Watch now: New Bloomington boutique styles women of all shapes and sizes | Local Business

Kim Mattson knows how it feels to walk into a store and



Kim Mattson knows how it feels to walk into a store and not see any clothes in her size. Sure, she could buy jewelry — but why should she settle? So she opened her own store, The Middle Sister: A Curvy Boutique, at 211 S. Prospect Road, Suite 15A, Bloomington.






Robyn Gautschy Skaggs






BLOOMINGTON — Kim Mattson knows how it feels to walk into a store and not see any clothes in her size. Sure, she could buy jewelry — but why should she settle?

So, she opened her own store, where she stocks women’s tops, jeans, dresses, leggings and more in sizes up to 6X. The Middle Sister: A Curvy Boutique opened in August at 211 S. Prospect Road, Suite 15A, Bloomington.






The Middle Sister: A Curvy Boutique carries women’s sizes up to 6X at 211 S. Prospect Road, Suite 15A, Bloomington.




“I wanted to offer something more to the community,” Mattson said. “It’s so much needed. There’s nowhere else to go.”

The name of her store is inspired by her place as the middle sister in her family.

“I have an older sister and a younger sister who are regular sizes. I am not, and I used to be, but I had kids, put myself on the back burner, life takes hold and, like most women, I put myself last,” Mattson said. “I finally accepted my size — it’s just a number.”






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Kim Mattson opened The Middle Sister: A Curvy Boutique at 211 S. Prospect Road, Suite 15A, Bloomington.




She put her background in bookkeeping and office work to use in planning for The Middle Sister, which opened its online storefront Aug. 1 and its brick-and-mortar site Aug. 6.

Knowing that sizes vary greatly by brand, with sizes 4X to 6X being the hardest to find, Mattson aims to carry several different brands to accommodate all shapes and sizes.






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A coffee mug reads “Thick thighs save lives” at The Middle Sister: A Curvy Boutique at 211 S. Prospect Road, Suite 15A, Bloomington.




“If you have three or four women who are, say, a size 20, they’re all going to be shaped differently. … They may be apples, pears, triangles, tall, short,” she said.

She looks for clothing and accessories that will appeal to all ages, from her 27-year-old daughter-in-law to her 72-year-old mother.

Also on her list of must-haves: comfort, convenience and class. The store has super-soft sweaters and tops, matching pajama sets, and pockets aplenty, even in leggings and scarves.






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Scarves, sweaters and bath products are displayed in advance of Christmas shopping season at The Middle Sister: A Curvy Boutique at 211 S. Prospect Road, Suite 15A, Bloomington.




“It’s gotta be comfortable,” Mattson said. “Comfort is key. But also classy. … We all want to be comfortable, but we also want to look nice.”






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Kim Mattson opened The Middle Sister: A Curvy Boutique at 211 S. Prospect Road, Suite 15A, Bloomington.




But the passion for Mattson’s business goes beyond filling a void in the retail industry.

In November 2020, Mattson’s granddaughter, Ava, developed a fever she couldn’t get rid of, and her abdomen began to swell. Doctors sent the family to OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois, where doctors found a mass in the baby’s liver and diagnosed it as a malignant rhabdoid tumor. They gave her a 5% chance of survival, even with chemotherapy. Ava died April 2 of this year, missing her first birthday by two weeks.

In Ava’s memory, Mattson set aside a section of her store as Ava’s Corner, where 80% of proceeds from those items will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and its local affiliates.

“You don’t realize how important the fight against childhood cancer is until it happens to your own family or to someone who’s close to you,” Mattson said.

In the future, Mattson would like her store to host small gatherings with a charity aspect.






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Items in Ava’s Corner at The Middle Sister, 211 S. Prospect Road, Suite 15A, Bloomington, give back 80% of proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and its local affiliates.




Other future plans include expanding her hours in November, finding the perfect line of jeans and intimates to carry, and maybe, someday, expanding with stores in other cities.

“I want women to know that they are enough. They are beautiful on the inside and the outside,” Mattson said. “Don’t let anyone make you feel that you are unworthy or that you are not the same just because you are a larger size.”






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Owner Kim Mattson shows off products on the sale racks at The Middle Sister: A Curvy Boutique at 211 S. Prospect Road, Suite 15A, Bloomington.




The Middle Sister is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The store is closed Sunday and Monday.

For more information, go to facebook.com/themiddlesistercurvy or www.themiddlesister.net, or call 309-262-3020.

Contact Robyn Skaggs at (309) 820-3244.

https://pantagraph.com/business/local/watch-now-new-bloomington-boutique-styles-women-of-all-shapes-and-sizes/article_b64090ae-15c3-5b33-b313-aac8e9a28a7f.html