Salon owner Jamie Lopez has always loved the beauty industry, but as a plus-size woman, she hasn’t always found it a welcoming place. She’s had negative experiences both as a salon client and as a makeup artist. Lopez says she felt humiliated when she broke a chair at a salon she had frequented. “The salon was packed, and it made the loudest crack ever,” she says. As a makeup artist, Lopez has found that jobs are “really discriminatory towards big people, especially if you need a stool to sit on because you can’t stand for that long,” she adds. “I’ve suffered a lot for just wanting to do something I love, which is making people look and feel beautiful.”

Lopez’s experiences inspired her to open her salon, Babydoll Beauty Couture, and make it comfortable for women like her. To ensure that her salon could accommodate anyone, she commissioned a friend to custom-build each chair with a width of up to 85 inches and a hydraulic pump that holds up to 800 pounds. “Everything is designed for the plus-size woman; however, we don’t just see plus-size women, we see all people,” says Lopez. “We don’t care if you’re gay, straight, trans — we have some plus-size drag queens coming in and they love it — it’s just equal opportunity.”

Lopez thinks other salons could benefit from her body-positive attitude. “A lot of people don’t think about the struggles of a larger person,” she says. “But there are probably people who would like to come to their salon but can’t. They’re just missing out on business.”

Lopez says her salon’s clients are excited and filled with new confidence after visiting a salon where they can relax and enjoy services, including manicures, pedicures, hair services, spray tanning, eyelash extensions, makeup, and skin care. Her message is, “Don’t let size dictate your life. Don’t let size stop you from looking and feeling beautiful.”

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