The Height of Fashion

Entrepreneur puts tall fashions in department stores

Chelsea Jones | 1/6/2014, 11:52 a.m.
Being 6 feet 1 inch, Lameka Weeks was tired of not finding clothes that fit. She barely had enough properly ...
Left photo: Height Goddess fashions. Right photo: Lameka Weeks The Height Goddess

“So the email comes through and my face gets calm. [My sales manager] is like, ‘Are you okay?’ I’m like, ‘Oh my god, the email just came through.’ She’s like, ‘Open it.’ I’m like, ‘No, I don’t want to open it … all right, let’s pray.’ So we prayed. [Afterwards] I was like, ‘You open the email.’ So she opened it. The next thing I know, she starts screaming,” Weeks said.

Suddenly, both became ecstatic. Weeks was delighted to know that she had made it through the fierce competition. She said that more than 1,000 people had sent in applications. Only 34 people were selected to do interviews. Twenty-one people were chosen.

She took her sales manager with her to the workshop, which was also at Macy’s New York headquarters. When Weeks arrived, she was elated.

“I [was] like, ‘Oh my god, do you realize we are at Macy’s? Do you understand what this means?’” Weeks recalled enthusiastically asking her sales manager.

The workshop, which Weeks characterized as being an “intense information overload,” was four-and-a-half days long, eight hours each day. Classes and activities were held on the top two floors above the Macy’s New York headquarters store.

Lisa Price, who has a partnership with Macy’s and is founder of Carol’s Daughter Inc., a line of beauty products, was one of the guest speakers. She discussed how she turned her hobby of mixing up fragrances and creams at home into a multi-million-dollar empire.

During the workshop, Weeks learned that in order for clothes vendors to be successful in the retail business, they have to ship their orders to department stores according to shipping standards and on time. Presenters informed workshop members that late orders and orders in improper shipping form put department stores behind in their clothing seasons. Thus, department stores have a great likelihood of discontinuing partnerships with clothes vendors that act accordingly.

Also, in order to be successful, clothes vendors have to work with buyers to design clothes that consumers will pay for, as well as do promotion. But before they can partner with department stores, clothes vendors must make their businesses electronic data interchange compliant.

EDI compliancy provides the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents between trading partners. The infrastructure, for example, allows clothes venders to send their orders to warehouses or track their orders.

What Weeks enjoyed the most about the workshop was the opportunity to network with other business owners, whom she described as coming from different backgrounds, and learning about their products. Towards the end of the event, she and other workshop members prepared a presentation that could be shown to potential buyers.

An incident happened during the program that reminded Weeks why it’s important for stores to sell clothes for tall women. She lost some of her luggage and worried about finding clothes.

“I just can’t walk into the store and get something that fits me, especially when it’s cold outside. I need long sleeves,” Weeks said.

She expressed that although buying clothes online is great, most women prefer to go inside a store and shop.