a conversation with KaPricia Miller
"We are every woman, conquering daily challenges.."
KaPricia Miller has the power. She is a testament of strength and a great role model. She has shown women in her proximity how to take back their power and identity from the media, their peers and society’s mind state. It’s an impressive effort that is well received and is growing daily.
KaPricia is the founder of ThiChics, LLC. The ThiChics organization does a lot of work toward empowering full-figured women through fashion, public speaking and encouraging a general refusal to play the background in society. “We produce fashion shows, a full-figured calendar each year, and provide overall support for women, full-figured or not. We also have an anti-bullying program supporting elementary and high school kids and their parents.” KaPricia notes that she is in the process of creating individual entities to separate ThiChics’ modeling segment and the anti-bullying program from the empowerment organization as all aspects have grown quickly and are perceived as one and the same. “This wasn’t the original intent so it’s become necessary for each aspect of ThiChics to have their own identity.” A great problem to have, I suppose. Fast and popular growth in your community… you could do worse.
“ThiChics started as a women’s empowerment organization focusing on encouraging full-figured women to embrace themselves. Through our focus on empowerment, we grew to incorporate any and all women, teens and young girls. One way we act on our premise is by presenting full-figured women as models and by profiling attractive and contemporary fashion for larger women. We’re currently putting together a show for December after the success of our June 22nd show at the Boutwell Auditorium. The shows just keep getting bigger and bigger each time. We had to change locations for the June show as we outgrew the original venue we were using. ThiChics is the first organization of its kind in the city so we’ve had tremendous support from all over.”
ThiChics’ anti-bullying effort has interfaced with local schools in Birmingham, Alabama to support students dealing with bullying and to counsel bullies themselves. “We have parents and kids come in that have been bullied or were bullies. They are able to speak on their experiences and connect with kids in our program. Right now, the kids are typically the kids of women involved in the ThiChics organization but we have grown to include other parents and kids within the school system in Birmingham. We have a lot of supporters male and female.”
ThiChics has a LOT going on and it is all thanks to KaPricia and her crew. “We do fashion shows with the women participating in our organization. No one is a professional model. We have a very talented director, D Ownher LLC, who works well to bring out the model in our ladies. With D Ownher’s help we put our shows together, incorporate our sponsors and make them happen.
PBI: So how did you kick this off in Birmingham? I mean to start pulling local resources into the mix and all..
KM: Well we initially hosted a meet and greet to introduce the business and educate people on what we proposed to do and what we will accomplish. Also we defined who our target audience is and what role sponsors and local businesses could play as we develop. Word of mouth has been our most effective proponent since then.
PBI: How long as ThiChics been around?
KM: ThiChics LLC was started in 2007.
PBI: Now, you mentioned sponsorship. What sponsors do you have?
KM: We have clothing sponsors like Simple Fashion; right now we have Maurice’s on board; and we’re working on Torrid. We also have local boutiques that are on board like Playhouse Fashions, Beauty and Curves, Certified Styles, KCP&J and a lot more. They really get excited when we host our shows because our attendees patronize their businesses as well.
PBI: So the fashion shows portion of the company seems to be growing very quickly.
KM: Yeah, we get a lot of support there. People come out to show support and enjoy being a part of our mission. Some people just come out to see what we’re about and all, but they always seem to come away with a positive view of us. Everyone really likes that we involve the kids from our anti-bullying program as part of a self-esteem reinforcement effort. It establishes more goodwill and also makes the shows family-oriented.
PBI: Speaking of the anti-bullying program, how were you able to interface with the schools to establish yourself?
KM: Well, we’re established with Birmingham City school district. We are working on the Birmingham county school district. With Birmingham City Parish, I basically approached the school counselors with a proposal for an anti-bullying program and they were able to help me obtain approval. Anything that’s positive that will help them help the kids is seen as a plus. I had some background for immediate reference because both of my kids were exposed to bullying. We were able to initially share their stories with kids and soon other parents came on board.
PBI: About school experiences, how was your experience in school? What was your childhood like?
KM: Well, like I said earlier, I was born and raised in Birmingham, AL, the oldest of four kids. Growing up I had a hard time ‘cause I was always the largest one of the cousins, schoolmates.. (laughs). Yeah, I had a hard childhood but my Mom, she was like my best friend. I used to come home crying because the kids would pick at me. And back then, the local fashion retailers, they didn’t focus on making sure we looked nice. I remember shopping at a place called Diamond Outlet downtown because places like K-Mart and Wal-Mart didn’t have stuff in my size. That’s another reason why I started ThiChics, because I wanted women my size to feel pretty. We don’t have to always wear black all the time. We’re good for running to the color black to downplay our size but.. what ThiChics does is we put them in something pretty, get ‘em all fixed up and they start to feel different about themselves.
PBI: So tell me a little bit about the fashion shows. I know you guys get a lot of community support. How does that all come together?
KM: We usually all get together and start to discuss the event and the outfits that have provided by local designers. We start to pair our participants with outfits and discuss them. Some ladies get a little nervous because we are taking them out of their safe zone, fashion-wise.. I mean, some women have never worn heels, some have never experimented with anything other than a basic look. I should add that none of the women in our shows are real MODELS but, more so, women and kids that participate in our organization. We collectively have a lot of positive energy going and it manifests in great, great shows. Spouses of some of the women involved come up to me after the shows and thank me for helping their wives find and embrace themselves and getting them to try something new. It’s great and all positive. We’re getting so popular, I don’t even HAVE to hire photographers anymore because so many are part of our following. It’s amazing.
PBI: It sounds like the organization is really growing.
KM: Yes. Every show is larger than the last. Each event we’ve had has been sold out. We actually had to turn people away. Surrounding cities want to associate with us and bring our organization to their areas. We’ve been approached by radio, I’m doing pubic speaking events, we are blessed. We’re lucky to have a lot of good people on this side that are helping to spread the word and are patient with the process. They know that things don’t happen overnight; not when they’re done right. We have a lot of great people on our team and they see.. this movement, it’s not just about me. It’s about whoever wants this. Whoever felt that they weren’t pretty or weren’t good enough. Right now, it shows that anything is possible and that’s just what I stand on.
Obviously, good things happen to good people and this beautiful premise has turned out beautiful people… inside and out!! I appreciate you making time in your schedule to make this interview happen. Much success to ThiChics LLC!!
Get more information on KaPricia Miller and her organizations here:
Cell: (205) 441-347