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Sep 5, 2011

Can’t find the right clothes? Plus Size Store opens up for you

A recent study shows that Belizeans are seriously overweight; in fact most women are obese. So an enterprising Belizean with assistance from the Youth Business Trust has made that statistic a business opportunity. A new store has been opened on Douglas Jones Street in Belize City to cater for plus size women. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The carnival road march may have been shorter but many of the participants were a little bigger this year. And it wasn’t the statistics, but the lack of clothing options for her friends that drove Ozzy Okwonkwo to open a store for her plus size friends.

Ozionma “Ozzy” Okwonkwo, Owner of Wazobia Fashions

Ozionma “Ozzy” Okwonkwo

“I’ve always wanted to open a business, to be able to hire people to help people because I know with this economy it is difficult for people to get jobs so I always wanted to make it possible for people to get jobs through me. Even though I find myself working in places, my dream is to hire people and this boutique—I decided to open this boutique because I have friends that are big girls that I know that it is very difficult for them to get clothes when they go to other boutiques like 4XL, 5XL and all those stuff. So I decided to do something for them. So the boutique includes clothing for small women and it also includes for big women. So that’s the reason why I decided to open Wazobia Fashion. If you wonder what Wazobia means; it means come, come, come in three different Nigerian languages: Wa, Zo and Bia. It all means come so I am inviting everyone to come over to Wazobia Fashion at #16 Douglas Jones Street and come and see what we have. We have things for everyone.”

Patrick Robison

Ozzy had help from the Youth Business Trust, which has assisted fifteen businesses in 2011 in developing their product.

Patrick Robison, Business Development Officer, Youth Business Trust

“Belizeans youth within eighteen to thirty-five, come to us with a business idea. We then take them to a training class to develop business idea and develop a business plan. They then present their business plan to our credit committee and if funded, we then distribute funds to assist them in getting their business off the ground. The unique thing that separates us from other entrepreneurial programs here in Belize is that we also provide them with mentorship. Belizean business people take time away from their busy schedules to meet with our entrepreneurs and assist them for two years to get their business up off the ground. Ozzie came to us and she had a real drive and she had a vision for doing business. She came up with a unique idea for offering clothes for everyone else.”

And according to Pan American Health Organization’s report called Belize Country Cooperation Strategy 2008-2011, everyone else is overweight. A section called Risk Factors says “70% was considered overweight or obese; women were more obese than men in all age groups.” So the statistics show that the population is not only larger, but wider. Mass participation in the Carnival Road March shows that plus size women are proud and want to be well represented in all social activities.  So Ozzie’s store actually caters for the shape of a typical Belizean woman. In addition to training from the Youth Business Trust, the 2009 UB graduate credits her alma mater for preparing her for the business world.

Ozionma “Ozzy” Okwonkwo

“UB played a huge role because I took business management at UB and it helped me a lot because during my training session at Youth Business Trust it made things easier for me to catch on quick because I already had a background already in business and a way to do business. So it made it very easy for me to draft my business plan out very well. So I’m very grateful for the teaching I got form UB and Mister Kevin Geban I have to give a big shout out to you. He taught me human resource and he did a great job so I will never forget to use the things that he has taught me.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez

Ozzy says that if you spend thirty dollars or more, you get a free pair of flip-flops.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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8 Responses for “Can’t find the right clothes? Plus Size Store opens up for you”

  1. E says:

    Its about time that Belize brought out a Plus size clothing store for women because i see many women fitting themselves into clothes that is not appropriate for them. they fit themselves into skinny people’s clothes and they look bulged up.

  2. indian lady says:

    No,, it is rime Belizean women start taking care of themselves and stop stuffing food in their mouths, All the fat women u see ,,,some too lazy to walk. A loose weight store should be opened instead.

  3. cg says:

    people want us to walk and excercise …but give us some streets that are safe to walk on, no dogs that can bite you or the ones that rob you…or rape you…then we’ll excercise with freedom and without worry…build stress just dih excercise in this country hmph

  4. vicky says:

    Belizeans are very greedy for food, I call them volturs because they only think about food and drinks.. It is so embarassing to see them going to a funeral mass or a memorial service makes them feel like they are entitled for a plate of food, they not only take one plate, they take for the entire family . They act like they have never seen food in their entire life. That’s why they so damn fat because they slurge on food , after they eat they go so sleep. shame on the Belizeans who act like that, I call them greedy half starving lazy dogs.

  5. tashy says:

    yes the streets are bad , but you can stay right at home an do some work out, like walking up and down your steps or walking around your yard or even jump rope. these thing help because i was 165 and in three months I am none 125. its not about being skinney its about being healthy.

  6. deedee says:

    Lol at everyone except indian lady who wants to be a smart @ss twit. cg you’ve made a good point, however you don’t necessarily have to use the street to exercise or get in shape.

  7. prayingformycountry says:

    not everyone is built to be skinny. there are people in this world that are big and healthy. i cant believe we as a country look at our own people and talk about them like you guys. don’t get it twisted im actually 110 and i think its easy for me because i came from a family of small people, but i have friends that i know try hard to loose weight by eating right and exercising but being small is not for everyone. who are we to judge people about the way they look. If people choose to just be lazy and greedy as some of you said, well thats on them. stop looking at people and just take care of yourself and your family make sure they not fat and unhealthy… JUST SAYING!!!!

  8. Walter says:

    @ Vicky,,,, Who and where are u from in the first place for you to be talking soo bad about us Belizeans?? Get urself a life,, and stop criticizing others.
    Get urself an education!!!

    Cayo,,

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