Plus Snow, an Australian company that sells snow gear in plus sizes, recently expanded to North America and the owner of the business is currently working out of Revelstoke. (Plus Snow website)

Plus Snow, an Australian company that sells snow gear in plus sizes, recently expanded to North America and the owner of the business is currently working out of Revelstoke. (Plus Snow website)

Online entrepreneur launches plus-size snow gear store in North America

What started in Australia has been brought to Revelstoke

Mon Balon’s mother owned a second-hand ski shop in Melbourne, Australia when Balon was a girl.

It was all about making the sport accessible to everyone, said Balon.

That philosophy continues to drive Balon’s current venture: plus size snow and outdoor wear.

After her mother died, Balon and her husband took over the second-hand shop. However they eventually closed it as big box retailers started selling more affordable gear.

TJ went into the drone photography business and Mon went into online retail.

She said she quickly found a hole in the market, there was very little in the way of plus size ski gear.

And so, five years ago, she created Plus Snow. She worked with manufacturers to create ski gear in a large variety of plus sizes, it was so popular she was selling out of the product before it even arrived at her home office.

It’s not just skiers but people looking to go on holidays in snowy places or play with their kids in the back yard, she said.

READ MORE: Revelstoke Legion opens Bargain Basement

Last year she expanded into the outdoor wear realm, Plus Outdoors, sells rain gear and other outdoor wear in plus sizes.

And then in December 2019, after setting up the business to function while she is abroad, the Balons moved to Revelstoke.

Mon said it is a dream to be able to work from home, ski and pick up the kids from school all in the same day.

Mon Balon and her family moved to Revelstoke in December 2019. At first she was going to treat her time here like a holiday, but when the pandemic hit she decided to grow her business. (Submitted/Mon Balon)

Though it was in her plans to expand into North America, Balon had intended to put that on hold and enjoy her time in Canada as a holiday, but then the pandemic hit.

Balon said the business was on trajectory for 30 per cent growth in 2020 and instead saw an 85 per cent drop. Though they somehow made it through the winter, despite more than half of the ski resorts in Australia closing due to the pandemic, Balon said she was facing 9-10 months of zero income.

So, three months ago, she decided it was time to fast track the plan and launch her business in North America.

She said it has been difficult to find North American manufacturers willing to expand into plus size production. She went to a tradeshow in Denver, Col. before the lockdown and found that there was no-one making plus size snow gear. She came away with only two connections but even more determination.

Though Balon self-describes as petite, she said she has become an advocate in the plus size industry. She is pushing for companies to expand their sizes because that is the right thing to do.

“It’s not about taking over the world,” she said. “I’m not interested in making lots of money and being exclusive.”

What she wants to see is more of the joy that her customers share when they can finally play in the snow with their kids.

Balon said she is looking for people to model the clothes she sells. She currently uses #curvystoke to raise awareness and celebrate people who wear plus sizes playing in the snow.

READ MORE: Get an annual winter permit says Parks Canada to Rogers Pass users


 

@JDoll_Revy
jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Snow

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Mon Balon and her family moved to Revelstoke in December 2019. At first she was going to treat her time here like a holiday, but when the pandemic hit she decided to grow her business. (Submitted/Mon Balon)

Mon Balon and her family moved to Revelstoke in December 2019. At first she was going to treat her time here like a holiday, but when the pandemic hit she decided to grow her business. (Submitted/Mon Balon)

Just Posted

A worker from Yellow Fence Rentals installs fencing around Cloverdale Youth Park Nov. 25. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Cloverdale Youth Park closed

Basketball court and skate park fenced off

File photo
Surrey Downtown BIA launches shop local campaign

Meantime, BC Buy Local Week runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 6 in Surrey

Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, acting vice provost, Teaching and Learning, with Kwantlen Polytechnic University. (submitted photo)
Students save money in KPU’s novel ZTC program, or ‘Zero Textbook Cost’

Launched in the spring of 2018, the program has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic

White Rock firefighters hang a banner on their firehall Wednesday to celebrate the completion of a joint effort with the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society to raise $500,000 for the Peace Arch Hospital. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey RCMP have provided shoppers with a number of holiday-shopping safety tips. (Unsplash photo)
Surrey RCMP offers holiday-shopping safety tips

Be safe when purchasing items online or through marketplace-type apps, police warn

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Most Read