This week we are learning more about our Tall Sister Helen.
I would describe Helen as a true soldier in creating more clothing options for women of height, Helen literally pours all her time and energy into making our shopping experience better. With a boutique in Bethesda and an online store, Talltique is a store you should all know about. See my review on their Tall Bomber Jacket and more detail on the store HERE.
Now I had the pleasure of meeting Helen in person at the last ‘Meet Your Tall Sisters’ brunch in DC, where we had such a blast. See more on that special day HERE.
Lets hear more about Helen, Lets Meet our Tall Sister!
What is your full name?
Helen Dina Pappas
How tall are you?
What is your current occupation and tell us about your professional journey leading up till now.
Standing 6’4”, my height has influenced my life in a multitude of ways including leading me to chase my dreams. I am the owner and founder of Talltique – The Tall Boutique, an online and retail shop specializing in selling stylish and figure flattering clothes for women over 6’ tall.
Growing up tall led me to where I am with Talltique today. My overwhelming frustration with shopping for clothes, combined with the scrutiny I felt my height brought me, both played a huge part in encouraging me to start Talltique.
After years of working in retail and gaining customer service skills, I began Talltique out of my home in late 2011. We grew quickly and in early 2013 we set up the showroom that we currently occupy, in Bethesda, MD. Over time I have seen the business grow, and I myself have blossomed through building my skills in areas like customer service, networking, marketing and even fashion design.
I am so blessed to now be able to help tall women find great clothes at Talltique. For so many, this begins the process of accepting and loving their bodies. I absolutely adore hearing feedback like “I never imagined I could feel so good in my clothes”, “I’ve never felt more confident” and “This clothing has literally changed my life.” This makes it all come full circle for me!
Has your height influenced your career? Please share how.
I have been blessed with immeasurable opportunities because of my height. Throughout my career at Talltique I have had the pleasure of working with, meeting and befriending a great variety of tall women. This includes tall moms, daughters, actresses, models, businesswomen, stylists, college athletes, professional athletes and coaches. I have hosted events with the WNBA and gotten to dress WNBA players and coaches. I have dressed actresses for TV appearances and interviews. I have even helped style tall transgender women undergoing their transitions. I was a part of fashion shows, parties, meet and greets and meals with more tall women than I ever thought I’d have the gift of knowing. My network of tall women has far outgrown my wildest dreams, and I am so incredibly grateful for that.
My height and Talltique have opened so many doors for me. I was in a pilot of a reality TV show that was centered around tall women. I have been interviewed on the news and been featured in articles in magazines, newspapers and blogs. My best friend since college is 6’6” and I never would have met her if our mutual friends hadn’t introduced us because we are both “really tall and girly”. Without my height, I would never have had any of these amazing opportunities in business or in life in general.
Helen in the Talltique Boutique
Please share the origin story of Talltique.
Growing up I had a very hard time when it came to shopping for clothes. As a teen, standing over 6’ tall, I often found myself wanting to cry both when shopping in person and online. I tried mainstream retailers who claimed they sold “tall” lines, and every “tall” item was always still inches too short for me. Shopping from specialty tall retailers I found that I didn’t like the styles or fit, the quality of the fabrics, and often times I was heartbroken the items were STILL TOO SHORT!
While studying business at Georgetown University, I took an entrepreneurship class where the professor made the point that many successful businesses were started because someone had a problem with something in their life and wanted to change it. That moment in college was when I set out to change how women over 6’ tall shop for clothes. I began my business plan that night after class. I decided I would have a website with tips and descriptions that make it a breeze to find the correct size in every item. I decided that I would become the guru on tall shopping and tall clothing. And since I always preferred trying clothes in person that I decided I would have a showroom that ladies could come shop in with me (by appointment).
Finding great clothes begins the cycle of changing how we look, which then boosts our confidence. Confidence then turns into changing how we feel about ourselves, both inside and outside. What started off as a business plan blossomed into an amazing and fulfilling business that goes far beyond “just” selling clothes for me.
What do want our Tall Sisters to know about Talltique?
I’d like our Tall Sisters to know that Talltique is not some faceless corporation. When you call my toll-free number, I’m on the other end of the phone with you. When you want to return or exchange something, I’m the one who responds to you. When you place an order, I’m the one who packs it. I am the face of Talltique, and I love it this way. If you want a personalized shopping experience, I’m your girl and Talltique is your place!
Customers can shop on our website www.Talltique.com, where we offer worldwide shipping, or book their own private appointments to come in and shop with me in Bethesda, MD. The shop is open by appointment only, so that I can give each customer the personal attention they deserve. I help customers find items they’ve been searching for, and the perfect fit, during their appointments.
I currently sell a variety of items specially made to fit women over 6’ tall, from size 0 to size 24. This includes tall tees and tanks, 38” and 40” inseam leggings, 36”-41” inseam jeans, maxi skirts, dresses and jackets. Our inseams range from 36” to 41” and I am pleased to say that Talltique carries the longest jeans available in the US. I am also proud to say that I have customers ranging from 5’10” all the way up to 6’10” and have never had to turn a customer away for being “too tall”. “Too tall” isn’t a thing for us here at Talltique.
Helen with her mom and sister
Please give us a glimpse of the design process, how did you arrive at some of the pieces that you offer today?
My design processes all starts with me asking myself: what am I missing in my closet? What styles do I wish that I could wear, but can never find in my length? What styles do other tall women ask me for the most? This is how I came up with the ideas for the items I have made for the Talltique Private Label. Once I settle on the right item, I move on to perfecting the style and fit and finding the right place to have it all made.
My private label is available in Talltique sizes 1 through 5. Instead of focusing on a typical size number or letters like XS or XXL, I want my customers to focus on how the clothes fit and how they feel in them. I do suggest a Talltique size based on what sizes a customer typically buys from other stores. But, for me its not about the actual number, its about the fit and what it does to flatter your body.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from my adolescence. It took me a LONG time to love myself, my body and my height. In fact, I didn’t really start to appreciate my height until I got to college. I always felt like I stuck out, like I was different, like my height was a negative and nobody else really understood because my family and friends were all shorter than me. I always heard negative comments from those at school, at church and strangers. But, in college I realized that being tall is a blessing for me.
When I got to college, height became a valued attribute. I found the tall people were always displayed front and center including in sports, theater and dance. I also found that being tall had perks! I began to make tall friends, and found that I commanded attention in my class presentations with ease. I began to see being tall not as an obstacle, but as an opportunity. The dreaded microscope I remembered from my childhood became a spotlight, and the attention that I once shunned I finally embraced in many ways.
Talltique allows me to connect on a personal level with so many tall women both locally and around the world. It also gives me a platform to positively affect the lives of other tall women on a daily basis, which I find so incredibly fulfilling. I especially love meeting clients during appointments. I can visibly see a change in them when they try on Talltique clothes for the first time. There’s something about knowing your clothes fit you perfectly and were made just for you. I am so grateful to be able to witness that “Aha!” moment for so many tall teens and women. My mission now is to ensure that all tall women, regardless of age or size, can feel beautiful in their clothing.
What has been your favorite design to date and why?
By far my favorite design has been our exclusive Tall Bomber Jacket. This is a style I had always dreamed of owning, and as it turns out I’m not the only one! Tall women across the globe have ordered this style, with glowing feedback and photos to show for it. The Tall Bomber Jacket has been featured in numerous tall blogs and pages, and is the quintessential “cool” piece in every wardrobe. Pieces like this are the foundation of my Talltique Private Label. They can be worn through different seasons and with different styles and outfits. Our Bomber Jackets are something that I am exceptionally proud of, and that customers call an “absolute game-changer” for their closets.
What can we expect to see in the future from Talltique?
I am so thrilled for the future of Talltique! Unlike many other companies, I speak with my customers personally to ask their feedback on their clothes and to ask for any suggestions they may have for me. I make changes to our sizing and our offerings based on every bit of feedback I get.
In the future I will be expanding our Private Label even more, bringing in some new and unique items that I feel we tall women are still lacking options for. I will also be expanding our size range with a focus on bringing in items that span a larger size range, to give women of all sizes the opportunity to find great clothes. Bringing in more budget friendly items is on my agenda as well, which will cater more to my younger audience.
Right now, Talltique is a household name and a “heaven sent” shop for many tall women. I hope to be the go-to destination for even more tall women across the globe and across all sizes.
Anything else I want tall women to know:
- Arm yourself for ignorance! Whether they intend to or not, people constantly make off-handed comments about us and our height that can be degrading, obnoxious or downright rude. That is just a fact of life for us, so either prep a snarky response or find the humor in their ignorance.
- Wear the heels! You’re already a head taller than everyone else and you are beautiful. Coming from a stylist, let me tell you that you might as well be 3” taller. Because sometimes, heels can make the outfit!..
Until next week my lovely Tall Tribe!