Phenomenal Women: Kurvy Inc. Partners With SD Pride Leadership Academy

By Jaye Johnson

Phenomenal Women: Kurvy Inc. Partners With SD Pride Leadership Academy

In San Diego California, LGBT Pride is a year-round event. Over the years, their Pride celebration and LGBT Center located in Hillcrest, San Diego have bloomed into ever-expansive resources for various segments of the LGBT community. The San Diego Pride Leadership Academy training is one of its many standout LGBT programs available.

Kurvy Inc., also based in San Diego, fosters pride of a different sort, promoting and empowering full figured women to feel fabulous with their fashion a lifestyle brand. Kurvy Inc. CEO Brandee Joyner and Director of Marketing and Business Development Courtney Dade recently launched a mentoring partnership with San Diego Pride, teaching self-esteem to LGBT youth up to age 18.

At the time of this writing, Joyner and Dade were preparing for their inaugural SD Pride workshop, and kindly answered a few questions about their work with the community.

SD Pride Leadership Academy Workshop:

An Interview with the Kurvy Inc. Team

Jaye: How did Kurvy, Inc. come to be, when was it founded, and where are you based? Are you nationwide or local at this time?

Kurvy Inc. / Brandee: In 2010 while pregnant with my third child, the frustration grew even worse for me as I could not find any cute and fashionable clothing. I also grew frustrated with not seeing a lot of women like me with curves on TV and in the media.

I felt that something should be made just for me and tailored for my lifestyle. After the birth of my son, I started a boutique for the curvy woman called “Phoenicia Goddess Boutique.” But I definitely knew there was more to be done. I wanted to not just offer clothing but a full lifestyle brand for the “Kurvy” woman. I wanted to create a brand that not only focused on fashion, but also on beauty, self-esteem, health, positive body image, and all things curvy.

In 2012, I went back to the lab and re-launched as “Kurvy Inc,” a lifestyle brand for the curvy women of today! Kurvy Inc is based in San Diego, CA and as of now we are just local but we have already had requests to start Team Kurvy, our modeling and promotional team, in Atlanta, Denver, Las Vegas, Oakland and etc.

Jaye How did you connect with San Diego Pride?

Kurvy Inc. / Brandee: Kurvy Inc has always been a supporter of the community. Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting Kristy Salazar who is the host of Out of the Closet online radio show. She put us in contact with Steven Blocker who is the coordinator for San Diego Pride.

Jaye: Is this your first self image workshop? Will you be providing them on an ongoing basis?

Kurvy Inc. / Brandee: No, this is not our first Body Image workshop. We have been doing them off and on for over 2 years now. Starting in 2014, we will be conducting them on an ongoing basis. But this is the first time that Courtney and I will be doing it together.

Jaye: Is this your first time connecting with LGBT youth regarding self-image, anti-bullying, and self esteem?

Kurvy Inc. / Brandee: Yes it is and we are very excited! We look forward to doing more with the LGBT youth in San Diego and throughout the world!

Jaye: Can you share some of the ideas you’ll be sharing and teaching at the workshop?

Kurvy Inc. / Brandee: We have designed this workshop to be fun and interactive, by using our personal experiences as women who do not fit into “society’s norm” and how we continue to learn how to love ourselves and present ourselves with confidence and class. We’ll be defining body image and give the youth practical tools to keep a positive perspective of themselves inside and out. We’ll also give them tips on how to reinvent themselves if ever they need to.

Jaye: What are some helpful ideas you can suggest for budding plus size models or young folks who want to get involved in the fashion industry?

Kurvy Inc. / Brandee: The fashion industry is a tough industry just like a number of other industries but you just have to keep pushing and moving forwards. Do something different to set yourself apart from others and don’t be afraid to be different. Plus size modeling is becoming more and more acceptable but you still face some challenges. With those challenges you just have to make sure you stay grounded and humble at all times. One thing to do is to make sure you truly love yourself and your body before you get into the industry.

Jaye: Anything else you’d like to share?

Kurvy Inc. / Brandee: You always have to start from the inside out, and learn how to shut out the critics. Regardless of what area of your life you are dealing with, you will never be like anyone else or handle any situation like anyone else, because you were created as a unique individual. Wear your individuality and uniqueness with pride!

Jaye: Cosigned! And how can people connect with you to learn more about your company and your community outreach?

Kurvy Inc. / Brandee:The best way to connect with us is on Facebook at and Our website is, and there you can find our blog, upcoming events, and all things Kurvy.

Our brand, though fun and exciting, at the core is about empowering people, especially women, to be confident in the skin they’re in.

The San Diego Pride Leadership Academy features specialized branches of mentorship training for people of all ages—both youth and adults—with workshops taking place throughout the year. If you are interested in applying, please contact Steven Blocker at to get an application, call 619-297-7683 x 101, or visit for more information.

| Read more by Jaye Johnson here, and Share your comments below. |

Contact Jaye about this blog post by tweeting @jayevajohnson,

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