A lipstick enthusiast and sucker for a great graphic print, Sierra Holmes is a plus size fashion blogger and creator of Eclectic Kurves. She lives in Carmel, Indiana and is a wife and mother of two. Sierra is creating footprints for herself in the fashion community, all while demanding representation for the #CurvyNation and support from her local community.
Ainger Alexander: What was your inspiration for starting Eclectic Kurves?
Sierra Holmes: I started the blog a little bit over a year and a half ago because my background is in fashion. I’ve worked in retail fashion for a little over 10 years: I’ve worked as a stylist and as a manager. I met a lot of people and had a lot of clients. People were saying things like ‘Gosh, why don’t you come dress me at home,’ or ‘I wish I had you around everyday,’ or ‘Your style is so cool,’ and when you’re in an industry where you primarily work with women, you see every type of woman.
Women are so mean to themselves. They would say things like ‘that will never fit me,’ or ‘that won’t look good on me,’ or ‘I could never wear that color,’ and I felt like I needed to create this platform where I could talk about women of any size and any color and make them feel comfortable. That’s why I started Eclectic Kurves.
AA: What do you think about the fashion community in indianapolis?
SH: Since being more involved in the non-retail side over the last year, I’m really impressed. I’ve met a lot of independent designers that I’ve been able to blog about. I was able to participate in Midwest Fashion Week and meet a lot of designers. Indianapolis has a lot going on, but from a curvy perspective, we still have a lot of work to do. There’s not really a ton of representation here in the city for curvy, independent women. And retail wise, there isn’t higher-end curvy apparel brands.
AA: Have you always lived in Indy?
SH: Yes, born and raised. I moved to Carmel about eight years ago, and I’ve been there ever since.
AA: What made you stay here?
SH: It has come a long way and I am extremely impressed with how much is going on. With everything going on in Broad Ripple and Downtown, I just remember that it wasn’t like this when I was growing up. Between the nightlife, the food options, and more, our city has so much to offer. Even living in the suburbs, the school systems are amazing. I have two kids who are doing excellent in the school systems in Carmel, so it’s really good for us.
AA: Let’s talk about style. How has it evolved since you first realized your interest in fashion?
SH: With fashion, you have to be able to take risks. I have taken a lot of them. I was looking back on old photos today since it’s my birthday. Every year on my birthday, I look back over old photos and reflect on where I am now, where I’ve been, and how far I’ve come. I was looking at the photos earlier and thinking ‘Man, I’ve made some style choices back then that I would not make now.’ I have fun with style. I’ve always had this philosophy that ‘you can’t put me in a box.’
I’m not going to be just one person. Today I may be wearing gingham, and tomorrow I may be wearing neon. I do what I want to do with fashion. I’m a size 22 and I’m proud of that and I don’t let it stop me.
I believe I have created my own signature style. I follow trends pretty heavily now as a fashion blogger, but I feel like I’ve always been trendy. There’s a picture of me with my girlfriends when I was eighteen. I had on two different colored socks, one neon blue and one green with pigtails, and I thought that was cool. So yes, I have come a long way.
AA: Elaborate on Eclectic Kurves and the significance behind the brand?
SH: My blog Eclectic Kurves is a place for women of all sizes, all colors, and all backgrounds. It’s a safe place for body positivity. Style is not defined by your size; you can wear whatever you want and however you feel. To me, style has no rules, and that’s why it’s Eclectic’ Kurves: you can be whoever you want, any day.
AA: You recently attended the #Lifestyled17 conference. How was your experience?
PHat Girl Fresh, who is one of my favorite bloggers, hosts a conference every year called ‘LifeStyled’. It’s a collection of bloggers and creators who come together for creativity, sisterhood, business, fashion, body positivity, and supporting each other. There was a mixer, a fashion show, and a lot of networking. Overall, it was just a great experience.
AA: As a blogger myself, I know how much time, effort, and energy goes into creating and producing content. How do you achieve balance between being a blogger and a mother/wife to your family?
SH: I’m notoriously a late night blogger. That’s just when I find the time. I’m a career woman and a mom, so I’m naturally busy. Blogging is my passion though, so I make time for it.
AA: Do you face any challenges as a plus-sized blogger?
SH: In Indy, there aren’t a lot of us. It’s hard to find brands that I can partner with locally and present to girls who don’t feel comfortable ordering online. In general, the plus sized community has a lot of work to do.
AA: What is a product that you cannot live without?
SH: I cannot live without lipstick. Liquid lipsticks are my signature, specifically the brand Stila. I wear Stila religiously and ColourPOP is a great alternative. I’m always game to try out a new lippie. If I don’t have lipstick on, something is probably wrong.
I also love tribal, ethnic, and wood jewelry. Big jewelry as well.
AA: What is a fashion trend that you love but have never tried?
SH: Rompers. I have never tried them. Just the idea of being stuck in a one piece and having to use the bathroom creeps me out, but they’re so cute.
AA: What advice would you give to fellow plus sized girls and aspiring bloggers?
SH: For plus sized women: it doesn’t really matter what you have on or how you’re wearing it. If you don’t have confidence, it doesn’t matter. It’s really important that any curvy or plus sized woman feels good in their own skin. That’s all that matters. Don’t wear anything without confidence.
For bloggers: Just keep pushing. Blogging is tough. It is not for the faint-at-heart, and you’re going to hit some bumps along the way. But there are going to be things in your career that affirm that you’re on the right path. Stay authentic and you’ll be fine.
AA: What can your readers look forward to this summer?
SH: I just launched the #IAmMore project, which is a collection of women who are in my life and who are multidimensional. I wanted to give them a platform to tell their ‘more’ statements. We started it with an epic photoshoot.We laughed, we cried. We talked about our journeys to becoming the women that we are today in our thirties and what that looks like. We debunk misconceptions made about us and tell our stories. You’ll see a lot of that on the blog this summer. In addition to that, I’ll be doing quite a bit of traveling this summer for different conferences like BlogHER and the Fearlessly She Summit.
Eclectic Kurves is also launching apparel this fall so I’ll be working on that. Stay tuned!
AA: Is there anything you want PATTERN readers and your subscribers to know about plus sized girls/bloggers?
SH: I appreciate all of my subscribers. I am a real person. I do my own social media, etc. and I’m humbled by the amount of support that I have; not only from locals but from people all over the world. I’ve been fortunate to make some great connections and network with some amazing people. I’m really blessed. I’m 31 today, and it’s been a blessing this last year and a half to be an influencer to women who influence me everyday.