her other business venture as a boudoir photographer. Boudoir photography is a modern version of pin-up and glamour shot photography.
Fuhrman-Sherman is the owner of Boudoir by Alexa. Her work is nationally published and she is trained in boudoir photography and techniques.
“I’ve been really active with the women in my community, which is why I think that I can make Lex and Co. very successful,” she said. "I’m already working with my target market and I know the trends.”
Her business organically grew as she started up Lex and Co. to meet the needs of her customers. She picked up on a gap in the women’s clothing market that her clients were struggling with. It became apparent to her that lingerie options were lacking for women who didn’t fit the stereotypical sizes promoted by chain retailers.
“My clients have been telling me in the past five years that there’s such a lack of options for women of all shapes and sizes," she said.
Fuhrman-Sherman explained that there are not many size inclusive shops in the area, with most popular retailers catering to 32 to 36 for bra band sizes while the average women’s band is size 40. She also said that the average women needs a DD-DDD cup size and most retailers go only up to DD.
“They miss the mark on pretty much the average band and cup size for most women, so Lex and Co. is going to change that," she said.
Carrying harder to find sizes is about more than just offering inventory to more customers. As a boudoir photographer, Fuhrman-Sherman often encounters women who are very self-conscious about their bodies.
By offering size-inclusive lingerie options, Fuhrman-Sherman is able to help women embrace their own bodies and who they are.
“It’s really important to spread self love and body positivity, and we can’t spread body positivity if we only cater to one size and shape of women,” she said.