Plus Size Madamma |


About Us

“Incredible India” is the tagline for that country’s tourism board and it fits. For a girl from Maine, nearly everything about India is incredibly different, incredibly busy, incredibly colorful and incredibly bold and exciting.

I’ve been roaming around India with my favorite guide – my husband Ranji - since 2008. On our first trip together, I knew very little about his birth country outside of the movies. I expected to find nothing but crushing poverty and slums of starving children. Instead, I found a southern tropical paradise of lush tree groves, sweet smelling breezes and a land abundantly blessed with mangos, coconuts, bananas, sugar cane, tapioca (yucca) and fish. When we traveled north to Agra, I expected to be awestruck by the Taj Mahal – and I was - but I was also thrilled by the glorious pink and blue and gold painted palace walls and ceilings of Jaipur. The rich red soil of Kerala, the rolling bright green hills of Munnar’s tea plantations and the storybook beauty of the Kashmir River are unique to India. Yes, I found poverty, but no matter how rich or poor, I also found the people of India to be warm and welcoming to me – aka Madamma.

As I fell in love with India and its’ talented and hard-working people, I began learning about their thousands of years of history, their culture of education and storytelling and their world class artisans and crafts people.   In Mumbai, I found leatherworkers creating – in a day – soft, one of a kind jackets and coats that favorably compare to anything for sale at any price point in Italy or New York.  In and around Jaipur, I found cooperatives of craftspeople still hand-printing, hand-dyeing and hand-embroidering and beading spectacular fabrics.  On the streets of Delhi, I met street vendors selling spectacularly colored and vintage saree’s and shawls.  In Cochin, I discovered a small group of 80-year-old fisherman’s widows creating textiles with micro-embroidery as good or better than anything I’ve seen in the museums of Europe (products that are reportedly favored by the British Royal Family).  In Jammu, I found craftspeople hand-embroidering gloriously colored wool tunics.  

Of course, as quickly as I discovered these fabrics, I began buying them like a madwoman and turning them into my own one-of-a-kind blouses, shirts, caftans, pajamas and skirts – not wild or exotic designs.  Just classic American pieces I worked in with my traditional office suits and/or jeans to add a bit of color and fun.  The response I got was overwhelming – especially for a basically shy, middle-aged, fat woman who was used to feeling invisible!  Instead of hiding my bumps and curves in “thinning” black shrouds, I was suddenly prancing around in yellows and reds and purples.  I got sooooooooooooooo many compliments – from both women and men stopping to ask where they could buy the blouse or top for themselves or their wife/girlfriend or daughter.  What really stunned me were the number of rail thin model-sized women who approached me to ask where they could buy my shirt(s)!  I could only smile to myself and respond, “I’m sorry; but it’s a one-of-a-kind and it doesn’t come in your size!”

At some point in 2012, it dawned on me that I was not the only western Madamma who did not have access to quality cotton and silk fabrics in the colors and patterns of India.  These fabrics are just not available in the West in any clothing size or at any price point.  On the rare occasion a Western designer pops off something remotely Indian inspired, the fabric is typically thin, easily torn and factory made in China – and the garment does NOT come in an average adult American woman size of 16 or more.

Once I got over my initial surprise at the attention my tops generated (and my businessman husband prodded me HARD), we started offering my shirts for sale to friends, and then friends of friends, and so on!  As we were stationed overseas at the time, we started our enterprise locally with the help of an expert tailor named Nazrule.  While local sales were great, we found the international mail too slow and costly to conduct business to/from the US.  So, we stayed small until we could return home.  Now, that we’re back in the USA, we are hoping to expand our business to reach even more Western women, like me, who have jobs, kids and the resources and desire to look good and have a bit of colorful fun with their clothes in sizes 16 and above.

So, please join me, Plus Size Madamma, in my journey of exploring the colors and textiles of India and the Middle East.  I will keep you updated on our travels and encourage you to take your own trips of discovery!

There’s lots more to come . . . !