“Dear Tall women, we are you, we see you, and we are here for you,” says the founders of Tall Size, the first ever marketplace for tall women to shop for clothes and shoes that actually fit.
A year ago this month, the founders Kayla Alexander (6’4), Kesia Alexander (5’10), and Nicole Murphy (6’0) celebrated their dreams of becoming the go-to destination for tall women to shop for all their clothing, shoes, and accessories needs. “We want to help tall women find their personal style, feel confident in the skin they’re in, and continue growing the beautiful community we have.”
Statistics say about 10 percent of the female population in the United States is over 5 feet 7 inches. The founders of Tall Size share the love of basketball, which is how the universe brought them together. Their desire to support a community in need is what kept them together. We had a chance to learn more about the platform, why the founders felt the need to create Tall Size, how they keep their cups full, and some of the brands folks can shop from on the site.
HelloBeautiful: How’d you come up with the name Tall Size?
Kayla Alexander: When Nicole, Kesia, and I were trying to figure out what we wanted to name our new business, several ideas came to mind. We knew we wanted a name that was simple but easily identifiable. As we were thinking of the name, we thought about what we were trying to accomplish, and one of our goals was to normalize tall sizes in the fashion industry. We reflected on how the term plus size had become the new norm within the industry, and that’s when it dawned on us, we had our new name!
HelloBeautiful: Share with us a time you felt disappointed when trying to shop for your unique height.
Kayla Alexander: Most of my adolescence consisted of disappointment and frustration while shopping. I could never find fashionable clothes that fit me as a child due to my long limbs. As a result, I often wore what fit and didn’t have a sense of style. I remember back to school shopping, my mom would give my sister, Kesia, and I money to go to the mall to buy a new outfit. I would get so frustrated because I couldn’t find jeans that reached my ankles, or tops that covered my entire torso. I would settle for a few short sleeve tops, jewelry and give the rest of my money to my sister since she had slightly more success finding clothes than I did. And don’t get me started on shoe shopping. I’m a size 12.5/13 depending on the shoe, most shoe stores only carry a size 10 or 11. I’ll never forget my visits to Payless – one of the few places that had affordable shoes in my sizes. I would walk through the aisles where all the different sizes had endless rows and columns of selection, then when I got to the section that read size 12/13, I only had a single row of options to choose from. Shopping was such a deflating and depressing experience that for the longest time I hated shopping altogether. Since I was an athlete, I would use that as an excuse and just live in sweatsuits and sneakers.
I will never forget the day my mom and I discovered “Long Tall Sally” when I was in high school – it felt like Christmas morning! At the time they had a wide selection of clothes geared towards tall women of all ages. I was finally able to find in style jeans that were a 38 in inseam! And cute long sleeve shirts that went past my ankles. The only downside was that the clothing was rather pricey, so we would save up so I could do one large shopping spree (a couple of jeans, a few shirts, a nice pair of dress shoes that weren’t sneakers) to last me throughout the year.
HelloBeautiful: Why did you all decide to fill that gap of finding cute, fashionable, and comfortable clothes that fit?
Kayla Alexander: We decided to fill the gap because we were sick and tired of being ignored by the fashion industry. Although we stand out, often head and shoulders above the crowd, it’s as if the industry forgot that we actually exist. There are over 200 million tall women worldwide, and we’re incredibly hard to miss! Furthermore, when we are able to find options that are in our size, it seems like brands think that we have no sense of style or the styles aren’t very feminine. Tall women want to be able to feel feminine, sexy, beautiful, cute, respectable, comfortable, and confident in their clothes too. And we shouldn’t have to break the bank to find options.
HelloBeautiful: Finding your personal style can be challenging, especially when you fit outside of “normal” beauty standards. How would you define your personal style? And how did you come to that definition, given the struggles?
Kayla Alexander: If I am being honest, for the longest time I did not have a sense of style. My style was athlete, aka tomboy. Thanks to what we have built at Tall Size, I am finally able to express myself and my personal style through my clothes. Through our research, we learned that a lot of tall women felt this same struggle of not being able to have a sense of style since they were limited to wearing whatever they found that fit. So we partnered with a stylist to build the “Tall Size Style Quiz” to help tall women discover what their personal style is. The quiz shows them the exact pieces they can shop on our site that not only fit their style profile but are also guaranteed to fit their bodies as well! There are six style profiles: The Timeless Minimalist, The Effortless Professional, The Confident Trendsetter, The feminine Boho, The Effortless Edgy, and The Elevated Athleisure. When I took the quiz, I discovered that I am the Timeless Minimalist – turns out this athlete doesn’t want to be in workout clothes all the time!
HelloBeautiful: What is your summer uniform?
Kayla Alexander: As a professional athlete, I spend a lot of my time (season) in athletic wear and sweats during the season. So during my offseason – the summer – minus my Team Canada commitments, I am not trying to look like an athlete. I love fashion made easy, taking pieces that I can mix and match but still look and feel feminine in. Now that I can shop for them on Tall Size, I love wearing dresses, skirts, and pieces that are simple but make me feel feminine, and that includes heels.
HelloBeautiful: As a primarily Black-owned company, tell us why it’s important for your platform to support Black-owned brands on TallSize.com.
Kayla Alexander: When we set out to build tallsize.com, we knew we wanted to partner with brands that were tall-specific. One of the hardest parts of shopping as a tall woman is discoverability, trying to find brands that carry items that fit. As we started building and partnering with tall brands, we realized that many of these brands are small businesses run by fellow tall women who were also frustrated with their shopping experience and wanted to help solve the problem. We also quickly discovered that a lot of the brands we partner with are created by black women. So although we did not intentionally set out to only partner with black businesses, I love the fact that black women are being bosses, starting businesses, and solving problems. As a black woman myself, I love that we are a company that supports women. We support tall women who want to buy clothes, we support women who own small businesses, and most of all, we are supporting black women!
The incredible black brands we carry on Tall Size include: CoIX Shoes, Ljb Footwear, Prissy Duck, Queens Inc Boutique, Seraphic Sole, TallMoi, The Sixes, TJL Collection, Tresolz, and Vaila Shoes. And we’re constantly looking to add more brands to the mix.
HelloBeautiful: Being a multi-faceted woman is the name of the game these days but taking care of yourself is also a priority. How do you each refill your cup so you can pour into others?
Kayla Alexander: I love the fact that I am a multi-faceted woman. I am so much more than just an athlete. I am a businesswoman, a mentor, an author, an athlete, an entrepreneur, and everything else in between. I also know that balance and taking care of myself is key. Naturally, I am a low-key person; my faith, family, and friends are most important to me, and spending quality time with my loved ones fills me up. I also love being in nature, whether it’s near the water, in a park, or taking in a nice sunrise or sunset. I have learned over the years that it’s good to take moments of pause to unwind, relax and reset. Last but most importantly, I am a woman of faith. So quiet time with the Lord always helps me to clear my head and have clarity, and helps me get back on track when I feel unsure.
Tall Size is not even a year in, and Kayla expressed that she is incredibly proud of what they have created so far for tall women. “And we’re just getting started! There are still problems we are trying to solve to create the best shopping experience possible and to one day go global, but we are up for the challenge.” She wouldn’t want to be on this journey with anyone else because she knows Nicole, Kesia, and herself are passionate about what they’re building, and they want to do so much more.