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

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos ran the length of Vancouver Island, with the help of their van Pippi, raising more than $12,000 for 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Greater Victoria pair finishes running length of Vancouver Island a day early

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos raised more than $12,000 for single parents

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

Penny Hart is calling on the community to help find her son Sean Hart who was last seen on Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Search spreads for Saanich man missing from mental health facility for nearly a month

Family hopeful as possible sightings reported across Island and in Vancouver

Island Health is expanding COVID-19 testing in Nanaimo with a new testing location at Vancouver Island University. (News Bulletin file photo)
Island Health issues apology over racist practices in health care system

Report by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond finds ‘widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people’

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

(Needpix.com)
Fraudsters projected to use pet scams to gouge over $3M from customers: BBB

The pandemic heavily contributed to the number of puppy scams

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are inviting audiences into their home for ‘A Celtic Family Christmas’. (Submitted)
Natalie MacMaster coming to you through Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Here’s your chance to enjoy the famed fiddler in an online show with her husband Donnell Leahy.

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

Most Read