Emily Sandford co-hosted a sample sale in April of clothing from Gwynnie Bee, an online business offering women's fashions in sizes 10 to 32. The sale was a hit.
The success probably had something to do with great discounts on fashionable plus-size clothing. But many customers, no doubt, were there as fans of Sandford herself.
A Lexington social media specialist with her own company, Authentically Social, Sandford writes a fashion and fitness blog, Authentically Emmie.
Plus-size fashion is "a personal passion and is one of the keys to making me feel my best in my own skin," she writes on her blog.
Regular posts show Sandford modeling clothing and accessories, and she provides details about where to find the pieces.
Sandford, 33, describes her personal style as "preppy and classic, I think. I don't like to be too trendy, then I feel like I'm doing dress-up and not being myself."
On Monday, Sandford was at the home she shares with her husband, David, and their Airdale terrier, Lilly, wearing a cute graphic tee with a classic cardigan, both from Old Navy. A mint-colored skirt made of a modern neoprene fabric was from the British online retailer Asos.
Plus-size fashion has flourished in recent years, with young, stylish companies such as Asos and H&M adding extended sizes. Next week is Full Figured Fashion Week in New York, featuring runway shows and industry professionals; Sandford will be there.
Fitness is also an important part of Sandford's life. After losing more than 110 pounds, she says her goals are focused more on a healthy lifestyle than weight loss.
Now she has hopes to produce her own collection of fitness wear. Sandford has started designing the line, which includes 10 pieces.
Style is key, she says, but so is performance.
Workout wear should "cover what I need to be covered but also look good," she said. "My goal is to create clothing that fits and flatters the body but also performs well on all bodies."
What she wore
Skirt: Made of a neoprene fabric, from Asos.
Cardigan: Great for layering over tees and dresses. From Old Navy.
Top: Graphic tee from Old Navy.
Shoes: Leopard-print ballet flats from Lands' End.
Bracelet: Classic with a twist, pavé links from RocksBox.
Necklace and earrings: Kate Spade.
Ring: With its statement-making blue agate stone, the ring was bought on Etsy about four years ago.
Favorite products: Sandford, who has a gluten allergy, orders gluten-free Madison Reed shampoo at Madison-reed.com.
Scents: "I'm big into smells. So I like to go to The Crushed Violet," Sandford says, referring to the fragrance store at 131 Church Street in downtown Lexington. Leila Lou is a favorite scent, featuring notes of pear blossom, cut grass and tangerine.