What is your full name?
Shane Sexton. If you’re reading the last name and chuckling to yourself or thinking “she must have been teased a lot,” you’re correct. I’ve gotten jokes and comments my entire life about the first 3 letters in my last name. But at this point, I own it. And I bet you’ll remember my name now!
How tall are you?
5’10 ½”. Yes, the ½” matters!
Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley just outside of Los Angeles. If you have ever watched the movie Clueless and heard the term “valley girl,” that’s where it comes from. Like, totally!
Aside from LA, Santa Barbara has been like a second home to me. I lived there through college and the majority of my 20s. I moved back to LA a little over three years ago in order to pursue a career in fashion.
What was your career before you decided to start Let Height Arise?
Funny you should ask. I actually work full-time in the car industry for BMW while running Let Height Arise in my spare time (aka nights and weekends). It’s been both challenging and rewarding to be in this “in-between” stage. I ended up in the car industry kind of by fluke because when I graduated college in 2008 it was at the lowest point of the recession. Needless to say there weren’t many career options at the time and this girl needed to pay the bills and college loans ASAP. But I have come to enjoy working around cars, especially getting to drive the fast ones. And working for BMW also afforded me the opportunity to move back to LA to go to school for fashion.
What was the inspiration for the name of the brand?
The inspiration forLet Height Arise actually came from the bridge of the song “Worthy of it All.” The chorus and bridge go:
You are worthy of it all
You are worthy of it all
For from you are all things
And to you are all things
You deserve the glory
Day and night
Night and day
Let incense arise
In the context of the song, it’s a beautiful picture of bringing an offering to God and leaving everything you have in His hands. I wasn’t necessarily planning on taking you all to church today, but this is the truth of where the name came from. I originally had a different name picked out, one that had been on my heart and mind since the age of 14. However I found out it was already trademarked. This led to weeks of anxiety and endless brainstorming for a new name. I was so frustrated at by this point that I took a night off and went to a worship night at my church. During this song, “Worthy of it All,” I felt the Lord so clearly speak to me and say, “Let. Height. Arise.” In that moment I felt an overwhelming peace come over my body and I knew this was THE NAME. Let Height Arise embodies self-confidence, embracing your unique beauty, and it’s a powerful affirmation that you can speak over yourself. Sub “Height” for any of the following:
Let CONFIDENCE Arise
Let SELF-ACCEPTANCE Arise
Let BEAUTY Arise
Let ORIGINALITY Arise
Let LOVE Arise
Let COURAGE Arise
Let BOLDNESS Arise
Let DREAMS Arise
My question to you, sweet Tall Sister, is how would you fill in the blank?
Tell us the story of how you decided to start your own clothing company.
Since high school, I knew I wanted to have a clothing line for tall women. I had monthly subscriptions to fashion magazines and was always fascinated by design. To top it off I was 5’10” by the age of 14 with a 35” inseam. As I’m sure you all can relate, clothing was hard to find; especially anything that was remotely on-trend. I always felt out of place because nothing fit well. I came to realize I couldn’t be the only one that felt this way. Let Height Arise was born out of the desire to fill that void in the fashion industry: to provide on-trend clothing to my Tall Sisters. More importantly, I want us to embrace our full beauty and confidence from the inside out. And I think a big piece of that comes from the clothing we live our lives in. It can be a beautiful outward display of the person inside.
How did you put together your current collection?
The current collection came together by choosing the best of current trends, quality materials, and bright colors. I always handpick every piece. Literally. I frequently go to the wholesale showrooms to make sure everything is quality: from the style, to the materials, and most importantly for us as Tall Sisters, the lengths. Currently you will find a mix of bright patterns, romantic lace, a little fringe, artisan accessories, and a few closet basics.
Who is the woman that needs to shop Let Height Arise?
The typicalLet Height Arise girl is a fun-loving girl in her 20s-40s. She’s outgoing, doesn’t take herself too seriously, and enjoys experimenting with fashion. She embraces color and likes a mix of classic styles with some edge and romance.
What is your favorite piece in the line?
I have quite a few favorites, but if I have to narrow it down to only one, it would be the Soft & Sweet Rosie Sweater. It covers all the basics: classic black with a bright pop of color, very soft material, and sleeves that are actually LONG ENOUGH. Not to mention the slit detail in that runs along the arms. I’ve paired it with jeans or black leather leggings and booties depending on what mood I’m in.
What does a typical day look like for you? What do you like to do for yourself?
As I previously mentioned, I have a 9-to-5 working for BMW. Usually after work, I will go to a workout class, cook dinner at home, put on some music, and then start my second job, aka Let Height Arise. Honestly, I love to cook and bake. It’s a great creative release and I love experimenting with new recipes. I make some pretty bomb cupcakes and cookies, not to toot my own horn or anything 😉 During the weekends, I’ll usually hang out with friends and try out new restaurants and/or bars. There are so many options in LA and I enjoy exploring this big city.
Tell us about your journey to self-acceptance and embracing your height.
I was bullied on-and-off from the age of 9 until 18. Some of it was because of my height and some of it was because some girls are just frickin’ mean. Their inner Regina George is alive and well at a young age. I can clearly remember being picked on in middle school because most of my pants became high-waters and long sleeves became ¾ sleeves. And I was picked on by people who were supposedly my “friends.” A big part of my self-acceptance came from three things: God, my parents, and finding other tall girlfriends. One of the verses I have always clung to is Psalm 139:13-16: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well…All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” In other words, God doesn’t make mistakes. He made me exactly as He wanted to and He has a plan and purpose for my life. I’m not a mistake and neither are you. Above anything else, I hope you let that sink in: YOU ARE PERFECTLY MADE WITH INTENTION AND PURPOSE. My parents were always my biggest encouragers. I had their love and support, which is a huge reason I developed a lot of confidence through school and adulthood. And eventually, I found a few other girlfriends in both high school and college that were also Tall Sisters. I didn’t feel out of place because I had other friends that had walked a similar path.
Do you have any parting words of advice for our Tall Sisters who might be struggling with their confidence?
This kind of piggybacks on the previous question. Sweet Tall Sister, please hear and believe above anything else: YOU ARE PERFECTLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE WITH INTENTION AND PURPOSE. Anyone who has ever made you feel awkward or out of place is really just struggling with their own identity, so don’t let their careless words define who you are. I know this is easier said than done sometimes. I encourage you to look in the mirror each day and repeat to yourself: I am beautifully made, I love my height, I was made with purpose to help other women just like me, I am original and unique, I embrace who I am, I love every part of me, I love my long legs, etc. Even if you don’t currently think these things about yourself, speak them over yourself until you believe them. Words are a powerful thing and when you speak over your mind and spirit like this, your self-perception will shift.
Thank you so much Shane for sharing your story with our community!