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The magical Bounty 

The plus-sized pop-up thrift shop is providing a sorely needed service for local shoppers.

click to enlarge Krista Kirby (left) and Stevie Fort (right). - MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON
  • Krista Kirby (left) and Stevie Fort (right).
  • meghan tansey whitton

When Krista Kirby and Stevie Fort settle into their chairs, flowy, all-black ensembles rustling on their seats, it'd be easy to think the two were sisters. The pair—who curate vintage and thrift finds for their plus-size pop-up shop The Bounty—finish each other's sentences and share clothes so often they've nicknamed pieces.

"I didn't realize how magical it felt to be able to share someone's closet. Growing up I wasn't able to share clothes with friends," Kirby says. (The most-requested item these days? A pleated black maxi the duo refer to as "the perfect skirt" that Fort even packed on a trip to Cuba.)

This sisterhood of the travelling maxi helped inspire the pair to take dress-up fun beyond their mutual closets: They found online shopping had them accruing lots of cute-but-not-quite-right pieces (they say it's a common pitfall for those plus-sized and style-conscious). Meanwhile, chain retailers weren't offering enough fashionable options: "I'm over spending $80 on something and then ripping sequins off the butt pockets," Kirby says. So, the idea of reselling thrifted treasures—and those online shopping misses—from sizes 14 to 26 was born.

"We're just trying to bring a wide range of plus-sized choices, things we've chosen carefully," Kirby says. The pair travel the province hunting for the perfect find: "Stevie reigns me in. I'll find this, like, five-X football jersey," Kirby starts.

"And I'll be like: 'Maybe we already have five of those? Maybe no one other than you will actually wear that?" Fort finishes, laughing.

Kirby and Fort add that as The Bounty pop-ups continue, they've seen a community build. "People at the pop-ups are really friendly. Someone will be trying to decide on something and others around them will encourage or comment, which is something that only usually happens between me and old ladies at Value Village," Kirby says, laughing.

As Kirby sees it, "We certainly didn't expect the community building aspect that came with it. But, we've had customers thanking us for creating this public space. For fat people who are interested in exploring body positivity, we're hoping this can be their gateway."

click to enlarge feature.thebounty2.jpg

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