This product feature is so close to my heart. This is partly because I’m tall and my heart has to work so much harder to get blood all the way down to my toes, but mainly because the range is so lovely and so necessary! I’m particularly excited to introduce you to Kristi Kyle.
How did you start? What was your motivation?
To be honest, the business of trying to find clothing to fit my long and lanky proportions started right around the age of 13! I grew up in Zimbabwe, where ‘long length’ clothing was just not going to happen. I ended up with baggy, oversized jeans in an effort to get the length just enough to cover my ankles. Not to mention that every dress or basic pair of “not your grandma’s shorts” were just too risqué. These types of things start to affect a girl’s self-esteem when image is such a big deal in those teenage years (not to mention the braces..!) I truly didn’t enjoy being tall until my family moved to California when I was 15 years old. LONG LENGTH ER’THING!! To be able to walk into a shop that offered a long-legged, 6ft 1 gal a choice of clothing in every style imaginable? It was a game-changer.
Flash forward to marrying a handsome South African and settling in the Durban area years later, I was disappointed once again to see the lack of options for tall women in South Africa. I fluctuated sizes whilst being pregnant my two boys. After failing to squeeze into my smaller wardrobe, I basically just ended up living in leggings. Something had to be done! My mom and I decided to create a clothing collection to fill this gap in the market. Let’s make shopping easier for all those beautiful long-legged ladies in South Africa!
What is your product?
Each one of our products has been designed to and flatter a tall woman’s body. We launched our business in June 2014 with just two simple, but ever-important products: our pajama bottoms and loungewear pants. How cruel to go through winter without the luxury of curling up in a cozy pair of PJ’s, right? Well, they were both a hit! We now have a total of six products available. These include maxi dresses and skirts, along with our incredibly useful knee-length dresses and skirts. We have a beautiful pair of linen pants in the works as we speak, which we hope to launch in the next two months.
What makes it special?
Our aim for Love Long Length has always been to provide a great quality product at affordable prices. Both my mom and I are not the “buy a pair of jeans for R2000” kind of shoppers. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it just doesn’t match up with our budget. We want our customers to have a chance to shop with us at prices that they’d find at their local mall.
How does the online store aspect benefit busy moms?
Online shopping is the way forward! I always recommend to our customers that they have a consultation / fitting first, if at all possible, and then to make use of our online shop for re-orders. If customers are out of our consultation areas, which are currently Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg, then I personally assist with size assessments over the phone / e-mail. Once you are sure of your size, it just takes a few simple clicks online and your order is couriered to your door!
Where would you like to see your company going in the near future?
More products! We want to become a one-stop shop. We are working our way towards a range of work / structured trousers. Our linen pants will be our starting block, but we have a heap more products to work on. We’d like to produce a great pair of jeans – that would be incredible. I’d also like to see us with a distributor in a few more areas – Cape Town is definitely on that list!
On a personal level, I’d like to be able to reach more ‘moms-of-tall-daughters’ who are struggling with the same issues I did as a teenager. I’d love to say to their daughters, “Sure, you might not fit into the store-bought clothes that all your friends wear but, hey, here are some beautiful options for you that ONLY YOU can wear.”
How are you planning to get there?
With the word getting around about our long-length products, we have been able to increase our volume of manufacturing. This has allowed us to bring on a distributor in Johannesburg, whilst still having enough product to keep growing in KZN. I see us taking bigger risks to increase our manufacturing even more to keep growing organically . I’d like to see us distributing in Cape Town for sure at some point next year. The more ladies we can reach, the better!