Modern Living: Big Business

Size 52 hot pants? It sounds improbable, but a cheerful 300-pounder named Nancy Austin not only wears them but markets them. She is drawing customers from all over the U.S. for custom-designed fat-lady clothes. Until she began selling her bright, fashionable originals at a small shop in Las Vegas, clothes for chubby women were mostly dismal, shapeless outfits intended primarily for camouflage. Nancy has other ideas. Her shop, which opened in May 1970 on a skinny $5,000 investment, is now grossing nearly $100,000 a year.

Sales figures like that are produced, in part at...

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