Hi everyone,

Well, this is a difficult post to write, and I’ve been putting it off for far too long.

You’ve all been immensely supportive of Sarah Vain and Tall in the first year.  Can I just say that first?  OK, good.

The first year is always the most risky time for a business.  Unfortunately for me, SVT launched in a time of massive economic upheaval.  I was trying to make ethically sewn, great quality, locally sourced garments.  Then the Aussie dollar soared, putting costs up and making all Australian garments more expensive overseas.  In addition, lots of people got very careful about their spending.

That’s cool — these things happen.  But the numbers aren’t working out.

I’m so sorry that this didn’t work.  I can’t tell you how much it’s meant to me to have had the support of so many amazing people.  You guys rock.

Rather than close outright, I’m going to put the items we already have on sale, and then put SVT on hiatus.  It may be possible to try again, I don’t know: basically, if I bring SVT back it will need to be at a cheaper price point and there’s a lot of logistics and a lot more fundraising to do before that’s possible.

If you would still like to buy any of the pieces in the first collection, you can grab an incredible and certainly not to be repeated bargain over in the store.  I have priced them all at 50% or less of retail.  That’s a massive discount on the Betty dress in particular, originally $240 and now $100, which would be perfect for summer.

My love and thanks to you all.  It’s been a wild ride, I hope we can do it again some time.

xxxx

Anne Shea

Owner, manager, Facebook wrangler and chief dogsbody

Sarah Vain and Tall.

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A Betty of a Dress

Hi everyone, just in case you missed my raft of Tweets and Facebook updates — please welcome the newest addition to the Sarah Vain and Tall family!  Betty is one classy strapless dress, made of Japanese cotton boned throughout the bodice so she’ll never let you down.  She’s  instore now at Glamazon and in the online shop.

To celebrate I’m giving away a dress, would you like to win one?  Just click on the link and tell me what your dream dress is; if you win you’ll be able to choose any dress from the store.

Wouldn’t that be dreamy?

xx and good luck!

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Sprinkle Emporium

Hey guys,

Just a quick post to say, if you aren’t already a fan of Sprinkle Emporium you should be.  Sprinkle isn’t a “tall designer”, but she is a tall designer!  Having curves as I do I love her pieces and always manage to bring something home from her shop in Lygon St, Brunswick.  She’s also just hands-down one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.

Sprinkle is a costume designer as well as a fashionista, so her shows are always huge nights out — I’ll definitely be there so let me know if you’re going too, it would be fantastic to bring a tall girl posse and Sprinkle would get a kick out of seating all of us at one table :)

SUNDAY MAY 22nd
The Comics Lounge, 1/26 Errol St. North Melbourne
doors open 7.30pm
$25 (plus $1.50 booking fee)  -these tickets are redeemable in the store for a select period of time on purchases of all new winter garments
Tickets can be purchased online at www.sprinkle.com.au or in store at Sprinkle Emporium (108 Lygon St. Brunswick East).  There will be NO DOOR SALES

 

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Today I’m turning over this blog to the most amazing tall woman I know — my Mum.  Her Mum is tiny.  Her sisters are tiny.  Mum is 6 feet tall.

I asked her to write about her experience being tall, and about raising a tall daughter.  I’m forever amazed that she got me through the teenage miseries, and even more amazed that she survived far worse herself.

Mum got mad at sales assistants on my behalf, spent far more money than the other Mums on clothes that (mostly) fit me, yelled at me when I slouched, scoured Australia for large shoes and long jeans, despaired with me when teenage boys called me freak, and told me everything was going to be OK very soon.

And she was right.

Thanks Mum.  Over to you.

“Growing up tall in the fifties on a tiny country community was a challenge.  I was six feet tall at eleven.  My Mum was five feet three, my older sister stopped at five feet two and my younger sister was considered tall at five feet six.  My Dad was five feet eleven.  When my Mum was young she had a thyroid operation and was told not to get pregnant for two years.  She got pregnant in four weeks and when I started sprouting, their worst fears were realised.  So this was freak territory.

“My Mum, though, to her credit, did her best.  If she was going to have a tall daughter she was going to have a fabulous tall daughter.  When I started slouching she shouted and when I kept slouching she got old stockings and every meal time she tied my shoulders to the chair.

“When our local doctor suggested an operation to remove bone from my legs she reacted with almost as much anger as I did humiliation.

“She found pictures – they were always appearing – of tall women.  One model, Veruschka – look her up – Mum found her in the Women’s Weekly and then went looking for more.  Tall and fabulous, I glued her picture onto my bedroom wall and she stayed there through my adolescence.

“Bringing up a tall daughter…  my Anne’s an inch taller than me…  I kept my Mum’s edicts in place.  First pride.  No matter that Mum and Dad were boggled by my height, they were  intensely proud of me.   They might not have a clue what to do with me – Mum’s attempts to dress me cute with my sisters were, seen in past family pictures – weird to say the least, but no matter what the outside world thought and said, my Mum and Dad thought I was beautiful.   I carried that with me as I raised my own daughter.  If you’re raised with that belief, even with the bullying and ghastliness of adolescence, if you’re raised with a core belief that you’re special it stays with you.  Adolescence is always going to be hard for a tall girl and solid self belief is the only tool you can arm your daughter with.

“For me the hardest thing about having a tall daughter was knowing she’d have to go through that adolescent crap.   The time when all the boys are a foot shorter, when all the girls are positioning themselves as the cutest, its a jungle and a cruel one at that.  Knowing there’s another side doesn’t help.   I kept saying high schools’s hardest but almost as soon as you end high school friends start being real friends, but Anne never believed and how could I make her believe when kids are so cruel?  If I could have willed my daughter hand eye co-ordination so she could play basketball and thus have peers of the same height – that’d be my wish but no matter how many people approached me and asked me to train for their various basketball teams, the skills weren’t there for me and they weren’t there for Anne.

“As we lived in a much bigger community – and women are getting taller – there were more tall girls around for Anne, but she never did find her own Veruschka.   I think she has now, with you guys.  Her online blog has given her a Veruschka community of awesome women.

“Another issue is of course clothes.  I remember for Anne’s high school graduation her Dad and I walking Chapel Street, thinking we’ll pay what it takes to find something to make her feel awesome.  We found the dress – yayyyyy! – but in all of Chapel Street, the premier clothes and shoe strip in Melbourne, there wasn’t one single pair of shoes she could even try on.   Her dad wanted to kill someone.  In the end I think Anne’s and my distress was tempered by trying to calm Dave – when we walked in and a cute little sales assistant said `we’d have nothing That Big!’  he wanted to shove her shoes down her throat and it got almost funny.  Dave’s not all that big for a bloke – it took that day to make him really see what Anne was facing.

“But now…  She’s made it, my Anne.  She’s an awesome woman,  proud and tall, surrounded by people who love her for what she is and I couldn’t be prouder.

“So..  Advice for growing up tall?

“It can make you stand out.  You’ll hate that at thirteen but at twenty if you have that knowledge it can be awesome.

“If you’re in the middle of adolescent angst, get a puppy.   Dogs understand like no one else can.

“Find your own Veruschka.

“And one day just imagine, miracles can happen.  In my family I’m now the short arse.  How amazing’s that????

xxxx”

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I really just had to share, this guy is hilarious. Props to Holli for the link!

“If you want to pick on somebody, pick on someone your own size.  Or we’ll beat the crap out of you.”

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Oh, the shame.  Dear blog, dear readers, I have neglected you badly.  I’m sorry: I hurt my back, you see*, and got a wonderful new job doing exactly what I want to do, and have to move house.  And the latter two are not easy when your back screams in pain every time you flex.  So the blog had to rest for a while…

Here is an awesome tutorial that came my way while I was busy not-blogging.  I have a lot more and I’m looking forward to sharing them.

Black shoes waiting to be covered in fabric

Sick of your stupid boring sensible and available in the right size black shoes?  Cover them in fabric!

Fabric Covered Shoes

Fabulous!

Thank you all for your patience… I may be blogging shorter posts for a while but I’ll certainly be here.

*I hurt it when my husband dropped me on the couch at an odd angle.  Seriously — I married the guy because he could pick me up.  I forgot about the coming down part!!

 

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Hi there everyone!  It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  Well, but what a year it was!

Like many small business owners, I’ve been truly relaxing over January as it’s the “quiet time” everywhere.  Suppliers and retail both go to sleep and wake up refreshed in February.  How wonderful is it is to get one’s thoughts in order, step out from under the to-do list, and start afresh.

Which leads me to my first really big announcement for 2011.  This year, for the first time, you will be able to try on my clothes in a store.  Mira from Glamazon Shoes in Ascot Vale, Melbourne, has installed her first clothing rack especially for little old me… I am so flattered and so excited.   So excited that I forgot to take my camera along on installation day … whoops … here’s one from my phone, with grovelling apologies re: icky iPhone pictures …

Sarah Vain and Tall rack in Glamazon Shoes

Here’s the fun part: that rack is custom built so that it will be at your eye height, and so that when they’re ready, it will be able to handle the pants and maxi dresses that you’ve all been asking for.

If you know another store that should stock my clothes, please do us both a favour and ask them nicely — or poke them with a stick — whichever will work!!   In fact, please leave a comment AND poke them with a stick, and then I can ask them nicely, too.

Meanwhile this weekend if you’re in Melbourne, do drop in and have a look.  Mira’s in-store stock is refreshingly fashionable and chic, so maybe you can have the very unusual-for-us experience of putting together a whole outfit that works, in one store!

Glamazon Shoes

127-129 Union Rd, Ascot Vale VIC 3032

(03) 9372-7777

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Eve in Audrey Dress

Well, we’re back in Melbourne and boy, were we tired tall girls last night.  Amazon Eve is on a blistering schedule and yesterday was no exception.  First stop was K-Rock FM where Eve talked about her life at 6’8″.  She pattered through two interviews in fifteen minutes but when we arrived ten minutes late (!) at shoe store No Small Feet, there was already an impatient crowd of folks waiting to meet the “World’s Tallest Model.”  Here are some of the cutest:

Eve with a young fan

And they were impressed!  Even more so when they got to experience life on the tall side.  I’m fairly sure this little girl has never walked around at eight feet tall before.

A few (um, many) more photo opportunities later, we stole Eve away and started to have fun dressing her up.  Sally McKinnon is a 6’0″ tall stylist from Melbourne and such a sweet and lovely gal.  She took my dresses, some gorgeous heels from No Small Feet, and this incredible, once in a lifetime model — and made some very special magic.  How I love dressing up!  Luckily, Eve does too…

Sally McKinnon (Styled By Sally) styles Eve

Eve Tries on a Kenya Dress

Does it fit?  Yes, I think so…

Styled By Sally styling Amazon Eve in the SVT Verushka Dress

It was a huge and crazy day, topped off by waking up to a photo of Eve wearing Kenya in the Geelong Advertiser (do click through to the photo gallery. I personally love the shots there more than the one they ran with, but there you go, turns out I don’t run the world).  There will be a longer piece on Saturday and I’ll post a link to that too!

Amazon Eve gets her motor runnin'...

Thanks MUST go to Sarah De Grandi from No Small Feet, who made the whole even possible.  Basketball games on weekends meant 6’3″ Sarah had no time to travel to Melbourne large-shoe specialists, so she’s done something really smart for a small regional area, setting up a mini-store within a tall-friendly sporting goods shop.  Now it’s a one stop shop for basketballers, rowers, netballers, volleyballers and everyone else too!  Thanks also to David Smith of SunSetDigital who took a number of photos on the day.  Here’s one he took of all of us — doesn’t Sarah rock the little black Audrey dress?

Four Tall Girls in Sarah Vain and Tall

Sadly, now it’s goodbye to a lovely lady!

Eve is off next to Brisbane and I’ll post some links to her other media appearances.  I was overwhelmed by her grace.  Tall girls, you know how I go on and on about being nice, not rude to those who stare and make ill-thought-out comments?  Being 6’8″ means there is absolutely no respite from the attention, and Eve has learned infinite kindness and patience.  We were all sitting together in a cafe after the event, when I noticed a couple staring at us.  I stared back.  They kept staring.  Seriously, these two were not going to stop looking and I was getting a bit angry on Eve’s behalf when she turned around and said sweetly, “6’8″, 6’1″, 6’0″ and 6’3″.  She got a laugh, and then turned back to us and kept on talking.

Ladies, that is class!

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Amazon Eve

Amazon Eve on cover of Zoo

Tomorrow something really special is happening.  Amazon Eve is in town and doing some media appearances.  You may recognise Eve from the cover of Zoo magazine earlier this year — the photos of that shoot went a little crazy on the net.  She is absolutely gorgeous and I cannot wait to show you how amazing she looks in an Audrey dress.  (Oh hey — for all of you out there who are very tall and wondering if we can fit you, Eve is 6’8 and looks HOT in everything we tried on!)

Eve and tall stylist Sally and I will be playing dress ups with SVT dresses and the fabulous shoes at No Small Feet (419 Moorabool Street Geelong, co-located with De Grandi Cycle and Sport).  There will be radio and newspaper people there so come along and help us take some great pictures!

Sorry about the late notice: Eve’s media schedule is absolutely crazy and it’s been hard to pin down dates!  You can be sure there will be photos on Facebook and Twitter tomorrow if you can’t be there — but if you come along you can be IN those photos :)

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Mira Smoljko at Glamazon Shoes

Fantastic news for Melbournites — we now have a large-size shoe store that’s all about fashion.

I’m not sure how I missed the opening of Glamazon Shoes in Ascot Vale, but the universe was determined that we would meet.  In the space of one week, I received three emails about Glamazon, one from the owner herself!  Mira is a size 11 shoe addict who loves fashionable shoes — what a win for those of us who grew up thinking sensible shoes were a curse, not an option.

I have to say I am very taken with the “Jagger”, which is veeery like the shoe I picked out for the Audrey dress.  What a killer combination!

Mira shops in the US, where larger sizes are easier to come by, and also stocks Kumfs’ new, younger-looking line Ziera.  She stocks size 8 to a 13 and is more than happy to send shoes by mail to those who don’t live locally.

Glamazon Shoes interior

I love shopping online, but it’s nice once in a while to be able to try shoes on.  Please visit Mira and make her shop very welcome in Melbourne!

Glamazon Shoes

127-129 Union Rd, Ascot Vale VIC 3032

(03) 9372-7777

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