Toy

Bizline: Glamour Plus

Published 4:56pm Sunday, May 6, 2012

Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce welcomes Glamour Plus, 210 South Front St., to the central business district with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon Wednesday, May 9.

Name of business: Glamour Plus

Name of owner: Lee Ann Toy

Address of business: 210 South Front St., Dowagiac. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, and Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Telephone number: (269) 782-0109

Date business opened: May 5

What type of business do you operate? Specializes in women’s plus-size clothing, sizes 8-24, furniture, antiques, fashion items, collectibles and gifts.

Where are you from and why did you decide to open here: The former Lee Ann Wilson grew up on West Telegraph Street in Dowagiac and graduated from Union High School in 1975. She is especially appreciating one classmate, her husband, Ed Toy, on opening day, after transforming the former Darker Side Tanning storefront in one week. “Starting Sunday, my son, Brad, and Ed moved all this furniture in. My house looked like Hoarders. I haven’t seen my backyard in daylight. Ed is the easiest-going guy I’ve ever known. He never gets upset. When I got snippy, he told me everything would be fine.”

What sets your business apart from similar ventures? Toy worked at Oh My and Laurie Anne’s. “There wasn’t a lot with plus-size clothing in Dowagiac. We needed a store, but I go 8-24 because women who shop together aren’t all the same size. I found that out working at Laurie (Kinzler)’s. Hers is regular sizes with a little bit of plus.” As for the broad mix of merchandise, “This is what works in Dowagiac. Jewelry, purses, shoes.” That decision is influenced not only by her previous employers, but also Who kNew consignment and Red Raven.

Why did you want to start a business? “When I first started working downtown (four years ago), I realized how nice it was to see all the people I hadn’t seen in so many years.”

What’s your background before coming downtown? “I ran a cleaning business for 24 years and did decorating for people.” Lee Ann, who attended Southwestern Michigan College, is the second of Don and the late Marylin Wilson’s five children. She has an older sister, Lynne, younger brothers Thom and Todd and a younger sister, Angel. Her dad, a retired Watervliet educator, just arrived bearing more cookies.

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