Describe yourself in 3 words...
Mother. Art. Spirituality.
What inspired you to create Midheaven?
Midheaven was inspired by all the women I would meet who were tall like I am. It was a constant topic of conversation: jeans for tall women! "Where did you get your jeans? Ugh, I can never find them long enough...." I grew up to be very tall, very fast. I kept getting taller, and my pants kept getting shorter. I couldn't find a company out there that I could be loyal to, that would always have a selection of on-trend, beautifully made garments that were customized for women who had a taller than average frame. I really wanted to create a line of denim for others out there who cared about not only length, but who cared about fit and quality also.
Please share your launch story...
I had been marinating on the idea of creating this product for some time, when I happened to run into a neighbor of mine. We got to talking and it turned out she had been in the denim world for 30 years as a manufacturer. Her and her husband got out of the business in 2008, but still had all their contacts and offered to show me around and introduce me to their old factory, production manager and pattern maker. I started by making one pair of jeans: a mid-rise flare with a 38" inseam, something I hadn't been able to find in the right length. That pair of jeans took me 1 year to perfect, and during that year I learned as much as I could about the process of bringing a design to reality from start to finish. I kept going, and created three more styles with that particular team. During that time, I came up with the name "Midheaven," and decided to launch those four products as a small collection specifically for tall women, and advertise this would-be business on social media. We launched in January of last year and haven't looked back.
What has been the biggest help for brand exposure so far?
Instagram! What a powerful tool instagram is. We live in a world where everyone is so connected and we are able to bring forth our creations and expose those creations to a wider audience in a short period of time than was ever possible before. Not only am I able to target my specific demographic, but I am able to communicate with my customers and ask them what they would like to see next. That communication and access to my customer is invaluable and is solely because of social media.
What differentiates your denim brand from others in your market?
Most of the denim brands focus on the widest audience possible which means AVERAGE. Unfortunately, many of us fall outside of the "average" sizing scale. Midheaven caters to a very underserved demographic: the tall woman. While we carry product that a not-so-tall woman would absolutely love also, we really wanted someone to be able to shop Midheaven no matter how tall they are. We also carry plus sizes as well, so that no matter your figure, Midheaven will have product you can depend on that is both made to fit beautifully and offers a wide variety of styles for different body types.
How has your new baby motivated and inspired you to create?
Westlyn is a huge inspiration for me to go for my dreams and continue to create, no matter what. She is constantly moving, constantly laughing, constantly excited to see new and different things and people. I feel like my inner child is expressed through her. I don't ever want to allow my life to get so complicated that I stop doing what I love and being creative on every level. I love working hard. I love challenging myself. I love newness and exploring and educating myself. Business is so interesting to me, and in the beginning, I knew NOTHING about business. I loved the challenge and have learned so much not only about what it takes to run a business, but I learned so much about myself also. I want her to be proud and to see that her mother sets goals and achieves them. And when she is older I want her to understand the premise of Midheaven: that it is about confidence. Fashion is expression, and what we put on our bodies should help us express how we feel on the inside. My goal for Midheaven was to help women feel comfortable and confident in their clothes and that inevitably impacts how we operate. I like the positivity of the message and I like that Westlyn's impact on me as a mother and as a woman is absolutely part of each step we take in growing this business.
What are your favorite go-to fashion brands?
Stella McCartney - she is a pioneer in the sustainable fashion space and that is so inspiring to me. We source our fabric from Candiani, which is the greenest denim mill in the world. I don't think you can work in this business, or simply be a consumer of fashion without looking at its impact on the world and the environment. In building this company, I really wanted to make sure that I wasn't being reckless in trying to minimize my footprint. We pay a lot of money to get our fabric here from Italy, and the reason why we do that is because of the way the mill is aiming for sustainability as well. Their cotton is responsibility sourced from the Better Cotton Initiative and all of their waste products are recycled from their spinning, warping and dying departments. I am always researching ways we can improve our processes as a whole and what we can do to explore more sustainable means of production. We very much respect other brands who are doing the same.
What values do you hope to instill in your child?
I would love to teach her that being respectful and honest is so important in everything you do in life. Nothing is worth cutting others down for. We are living in such a beautiful time where women supporting women is being spotlighted and encouraged. I want her to feel the impact of the work that is being done right now and know in her bones that you give what you get. If you give support and love and encouragement and genuinely feel happy for others when they achieve their dreams or hit milestones in their endeavors, she will get that energy back in spades.
I also want her to feel connected with her spiritual life. I am religious and very spiritual. It has taken me a long time to find stride with my own personal spiritual journey. I was very encouraged by my mother to read as much as I could, to research as much as I could and think and explore and find my own connection to God as I felt truth in. I want to pass that on to my children as well.
What are your favorite go-to activities in LA for Moms?
Taking a hike up Runyon Canyon or any hiking in Malibu and Santa Monica... going to the beach or going to the Santa Monica pier and playing video games or walking to the very end and watching the fisherman... Taking a bike down the Venice boardwalk is definitely a weekly activity of ours. We also recently brought "Bean" (Westlyn) to the Getty Museum to see Sally Mann's exhibit. She absolutely loved it and stared at each piece we strolled her in front of. Highly recommend.
What would be your dream collaboration?
I would absolutely love to do a collaboration with a bathing suit company. My customers are always asking for bathing suits (mainly one-pieces) that are designed for taller women. I would love to do activewear too, which is actually in the works with a brand we cant reveal yet (yay!) Also, Cynthia Rowley is pretty amazing and has been one of my mentors since the beginning. I would love to do a pair of jeans or two with her at some point.