Shannelle Armstrong-Fowler has a lot on her plate. Along with teaching business courses at Columbia College Chicago, the former Fortune 500 PR and marketing executive owns a successful upscale bridal boutique for larger sizes — and now will be the star of “The Perfect Fit,” premiering on PeopleTV on Tuesday. The six-episode series was filmed in Armstrong-Fowler’s Haute & Co. Bridal Boutique, 1760 N. Clybourn.
According to the high-powered entrepreneur, social media “has helped so much in helping positive body image and women celebrating their bodies, no matter their size.”
Commenting on how the large-size women’s apparel industry has changed in recent years, Armstrong-Fowler notes she and other large-size retailers “still push back with certain designers over sizes. We are hopeful that at some point there will be a democratization of sizing, and approaches to sizing.” However, she is delighted she has been able to build a business offering “sizes up to 36 and top-quality fashion that is up-to-date with the latest trends in the bridal field.”
Calling Chicago a “magical city,” Armstrong-Fowler said her primary clientele “does come from the tri-state area of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, but we get brides from all over the country — Colorado, Houston, New York, L.A. and interestingly enough a lot from Florida.” As for her home base, the retailer and now reality TV personality pointed out, “Chicago is not only a world-class city, but on ‘The Perfect Fit,’ viewers will see the city offers so much — from first-class restaurants to our beautiful lakefront to hotels, parks and wedding venues that are the best. Very few places can deliver for a bride like Chicago can.”
Why so many Florida brides? “I did a little research,” said Armstrong-Fowler. “I realized there are often $59 specials on flights out of Midway — allowing a bride to fly up here, get a great wedding dress and fly back home for not a lot of money!”