When clothing comes with the label tall, it is usually assumed that big is also necessary. However, that is not the case.
Mark Tindall couldn’t understand why companies would sell clothing for tall men that would only fit big men as well. It might have been the right length, but the bagginess of the clothing was definitely not made for a leaner frame. So, Mark did what any entrepreneurial man would do. He, along with two business partners, created Longshot Apparel. They offer clothing for tall men that is fit, and ready-to-wear.
I recently spoke with Mark about his business and his inspiration behind it.
Tell us a little about Longshot Apparel.
Longshot creates great-fitting, smartly-styled, ready-to-wear clothing for the tall man selling exclusively via our online store. We take the big out of big and tall!
What inspired it?
I am tall (6’3”) and have always had a difficult time finding clothes that fit me properly. The styling and quality of existing big-and-tall products is poor and the fit is just bad: men like me feel like they are wearing a sail, not a shirt. Custom shirts are one option, but they take a long time and can be a crap shoot as to what you will get. I wanted tall guys to be able to have well-styled, high quality products available ready-to-wear where they can order online and receive right away.
What sizes do your clothes come in?
I realized early on that the sizing most companies use has become meaningless-especially for tall guys. So we started from scratch to create our own proprietary fit we call “Tailored Taller.” We use a number system with four essential torso sizes and a “long” version of each. All sizes are made for tall and fit frames and feature longer sleeves than you will find elsewhere.
What styles do you currently offer?
We just launched our first shirt, The Lawson. We have new styles in the works for this spring.
When was your business launched?
We went live December just before Christmas. We are just getting started!
What are some goals that you hope to accomplish over the next year or so?
My main focus is to find our first 1000 tall customers and thrill and impress them with our product and impeccable service.
What are some lessons that your business has taught you?
When you start a new business idea, most people will tell you that you are crazy and that your idea won’t fly. So sticking to your vision, showing up everyday and being willing to do anything it takes is critical. You have to be ready to wear a lot of hats.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Ecommerce is growing fast and was up 12% for holiday 2010. Apparel is one of the fastest growing segments and we are part of the growth of vertical web retailers riding this wave.
Any advice you’d like to offer fellow entrepreneurs that are just getting started?
I think this is a great time to try new ideas. The web has removed the barriers to entry for so many things-music, film, retail-you name it. If you have an idea you can get it out there if you have the drive and willingness to learn.