Cake Plus-Size Resale Brings the Body Positivity Movement to Minneapolis

From curve models walking the runway for Michael Kors and Christian Siriano at New York Fashion Week to the release of plus-size collections designed by Prabal Gurung and social media influencer Gabi Fresh, 2017 has been the year of the size-inclusive movement. But locally (with the exception of Bombshell, a Grand Avenue plus-size boutique that closes at the end of October), stylish shopping options for sizes 14-plus have been hard to find.

Enter Cake Plus-Size Resale, a new brick-and-mortar resale store that fills the void in the local retail market. According to the store’s press release, “thrift and resale shopping is becoming increasingly popular but less than 10 percent of clothing inventory at most resale shops is plus-size,” and most plus-size shoppers in the Twin Cities still shop almost exclusively online.

It’s the brainchild of plus-size fashion blogger Cat Polivoda, who previously ran plus-size online shop, Cat’s Closet, for the past three years. Cake Plus-Size emphasizes body positivity and radical inclusivity—or as Polivoda further explains in a blog post on the store’s website, “Representation of not just traditionally attractive chubby folks in mainstream media but super fat folks, people with big tummies and small booties, fat people of color, and fat trans and gender nonconforming people.”

In addition to previously owned merchandise, the store also carries new accessories, jewelry, art, books, gifts, and body-positive and activism-inspired merchandise from local makers.

I spoke to Polivoda during the store’s opening weekend festivities last Saturday to get more insight on what Cake Plus-Size is all about.

Courtesy Cake Plus-Size Resale

You’re originally from here, but only moved back a couple of years ago after years living in other states. Why open the shop in Minneapolis?

I lived in New Orleans and Texas before that, and had pop-ups in both places. Then I had two pop-ups in the Twin Cities, and they were so successful and so many people came out and shopped that I realized I needed to move back here—that this was where I needed to open my shop. It was a level of support I hadn’t experienced in other places I lived.

What has most surprised you now that the store has opened?

Sixty, 70 percent of the people who are coming through here are not people that I know in real life, which I think has been the most surprising. It’s really validating. People are coming in and just saying how great it is to have so many size and style options. I knew things were tough at regular thrift and resale shops—I felt it. Now I know it wasn’t just me, everyone have been struggling with a lack of options.

How do you feel about Bombshell closing at the same time you’re opening?

It’s really too bad. She [Bombshell owner Denise Alden] had beautiful stuff. I would have loved the situation where she was still in business and we could have collaborated. But even though we’re both plus-size focused, I feel like it’s a different client base because the price points are vastly different. There is another plus-size consignment store in Savage, Minnesota, called Stacked Consignment. It shouldn’t be just one or two plus size–specific stores, we need more. More is better.

Do you think the body-positivity movement is just a trend or here to stay?

It’s been bubbling up for the past five years, and really hit a lot of traction this year. I feel really good about the depth I’m seeing, and it’s inspiring.

Now open @ Cake Plus-Size Resale, 5155 Bloomington Ave., Minneapolis, 612-353-4248,

More images from last weekend’s opening festivities:

Courtesy Cake Plus-Size Resale

Courtesy Cake Plus-Size Resale

N&K Photography, Courtesy Cake Plus-Size Resale

N&K Photography, Courtesy Cake Plus-Size Resale