Melissa Meschke rarely met someone who she saw eye-to-eye with when it came to her wardrobe needs. That is, until she met Amy Simon.
At 6 feet tall, Meschke knew right away that the 6-foot-4-inch Simon would understand the challenges of finding clothing in a fashion world that typically caters to an average height of 5-foot-4 for women and 5-foot-10 for men. Following their heightened sense of purpose, the two Lansing entrepreneurs founded Insane Inseam
—an online marketplace for women and men to buy and sell clothing constructed for long arms, long legs, long torsos and other uniquely tall characteristics.
"Amy and I have a lot of the same issues when it comes to finding clothes," says Meschke. "When I go shopping with friends, I often don't find anything—or maybe a dress that might work as a shirt. I have to order online a lot of times, and cost is always an issue."
The two co-owners agree that their online marketplace can provide a solution for tall people facing the same barriers to casual and workplace style. Tall people, they say, can purchase name brand clothing at just a fraction of the cost of full price, brand new clothing. The site will also list extra measurements with each item to ensure a better fit for the purchaser.
Since launching in June 2015, the two have built their inventory through thrifting, donations from fellow tall people, and through an expanding community of sellers nationwide. Items are priced at $6 to $40, with pants, shirts, skirts, shoes, suits and accessories sporting labels that include Long Tall Sally, Big and Tall, JCPenny, Alloy, Victoria's Secret, Long Elegant Legs, Duluth Trading Company, Simply Tall, Silver, New York and Group, Levis, Hudson Jeans, Paige Jeans, King Size Direct, Elle Mayers, Tall Water Jeans, Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer and Gap.
While inventory can be purchased through the website, the local tall community also has the advantage of being able to try on clothing before purchasing. In August, Insane Inseam entered into a special arrangement with Kellie's Consignment
to house the majority of their inventory at the Okemos location.
"We're starting small but dreaming big," says Simon. "Kellie's has been very helpful for our business growth locally, and we're looking to expand nationally and overseas, too. We know there's a market. We just have to get there."
Source: Melissa Meschke and Amy Simon, Co-owners, Insane Inseam
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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