Interview: More Than Your Average

Today's featured business might be the most unique one I've featured, but it also might be the most necessary one. As a lover of thrift and vintage and someone who is very much not a size 2, I can speak from experience when I say that shopping second hand for larger sizes can be rough and it's almost always tedious. It's demoralizing to search through racks of 24" waist vintage dresses (but if that's your waist size, go you for getting those dresses!), and it can take a long time to find a great piece that fits. When one comes along though, it's always special and something worth celebrating.

Thank goodness there's someone like Mya Price to take the work out of it for others. Mya founded More Than Your Average, and her shop is a curated selection of vintage and secondhand finds - all in sizes 12+. Searching for good secondhand clothes can be difficult for people of any size, so Mya is taking the work out of it. Her shop is filled with bold, stylish pieces in a variety of styles, proving that women of all sizes deserve to look and feel their best. The items she curates are not only one-of-a-kind, but they're a reminder of the idea that women CAN and should take up space. Many of the pieces she selects are colorful and in loud prints. They're the type of clothes that you can't help but have fun in.

What I love about Mya is that so much of her work feels empathetic. It's clear that her business doesn't come out of wanting to capitalize on a lucrative market (though she obviously has the business sense to see how important it is), but that she genuinely wants to help all women - regardless of their size - feel confident. She does through her personal styling service as well, and her empathy is even more evident in her full-time job working for Feeding America. Of course, what she does in both her job and her business are important at all times, but especially now. She's helping people in a myriad of ways, and it was a joy to talk to her for this interview. Enjoy!

My pick: I am FEELING this pastel pink and yellow cut out dress!

Q: Let’s start from the beginning. Can you tell me a little bit about the process of starting your business? What made you want to do this and how did you turn your idea into a reality?

A: As of October 2017, I launched my business More Than Your Average. MTYA has both an online and in-store vintage boutique presence that specializes in one of kind vintage finds for plus size women considered 12+. As a plus size woman myself, I was inspired to launch my business because of my personal passion for thrift fashion and because of the lack of clothing selections in the fashion industry for plus size women.

MTYA gives me the space to highlight this lack of representation and bring a voice to how thrift and vintage fashion generates a solution for the large gap in the fashion representation of plus size women. In reference to lack of fashion representation, MTYA is about bridging that inequality in the realm of vintage plus size finds.

In addition to using my business as a platform for plus vintage selections that are specifically curated by me, I also use my platform as a space to uplift women through styling tips featured on my blog and featured experiences from others. All women should be celebrated, no matter their size, shape, or form and I believe everyone should be given equal opportunity to shop and select pieces that fit their style, size, and interest. In addition to my resaling finds, I’m also a plus fashion stylist and a part-time blogger in which I offer both styling services and additional tips on my blog.

Q: Was there a moment when you felt like this was something that was going to take off and become a success for you?

A: I enjoy thrift shopping and have found much self-care in thrift shopping for myself and others. Over time I saw myself beginning to develop a skill set around navigating thrift stores and specifically finding plus size selections. In a state of fear and uncertainty, I decided to turn my passion into a business that can fill a need for so many women to benefit from, who are struggling to find selections that fit their ‘More Than Your Average’ selves.

Q: What were your friends and family’s reactions to you starting this as a career or a business? Were you nervous to share it?

A: I definitely have a team of close supporters since starting my business, which includes my mom. MTYA wouldn’t be in the same place it is now without their support, dedication, and time spent helping me to design, implement, operate, coordinate, and capture the entire essence of my business. I believe all women should uplift, celebrate, and support each other. Collaboration over Competition!

Q: Is this your full-time job? If so, how long did it take you to transition into full-time?

A: More Than Your Average is not my full-time job. For my full-time position, I work for a national hunger-relief non-profit called Feeding America. We work with more than 200 food banks across the nation to fight hunger through various hunger-relief initiatives.

I devote approximately between 25-30 (sometimes 35) hours a week to my business from my apartment here in Washington D.C. and also in my home state of Kentucky. In addition to operating online and in-store, I also participate in weekend pop-up markets depending on the season. Having the opportunity to dedicate this time toward MTYA has also given me the opportunity to develop greater organizational and self-care management skills.

Q: How does sourcing products usually work for you?

A: I enjoy sourcing items that stand alone on a rack either by their color, pattern, garment detail, and overall aesthetic. Sourcing items for MTYA makes me happy!

Q: Obviously, we’re in strange times right now so I have to ask - how has COVID-19 affected your business and what you doing to keep everything going during this time? What can people do to support you and others during all of this?

A: During this time, I’ve found much inspiration in continuing to share MTYA with the world. I continue to promote, share, and sell items on my website and have received very positive feedback. My platform inspires, empowers, and provides encouragement. Especially, during this time of uncertainty. I look forward to sharing more bold colors, patterns, and unique selections!

Q: What advice do you have for someone looking to start a small business and sell their creations?

A: My advice is to keep going no matter if you’re having a bad day, sales aren’t where you might like them to be, you don’t know where the next opportunity may be, or don’t know what direction your business is headed toward. I’ve been given opportunities I never saw coming and have also experienced days where I didn’t know where I was going. As an entrepreneur and in life, we have to learn to take the good with the bad and make lemonade out of each experience. Cheers to us and go and be your ‘More Than Your Average’ self!

Q: Favorite item in your shop currently?

A: There are so many items I currently enjoy, but I would have to go with my Spring/Summer inspired selections.

Q: What goals do you have for your business going forward?

A: Officially launching MTYA has always been a dream of mine and I’m so excited that I had the courage and self-confidence to pursue this journey. I look forward to the possibilities to come in and people to people along the way.

Q: Lastly, let’s spread the love. What are a few of your favorite small shops owned by women that you personally shop from?

A: I really enjoy supporting other local and nationwide women-owned vintage businesses. A few of favorites include Coast to Coast Vintage and Old Moon Vintage.

Follow along with Mya:

Shop More Than Your Average

Follow MTYA on Instagram

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