As you know, the team over at TCF loves to highlight and support indie designers that are plus size inclusive, so when I logged onto Instagram one evening and came across this whimsical post from KellyBellyOhio, announcing a collaboration between her and an indie brand called Bouncy Frown Studios – I was instantly intrigued!
Bouncy Frown Studios is such a breath of fresh air, whose designs instantly brought a smile to my face. When I asked the designer of Bouncy Frown to describe her brand, she said, “From clothing to art prints, I want everything Bouncy Frown Studios makes to reflect the feeling of childhood whimsy and joy and to show that being an adult does not mean giving up what makes life fun. We are very serious about being silly!”
I hit up both Abby Mosse, owner and designer of Bouncy Frown Studios and Kelly aka KellyBellyOhio up to get more info on the collaboration! They are both sweethearts and agreed to a Q&A.
Q&A With Bouncy Frown Studios & Kelly Belly Ohio
Mayra Mejia: Abby, When did you first launch Bouncy Frown?
Abby Mosse: I first launched Bouncy Frown Studios in September of 2020 after I graduated from fashion school in June. In such uncertain times, it was very empowering for me to start up my own business (which had always been my ultimate career goal), and the creative outlet Bouncy Frown Studios provided me was amazing!
Mayra Mejia: Kelly, how did you discover Bouncy Frown Studios?
Kelly: One of my favorite things to do is scroll through TikTok looking for new and different brands that offer extended sizes or brands that resonate with me to give them a try! As soon as I saw Bouncy Frown, I immediately went to Instagram to follow and then sent a message.
Mayra Mejia: What made you want to reach out to Bouncy Frown Studios?
Kelly: I loved what I saw and was thinking about how I would love a pair, but they didn’t have my size. I could tell from that one TikTok that this brand was all about love and comfort. Two very important things to me. This feeling came over me that just told me if I reached out that I would be met with that same loving, positive energy. And I was right!
It has been an absolute privilege to work together on extending their sizes. The fun prints and the care that goes into their work just struck me as something I’d love to support.
Mayra Mejia: Abby can you tell us a bit more about your collaboration with Kelly on your Spring undies line? How did you both work together to extend your sizing?
Abby Mosse: Kelly reached out to me over Instagram after finding my first undies launch (A Valentine’s Day collection called “LOVE URSELF”) on TikTok, and offered to help extend my previous size range that only went up to 3X, all the way to 6X.
I remember being so thrilled to have been offered such a great opportunity to expand to bigger sizes so soon after my first launch. As a one-woman business just starting out, there’s only so much I can do with my limited resources, so having her help was a total game-changer for Bouncy Frown.
We got together over Facetime so I could get her measurements and she could go over the differences in pattern grading for extended sizes, as well as give me specific tips on how to make clothing fit larger bodies better. We also had great conversations about what fashion means to people and why it needs to be more accessible and inclusive.
After that call, I set to work making my first test 5X pattern to Kelly’s measurements, grading up from my 3X pattern, and then making her a sample pair. We had another Facetime call once she got those, so I could see the fit and make adjustments to the pattern if needed, which, miraculously, weren’t needed!
Kelly even discovered that the undies fit her body better once she flipped them around so that the front of the undies were on her back instead of her front. This was very exciting because it showed us that these undies could adapt easily to different body types.
She tested them out more to make sure they stayed comfy the whole day and held up well to washing. Once the 5X had been approved, I used what I had learned with those patterns to make the 4X and 6X, which were then tested by two of Kelly’s friends.
I’ve always dreamed of fun prints and to finally have something so fun makes me feel proud to be a small part of. Now so many others can have this same feeling!
Mayra Mejia: Abby, can you let us know what sustainable practices you implement when it comes to your products?
Abby Mosse: I try my best to be as sustainable as I can, and I keep questions of sustainability in mind as I grow. Bouncy Frown Studios follows a made-to-order production model, so I’m not wasting materials on products that don’t sell.
I also am an obsessive scrap saver. I save just about everything during my making process; fabric bits, thread, leftover elastic, and extra pattern paper so that I can eventually reuse them or get rid of them responsibly.
My main philosophy when it comes to sustainability for my own personal closet is to really cherish and take good care of the clothing items I do have. Following care labels and learning how to mend your clothes can be very important tools in changing this unsustainable narrative that clothing is disposable.
Mayra Mejia: What message do you think this partnership should send to other more mainstream brands when it comes to extending their sizing and being more size-inclusive?
Kelly: I want more brands to consider extending their sizes and becoming more size-inclusive. Clothing is a basic need that is not being met for many people like myself. A little bit of care and work can change so many lives for the better. We all benefit from this. It doesn’t have to be perfect but trying to get there, trying to be more inclusive is the right direction fashion and clothing needs to go.
Extended size people exist and always have. We are just as worthy of love and respect as we are clothing. And we want affordable, sustainable, well-made clothing options just like the rest of the world.
Many brands are finally making these options available and I truly feel fat bodies are finally being seen for what they are, worthy and magnificent just as much as other bodies.
Kelly has been so fantastic to work with, and so generous with her time and energy. The lessons she has taught me, about how to make clothes in extended sizes and how important it truly is for everyone and every body to be able to find clothes that fit them, have been priceless.
Abby Mosse, Bouncy Frown
Mayra Mejia: What advice would you give to other small (or large) brands out there that would like to be more accessible and size-inclusive?
Abby Mosse: Take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way, start with something small and build that up before moving on to other projects, listen to voices from the community you’re trying to include, and always be open to learning and evolving.
There is no real “finish line” for inclusivity, so keep striving to improve as your brand grows. Making your brand more inclusive, while it takes some extra work, is extremely worth it and shows a deeper level of care to your customers, especially as inclusivity and other ethical concerns have and will continue to become an increasingly important part of buying decisions.
Shop Bouncy Frown Studios’ latest Sunny Daze Collection at www.BouncyFrown.com!
Have you heard of Bouncy Frown Studios before? Are you excited to keep up with this indie woman-owned business? If cutesy undies aren’t your thing, and you are an art lover, she also sells awesome art prints in her online shop!