Dear Woman Within,
You showed up in my mailbox yesterday. As a professional catalog writer, I have some thoughts to share with you.
First of all, the good: I love that you make clothing for plus-sized women. After all, why should style be the exclusive domain of the size 2s, right? And I love that your cover model genuinely looks like she’s plus-sized … not just a size 12 because she’s six feet tall.
Also on the plus side (no pun intended), your tagline is totally working: “Love what you wear” really resonates. After all, who doesn’t want to feel happy in their clothes, plus-sized or not?
Now, let’s move on to areas of improvement because I really do want you to succeed.
Let’s start with your name: “Woman Within.” I could see people taking this the wrong way; for example: “Are you suggesting I don’t look like a woman on the OUTSIDE because of my size?!” I wanted to see if it was just me who thought this way, so I asked around a little.
This first woman I asked saw it just as I did: “I like the model a lot, but I feel like the name says, ‘Ignore the large packaging because there is a real woman in there.'” The second two women saw things … differently.
“It makes me think of my vagina!” whispered one, embarrassed. “I immediately thought of tampons,” said another. This hadn’t occurred to me, but I see it now.
Moving on … Let’s talk about the cover photo.
We both know how much first impressions matter, so what is up with that baggy red turtleneck and mom jeans? I know from personal experience that this is how moms dress when they have five minutes to get to Kindergarten dropoff … not when they want to “love what they wear.”
You have some beautiful clothes you could’ve featured on the cover. Why not the A-line raincoat on page 39 or the notch neck knit tunic on page 68? Your excellent use of call-out space with the FREE Striper Bag deal is going to be lost if people don’t open the catalog.
Anyway, just some things to think about. And yes, I feel like kind of a jerk for writing this. But you’re doing so much so well that I hope you’ll take this as thoughtful feedback to consider for your next issue.
Best of luck,