"No more crying in the dressing room."
That is the premise of CandyStrike, a new local clothing store that caters to plus-size women, with a focus on positive body image.
The store, which opens today, is the product of local artist and designer Elizabeth Albert, who founded Tucson Fashion Week and has been producing her own clothing line since 2003.
CandyStrike, affectionately named after her first fashion show at Skrappy's more than a decade ago, will carry an eclectic collection of clothing, art, jewelry and accessories.
"Someday we'll also have really fabulous shoes," Albert said.
The downtown shop will carry Albert's original and redesigned pieces, as well as wholesale items.
Albert handpicks the pieces she orders wholesale. She wants the best and most affordable styles.
"It's like cherry picking," she said. "Not a lot of sites carry good plus-sized clothes that don't look like Nana's dress."
That lack is what drove Albert to open up shop - that and her desire to support "body positivity and girl power revival."
She said she saw a real need and was inspired by the "push in fashion to be more accepting of plus sizes."
Albert says of her customers: "You won't be wearing what everybody else has."
The shop will also feature art and accessories by local artists and designers.
Every month Albert wants to have a collaborative themed show to give a voice to the "wonderful women artists and designers."
For the opening month, CandyStrike will carry funky jewelry and accessories by Black Swan and sophisticated jewelry by Black Stone Mary.
The grand opening also will serve as an art opening for local artist Anna Bronwyn Murphy.
The combination of funky and sophisticated adds to the "eclectic" feeling of the store, which Albert describes as fierce.
"Fierce is a bunch of different things," she said, "and it's different for everybody.
"It's pink and girly, but it's subversive. It's body positive. … This is definitely a shop for women."
if you go
• What: CandyStrike grand opening
• Where: 197 E. Toole Ave.
• When: The grand opening is from 6-9 p.m. today. Regular hours are 4-8 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and noon-7 p.m. Saturdays.
• For more information: Call 358-4168 or go online to www.candy-strike.com
Contact reporter Angela Pittenger at Apitteng@azstarnet.com or 573-4137.