Recently, I was fortunate enough to interview Miss Janelle Brito, AKA Chica Plush, the marketing director of Club Plush Tampa, who gave me an inside look at this premier curvy club in Tampa, Florida. Read on to hear more about how Tampa’s curves like to party!
1. What is Club Plush’s biggest point of difference?
At Club Plush, it’s a nightclub of size-acceptance. Where plus size/full figured people can go out and be completely comfortable because there is no judgment or ridicule because of their size. They are among their peers; therefore, they have an opportunity to meet people who like them as they are and possibly meet someone of interest who appreciate their curves.
2. Why did you choose to become the marketing director of Club Plush?
Originally, the owner, Chris Plush, was running Club Plush in Tampa and, when he had to move to California, he handed the club over to my sister, Latin Breeze. Since I have marketing experience, I automatically became involved in co-running Club Plush. Being the marketing director for Club Plush has opened up many doors to opportunities in the plus-size community. Although marketing for Club Plush is something I do part-time, it is definitely the job I enjoy most!
3. What do you do during a typical day at Club Plush and what do you like best and least about your position?
On the day of a BBW (big, beautiful women) & BHM (big, handsome men) party, my sister and I run errands to get the venue ready for our event. By the time we open at 9 pm, the venue is must be cleaned, decorated, the DJ must be done testing the sound system, and the fliers for the next party must be displayed throughout the bar and lounging areas.
The best part of my position is greeting everyone that comes to Club Plush. Whether they’re a new or regular patron, I do my best to greet them all and spend time talking with them.
Another part I like is taking pictures with individuals and of the crowd. The following Monday, I post the pics from Saturday’s party; everyone looks forward to seeing them and making their comments.
The thing I like least about my position are the many hours spent listing each event on all the websites to market the party. Once they’re all established, then it’s smooth sailing!
4. What are some of the reactions you’ve gotten from being the cover model of the year for LargeInCharge Magazine?
It was amazing to see all the support and positive feedback I got from everyone that voted. It made me feel very proud and honored that so many people looked up to me. They told me how I inspired them and helped in building their self-esteem and that being plus size or full figured is nothing to be ashamed of. I had no clue I had such an impact on the plus size community and it honestly brought me to tears.
5. How did the “Cupid and Curves” event on February 15th go and what are some of your events coming up?
The “Cupid & Curves Red Dress Party” was a hit! It was great to see so many people dressed in red. Taking pics of everyone, especially the group shots, was fun. It looks so festive when they dress up in themed costumes. The next event coming up is our Leather & Lace party this Saturday, April 12th. My Club Plush sister, Nina WickedRican, had a Leather & Lace themed Club Plush party when she was visiting Brooklyn, New York, last year, so that’s what inspired us to have one in Tampa, FL. Club Plush Tampa hopes for another good turnout, as in the past events, especially with so many lovely and classy BBWs wearing leather or lace! This is going to be one sexy party!!
Author’s note: See link below for details on this Saturday’s Leather & Lace party!
6. Do you think Club Plush would be successful in Boston? Why or why not?
Definitely! The success has already been proven by Bill Albrecht, who runs Club Ample in the Boston area. From what I was told, he always has a packed BBW club! If Club Plush wanted to host an event in Boston, it would be a collaboration with Bill and would have a fantastic impact on the plus size community.
Club Plush not only has parties in Tampa, FL but in San Jose and Sacramento, CA. Two of our Club Plush team members hosted a party in Brooklyn, NY, and another one Allentown, PA. Wherever a Club Plush team member travels, we try to host an event in that city. I try to do the same thing when I visit Houston, TX, in September of each year.
7. What would you say to the critics who claim that encouraging people, especially women, to accept their bodies will increase the obesity epidemic?
The claim that encouraging plus size people to accept their bodies will increase obesity is absurd. Everyone’s situation is circumstantial; their weight gain could be from heredity, medication side affects, giving birth, depression, etc. There are so many reasons why people are overweight and the plus size community doesn’t encourage people to gain weight; rather, we encourage them to love the skin they’re in and to not be ashamed of it. As a group, we try to encourage each other to be healthy and more social by hosting events other than meeting up at a nightclub, such as fashion shows, pageants, picnics, Zumba classes, etc.
Every “body” is different. We come in all shapes and sizes. There are many plus size women and men that are healthy. They exercise and make good choices in their eating habits, yet they are not a size 2. Some people actually prefer to be thick, voluptuous, and curvaceous. Also, being thin doesn’t necessarily mean a person is healthy either! In the plus size community, we do encourage weight loss especially if it’s to improve on their health. There are many local support groups that get together every so often to exercise and join a diet regime. Melissa Elizabeth is a great example; she’s a health coach that promotes HerbaLife and has local meet-ups in the Tampa Bay area where people get together to exercise for an hour or so.
8. What are your hopes for yourself, Club Plush, and the plus size industry over the next 5 years?
In the next five years, I hope to see the plus size industry become more mainstream and accepted in society. As for myself and my Club Plush team, we hope to grow Club Plush and become more involved in the plus size community aside from running a nightclub.
Leather & Lace party info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1416723455250372/