Like many business start-ups, Shafonne Myers’ path to running her own company began with discovering a problem.
“My wedding was wonderful, but being a plus-size bride was a challenge. I was frustrated and disappointed that there were absolutely no curvaceous brides on the websites, magazines, or blogs that I looked to for inspiration,” said Myers, who was working as a wedding planner and bridal blogger.
Instead of throwing up her hands in defeat, Myers returned to Mary Baldwin to earn her entrepreneurship certificate and launched Pretty Pear Bride — a website devoted to plus-size bridal fashion and wedding advice — in 2010. Today, the site features Myers’ insightful blog complemented by useful resources, such as a plus-size bridal store locator and a gallery of photos from the weddings of real plus-size brides. In addition to writing and curating web content, Myers oversees production of Pretty Pear Bride magazine and shares her experience through speaking engagements around the country.
Myers is quick to explain that she isn’t a typical businesswoman. After earning her biology degree from MBU in 2001, she taught biology and worked in a medical lab for several years before yielding to the pull she felt to plan weddings and offer online advice. It wasn’t an easy decision at first, and Myers admits that “literally making no money” in the beginning was a serious adjustment.
“But nothing compares to being an inspiration to my kids — especially my daughter — who see that it’s possible to be a great mom, wife, and entrepreneur,” she said.
On the horizon for Myers is creating a bridal blog specific to her hometown of Indianapolis, creating an online forum for plus-size brides, and expanding Pretty Pear Bride into a lifestyle brand.