Lameka Weeks is TALL. And proud of it. That’s why the Dallas entrepreneur founded Height Goddess, a clothing company for women 5’9” and taller. Although Weeks does not have formal fashion training, she knew a need existed in the market. Growing up in Alabama, Weeks had a difficult time finding clothing that fit her tall frame and often borrowed items from her father’s closet.
“Both of my parents worked in retail,” she said. “My mother was a buyer for the department store Belk and my father was a manager of a retail chain called Martin’s. Because my mom was a buyer, she knew certain brands that came longer. Extra length could be gained by taking out the hems. I was able to get by through college, but then had to start shopping for business clothes. That’s when finding things really became challenging.”
The Height Goddess Name
Weeks played basketball at Auburn University at Montgomery and graduated with a communications major. Successful in the corporate world at companies such as Black & Decker, Johnson & Johnson and General Electric Company, she was constantly reminded of how few professional pieces were in her closet when dressing for meetings. Weeks wanted more clothing choices for taller women that were both stylish and timeless, much like what exists in the market for petites.
She began doodling name ideas for such a business. One day Weeks drove by a sign that said Goddess Boutique. Inspiration struck with Weeks suddenly envisioning the words Height Goddess together. She immediately pulled the car over and purchased the domain name www.heightgoddess.com. The company officially launched in 2007.
Some of Weeks bestselling products are t-shirts with body-positive affirmations printed on the front. Wording examples include Life is Short, But I’m Not and You Walk, I Stride. Weeks acknowledges she was fortunate to grow up in a household where her height, but more importantly her character were celebrated.
“My grandmother told me I had an amazing voice and to always use it,” she recalled. “My parents were supportive and although my father has passed away, my mom is still very much involved with Height Goddess. She continues to advise on colors, on what to do and not do when releasing a new collection. Basically my mom is my everything. She’s always been encouraging and loving.”
Sky is the Limit
In 2013, Weeks was chosen to participate in The Workshop at Macy’s. Known as the retail industry’s longest running vendor development program, The Workshop is dedicated exclusively to diverse, women, LGBTQ, and veteran-owned businesses. It selects high potential applicants and provides them with tools to better succeed and sustain company growth.
Weeks credits the experience with teaching her the ins and outs of selling to a large retailer and also for opportunities to connect with an array of talented people in the industry. Regarding advice for girls who want to launch a clothing line, she says they need to understand their dream requires investment in order for there to be products.
“You have to make your patterns, then you have to make your samples before ever selling one thing,” Weeks said. “That can be a lot of money out front and people often don’t realize that. When starting out, start small. Something like a three-piece collection, like three dresses. Make the items similar so you won’t have to use multiple manufacturers in the beginning.”
From One HEIGHT GODDESS To Another
Weeks also stresses how important it is for entrepreneurs to tell their story and make sure they have a clear understanding of who their customers are. Additionally, she says those hoping for success cannot just dream about it, they have to follow through. They must also not be deterred when life forces them to pivot. One inspiring quote Weeks often turns to is by Marvel legend Stan Lee, “If you have an idea that you genuinely think is good, don’t let some idiot talk you out of it.”
In 2016, Height Goddess launched a podcast. Titled From One HEIGHT GODDESS To Another, the show has Weeks interviewing tall girls and women about an array of topics such as growing up tall, fashion, and even dating.
“The purpose of the podcast is for women and girls to hear the experiences of other tall women and girls,” Weeks said. “It lets them know they are not alone, there is a strong community of tall women. Hearing their stories is empowering. Those who wear Height Goddess have found a line that makes them feel confident. My mission is to provide pieces for years to come so tall women know they have fashionable choices when it comes to clothes.”
Images provided by Height Goddess