Everything I learned about the Fashion business, I learned from my tall dad.
My dad was born in 1931 in Europe. He grew up in an era when loyalty and commitment were not mere words in the business world, but were considered evidence of character, beacons for truth.
Dad started working in the fashion industry at age 19 as a Sales Person in a large chain of department stores. 37 years and several promotions later, at age 56, he retired from that same company.
Along the way, he and mom taught their 5 kids to work hard, be honest, be loyal, always give your best while at work. While he loved his career and the privately-held company he worked for, there was one rarely expressed, and ultimately unfullfilled dream that he took with him into eternity: own his own clothing store.
On several occasions later in his life, he and I would walk thru the marketplace of our home town and he would point to a store front and say "That's where I always wanted my store". As he spoke those words, you could still hear the longing in his heart, and I never felt closer to him than at those moments, when he laid open his heart, revealed his dreams and visions, though he knew they would never happen.
In 2010, at age 79, he passed away after a 4 month bout with cancer. While it has been 4 years and 4 months since I last held his hand, I still miss him so much each and every day.
And so he laid the foundation for my dream, my vision: as a young boy, I worked on the sales floor alongside my dad, as a grown man, I have now undertaken the challenge of making my dad's dream become a reality. In line with the Brandsma spirit and genes, I started a company, Six8 Clothing Co, that makes casual clothing for tall men. My dad was 6'4", mom is about 5'9", and the 5 children are all tall: my 2 brothers and I are 6'5", 6'7" and 6'8", and our 2 sisters are 5'11" and 6'1". In late 2012, I started the company and on 7/1/13, I finally launched my initial assortment to the public (www.six8clothingcompany.com).
Our first year has been a success and a struggle at the same time, as is the case with most start-up companies. The success: the Tall customers are excited to finally have a Tall brand that thinks like them, and for them, and offers them something that very few retailers and/or brands offer the tall customer: the combination of both style and proper sizing.
The struggle: supply enough cash to fund the development and production of the garments, build and operate a world-class website, travel to tradeshows, fairs and other events to get our name out.
Here is where I am passionately asking you to help me keep my dad's dream alive: our Fall assortment is ready to go: patterns are made, fabrics and all notions have been purchased and delivered to the factory in Tukwila, WA: to put it all together and assemble and sew the garments, we are in need of a minimum of $9999.00.
Please help us in any way that you can: evere gift, every dollar is MUCH appreciated, and will help keep my dad's dream alive.
Dad, I love you, I miss you, but I know that I will see you again.
As for now, no matter how tall I have grown, you still are, and will always be, the man I look up to.
- Drenna Heiser
- Ton Huls
- Carl van der Zandt
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