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

Beef to Halloween, a celebration of death, weapons, blood and murder. Halloween is a mockery of death and our beloved deceased. Why do we celebrate it?
Beefs & Bouquets, Nov. 25

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

The City of Nanaimo is working on the 2021-25 financial plan, with a series of special finance and audit meetings this week and next week. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo begins budgeting with 3.3% tax increase as a starting point

Special finance and audit meeting being held today, Nov. 25

An excavator was stolen from a rural property south of Nanaimo this month, say police. (Photos submitted)
Excavator stolen from property in Nanaimo’s Extension area

Bobcat Mini believed to have been stolen between Nov. 12-14

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Virus vaccine anticipated

We will all soon be back to normal, says letter writer

A widened pathway, lighting and other improvements promise to convert a trail through Bowen Park into an urban cycling commuter link as part of a sewerage upgrade project to be carried out in 2021. (City of Nanaimo image)
Nanaimo sewer upgrade project will transform trail through Bowen Park

City asking for input into project’s design

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

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Picture of two swans leaving the Cowichan estuary moments before one was shot out of the sky. (Submitted photo)
Petition to stop hunting in Cowichan estuary after swan shot

Hunters blame shooting on illegal poachers

Bob Higgins pulls the gate across on the elevator built inside his home. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Island man’s expertise earns international award with home-built elevator

Experience put to use in winning contest entry for furniture and home projects

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

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

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

Most Read