Introducing Big Fig Mattress - A Mattress Designed for Plus Size Babes

By Alysse Dalessandro
on February 24, 2017

Introducing Big Fig Mattress - A Mattress Designed for Plus Size Babes

If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that you can't rule the plus size fashion world without a good night's rest! And that's why I am so excited to introduce you to Big Fig Mattress, a new brand that's transforming sleep for plus size and big and tall folks. 

I first found out about Big Fig Mattress when I was lucky enough to visit one of my blogger besties, Corissa of Fat Girl Flow, on set for her shoot with Big Fig where she modeled alongside her husband, Nate for the Big Fig site. The images turned out absolutely amazing and seeing a plus size couple like Corissa and Nate in promotional images brought tears to my eyes! 

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Five Lessons I've Learned Being In Business Five Years

By Alysse Dalessandro
on February 03, 2017
2 comments

Five Lessons I Learned Being In Business Five Years
Five years ago today, I sat at a cubicle at my corporate job in Chicago and I launched the Ready to Stare's Etsy shop.  I never would've imagined I would be here sharing five lessons I've learned being in business five years. I never imagined that my retail design business would now be winding down so that I could focus on blogging because I never even imagined I could be a blogger. Ready to Stare was actually the name of the blog I was too afraid to start in 2012. In 2017, Ready to Stare is my blog. 
Should you follow your dreams? Absolutely. Will it probably be the hardest thing you've ever done? For sure. Running a business means you will have to face a lot of your own insecurities, face your fears and be uncomfortable 99% of the time.

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52 Week Money Challenge : What I Learned

By Alysse Dalessandro
on January 02, 2017
3 comments

52 Week Money Challenge 2017

Over the past year, I completed the 52 Week Money Challenge because I wanted to try something different for the start of 2016. I've spent years of my life before discovering fat positivity on New Year's resolutions related to hating my body and doing everything I could to change it. And while I've ditched any type of body image related New Year's resolution, I still like to use the New Year to start a new goal. Last year, I took savings offline and took on the 52 Week Money Challenge. And I am happy to report that I was able to save more than I needed to half of my deposit for a two-week trip to Italy in summer of 2017! 

I was inspired to take the 52 Week Money Challenge when I read a post on Tumblr about how the person had completed it: what worked for them and what didn't. For the purposes of accountability, I invited my best friend and roommate, Kristen, to do the challenge with me. I knew it would be a challenge for both of us but for different reasons: I am a natural saver but at the beginning of 2016, my client load for freelancing wasn't where I needed it to be so I didn't have a lot of extra money coming in to save and well Kristen will be the first to admit that saving isn't necessarily her forte. 

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Talking Body Image On Good Morning America!

By Alysse Dalessandro
on August 10, 2016


On Tuesday July 26, I was featured in a live nationally televised Good Morning America segment on body image alongside GMA correspondent Mara Schiavocampo and her sister body positive writer Pia Schiavocampo of the blog, Chronicles of a Mixed Fat Chick. At the end of the segment, we all did yoga in Times Square. In addition to the televised segment, we participated in a Facebook live discussion where we were able to go into more detail about our own journey to self love and acceptance. I talked about about learning to see a more full picture of health to include mind, body and spirit and my own liberation from diet culture.

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The Curvy Women Who Rock Brunch + Fave Looks from Curves Rock Weekend

By Alysse Dalessandro
on August 09, 2016

In July, I traveled to Baltimore for the 5th annual Curves Rock Fashion Weekend. The four-day long event featured shopping, panel discussions, a runway competition, mixer, and an epic fashion show. 

I was a part of the Saturday morning Curvy Women Who Rock Brunch panel alongside of the plus size fashion industry heavy hitters. We were asked about cultivating personal style and learning to tune out other's opinions about who we should be. The brunch also featured a fashion presentation by some of the designers who were also featured in the fashion show and an awards ceremony honoring curvy women who rock in the community. Between the panel discussion and the acceptance speeches from the honorees, I know that we all walked away inspired and standing firm in our truth. 

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I Was The Curvy Couture Brand Ambassador at theCURVYcon!

By Alysse Dalessandro
on August 07, 2016


In June 2016, I traveled to New York City for the second annual CURVYcon where I served as the brand ambassador for one of my favorite brands, Curvy Couture. In addition to helping introduce people to the wonders of Curvy Couture lingerie, I had the opportunity to meet so many of my fave fellow bloggers and social influencers. 

Produced by plus size bloggers Chastity Garner of GarnerStyle and CeCe Olisa of The Plus Size Princess, the CURVYcon brings together plus size fashion retailers from across the country (and a few from across the pond) for one of the biggest in-person plus size shopping events. The event also featured panel discussions regarding personal style, blogging and designing. 

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Reflecting On Four Years Of Ready To Stare

By Alysse Dalessandro
on February 03, 2016
1 comment

I believe in celebrations. In fact, I celebrate quite often. When it comes to celebrating Ready to Stare's first Etsy sale on February 3, 2012, I've never missed an opportunity to break out the streamers. 

For Ready To Stare's first anniversary, I threw an epic trunk show/party at BLAIR. And last year, I wrote about my biggest hits and misses including the time I accidentally gave someone $90 change. I have prided myself on being able to put a positive spin on all of the ups and downs that I have experienced as a business owner, but this year, I feel not discussing the downs as real struggles is doing my audience a disservice. I want to get real about what running this business is actually like while also sharing an unexpected positive outcome. After talking with my friend Corissa from Fat Girl Flow, who is a huge support system to me, I knew that this is what I needed to do.

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Ready To Stare Meet & Greet at the Eleven60 Chicago Pop Up Shop!

By Alysse Dalessandro
on December 09, 2015

On December 4, I had the lucky opportunity to partner with The Fount Group for the first ever Eleven60 Pop Up Shop Tour! The brand traveled to four cities and my meet & greet was in Chicago which is where I first founded Ready to Stare nearly four years ago. I was happy to have the opportunity to travel back to my city and support Eleven60!

Eleven60 debuted its first collection in June 2015 and has already made huge waves in the plus size industry because of brand's high quality, attention to detail and fashion-forward designs. Founded by Grammy-nominated singer Kierra Sheard, I immediately identified with the passion that was clearly put into each piece. Kierra has always been supportive to me and when we first met at the TCF Style Expo in August, I struck by her positive energy.

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I'm In A BOOK! And Why You Need To Own "The Little Book of Big Babes"

By Alysse Dalessandro
on December 03, 2015

I remember the very first time I ever had my photo taken for a streetstyle website. It was 2010 and streetstyle fashion was just growing in popularity. When the photographer Isa from Chicago Looks asked for my photo, I remember being in awe that someone would want to capture my outfit as a plus size person (though I did have small fat privilege at the time). The photo ended up being featured in the Japanese streetstyle magazine Cracker Your Wardrobe and I would appear on Chicago Looks a number of times in the years since. At the time, I was comfortable with my personal style but a lot less comfortable feeling worthy of being visible in fashion. Isa was one of the first people to see that in me and I am forever grateful to her.

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21 Businesses To Support For Small Business Saturday

By Alysse Dalessandro
on November 27, 2015

Last year, I started a tradition that I hope to continue to carry out: I wrote about 11 businesses to support on Small Business SaturdayI was told that people discovered some new businesses in the process. And helping small business grow and flourish is one of my passions. It's not about competition; I want us all to win. 

When you shop small, you are supporting individuals many of whom are artists and innovators working to create social change through their products and others who are just talented as hell and need your support. Small Business Saturday isn't about doorbusters; it's about investing your buying power in the businesses most invested in you. 

There is a plus size focus to this list but there's a little something for everyone on your list! 

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From the Blog

Introducing Big Fig Mattres...

February 24, 2017

If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that you can't rule the plus size fashion world without...

Read more →

Five Lessons I've Learned B...

February 03, 2017

Five years ago today, I sat at a cubicle at my corporate job in Chicago and I launched the Ready...

Read more →

From the Blog

Introducing Big Fig Mattres...

February 24, 2017

If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that you can't rule the plus size fashion world without...

Read more →

Five Lessons I've Learned B...

February 03, 2017

Five years ago today, I sat at a cubicle at my corporate job in Chicago and I launched the Ready...

Read more →