10 years ago today, Chubstr officially launched with a mission to help men of size find, create and share their style with the world. Back in 2011, there weren’t many retail options out there for big & tall guys, and virtually no positive representation, online or off. It’s crazy how much has changed since then, and how many things are still the same.
While Chubstr began with a very specific focus on fashion, over the years the site has expanded to cover everything from travel and entertainment, to food & drink, products for the home, and even dating and relationships – all through a plus size lens.
Over the last decade, it has become easier to find clothing in extended sizes, from well-known, established brands. The number of small brands and independent designers creating clothing, accessories, and many other products for bigger men continues to increase on a seemingly weekly basis. There is real interest in products for plus size people. The market is aware and is beginning to respond accordingly.
Back in 2011, most companies didn’t want to talk about their extended size offerings, or their big & tall customers. They didn’t really know this guy, what he was looking for, or if he was willing to spend money on products that actually worked for him. For these and a ton of other reasons, companies just wouldn’t give Chubstr the time of day. That changed when we started putting together our own photoshoots featuring bigger models, interviewing interesting plus size people, and sharing resources to help folks find clothes that fit that they actually wanted to wear.
Looking back at our very first shoot, it’s pretty obvious to me that I had no idea what I was doing. I was lucky to work with an amazing photographer who made the whole experience phenomenal. Seeing the photos from that shoot was one of the first times I felt really comfortable in my skin in years. It opened my eyes to why a resource like Chubstr is so important: Everyone should get to feel as good about themselves as I did that day.
Over the years, Chubstr has expanded. We’ve done lots of press, made it through the Dad Bod media cycle, done TV show set visits, were part of the launch of the modern plus size male model, hung out with Shaq, have broken news, and even got to do a little modeling of my own. There’s so much more, and so many people who have been part of it all. It’s overwhelming! I never expected this little website to become what it has become.
The most important piece of the puzzle has been you. The community that has grown around Chubstr constantly surprises me. It’s people from all walks of life, of many sizes, all who feel like they found a place they belong. On a regular basis we get messages from people who tell us how reading an article or seeing a photo featuring a plus size person in a positive light has made a difference in their lives. This is the whole point. Everyone deserves dignity, no matter what their size. That’s why Chubstr is here. Here’s to another 10 years of interviews, guides, photo shoots, podcasts and inspiration, for all of us.