amaze plus size magazine
by Valery Amador

Creativity, ingenuity, determination and a spirit to make a difference! AmaZe gets personal with the dynamic Michelle Martinez, the owner of the recently launched Lets get personal…

[Valery] What is Dulce and what inspired you to create it?

[Michelle] Dulce is an online boutique for curvy women that feature an edited collection of contemporary clothes from the best plus lines on the market today. We originated in California but have recently relocated to New York where our showroom will be open to the public on special dates and by appointment only. 

I started Dulce when I grew tired of visiting my favorite trendy boutiques and only being able to purchase the shoes and accessories because they never carried anything in my size.   Being a major shopper most of my local boutique owners and managers knew me and were always embarrassed and apologetic in there answers when I’d ask why they weren’t bothering to carry there fabulous jeans, tops and dresses in my size.  Every reply was remarkably similar to my favorite boutique owner’s, “the hip designers just don’t make it in your size, and I wish they would, I could open up a second location on your sales alone.”  I didn’t believe that was true, but the more I searched for trendy boutiques that carried my size as well the more I found her statement to in fact be true.  Its part of what inspired me to follow the path I’m on now to get contemporary designs in the hands of the women who desire them without categorizing by size.

[Valery] Tell us a bit about yourself. How has your background helped you launch your new venture?

[Michelle] Like with any business it’s important to move the product to stay afloat, but it’s not just about moving product (which is nice, don’t get me wrong); it’s the way someone feels during and after they purchase your product that keeps them coming back for more.  The success of the business as a whole lies in the relationships built to support it.  The skill from my background, which has always hovered in the customer service arena, is the ability to build those relationships.  I believe it’s the reason Dulce has had any success at all thus far. 

[Valery] We all have bumps along the road – what has been your greatest challenge? Your greatest triumph?

[Michelle] Well, we were originally going to open our showroom in California, but the location we had settled on just wasn’t happening. Everything from zoning and inspection problems to remodeling issues where going wrong, so much so that I took it as a sign and canceled the whole deal.  Which of course turned out for the best because I had time to travel to the east coast for a couple of trunk shows and found my business and opportunities booming; so much so that I decided to permanently relocate to New York and open the first showroom to exhibit the hottest contemporary designers in plus. In essence my greatest challenge has turned into quite a triumph, so far.   

[Valery] We always love a great story – do you have one to share about yourself, the industry, yourself in the industry, etc

dulce style plus size clothing

[Michelle] Well because I wasn’t able to buy my clothes from the boutiques I loved, I had to be creative and a bit inventive to assemble a wardrobe I liked.  I would comb the few stores that carried 14/16’s, snag the best pieces to mix, match and alter to try and create the looks I coveted in the magazines.  After awhile my friends and coworkers who were having the same problems finding fashionable clothes that expressed there personality started asking me to take them shopping.  Within a couple months every weekend was booked with shopping dates.  After awhile I didn’t have enough weekends to fit everyone so I started shopping on my own and would have the women come to me every two weeks or so.  They would shop in my office, turned temporary boutique on the weekends and whatever didn’t move I would return to the store and start the buying processing all over again.  I even took unique requests and special occasion orders.  One day I was sitting in a coffee shop with my best friend who I just handed a huge bag of cloths to and she said, “What are you doing, you need to make this thing real.” 

One year later, I did.

[Valery] What can we look forward to in the near future with Dulce?

[Michelle] I am happy to announce that we are launching the Dulce Showroom on February 13, 2006.  We will be starting the year off by showing during the New York market week February 13th -17th and then were off to Las Vegas for the WWIN (Women’s Wear in Nevada) show February 20th -23rd.  We are the first showroom dedicated solely to representing contemporary plus lines, including Svoboda, Anna Scholz, Abby Z, Trentacosta, Polli Says and Gayla Bentley.  

For more information, visit

about valery amador

Valery is the creator of The Venus Divas and the co-founder & CEO of Venus Imaging, LLC. She is a former plus size model, actress and director and has over 20 years experience in teaching and coaching children and adults in the areas of modeling, acting, self-esteem and communication.

valery amador

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Copyright 2006 Venus Imaging, LLC