5 Things We’ve Learned From Creating Our Own Clothing Line

How our business looks today is completely different from the day when we sat down and started drafting our business plan. I think we always knew in the back of our mind that in order to provide the types of clothing that we as tall girls have always wanted in our closet, we were going to have to design them ourselves. But initially our fears and lack of education in this industry made us pursue carrying other brands and lines instead.  It was the easier route, if you will.

Now, I’m not going to lie to you – going to market and shopping through the racks of hundreds of brands is way fun. Especially in Vegas when they greet you in the morning with free mimosas (always a great way to start the professional work day, LOL). We definitely had our fair share of luck finding great, trendy clothing brands that just so happened to fit our tall bodies quite nicely! And we still carry some of those lines today. However, as time went on, we ultimately couldn’t shake this overwhelming feeling of feeling out of control of our own business. What do I mean by that? Well, we were 100% at the mercy of the other brands and the decisions they made for their own business. These decisions included what types of garments they provided, in what colors, how do those clothes fit and is the fit consistent from garment to garment, the quality of the fabric, what sizes they carry, the pricing of the garments, how many units we have to buy and in what sizes, what styles they will carry in 36” inseams, what other brands are they selling to, and so on.

We started to find ourselves, especially in different seasons (I’m talking about you, spring and summer), wishing for more. And after perusing markets we were asking ourselves questions like: Why can’t we find a freaking romper that works with our bodies? Why do these tank tops look like they would fit a small child at best? Are the inseams on these shorts even an inch long? Our frustrations with the general market being so hit or miss eventually forced us into creating our own designs, whether we were ready for it or not. Spoiler alert: we are SO glad that it did.

I feel like the story of our journey with our own line probably warrants a whole other blog post – if not a short novel. There have been so many trials and tribulations, and the process has already changed so much in this short amount of time. But today I just wanted to reflect on what we’ve learned so far from creating our own clothing line and share those lessons with you, our customers, who inspire us so much to keep pushing, creating, and dreaming  – even if the road gets bumpy along the way!


  1. You have to have a solid game plan. There’s so many elements to think about when you create your own line. How much inventory should you carry? How many unique pieces does that translate into? What’s the budget for the line as a whole, but also per individual garments? Our biggest struggle right now stems from wanting to create ALL OF THE THINGS, but doing so within reason. Per season, I feel like we normally start with a mood board of about 100 items and have to dwindle it down to what we ultimately think will do the best – based on your requests and also just our gut feelings! We also have to consider of those pieces on our board, which ones we can realistically create today for an affordable and attractive price point, and which ones would be better for us to try down the road as we continue to grow.
  2. You need to seek help from people who know much more than youIt’s semi obvious to explain that as two girls coming from a fashion/design background of uh, non-existent, that we were going to need some serious help in getting this thing off the ground and going. But even today, with some experience and wisdom gained, I can’t imagine doing this without a skilled team of people behind us and supporting us as women in business and our company mission. We are fortunate enough to work with a designer/ pattern-maker in Minnesota who has a super successful brand of her own – her own line was once even photographed for Vogue Italy! SO COOL, right? We also have women that consult with us on fit and size grading as veterans of the industry, and a super skilled, experienced and amazing team of sewers that bring the creations to life. As we continue to grow our line, we’ve continued to seek out other designers and manufacturers that can help us deliver the very best products to you!

    Shooting our spring/summer line in Florida together!

  3. Think outside of the box. There is no one, right way of creating and producing your own line. There is no end all, be all. I think there’s a false illusion that you have to follow steps A, B, and then C. There’s too many materials out there that tell you that “this is the way” you should do it. But what we have found is that most of those avenues weren’t relevant to our business. So we had to explore and try the things that worked for our business and our goals. If something isn’t working or doesn’t feel right, it is completely OK to pivot and go a different direction. People might try to scare or mislead you into working with them, but there is almost always going to be a different way of getting to where you want to go, so don’t let them fool you. So far we have thrived by doing our research, utilizing our networks and asking for help!
  4.  Don’t be scared of your mistakes or failing. In the beginning, I was researching and reading articles online with advice from designers who started their own line. This quote always spoke to me, so I saved it and now I think it is so relevant for us today: “There is no great way to learn than to start your own business. When you work for yourself, the mistakes hurt more and things that I did 3 years ago still haunt me – but they also still inform and shape the better decisions I make today”. Honestly, we can vouch that the best way to learn is simply just to begin. Trust us when we say, it’s definitely not going to go all to plan – but what you learn from these times is so empowering and essential to helping you in your future!
  5. Have faith in what you’re doing. I think this is the most important. The fashion industry is full of {crazy} people who like to believe that there is or should be only one type of female body that exists. I’m sure you’ve read that before, but I’m here to confirm that it’s the absolute truth. There were times when we used to go to market and ask vendors if they carried 36” inseams in their line, only to be stared back at by a face that looked at us as if we just got released from the insane asylum. Our ideas have been scoffed at, and we’ve been offered unsolicited advice over and over again telling us that this niche isn’t big enough to exist on its own. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing 110%, there will always be someone there filling you up with doubt, fears and insecurities. Luckily as two tall women ourselves, we 110% believe that not only does this niche exist, but it is completely under-served and we are here to do something about it – don’t try to stop us!

Have more questions about our business or our line? We’d love to chat with you, so please leave any questions or comments below! You might help to inspire a future blog post 🙂 Thanks for reading! – Alli

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  • Reply
    March 15, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    I found your compagnie on instagram, when I deside to have my own clothing line for tall women and plus size. I’m from Québec in Canada and we have no choise. Nothing.
    I found your blog very inspiring and it give me more motivation to continue my career change.

    • Reply
      Alli Black
      March 16, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      Hi Sabrina,

      Thanks so much for reading! Best of luck 🙂

  • Reply
    March 17, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Hi!! Just wanted to say thank you for sharing these pearls of wisdom! As a 6’2” women growing up with little to no options in the late 80’s and early 90’s, my mother sewed most of my clothes. There are more options than before but still major gaps in what’s available for tall women. Your words truly resonated with me. For years I’ve dreamed of starting my own clothing line exclusively for tall women but with zero experience in the fashion industry it’s challenging to determine where you begin. Your advice is practical and inspiring: there is no “right” way to do it. I wish you much success with your line!! Can’t wait to purchase one of those rompers going into production!

    • Reply
      Alli Black
      March 19, 2018 at 2:23 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Debbie!!

  • Reply
    Beth @TallFashionAdventures
    March 18, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Always interesting to get a behind-the-scenes look! Excited to see what’s in store for 2018!

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