Tiffany Jones-Lewis is a revolutionary designer defies convention, empowering tall women with stunning, bespoke fashion. Bold styles, flattering fits, and fearless confidence soar in her trailblazing clothing line. Unapologetically statuesque, celebrate height and elegance.
Tiffany Jones-Lewis: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tiffany-a-lewis/
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Alternate Titles For The Algorithm:
The Sky-High Seamstress: Crafting Couture for the Tallest Among Us Elevated Elegance: A Designer's Journey in Tall Women's Fashion Glamour in the Clouds: The Empowering Story of a Tall Women's Stylist Tailoring to the Tallest: One Woman's Mission to Create Perfect Fits Reaching New Heights: Fashion for the Fearlessly Tall Altitude Attire: The Inspiring Rise of a Tall Women's Fashion Guru The Long and Short of It: A Fashion Pioneer's Tall Order Towering Trends: The Woman Revolutionizing Tall Women's Style Stitching Skyward: The Art and Passion of a Tall Women's Couturier Soaring Style: A Designer's Quest to Elevate Tall Women's Fashion Upwardly Fashionable: The Woman Transforming Clothing for the Statuesque From Head to High Heels: Crafting Confidence for the Tall and Fabulous Lofty Designs: The Trailblazer Behind Tall Women's Wardrobes High-Fashion Heights: The Empowering World of a Tall Women's Designer Sky's the Limit: The Innovator Sewing Success for Tall Women Everywhere
Hey y'all, this is your host Elyse Robinson. With nobody wants to work though podcasts. I hope these stories will inspire you to switch careers. I was an auditor in my past life and I'm in tech, then let's get to it
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Hey y'all this Elyse Robinson with nobody wants to work though podcast today. We have Tiffany and she What do you describe yourself as a fashion designer clothing COVID maker brand.
I call myself a fashion design. I actually did go to fashion school to Okay,
okay. And what did you start start your career as?
What do you mean as far as we fashion or my very first first career?
Yeah, like your first one? Because you know, you started your your own clothing line was it wasn't your first thing that you did?
Well, after college, organic college, I went to the Navy. So I can start there. I was in the military for eight years. In the Navy. I worked as an administrative officer.
Gotcha. Gotcha. Yeah, I'm familiar with the military. I I've never been in the military. But I was a civilian. Like I told you, I was the auditor. So I was ordered on Air Force Base. So yeah, I know about the struggle, the life and what goes into it. So tell me, why did you start your your clothing line?
Well, so I joined the Navy, my junior year of college. After I got out the Navy, I worked as a government worker for a little while doing administrative officers well, just as a civilian, when I got into my very first corporate job, that's where I realized it wasn't a lot of business casual for tall. Um, and you know, coming from uniform to civilian life, I didn't have a lot of like, business casual wear, because I wasn't wearing clothes like they on a day to day basis. And I really ran out of our seats fairly quickly on my job. So I started, I started sewing things, because I had been sewing since I was 12. So I went back to my first love, which was, you know, sewing and I just started making clothes myself for myself. And then I would just post my look on the internet. And eventually, car girls start, you know, finding me, and they will start asking me to like, make them stuff too. So for a while I was sewing for other people, but it got a little bit of wham. And I was like, I have to figure out how to make extra now, because it's a little too much for me to sit behind the sewing machine all day.
Definitely, definitely. And so how tall are you? I'm six foot one, six foot. Mm hmm. I am 511. And so like I said, I reached out to you because I'm I'm always fascinated by other tall women. Because I understand the struggle, like there's definitely a huge difference between being 511 and 661. For sure, for sure. But at the end of the day, you know, Tall is TALL. Funny enough. My sister was telling me that a place that I like to get dresses from because they're really long. They have pants now and so I'm at a 36 inch inseam like I might be able to do a 35 but if people don't know, you know, like the inseam that is in the store for women. It's 32. Yeah. You know, 30 to 35 That's three inch difference. 36 s four inch difference. And so it's it's it was always a struggle for me to find clothes. So I had to get you on the podcast because I'm like she started her own clothing line. Like I have to talk to this lady, please say yes. And outside of that, I mean I'm business casual. Yeah, I would just literally wear dresses to work a lot of times because you know, at least then I could find you know, close that that was a little bit long enough.
And breaking, settling I'm just, we shouldn't have to settle. You know. And I've found that Tom women are the most creative women I've ever seen in my life. Because we just had to be
the movie. Definitely. I mean, you Yeah, it was just, it was always a struggle like, oh, gosh, like I, you know, I moved to a warmer climate, literally because, you know, you can you can find clothes, I'm like, at least I can wear dresses, you know, I can wear a maxi dress and stuff like that. So, you know, I'm like, I don't want to wear pants. Because that's, that's a real struggle. I don't want to wear you know, a blazer or anything like that, like any any my arms and everything else out, though, is real? Yeah, um, what did you think that you wanted to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a fashion designer. I always wanted to be there. But when I was 18, and keep in mind, again, I had been sewing since I was 12. I've always sold and design and being a creative and just I was just a kid. My mom just didn't see the path, you know, and not to blame her. But she just kind of was like, I don't think that's a great career choice or this, you should study fashion. So when I went to college, I actually have my undergrad in management. And I have my, my, my master's in leadership. And so I didn't do fashion because it was just not a clear path or a clear trajectory as to how to make a career out of it. But I've always wanted to do issues. I didn't see how I could get there at the time.
No, definitely. You know, I can understand how parents can be influential. My parents will government workers, and I didn't want to be a government worker, but I ended up being one anyway. So I get how parents can push you and yeah, I mean, I'll be honest, like if I, you know, had kids and stuff. I mean, they want to be a fashion designer, like what's gonna do with that, ya know, so, but I guess my thing would be, study something that you can fall back on, and then do do what you really love, you know, on the side. And if you can do it on the side and make it some into something big, then you wouldn't have to worry, but always, always have that fallback plan. So yeah. Let's see, I think I haven't touched on a little bit. But, um, but I know you did. You did. You said the catalyst was basically you know, you started working and you could buy clothes and, and I get the struggle. All these things come at a cost. I mean, what did it cost you? Did you have support from your family, your friends, you know, when they were like, Yeah, I'm about to go all the way in on this fashion design thing.
Um, my mom is a Thai woman. She is my biggest supporter, you know what I mean? Like, she's my biggest supporter. She's my first customer when I launched my site. I mean, I she shot like, she's my biggest supporter, you know, they fully support what I'm doing. And I'm, I mean, I think now where I'm a, I have a clear path forward, you know, 18 was a lot different from 33. You know what I mean? So, I think they support because I have, you know, a trajectory now.
I was, I thought I was talking, I was gonna say, yeah, 18 is different than 34. And I mean, things have changed a lot since then. Anyway, I mean, we have the internet so. So you know, you can literally reach customers all over the world. When in reality, you know, back then your parents are probably like, oh, well, she's gonna open up a store where your customer base is very, very, very limited. So, um, so yeah, it's very different now. Um, let's see. Next one. What was the process? I mean, you know, you said as you were, you were sewing since you were 12. So, you know, you got it from that perspective, but more so on, you know, opening up a store, you know, the business, the accounting part of it. What, what was the process on that? Did you take courses? I mean, did you get some, you know, attend meetups, what, what was the process on that?
I mean, I think the good thing for me again, you know, I had the undergrad, I had started my master's, you know, and I went to fashion school is where I had a lot more found Patience. And I had a whole career to, you know, for managing people and working in admin, you learn a lot more skills. So you really kind of bottled it up and try to translate it into a business. And yes, like I took courses and, you know, went to the SBA and kind of figure my way through things, but I will say it wasn't starting over, it was just using the tools that I had to figure things out. I think that's the best way to put it. Because when you come from a career, to a business is totally different from someone starting with no experience at all. Ie managing people, I had him manage people. So I had a good idea of, you know, how to work with other people and things like that.
Definitely, and that's, that's one thing that I want to focus on in the podcast is, you know, people think that your past career doesn't translate into your current one, and you probably fully fully understand that, you know, being ex military. Um, and so you do certain things that, that that might not translate a lot of times. And so next question is, you know, what are some of the positives and negatives of your of your new career?
I think I'm a pro is they I get to be more free spirited, I would say, and, you know, I guess to be myself in the military, and going over to government is kind of was the same, to be honest, I just wasn't civilian at that point. But it still was a lot of the same rules and regulations. And I remember, when I started wearing starting things to work, I came into my office one day, and I had like, the, you know, the dress code may will thing on my days, you know, because I think when I started making clothes, I will wear such layer, like I wear, I will wear appropriate stuff, but they will be like pink high waist pants, instead of like black high waisted pants, or like, purple or something. And so my, my clothes became a conversation at work. And, um, it was, it really was just like, I still had to kind of tone it down at work, even though I was professional, not revealing wearing things that was appropriate. It was like, so So I will say like, I get to like be myself right now. The condo is the is no blueprint, honestly to entrepreneurship. You have people who can give you guidance. I have people who can give me you know, theoretical things that have worked in the past. But what I'm doing, which is bringing a new category of fashion to the market, is really not blueprint. So the con is they versus the military, someone because they just exactly how you make. Officer, this is exactly how you make. This is no one telling you how to really get exactly to where you're trying to get to.
Definitely, I've said this before, entrepreneurship is one of the hardest things that I've ever done in my life. And I agree that even though it's it's the hardest thing, you are very free. Even if you're working 60 7080 hours a week, it's like okay, well, I have full autonomy on what I want to do and what I want to focus on. You know, whatever you want to do. Um, yeah, I'm one of those people that like bright colors, like, you know, I like to wear red to work, and I used to get in trouble because I wore red. And this was at the military to yeah, my boss is like, Yeah, you can't like wear that. What about black? And you know, like navy blue? And I'm like, I want to wear yellow. Yeah. Um, what are some traits that you think would be, you know, successful, you know, not only as an entrepreneur, but also like in fashion design.
Um, and I mean, I guess this is one of the things that again, me coming from the admin world is just like attention to detail. It translates in business and fashion. The details matter. You know, one of the things I'm always thinking about when I'm designing this like functionality and what my customers to do with it. If they you know, if it needs to be dry cleaned, why she does deals? Does it have a burden? Can I get in and out of it easily is it comfortable. Um, so just those attention to detail, I think, being very meticulous and stuff, and then time management, I mean, I'm a mom, I have three children. And I'm married to so although I'm full time, my day is not 100% given to the business, I still have other responsibilities, which actually makes it a lot more challenging. And so I would just say like time management, I really plan out my week, their will, on the things that I need to do at home and at work, and, you know, et cetera, et cetera. So I would just say those two things are very, very important to me.
Definitely, I recall, you know, going into stores, and they were just a mess, and it's because the owner was didn't have any organizational skills. And that is definitely key when you're, I mean, just just in daily life in general, but as entrepreneur because you might miss out on a bill payment attention to detail, you might put an O instead of eyes. So so yeah. You You definitely need organization skills and attention to detail. So I 100 timbers and agree on that. Um, do you think that you should have pursued fashion design earlier in your life? Or do you think it was the right time?
I mean, that's always a tricky question. Because, um, you know, I think I think the younger me was, you know, upset about the Rite Aid, when I think back, I was like, a little salty about it. But seeing where I've gotten to now, I think everything was done in the right order. Even though I wanted to do design, I never wanted to do tile, so I wasn't even designed for tile at the beginning. Anyway, you know, the discovery came through life, you know, like I said, through getting a job and kind of trying to shop and having the resources and the money to buy those things as well, I'm in needing them, I didn't need a lot of business casual in college. So I don't even know if my mind would have gone there to be honest. Um, and a lot of the resources that I was able to get to start my business came because I was a veteran, getting my my extra degree pay for, they came because I had a GI Bill. A lot of the, you know, sometimes the grants or the programs, I'm transitioning veteran programs, they came because I was a veteran. So my startup money and thought of resources actually came from the military, or just, you know, going through that journey in the military. So and that's another thing too, you need money to make money, if you want to do a business properly. And so I don't even know if 18 I would have had the funding to be at the beach and stuff the correct way. I eventually, I'm sure would have gotten there. But you know, when I think about it, I think everything was done in the right order.
Definitely, and I asked that question, because, you know, some people have regrets. You know, my first career, I wanted to be in tech, and, you know, it didn't happen that way. So I studied accounting and became became an auditor. And I had to think about it. You know, was it? Did I? Did I regret it? You know, not keeping, you know, keep pursuing it? And no, because I loved audit, I really did. And the flexibility of it, and what I got to do and what I got to see. So, yeah, and people think that, you know, their life path is not, you know, like a destiny type path and things like that. And that, you know, you should you should do this instead of that, and that's not how it's supposed to be. So that's why I asked that question. And yeah, sometimes the time just isn't right. Like you said, 18 I mean, where would you go to get the funds from where would you? I mean, you had to grow up. You had to learn some skills, though. Ya know, it is what it is. And last question. What would you tell someone just just in general that wanted to, you know, go out on a limb and and change their their career.
I think it's always great if something is in your heart, you know, I don't regret leaving my career for entrepreneurship, I just think that you need a couple of things, you definitely got to be a consistent student. I think this one, entrepreneurship takes a lot of learning consistent learning, to having the proper resources, ie savings, I'm in a good plan, specifically for people who I would say service based and product based businesses, because it takes a little while to get the ball rolling. I'm so so having a good plan of how you're going to live, and what your life's gonna look like if you kind of cut the, the financial piece off and your benefits, your medical, your dental, all of those things to really think everything through. And then thirdly, I'm just being fearless. Because fear stops a lot of us from doing things, you know, in this, it really can put you in a place of not just being a doer. And you know, I'm a alumni of University of Memphis, and it's, you know, we always use this term of like, you know, the thinkers and the doers, you can have a lot of ideas is great, but you still got to get up and do it. And so those three things I would say, are the best things for transitioning careers, I researched a lot on my lunch break during my downtime at work, and that I worked up until I just could not anymore. Like when it was just like, Okay, this is literally consuming me now. And I'm not being productive at work. But I think to just abruptly quit is the wrong move to make because as a CEO, you're not planning and you need to be a great plan and to be a great entrepreneur.
You answered my follow up question, because I was gonna ask you, you know, as entrepreneur fellow and fellow option entrepreneurs myself, you know, do you think you should just go all in? Or do you think you should keep your job? You know, and you know, take it, take it take as much time as you can and work those 80 hour weeks? So, yeah, what's, what's your opinion on that?
I mean, as someone right now who's comparison with investors and different partnerships and stuff like that, I'm I'm seeing that is a different threshold. On the other side of like, if you want to go from, you know, being a solopreneur, or to accompany a true company, and every room I setting as the last six to eight months, they're surveying my thought process as a as a CEO. And if they trust my decision making, and to me when I think about piss poor planning, that's not a good deal. Because then you'll you'll drive your company down a rabbit hole, your, your exhaust funds, put funds in the wrong places, not pay your staff not hire the right people. So my thought, Is there any great CEO, we're playing anyway? If you if you're gonna look at it from their perspective. So it's not it's not about abruptly quitting, it's just quitting with a plan, having a plan for how to be how you're gonna attack the business. And if anyone drives the car with no gas, then that's not a great founder to me.
Create a plan there you go. Perfect. Perfectly said. Yeah, I'm so want to circle back to what you said. About, you know, keeping at it. I do seminars on the side and my first seminar I had two people will show up and one of them laughed at me. They're like, Ah, you only got two people. It was like I was devastated. And, you know, that that transition to you know, I have, you know, 80 people now and in my seminars, and so, you know, don't be discouraged when it doesn't necessarily go go your, your way. And keep at it, because somebody's gonna see it. Somebody's gonna acknowledge you and say, hey, you know, they didn't throw in the towel. So yeah, there's just my little tidbit on it too. Um, tell us where people can find you, Tiffany.
Well, I'm on all platforms, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, a TJ collection photos TJ a collection.com is my website TJ underscore collection it's my Instagram TJ a collection on Facebook. You can even Google us or Tom women's clothing will come up and so if you or anyone else knows someone who's talked definitely refer us out I know everyone isn't tile but we all know somebody who's tall and so a referral is just as great as well.
Guys Okay, I can't wait to this one comes out because like like I said, I'm excited. I'm so excited for you in the future because I'm like, Look, Donald by cater to tall thank you so much Tiffany for coming on the show. My name is Elyse Robinson with nobody wants to work though podcast. Please subscribe. Thank you for listening, watching around Google podcasts, Apple podcast, Spotify, and of course on youtube if you're watching, and we still have more episodes come in. Tiffany is number 20. So we keeping it going and until next time.