2020, What A Year, Am I Right?
When I started this tall men’s apparel line a couple of years ago, I definitely had some idea of what I was getting into but in reality, I had no idea what this journey would be like.
As a business owner I’ve grown quite a bit, especially facing the challenges of 2020. As a designer, I made amazing strides in all phases of the product life cycle for apparel. This is evident in my late 2020 release of the Northbound Collection and the Mammoth Flannel Jacket. It was my most challenging item I developed
but it’s been the piece that I am most proud of to date. My desire and passion to create clothing for the modern tall guy is still on fire and continues each and every day.
Despite the challenges that Heights was faced with in 2020, the brand saw a year of incredible growth. With the general optimism that surrounds a new year, I want to capture that momentum and make 2021 another year where Heights levels up again.
Every year I sit down and write out my goals. Personal, professional (I am also a film and media producer), and business. One way I hold myself accountable to goals is to put them out there to the world. I can't explain it but for some reason, it forces me to put my butt in gear and follow through. So that's what I am going to do, lay out what my goals are for Heights in 2021 with the idea that the amazing community will hold me accountable if I stray off track.
So here we go.
Goal 1 - Commit to as much U.S.-based manufacturing as I can do.
This has been a very conflicting topic for me in the past year. I have been doing a mix of U.S. based manufacturing and off-shore manufacturing of certain items in the shop. To be honest, I have not been pleased with the off-shore. The quality just has not been up to the standard I want for Heights. While it's more expensive to make product here in the U.S., especially in small batches, I firmly believe that there is a higher level of quality when producing in the U.S.
So this year, I want to place a stronger commitment to U.S. based manufacturing of as many products Heights can do. We already have strong partnerships with AZ Fashion Source and are currently in discussions with another U.S. manufacturer to handle the production of our Signature Collection items such as the Signature Tall tee as well as the Signature Tall Woven shirts. Which now leads me to my second goal for Heights.
Goal 2 - Improve the Signature Collection products.
With any business, if you’re not listening to your customers you are destined to fail. Sometimes it’s hard to stray away from your vision. But if your customers are giving feedback, it’s in the best interest of the brand to listen and make adjustments accordingly. It’s just good business. With the Signature Collection being Heights’ core product offering, this is a good time to make tweaks and adjustments.
So that is what I am doing in 2021. With the inventory of the Signature Tall Tee virtually wiped out after the holidays, it’s time to iterate on the design and prepare for the Signature Tall Tee v.02! This year I will be working to also release the Signature Tall Woven shirt in both long-sleeve and short sleeve, with the short sleeve releasing first sometime in the spring.
Goal 3 - Grow The Heights Tribe
If you follow the brand closely, you learned that in 2020 I won the opportunity to be part of the Designer In Residence program at Fabric Tempe, where you get 6 months of intensive guidance on scaling your brand as well as design and develop three items.
One thing I learned from the many amazing business workshops as part of the program, was the need to grow your tribe. This is especially true for niche product based businesses.
Even though I started working on this aspect in 2020, I was very inconsistent with it. I began a Facebook Group called Tall Guy Society but did a poor job of keeping conversations going within the group. This year my goals is to continue building the tribe of the Heights community that will build more awareness around the brand. This also includes creating more content for the community to engage with and share.
So there. It’s out in the world now. I always knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task to start a tall men’s clothing brand. Especially doing so with two kids, one of which is only 10 months old and is literally sleeping on me while I write this.
My passion for creating apparel for tall men that looks great, fits great, and helps them feel great, is stronger than ever.
What goals have you established for yourself in 2021? Let’s hear it and help each other strive to achieve it. Let’s MAKE IT HAPPEN in 2021!
- The Five Best Cars and SUVs for Tall People
- 10 Style Hacks For Tall Guys
- 3 Workout Tips for Tall Guys