Ever since Samantha Nivia started posting outfit pictures of herself on Instagram, she’s always asked about how to rock an outfit, but women also thank her for giving them confidence and pushing them to step out of their comfort zone.
Usually, this means wearing things they normally wouldn’t wear.
“Ever since I opened my own store, the clothes I have in my store pushes them to wear it,” Samantha said. “If they see my models wearing a certain piece of my clothing, they feel like they can wear it also.”
It’s not easy to be confident when someone is not used to tight-fitted clothing, but Samantha knows a few tricks which can help many ease into the mindset.
“I would tell them to practice in front of the mirror and put the shirt on, take pictures in it, feel themselves in it and practice walking inside the house wearing it until you are confident enough to go out and wear it,” she said.
Although it took a little bit of time, Samantha became comfortable with what she chose to wear.
“It took me a while to even start wearing things like that and then I just didn’t care what people said and wore it anyway,” she said.
Since her early 20’s she has wanted to open a store.
“That has been my dream, to encourage women to wear things they would not normally wear,” she said. “That is the whole point of my store, not to have clothes that are covered up, loose, not what a size five would wear. I want people to wear my clothes and feel the way a size five would.”
Dark wash jeans, a black top, a floral dress and a red top were some of the items that Samantha’s models had showcased.
She said she makes sure to stay on top of trends but also looks for quality and comfort at the same time.
Yet, starting her boutique has not been the easiest.
“You have to go through a lot of paperwork, find vendors, clothing that has good material and is stretchy and accommodates every size and not be ugly fitting. You just have to search and do your work on that,” she said.
Ultimately, the public’s reaction has been great and she has gained customers since she first opened.
“I already have my regulars that come all the time, my first two shipments were sold out in two weeks, and it has been great feedback and I couldn’t be happier,” she said.
The store has a website, www.laynebysamanthanivia.com , where she explains the name is dedicated to her daughter and a cousin who passed away.
In the introduction to the store, Samantha’s core belief is explained, “It is not about what size you wear but how you wear your size.”
Lastly, she feels proud to have been able to achieve that dream in her own city.
“I wanted to be the first true plus-size boutique here in Harlingen. I was born and raised here so I wanted everything to be here first and then eventually expand to other cities,” she said.