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Venturing into the style world, Canadian Kayla Alexander seems to be to fill a void


Being tall has been one of many presents of Kayla Alexander’s life.

It has helped her get an training, see the world, play the game she loves for a dwelling and develop into an Olympian.

Draw back?

Purchasing for garments.

The Canadian nationwide workforce star stands a regal six-foot-four and set a number of profession information at Syracuse College and has eight WNBA seasons underneath her belt, however she will nonetheless bear in mind the awkwardness of going back-to-school purchasing and developing empty.

“My mother could be like, low price range, ‘right here’s the cash you guys go to the mall, do no matter you need,” she recollects on a Zoom name from Russia, the place she’s enjoying one other season within the high home league. “And I was so jealous of [my sister], Keisha.

“She would come again with all these cute outfits like, all these denims that had been low cost and trendy and I’d come again with jewelry and T-shirts as a result of I couldn’t discover any cute, trendy garments that truly match me. So, I by no means loved the entire back-to-school purchasing factor.”

Canada’s Kayla Alexander shoots over South Korea’s Danbi Kim throughout ladies’s basketball preliminary spherical recreation on the 2020 Summer season Olympics. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)


Nicole Murphy is Alexander’s lifelong buddy from Barrie, Ontario. It was Murphy who noticed the brand new tall lady in school in sixth grade and invited her to return out for basketball workforce, inadvertently launching Alexander’s profession.

Murphy grew to six-foot and had her personal challenges when it got here to garments and style.

“I felt essentially the most frustration preparing for events or doing stuff with my different girlfriends and they might all need to buy groceries to get outfits and I’d sort of similar to tag alongside however I’d by no means be capable to discover cute, fancy stuff that match me so I’d all the time simply put on like my primary like denims and a T-shirt,” she says. “And I don’t know that I’d get made enjoyable of however my pals would all the time say like, ‘oh Nicole you’re all the time so boring.’

“And even simply having the ability to share garments or share sneakers earlier than going out. I may by no means. I simply sort of chilled out on the facet whereas all of them bought prepared. Trying again, it was irritating.”

Alexander and Murphy’s friendship and shared style annoyances prompted them to behave. The pair – together with Alexander’s sister Keisha, who topped out at five-foot-10 – have launched TallSize.com, a enterprise they hope will ease some the challenges they and their friends face in a retail world geared to those that aren’t possible candidates to play centre for the Canadian senior nationwide ladies’s workforce on the Tokyo Olympics, as Alexander did this previous summer time.

It took place in two phases. This previous March they began a model listing aimed toward fixing the purchasing and style wants for tall ladies by doing a lot of the work for them.

“We discovered each single tall clothes model we may throughout the globe after which we principally put in a filter so in the event you say you’re in Canada and need to discover denims with a 38 inseam that ship to Canada, we principally filtered so as soon as you set all that info in you’ll find which retailers you possibly can probably store at discover these denims to ship to you,” says Alexander.

Response was rapid and inspiring. There appeared to be a necessity, and guests to the location had been happy that their scavenger hunt had been directly simplified and made extra rewarding. Alexander didn’t need to go to check their concepts – she simply requested teammates previous and current. A lifetime of elite basketball performed all around the globe advised her that her frustrations had been broadly shared.

Murphy reached past Alexander’s basketball circle and was even additional satisfied they had been on to one thing as she interviewed potential clients.

“It was a validating expertise to listen to concerning the [frustrations] all of us felt however there was loads of issues I heard that I personally haven’t been affected by,” stated Murphy. “However there’s loads of emotional weight tied up in not having the ability to discover garments as a tall lady, particularly while you’re youthful.

“You’re already taller than the boys and I imply, it’s simply it’s not regular. After which on high of that you would be able to’t discover garments that make you are feeling good in your individual pores and skin or assured and so I feel there’s loads of built-up physique picture points related to it … so it was tremendous validating and I feel it was it was simply useful to level us in the appropriate course.”

Because the model listing gained traction, they started to contemplate different alternatives and settled on a web based market that allowed consumers and sellers to fulfill in a single place on-line.

“The following pure step for us was okay, as a substitute of kicking [users] out to buy from all these totally different high manufacturers [we identified], how will we create one thing that permits them to buy from all of them in a single place?” Says Murphy, who’s a veteran of a number of e-commerce ventures and give up her final job to decide to TallSize full-time this previous summer time. “And in order that’s the place {the marketplace} mannequin got here from the place we’re partnering with totally different tall manufacturers, bringing all their merchandise into one place in order that tall ladies don’t need to scour the web far and large for hours simply to seek out stuff that possibly matches.

“We simply wished to create an area the place ladies may know they may rely upon it, they’ll go there and know that it’s sort of been vetted, to really be gadgets that they’ll store from.”

The enterprise hopefully gives one other avenue for Alexander, 30, as soon as her enjoying profession winds down – an addition to the children’s books she publishes with Keisha, in addition to her artwork and public talking.

However till then there’s the satisfaction in figuring out that these awkward or irritating journeys to the mall don’t need to be that method anymore, and alongside along with her sister and her oldest buddy, they’re actively making it so.

“I’ve all the time had just like the entrepreneurial thoughts of attempting to determine issues I may do,” she says. “My huge factor is doing issues that I’m enthusiastic about. And that is one thing that I’m enthusiastic about, as a result of it’s one thing that pertains to me, it permits me to be inventive. It permits me to continue to learn [and] … I’m doing the work now in order that when the time involves put up my sneakers for good, I can easily transfer into the subsequent part and TallSize … will develop and that [we] can proceed to do for a few years to return.”



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