“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” It’s an expression we’ve all heard, but how many people are actually willing to put in the work needed to have the best lemonade possible? Fashion Designer and plus sized advocate Rheba Turnbull is one of those people. Through a series of seemingly unfortunate events, Rheba has created her own lemonade in the form of her plus-sized fashion line La Physique’.
Rheba graduated from Eustis High School in 1999, after being born in New York and being raised in the Virgin Islands for 14 years. She returned to her high school alma mater to work in administration until wounds from a car accident left her homebound. The inactivity brought on by her injuries led to an unexpected weight gain. Changes in her own physique inspired her La Physique’.
The Birth of La Physique’
3 years ago was the inception of Rheba’s plus sized fashion line La Physique’. Fashionable at heart, Rheba recognized the lack of stylish and couture clothing for plus sized women. In a short time, Rheba has made huge strides in spreading both her bright colored fashion and her female empowering message through events such as Orlando Full Figured Fashion Week. Rheba described how La Physique’ has been a part of numerous charity fashion shows and events bringing awareness to various causes in the community.
Most recently, La Physique’ was at the Bella Faire Fashion Show Midnight in Paris in support of the West Leesburg Community Development Corporation. However, the most rewarding event thus far for La Physique’, according to Rheba, has been the 2011 Atlanta Gospel Fest with Shirley Murdock.
At the heart of these charity events is Rheba’s desire to empower all women. “My heart and passion is geared towards plus sized women, but I recognize that all women need empowering.” Through raising a young daughter, she recognizes the importance of encouraging teens as well. “If we start at a young age, they don’t have as many issues as they become adults.” Rheba believes that if children are mentored from the ages of 8 to 18, it will help them to become successful- rather than trying to find themselves as they approach adulthood.
While Rheba has a huge heart for all women, her fashion shows her commitment to the women of the plus sized community. In the next five years, Rheba envisions La Physique in at least three department stores- Macys, Dillards, and Kohls, online, and eventually in Walmart. Her goal is to put lines on different financial levels. When describing her client, Rheba explained, “She may not be able to afford all pieces but she will be able to afford something within the line and still feel good about herself.” And that is the mission and fashion of Rheba Turnbull.
Updates on La Physique’ can be found via their Twitter @LaPhysique or by emailing Rheba at email@example.com.