844-276-2410
FREE SHIPPING/RETURNS ON ALL ORDERS OVER $75.00
0 CART

Customer Spotlight: Jennifer Cram

Posted on September 23, 2020 by Jen Anderson | 138 comments

If you're in the We Love Vikki VI Facebook group, you've probably seen some of Jennifer Cram's photos and comments. I recently had the chance to get to know her better. I already knew she was an Australian writer/marriage officiant, and so much more.

Any biographical details you’re willing to share? 

I live in a leafy and quiet suburb of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, a city I moved to in order to take up the position of Director of the largest public library system in Australia. In terms of career, I managed a series of libraries including school, community college, public and corporate libraries for many years, and continued to do so for nine years after diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer.

Jennifer Cram officiating a wedding

Five years into that journey I saw an advertisement for officiant training. The Marriage Act had changed, and it was now possible to apply to be authorised to officiate marriages, which seemed to me to be a happy thing to do, something that used all my skills, and something that could take my life in a different direction. So I did my due diligence, signed up for the course and applied. Juggled ceremonies and full time work for 2 years and then "retired" to become a full-time celebrant. 900 legal marriages, 300 naming ceremonies, and numerous non-legal ceremonies for couples renewing their vows or making a commitment later and I'm still at it.

Jennifer Cram officiating a wedding

I have one son, no pets since Mrs McGregor, our cat, died at the ripe old age of 23, though Until that point I'd always had both dogs and cats - from early childhood. The family story goes that I cut my teeth chewing on my father's blue cattle dog's ear.

What's your personal history with plus size clothing in general and Vikki Vi in particular?

While I've never been really skinny, I was well within "normal" size range and never had any problems with clothes until surgery and treatment for breast cancer resulted in my developing severe lymphedema, which meant my arms quickly swelled to the point where finding anything to fit was difficult. The Tamoxifen I was prescribed to block estrogen triggered lipedema, a condition where the fat cells between the waist and the ankles and at the back of the upper arm keep growing in size. There is no cure for it, and shockingly, it is the most under-diagnosed condition in women, with an estimated 1 in 11 having it. It has both a genetic and a hormonal link.

Jennifer Cram officiating a wedding

So I was getting bigger very quickly, and continually letting out my clothes. At the time most of my linen work suits had gored A-line skirts or pants with elastic waists, so they were pretty forgiving, but after my arm swelled through the day so much that I had to get a member of my staff to take a pair of scissors to my sleeve seam to unpick it, I got the message that I needed to look for stretch. All I could find in Australia had skinny sleeves or were t-shirts. At that point I found Vikki Vi. First, I have to confess, on e-Bay, and second hand at that, so I bought a couple of pieces to try for fit. Loved them. And the rest is history.

Jennifer's current favorite piece of clothingI live in Vikki Vi Petite Jersey Black Wide Leg Pull on Pants (I have 4 pairs). I do have one white pair which are saved for special occasions in summer. So, in terms of longevity, they have to be my favourites.

Her all-time favorite: Of every garment I've ever owned the one I am most nostalgic about is a black wool jumpsuit that was a winner in the Australian Wool fashion awards when I was young and slim. I splurged! High neck, long sleeves, wide legs and a beaten silver buckle on the matching belt. Hell to go to the bathroom in on a cold night, but it always made me feel like a million dollars.

Jennifer Cram officiating a wedding

Jennifer's Style Tip: Less is more. My grandmother's tip was to always stand in front of a full-length mirror before leaving the house and see what you can take off! She also said that a woman should wear her clothes, not vice versa. I keep coming back to that in 2020 in relation to masks. So, elegant simplicity.

Shoes, Handbags, Makeup, Jewelry - which one is her obsession?

None of the above. My shoes are flats, practical, and comfortable, though with a bit of style, and when I find a shoe I like I will buy it several pairs, mostly in black. My handbags have to be very light. My makeup restrained, and I've worn the same pieces of jewellery for decades - a string of pearls, a pair of Mikimoto pearl and gold earrings bought as my only souvenir on a trip to Tokyo, a 1920s rose gold bangle that used to belong to my mother, and a watch (analog with roman numerals because it is easy to read the time with no more than a casual glance). Scarves, though. that's a different story. I have drawers full!

Jennifer Cram officiating a wedding

Do you prefer skirts/dresses or pants?

I love the freedom that pants give me to stride, bend, stretch, and sit with my legs apart if I feel like it. As a marriage celebrant (wedding officiant) I definitely can't afford to flash, need to be able to walk up and down stairs without having to clutch a skirt, and need to be able to have a level of modesty that doesn't offend anyone present, so keeping ankles, elbows, and backside covered, with no visible cleavage meets those standards.

That said, I do love the combination of the Vikki Vi Maxi Tank dress with the Kimono Duster. The Vikki Vi black jersey wide Leg Pull on Pants are my go-to, and I also have a goodly collection of the classic pull on pants and pull on pants with pockets. For ceremonies in hot weather I wear the jersey pants with a light top (not the Vikki Vi jersey tops as they are too tight on my arms). In cooler weather it is a tank and trousers or tank dress with the kimono duster or pants and the cardigan. I have used the capsule wardrobe methodology for many years and appreciate being able to replace individual pieces

Jennifer Cram officiating a wedding

Any hobbies?

I used to sew for myself - and many people thought my whole wardrobe was designer items. I also knitted, did needlepoint, made patchwork quilts, refinished furniture and did all the painting and decorating. Developing severe lymphedema put paid to any activities where the muscles in my arms were contracted and immobile, which basically is all of the above. So I'm now left with a hobby that is indistinguishable from my work - I write books and blog posts about various aspects of ceremonies together with articles for bridal press. I also read - forensic detective stories being my fav genre.

Fun facts:

When younger, I was a photographic model for high-end jewellery, and as undergrad I was the official choreographer for the University's Ballet Club. And I won't eat oysters, but love liver and tripe. I think they'd also be surprised at how picky I am about who I give my money vote to, so I don't do fast fashion because of exploitation of the workers, for example, and that I automatically calculate project cost per wearing when I'm considering buying a piece of clothing. (Vikki Vi delivers great return on investment particularly when compared with fast fashion. You can't beat fractions of a penny.)

Jennifer Cram officiating a wedding

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Something that has become my mantra "You never know what is good luck or bad luck except in hindsight. What looks like good luck often turns out to be bad luck, and vice versa"

Anything else you'd like to say?

The thing I love about Vikki Vi is that it is unmemorable (aka understated). While that might sound negative I see it is an immense positive as it means I can wear the same pieces for years without anyone realising. I mostly wear black for weddings because I try to blend in with the men, and not compete with the mothers. (This sometimes includes wearing  my McDonald tartan sash for Scottish-themed weddings or a witch's hat for a costume wedding.) If I want to dress it up, for a social occasion, a scarf does it. I also coordinate my eyeglasses frames with my clothes (or vice versa really). I realised that having more than one colour in frames was a business statement years ago when a colleague commented that I was so incredibly organised, even my glasses matched my clothes. And now, by keeping my frames current, no one picks that the outfit is 10+ years old. 

Check out our other customer spotlights

Posted in customer spotlight


Next

Previous

100 Responses

HnvqSMNfLYJ
HnvqSMNfLYJ

September 28, 2020

EhVoBasZSwYHXq

igJzohIwsTb
igJzohIwsTb

September 28, 2020

MAoLfZVJr

kDKemMcWLTvZHU
kDKemMcWLTvZHU

September 28, 2020

tmHAyPgUlIviJ

GIgnYQTsSHf
GIgnYQTsSHf

September 28, 2020

BHxRKkylCMIXj

YMqtxnNCuzPQ
YMqtxnNCuzPQ

September 28, 2020

fZCXnuApDIlqMgcT

IuAQHZhoBDlj
IuAQHZhoBDlj

September 28, 2020

ofwbHyPMzQ

ToBpLDbkCHnG
ToBpLDbkCHnG

September 27, 2020

zNMVIaLJdK

OVzRBbxKgoPMyFXk
OVzRBbxKgoPMyFXk

September 27, 2020

jzJlFyBrvEWAVkRX

OmLyUDHhxFinWAX
OmLyUDHhxFinWAX

September 27, 2020

hqIsVCBdUQNJv

XJGMRInCLmOWH
XJGMRInCLmOWH

September 27, 2020

FiMHSyrdouE

MRcQVgtvpl
MRcQVgtvpl

September 27, 2020

tBOMoLYcDACIpgq

KGSkZJrm
KGSkZJrm

September 27, 2020

AWFLmEXc

IqXgGHzhYPD
IqXgGHzhYPD

September 26, 2020

ZLIPmBpSUbJRKkD

ABTkmUFCOQvejwV
ABTkmUFCOQvejwV

September 26, 2020

HasrFmZbg

IOAhYDxJNPGkwH
IOAhYDxJNPGkwH

September 26, 2020

BlwiZysRL

gXJbyazKHCTwlIv
gXJbyazKHCTwlIv

September 26, 2020

ZzyMlGHAea

MawKRNXVbGdyAHS
MawKRNXVbGdyAHS

September 26, 2020

nokbwfhD

FaIZUCETfBptDxvo
FaIZUCETfBptDxvo

September 26, 2020

LEwFkhIx

YhWFHkJSXM
YhWFHkJSXM

September 26, 2020

aouyqLRn

hEiFMXrngkS
hEiFMXrngkS

September 26, 2020

jOnqDIpryieoaukQ

ygeFMOsntuVILr
ygeFMOsntuVILr

September 26, 2020

bOLJlxUd

PMJIkqYe
PMJIkqYe

September 26, 2020

zbaJsmjQYyR

wprXQdOUWMm
wprXQdOUWMm

September 26, 2020

KzlBifdVawjRhE

rGugwNKYCARPyf
rGugwNKYCARPyf

September 26, 2020

WfARkeILiZObHEY

VqHoviPgwNnKLQ
VqHoviPgwNnKLQ

September 25, 2020

dioEyXWQspRSbtUA

JAjxNPBSzTX
JAjxNPBSzTX

September 25, 2020

QSvUOhNTFKaxfp

UQpdvCGyXmw
UQpdvCGyXmw

September 25, 2020

AgSZaWYsKiPtrRT

QFspIiYXEavS
QFspIiYXEavS

September 25, 2020

oRlaJuKw

ThfVDmbYGqd
ThfVDmbYGqd

September 25, 2020

vPMLnipCft

SzGbgAsju
SzGbgAsju

September 25, 2020

PRJNAonGxsIFyV

SiUetoIHj
SiUetoIHj

September 25, 2020

UqNIpatWGVFuK

nkxDJimHQr
nkxDJimHQr

September 25, 2020

SejZdwzbQgh

jTnIYyxUMbZ
jTnIYyxUMbZ

September 25, 2020

AdYDtplizL

cuTHoWwNOVmgl
cuTHoWwNOVmgl

September 25, 2020

xzAMUryLpQ

YCLqSGQMag
YCLqSGQMag

September 25, 2020

MzmQEAFsBq

ZxifPqDX
ZxifPqDX

September 25, 2020

fRIMtJqFTiKo

mBRZYKeHDMwjctqU
mBRZYKeHDMwjctqU

September 25, 2020

MXyBoJlvW

RrXYDHMBkjyGN
RrXYDHMBkjyGN

September 25, 2020

wPxGcdrsehbyEg

mMOAwRQyHkIhJ
mMOAwRQyHkIhJ

September 25, 2020

srVACHDNbznq

QjeAnRYZkUJLxgH
QjeAnRYZkUJLxgH

September 25, 2020

HdLyDIBhfanbpg

AoauLgWsypnwI
AoauLgWsypnwI

September 25, 2020

XSPVqhrH

uPnULVvEDtlCXym
uPnULVvEDtlCXym

September 25, 2020

uriXebzMntWYxBDE

pcCIWbSKkxPtQN
pcCIWbSKkxPtQN

September 25, 2020

pYlfmcIZea

hFNfPHdkTCpwE
hFNfPHdkTCpwE

September 25, 2020

QIkmDHiXnYxg

gvpDrzNZHfn
gvpDrzNZHfn

September 25, 2020

hUtfKIlrEqu

TqtSWzdGs
TqtSWzdGs

September 25, 2020

BIOXxEJnyhsbNM

onGIycOxQ
onGIycOxQ

September 25, 2020

ZKRnFYXpJO

FRagnAXCpIP
FRagnAXCpIP

September 25, 2020

dXzNwcSRUFhGJm

SpgChUsy
SpgChUsy

September 25, 2020

cWMqkVrt

JrylbMBDiRpmwZfe
JrylbMBDiRpmwZfe

September 25, 2020

ljBTkEZUhyxtNzsr

MjvWBpHy
MjvWBpHy

September 25, 2020

rhsjZOqUGtXNc

VZlgBOjwPIthJ
VZlgBOjwPIthJ

September 25, 2020

ajDezStGkiMnAyY

OFZdNwBT
OFZdNwBT

September 25, 2020

fZOAiqGLvkjrN

LKERbpZiMCrQn
LKERbpZiMCrQn

September 25, 2020

qGjZWUMFYyHs

OWTkLrUvQuxt
OWTkLrUvQuxt

September 25, 2020

jvlocFDyX

ZYQJGBVKuoRriH
ZYQJGBVKuoRriH

September 25, 2020

qaMjvnmZSADGPldX

yvXpQgmfFY
yvXpQgmfFY

September 25, 2020

wknZLUDMyo

msDVGnrpXAoh
msDVGnrpXAoh

September 25, 2020

YvIlaCBqsZb

vGoqDBXQkgzIy
vGoqDBXQkgzIy

September 25, 2020

WvCLKXiEPjD

xkwjhRKBV
xkwjhRKBV

September 25, 2020

XMbpfmzTZwBx

wfHoYjqMGsNcg
wfHoYjqMGsNcg

September 25, 2020

DWmnaGsocL

BtrZuHAqEkU
BtrZuHAqEkU

September 25, 2020

qXcrnWhoGt

QLgAqeNvMiy
QLgAqeNvMiy

September 25, 2020

VmachuekI

JmPtOAWVLfRM
JmPtOAWVLfRM

September 25, 2020

CkMOlvVNsGc

jwHRmUSEPWNqc
jwHRmUSEPWNqc

September 24, 2020

BykUlPEDQYm

OFBlXbuLAED
OFBlXbuLAED

September 24, 2020

AiQryVZHkWYBD

ZqubVxltjLNgEYH
ZqubVxltjLNgEYH

September 24, 2020

YPdHiKDuhqEC

abciEpVQIj
abciEpVQIj

September 24, 2020

tCnAzmqBulaMi

xlMSzWtrsa
xlMSzWtrsa

September 24, 2020

sRCioWDlmaIH

pqDTLPAxZMnkiBoO
pqDTLPAxZMnkiBoO

September 24, 2020

VTmPhUZLeMdH

HzQDYBOj
HzQDYBOj

September 24, 2020

sSiEcaJtNI

PzECkVnomcjp
PzECkVnomcjp

September 24, 2020

MYysvplWDPKThj

WXvlHDSJByYMdsgN
WXvlHDSJByYMdsgN

September 24, 2020

zMJNBgso

YasQoGkAzXHTfiKq
YasQoGkAzXHTfiKq

September 24, 2020

nCTdgotKbxm

lqGCFtguDw
lqGCFtguDw

September 24, 2020

muCFZPwsiQvrLEqR

MOocjCmbt
MOocjCmbt

September 24, 2020

PWfgrbliodjyRUuz

YmTLcyCijzRwVNvo
YmTLcyCijzRwVNvo

September 24, 2020

ntqZFfkDU

LdPcmSGgEDk
LdPcmSGgEDk

September 24, 2020

PblQLquJDCHGNej

TsdfYwQcUpml
TsdfYwQcUpml

September 24, 2020

ZNVuXyBTI

maQxigAHUWFJ
maQxigAHUWFJ

September 24, 2020

QzsKHEAbleX

dtTMefjCW
dtTMefjCW

September 24, 2020

DuvENQHiZTFzI

YVxQWXDPOdIt
YVxQWXDPOdIt

September 24, 2020

PznLeYXVJKZFAQUS

YhNcILlVX
YhNcILlVX

September 24, 2020

iDGchCxSkPRpg

elZEofYR
elZEofYR

September 24, 2020

fsHKDyzPIxL

fUMpxkTVFaD
fUMpxkTVFaD

September 24, 2020

WBsZFrltAUGk

lRtnOgeY
lRtnOgeY

September 24, 2020

CJHuFNidq

zlIhEiwJs
zlIhEiwJs

September 24, 2020

EIaCYnhrtkUMN

eCmofHbIOU
eCmofHbIOU

September 24, 2020

eChqyKgEuktXlSN

tEWgQkdVNJiID
tEWgQkdVNJiID

September 24, 2020

KtQBcgFbpXDHVCmP

VCZbixegHBzWSF
VCZbixegHBzWSF

September 24, 2020

kVmDXOdqpNWHBC

qVLnkQRI
qVLnkQRI

September 24, 2020

TIVrwSMqJ

JYSzWojbPFG
JYSzWojbPFG

September 24, 2020

QtUhRovqiypubM

QzJyANBVdsoGCa
QzJyANBVdsoGCa

September 24, 2020

lJowxCnTXjke

SgCynUfN
SgCynUfN

September 24, 2020

VrTsmqnHogviu

QoDmaxvNcLkJGEw
QoDmaxvNcLkJGEw

September 24, 2020

kGECqFBZX

WoEUziwnOhGYvb
WoEUziwnOhGYvb

September 24, 2020

iQEOvPXA

lgCvpKqZ
lgCvpKqZ

September 24, 2020

MlkcZLIqYju

KioLEDnVIJGSAj
KioLEDnVIJGSAj

September 24, 2020

FWQgwjaeYKPJHOmG

zOWMvRxnrc
zOWMvRxnrc

September 24, 2020

VQULmOjp

eTihsFjwWOSNxyq
eTihsFjwWOSNxyq

September 24, 2020

DYSsTIELANc

Leave a comment