In the current plus-size industry boom, women over 50 have not been equally embraced as their younger counterparts. So, Linda launched Cultured Curves: Sophisticated Style, Fashion, and Beauty for Curvy Women over 50 blog in 2019. It strives to empower curvy women over 50 through motivational messaging, fashion, and style advice, encouraging, inspiring, and motivating them to live their best life. The blog brings awareness of their unique needs to the forefront of the plus-size fashion and beauty markets.
Cultured Curves is now partnered with fashion retail brands such as Lane Bryant, Eloquii, eShakti, Macy’s, 11 Honoree, Nordstrom, and others. It was named one of “the best blogs on the planet for women over 50” by Feedspot.
With her B.S. in Business Administration/Marketing and an M.B.A. in Management, Linda is the owner of LiPav Consulting, LLC, a marketing, grant writing, and communications firm. She develops marketing campaigns and collateral for special events, plays, educational programs, musical events, schools, books, authors, nonprofits, religious leaders, conventions, and major conferences across the country. Linda has secured funding and business development totaling over $17,000,000 and has guided the publication of more than 500 books for authors.
As an advocate for youth education, she serves as the Communications and Marketing Consultant for the At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy, an annual two-week summer institute for minority teens held on the campus of Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.
She has also served as the PR and Booking Agent for the Miss America Organization. Linda has worked with high-profile individuals, including Danny Glover, Delroy Lindo, Cathy Hughes, Nia Imani Franklin (Miss America 2019), Nicole Ari Parker, Boris Kodjoe, Erica Alexander, Charlie Ward, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, and others. Her marketing skills have garnered publicity for clients in multiple media outlets like Essence Magazine, the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the D. L. Hughley Show, Ebony Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and Guideposts.
Can you tell us more about your blog, Cultured Curves, and what inspired you to launch it in 2019?
Cultured Curves is a blog that offers sophisticated style, fashion, and beauty tips for plus size women over 50. My advice will keep mature women dressing chic and classy whether at a ball or ballgame. I provide inspiration and motivation to remind mature curvy that they are beautiful, bold, and bodacious every day.
When I began my career as a plus-size executive traveling the world, I was always the largest person in the room. I not only had to represent my company but also the perception of plus-size women around the world. Knowing that with weight comes judgment, I was resigned to showing up as the most fashionable version of myself. I would receive compliments almost every day from my head to my toes. But I didn’t always love what I saw in the mirror.
Finally, in my mid-fifties, I experienced an epiphany. I decided to love me—all of me—every dimple, every ounce of cellulite, and every roll. I wanted to spread some of the love I’d received all those years about my fashion choices to other plus-size women to make them feel their very best. But I also wanted to address the lack of self-esteem that can come from being mature and curvy. Many of us no longer have the slimmer bodies we rocked in our youth. Thus, Cultured Curves was started to offer a roadmap to style and self-love.
What specific goals and messages do you aim to convey to curvy women over 50 through Cultured Curves?
I want mature women to know that no matter their body shape or age, they can dress stylishly and feel good about what they see in the mirror. The process can be much simpler if you understand how to choose attire that will complement your assets. I teach how to dress for your unique body shape, complement your skin tone with the right color combinations, and even maintain good skincare with the right products. I show women how to develop or level up their style. I offer inspirational and motivational messages to keep our heads held high.
As mature women, our identities from our younger years change. Maybe we are now divorcing and no longer known as a wife, or our children are out of the house, and we are empty nesters. It is during these times when our identities become uncertain that depression and self-doubt can creep in. Because our scale or dress size differs from 30 years ago, we measure our self-worth by numbers.
Cultured Curves says that when you look good, you feel good. You ARE just as worthy now as you were when you were twenty. I want women to embrace what they see in the mirror. Even if you are on a journey of better health and wellness, love the whole of yourself along the way. Nothing good begins with hate. I am also creating a Cultured Curves community where women can gather online and eventually in person to support each other and do so stylishly.
We had the opportunity of sitting down with Linda to discuss fashion, plus size fashion and more:
How have Cultured Curves contributed to raising awareness of the unique needs of plus-size women over 50 in the fashion and beauty industries?
Curvy and plus-size bodies have recently become more acceptable, with plus-size celebrities becoming more recognized for talent than size and more curvy clothing available than ever. However, we girls over fifty are being left out. We want to wear stylish and even sexy modern clothes. We want to look great and feel good about ourselves, too.
My upcoming book, The Cultured Curves Guide to Style for Mature Curvy Women, Volume 1, is a roadmap for fashion. I highlight dozens of retailers that offer diverse sizing along with classic and trendy styles for our bodies. I am hopeful that the book’s success will be a wake-up call to retailers that my demographic has a higher disposable income than our younger counterparts, and we WANT to purchase great clothing options when given the opportunity. Book information is available at http://www.culturedcurves.com.
Also, as an advocate for the mature, curvy body, I provide body positivity workshops around the globe and have presented in New Jersey, Saint Martin, Jamaica, and other locations.
Congratulations on being named one of “the best blogs on the planet for women over 50” by Feedspot! What do you believe sets your blog apart from others in this category?
Unlike other fashion and style blogs geared toward women over 50 OR curvy women, no other blog is focused on curvy women over 50 that includes the element of self-esteem. In addition to style suggestions, I offer motivational messaging as well. Women come to Cultured Curves from around the globe to get the latest fashion options that other blogs don’t cover. Curvy, mature women still find it challenging to locate enough clothing options for various occasions. I cover the basics and beyond, from finding the best-fitting jeans to red carpet-ready ensembles. If you need a bra beyond a size 50, I can point you in the right direction.
You have extensive experience in securing funding and business development. Can you share some key achievements and lessons learned from your work with LiPav Consulting, LLC?
I started LiPav Consulting 15 years ago, and to date, I have secured over $17 million in funds and business development for my clients. I have been proud to help fund K-12 education, veterans organizations, for-profit businesses, churches, and others. I developed an online grant writing course to help more nonprofits and for-profits secure the funding needed to start or operate their organizations. Too many organizations still believe that grants are just for nonprofits, but I teach them that there are millions in funding available to small businesses. I also provide free grant writing webinars to women- and black-led organizations; to date, I have trained over 7,000 organizations free of charge.
As a Communications and Marketing Consultant for the At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy, can you tell us more about this program and your role in supporting minority teens’ education?
Since 2011, At the Well Conferences, Inc., founded by Jacqueline Glass, has held two-week leadership academies in the summer for minority teen girls on the campus of Princeton University. The program offers leadership development, team-building strategies, self-esteem sessions, and writing skills to increase the chances for college admission. I have been a part of the leadership team developing marketing, recruitment, and program strategies since the beginning. Education is vital to success, and often, minority teens are not afforded the same opportunities as their white counterparts to visit, board, and learn on an Ivy League campus. The program has been a game changer for the students who have attended.
You’ve worked with high-profile individuals and garnered publicity for your clients in various media outlets. Can you share some memorable experiences from your work with celebrities and public figures?
One of my professional career highlights was working on the national campaign of Biden for President. As a national team member, I helped implement the Get Out the Vote and Souls to the Polls campaign and worked with politicians and gospel artists to hold concerts that spread the importance of voting. Another highlight was working with the late great Ruby Dee on a book project as well as Danny Glover as a part of a boy’s leadership program on the campus of Princeton University called From the Fire.
What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers and entrepreneurs looking to make an impact in the fashion and beauty industry or those aiming to work in marketing and communications?
Make sure that you are writing about what you love. Think about what you would write for free forever, and it will be easier and more natural to connect with audiences. When working on marketing or communications projects, believe in the client’s mission; those long days and nights working to accomplish the goals will be worth it.
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
A Pretty Woman Who Hustles utilizes her God-given talent, intuition, skills, tenacity, and common sense to accomplish her personal and professional goals. She also recognizes that a supportive team is needed to achieve her pursuits because no one does it alone. Above all, she must have faith in God to provide all her needs, confidence in herself when doubt sets in, and a belief that she can overcome the obstacles that undoubtedly will appear when reaching her highest dreams.