Founded in 1991 by Phil Heinricy, the Tall Persons Club GB & Ireland is an independent non-profit organisation dedicated to providing information and promoting the interests of tall people.
They welcome anyone who will benefit from their information and membership is for those who consider themselves taller than average. Like the Tall Guides community, they have no minimum height requirement because they believe that people know for themselves whether or not they are tall. The Club welcomes individuals and families and members are drawn from all walks of life and every age group.
The regular Club magazine, 6ft+, contains a wealth of information on tall life and all members receive four magazines per year as part of their membership benefits. Not only was Tall Guides Magazine founder, Sallee, interviewed (by 6’3, Lifestyle writer, Tiffany) for the latest edition of 6ft+, she made the cover!
What was your initial inspiration for building the Tall Guides brand and #teamtall community?
As a business & brand consultant, I realised that I was consistently pushing my high profile clients further and further into the spotlight, but remaining in the shadows myself which posed the question; How could someone this tall have kept themselves so small?!
I made a decision that 2016 was going to be My Tall Year and hopefully a one way ticket to self-confidence! Suspecting that I wasn’t alone in how I felt about my height, I wanted to see if I could maximize the impact by taking others on this journey with me. I set about creating a platform and community to deliver content and support to a niche group of tall women around the world.
What were some of the challenges you faced in launching the Tall Guides Magazine website & digital magazine?
I studied graphic design but have never worked in the field so my inner designer was just itching to get out and with a background in business and brand; concept development and branding for the magazine and community came fairly naturally. On the other hand, tech and basic coding is not my forte, so creating an engaging site with favourable user experience was among my challenges.
Other unforeseen challenges came mostly from my personal life; they included the heartbreaking loss of one of my dogs on the day the new site launched as well as a couple or peculiar reactions to my sudden focus on the tall community. This came in the shape of jealousy from friends who I can only assume felt excluded because they did not fit into this new aspect of my life. A few of our group members have noted the same when it comes to events that did not include shorter friends.
Which opportunities have emerged for you personally as a result of the brand?
So many and I’m grateful for them all! I had the opportunity be a model for Long Tall Sally’s 40th birthday campaign as well as for a denim feature in Good Housekeeping magazine. Tall Guides has attracted a lot of press too and some of the highlights to date include making the business pages in the Telegraph, talking ‘tall women’ on the Wright Stuff and being interviewed in London’s Startup Van to discuss the evolution of Tall Guides Magazine.
Where in the past I would have been likely to find someone else to take advantage of these opportunities, I stepped forward and allowed myself to fully experience them… to my surprise, I’ve enjoyed every moment!
What benefits are #teamtall community members reaping as a result of inclusion?
Our #teamtall community offers members an opportunity to collaborate, promote their own brands, form new friendships and imagine new possibilities for themselves as they gain confidence in their stature and abilities. Our motto is “Ask for whatever you need, help wherever you can”.
We have so much diversity among the group that when it comes to inspiration, there’s something for everyone! Our members come from every corner of the world, they range from teens to women in their 70’s. And although they’re regular women, they’re also business owners, TV presenters, models, journalists, sports professionals, travelers, authors, mums, graduates… the list goes on! We encourage our members to share opportunities, whether it’s a brand looking for tall women to work as fit models, photographers needed for freelance work, coaching services, talent swaps… if it presents our members with something beneficial, we’re in to it!
What has been the biggest step outside of your comfort zone since founding Tall Guides Magazine?
The biggest and most uncomfortable step by far was one of my first, where I attended Europatreffen; a tall convention in Germany. This included spending the week with hundreds of tall Germans. As an introvert, this was a big ask but as it turned out, the immersive experience was an essential one. As one of the shorter participants, I quickly began to realise that I liked being the tall girl in the room. By the time the week was over, I was eager to get back to London and be tall again! I came back knowing; ‘it can hard to love your difference until you find a place where you are the same’. This became the Tall Guides strapline and if you’re a tall woman, we are now that place!
What would you tell a #teamtall group member struggling to define their own career success?
Authenticity is crucial. You cannot build a career, business or brand without remaining true to yourself and your personal values. It’s important to be a person rather than a personal brand. By being your authentic self, you’ll attract endless possibilities. If you think about magnets, no matter how hard you try to push them together, it won’t work if you’re forcing the wrong ends. Once you get the right poles aligned, they form a solid bond. The same is true for you and your aspirations!
How have you achieved balance with work and your personal life? Which category does Tall Guides fall into?
Both – The brand is still at an early stage so it’s all consuming but I love every minute of it! My work, business and brands have always been my passion but this turns it up a notch. I’m committed to being part of the solution rather than contributing to the problem. I am always looking to adding value for others. This now includes the Tall Guides Magazine readers and the women who make up the #teamtall community.
Any sneak peeks or insider info on what’s next for Tall Guides?
I plan to continue growing the #teamtall community and growing the readership of the magazine. We are about to start working with advertisers which will allow us to develop the publication further. There may also be a round of fundraising on the horizon…
Interview by: Tiffany Sperring, 6’3 Lifestyle Writer