New store specializes in plus-size clothing

Published 3:15 pm Thursday, June 30, 2016

Carolyn Szafranski is the owner of "Lot's 2X Love" in the Shops of Columbiana.  The store specializes in plus-size clothing for women. (Contributed photo.)

Carolyn Szafranski is the owner of “Lot’s 2X Love” in the Shops of Columbiana.  The store specializes in plus-size clothing for women. (Contributed photo.)

By Jennifer Maier/Community columnist

There is lots to love at a new shop that recently opened in the Shops of Columbiana on historic Main Street.

Carolyn Szafranski is the owner of Lot’s 2X Love, which opened on June 1, and specializes in plus-sized clothing for women.

Szafranski spent the last 26 years of her life as an Army wife, as well as raising five children.  This is her first time to own a retail business.

“My life has been dedicated to supporting my husband’s career and caring for our large family,” said Szafranski.  “Now it’s my turn to shine.”

The family moved to Columbiana from Georgia four years ago after her husband retired.  Her hope is that the community “embraces us as one of their own,” Szafranski explained.

Like many people, she has noticed that Columbiana is starting to grow, and the opportunity to get in on the action was too good to pass up.

“The City of Columbiana is growing at a fast pace.  There is an enchantment with this small hometown that attracts both casual travelers and business professionals, especially since the city has been accepted as a Main Street Alabama community,” Szafranski said.

“There is a market for numerous retail opportunities in Columbiana because most people have taken their business to larger cities” she explained.  “The risk of investment within this small rural town has been worth it.”

Szafranski chose to open in a smaller shop because it allows her to have a manageable inventory and low overhead.  The Shops of Columbiana has smaller spaces for lease to business owners who are looking to start up with lower costs, while still having all the amenities of a larger store.

Szafranski explained that the small size of shop has many benefits.

“The ‘boutique’ style shop allows me to express myself and curtail my products to certain demographics,” she said.  “Starting out I cannot carry many lines of inventory, so I have to consider what the women of Columbiana want to see and purchase.  As the owner I get to control the quality of the clothing lines that I carry and the cost conferred to my customers.”

The shop is located at 104 S. Main Street Suite 6, and is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  It is closed on Sunday.


“My wish is to give the ‘plus size’ women of Columbiana a quality product, at a fair price, so that they do not have to drive elsewhere to find clothes that make them look pretty,” Szafranski said.   “There is an open market in Columbiana because very few shops offer clothing for generous women.  I want them to be ‘their own kind of beautiful’.”