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

Arzeena Hamir, working her booth at the Comox Valley Farmers Market. LUSH Valley was recognized last month as a partner of the year by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. Photo by Bill Jorgensen
LUSH Valley recognized for collaboration with Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

They won Partner of the Year award by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

Chelsea Harry was last seen Feb. 21. Photo via Comox Valley RCMP
Comox Valley RCMP seeking help locating a missing woman

Missing person last seen in Courtenay on Feb. 21

A Coast Range Cannabis store has been approved for the Crown Isle Shopping Centre in Courtenay. Photo submitted
Courtenay council approves seventh cannabis retailer

Coast Range Cannabis to open second store in the Comox Valley

A map of the Village Forest Lands near Cumberland. Image, Village of Cumberland
Cumberland adopts forest management direction statement

Less detailed than full plan, documents sets out decision-making for village-owned land

Gp Vanier in Courtenay. Circa 2018. Photo courtesy Comox Valley Schools
Another COVID exposure alert for Vanier Secondary in Courtenay

Island Health has sent another exposure alert to parents of students attending… Continue reading

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

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

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read