Eileen hopes for big business with new clothes storeÂ

ENTREPRENEURIAL grandmother Eileen Stapley has grown her outsized clothing business and expanded into a new town centre unit.Â

Eileen Stapley, Owner of Pleasantly Plump Clothing
Eileen Stapley, Owner of Pleasantly Plump Clothing

Eileen, from Hayling Island, has opened her new store Pleasantly Plump in The Boulevard Waterlooville selling clothes of all sizes '“ up to 8XL for men and size 36 for women. 

And the 66-year-old said she's delighted with the way Waterlooville has responded to her business. 

Eileen, a grandmother-of-five, said: '˜It is lovely. I have had lots of lovely comments. People have been coming in and saying that they really needed a shop like this here.' 

Pleasantly Plump

Eileen, who had a long office career as well as working at a special needs school, was inspired to set up the business after struggling to buy the clothes she liked in her size. 

She said: '˜Most shops go up to a size 22 or 24. I am a size 26 to 28 myself and know that most places don't do my size. 

'˜I do have difficulties trying to find manufacturers that make nice things for a bigger size, but I do try.' 

She began by selling at car boot sales. When that took off, she started selling clothes at markets and then she took over a unit in Hayling Island three years ago. 

Pleasantly Plump in Watrelooville

Eileen said that she's enjoyed running the Hayling store, which also sells gifts, but that the time had come to move into a town centre due to the island's dwindling footfall during the winter months. 

The Hayling store will close in September once the summer season has finished. 

For now Eileen is hoping to make a go of it in Waterlooville '“ and she's been pleased to see some of her loyal customers at her new store. 

She said her shop has the edge on online competitors as she runs a loyalty scheme and people can feel the clothes and try them on before buying, which is especially important for larger sizes. 

The store has a changing area and Eileen says she's happy to arrange private shopping sessions for anybody who may be embarrassed trying on clothes. 

She added: '˜Most people are going out of business and it is hard to find the stock, but the clothes I stock are all good quality and do not run or shrink. I get quality stock at affordable prices.' 

And there's no sign of things slowing down. 

Eileen said: '˜I like being around people. I cannot sit at home and agitate. I am always busy but I wouldn't have it any other way.'