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

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Bears are coming out of hibernation with the warm days of spring. (Pixabay)
WildSafeBC: How to avoid bear encounters

Bears can now be seen out on the trails after waking up from hibernation

Rossland City Council issued a press release critical of Mayor Kathy Moore's travel to the U.S.
Rossland council addresses issue of mayor’s travel to U.S.

Prior to her trip, some councillors and staff expressed deep concerns about her plans

Teck has reported three separate incidents of ammonia leaks at Trail fertilizer ops this year. Photo: Trail Times
Teck Trail reports third ammonia leak this year

The company closed Bingay Road temporarily as a precaution

Photo: File
Fruitvale councillor responds to online criticism

“The bullying has to stop. People want to be heard, everybody wants to be heard” - Lindsay Kenny

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Some of the funding will provide more EV charging stations, such as this one at Rogers Pass. Kootenay Rockies Tourism photo.
StrongerBC provides funding for tourism projects in Kootenay Rockies region

A number of initiatives to enhance tourism are underway across the Kootenay Rockies

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Federal police unit takes over probe of B.C. regional district’s spending

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

A black bear made a visit to downtown Vancouver Tuesday, May 4. The animal was spotted on train tracks in Gastown shortly after at 2:30 p.m. (Twitter/Craig Minielly)
VIDEO: Black bear spotted meandering around downtown Vancouver

The bear was reportedly tranquilized by conservation officers Tuesday afternoon

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Interior Health locks out Kelowna martial arts gym following COVID violations

Actions were taken after all other steps to gain compliance were exhausted, says health authority

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A man who allegedly spat at and yelled racial slurs at an Asian family was arrested for hate-motivated assault Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Arrest made after man spits, yells anti-Asian racial slurs at Victoria mom and kids

The man was arrested for hate-motivated assault near Quadra Elementary School Tuesday

A lady wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Most Read