You may already be familiar with Diane Bernard. She's left reviews for quite a few Vikki Vi Classics, some of which I really wish I'd written myself. The gal knows how to turn a phrase. Lucky for me, she's "retired but not yet expired" (see what I mean?) so she's not looking to replace me. I hope.
Diane lives in Salem, Oregon with Inspector Clouseau her "small canine companion with a real Napoleon complex" and Mike her "forevermore husband of 30+ years, who says he still needs me, says he’ll still feed me," And yes, she's sixty four! (Apologies to Sir Paul McCartney.) She has, "two wonderful sons and a lovely daughter-in-law," and is patiently waiting for a grandchild "to increase our tiny herd."
Before motherhood, Diane sewed her own clothes. But then the 80s and 90s happened and "fabric quality plummeted and [she] found plus size patterns ill fitting and limited in style." And most plus size clothing in stores wasn't much better. She says, "I started to look at clothes as disposable junk for the first time in my life."
Until one day...dramatic pause..."A knowledgeable lady working in the Encore department at Nordstrom introduced me to a very special pair of black pants." Vikki Vi pants. "Besides being the most comfortable pants I had ever pulled up my legs, they were very flattering. The deep black colorfast fabric never wrinkled, and they ended up wearing like iron. I’d finally found clothing menopausal meltdowns couldn’t dissolve. To this day my husband refers to all my Vikki Vi as 'Diane’s chain maille armour!'”
When Vikki Vi disappeared from stores, she "mourned the loss," until she found us online. "It honestly felt like I’d been reunited with a long lost friend!"
Diane has too many faves to pick just one favorite piece of clothing. "Comfort, style, fabric drape and feel are all key points to consider, but I especially love how certain colors make me feel. I try to buy what really tickles my fancy. If a piece reminds me of a special person, or a fascinating place we’ve visited, or an unforgettable occasion in my life....or when that undeniable warm and fuzzy feeling overcomes me, that’s when I know it’s one of my favorites!"
Diane's Style Tips: Take time to invest in yourself- not just financially....learn about what works for your body and specifically for your spirit. Embrace your own individual style. Feel good when you look in the mirror, and let the real truth of self love reflect back. Be open to suggestion - that’s par for the course. Follow your bliss....it will never let you down! Forgive and forget when you do make a mistake....Have faith in your ability to eventually figure out when you need to step on the brakes and when you can go rogue!
Hobbies: Diane is a serial crafter. "There’s nothing I won’t try...no tool too intimidating." She enjoys beading jewelry and ornaments, quilting, sewing, cross stitch, scrapbooking, painting, drawing, decorating, landscape design, cooking, fairy gardening, and crochet. She jokes that she needs to curb her enthusiasm for shopping for craft supplies - it really is a separate hobby all its own.
Fun Fact: "Although I thoroughly enjoy a wide spectrum of musical genres, I can’t for the life of me sing a note! Sad but true.... even the dog exits stage left when I open the shower door!"
At the risk of throwing modesty out the window so hard I hurt myself, I'll share Diane's final thoughts:
"Thank you Jen, and the Vikki Vi/Plus By Design team....
"Even though I can only speak for myself, I feel strongly you make a real difference for so many....
"I think of clothing as our most obvious form of silent communication. It’s a stealthy first impression, a statement we put forward without uttering a word.
"Your clothes give us that beautiful voice I wish I had, and send a positive message the minute I put them on!
"Much appreciation for a job well done!"