Mom Muse | Angela Zdrale
“Little girls with dreams become women with vision.”
This popular quote comes to mind as we reflect on the journey of our friend and latest mom muse, Angela Zdrale. Like most successful entrepreneurs, Angela started her business with a problem she was trying to solve and a vision of how she could address it. Her story begins in middle school when she hit her growth spurt and all the cute, trendy clothing and shoes were too short or too small for a girl of her height. A lover of fashion, Angela shared with us how she used to deal with discomfort due to ill-fitting clothing made for shorter torsos and legs and cram her feet into too-small shoes to dress in the latest trends. Fast forward to today, and she is determined to help enable tall women to dress how they like and not be limited to only a few looks. Her goal is to create not only classic pieces that fit and flatter, but also offer more trendy pieces to ladies that are 5’9” and up.
Photo Credit for Above Image: Rachel Fischer Visuals
Poised and graceful at 6’1”, Angela has an enviable, classy, feminine style that makes her a natural for the role of fashion designer and style icon. She dreamed of designing tall girl fashion on and off for years. It took a pandemic and furlough from her marketing job at Saks Fifth Avenue to give her time to reflect and reprioritize her life both personally and professionally. The forced slowdown gifted her the time to pursue her dream and voila! Liv Tall was born. Designed and manufactured in the USA, Liv Tall is made in small batches with extreme attention to detail, quality and sustainable practices. Fortunately for this up-and-coming designer, there is an amazing resource called FABRIC in Tempe, Arizona that has provided her with the advice and services she needed to turn her vision into a reality. FABRIC offers services to small apparel businesses, ranging from marketing to manufacturing. Plus, most importantly, they help new designers launch their lines on a small scale, making it more affordable until their brand gains traction in the marketplace. So cool!
In addition to Liv Tall, during the pandemic Angela also launched another business called The Power of 3 Consulting with two of her closest friends. The dynamic and talented trio pool their expertise to help women makeover and/or elevate their personal style through closet organization, styling and beauty consulting. Read on below for more details.
For those of you wondering more about Angela’s background… A native of Phoenix, Arizona, she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Arizona State University and has been in the fashion industry for over 15 years. Angela has worked for both contemporary and luxury brands, including kate spade, Tory Burch and, most recently, Saks Fifth Avenue. Her experience ranges from retail sales to boutique management, fashion marketing, styling and event production. Beyond her day-to-day work, Angela is an active volunteer for local charities, as well as a member of the KNOW Women, and a past member of the Board of Directors for Fashion Group International – Arizona.
As dedicated as Angela is to her work, her family is her first priority. High school sweethearts, she and her husband have been together for over 19 years! The two have a beautiful daughter, Olive, and as Angela shared with us, “She is not only our life’s joy, but she was one of the inspirations for starting Liv Tall, which I also named after her.”
As of this writing, the first Liv Tall collection is scheduled to drop on July 11, 2021. Be sure and visit the website for more details, share with your tall friends and family, and sign up for the brand’s newsletter, stat!
MSL: Describe your style in five words or less.
Feminine, classic and always accessorized!
MSL: You’re getting ready to unveil your first Liv Tall collection – what inspired you to design it?
I spent my entire career in fashion, and even though I always had access to great clothes, my choices were so limited because of my height. I have struggled my entire life to find clothes that fit properly and know that the experience is the same for every tall woman, regardless of her personal style. When we were at home during the pandemic and furlough turned into a job lost, I spent a lot of time reflecting on what I wanted to do with my life and career. I felt like it was the right time to venture on my own and create this collection for all the tall women who have struggled like me. I don’t want to be the only brand doing this, my dream is really for more brands like me to exist so by the time my daughter is making her own fashion choices, she actually has them and can define her style by what she wants to wear, not by what is available.
MSL: What can we expect to see in your first collection?
My first collection is a mix between wardrobe staples and fun fashion pieces. Each piece is designed with the tall woman in mind, and I wanted to give her elevated pieces she can wear every day, as well as for a special occasion.
MSL: You have an impressive background in fashion marketing and management, but design is a new venture for you. What have you found most challenging so far about creating and launching a new brand?
I have really enjoyed the creative process and have so many ideas for future collections, but hands down the most challenging aspect has been selecting the right fabric! As a first timer, during a pandemic where showrooms are closed and everything has to be virtual, it has proven to be the most complex and time-consuming part of the process. When I first started, I would think of the style I wanted to create, then pick a fabric, but now I am starting to consider the fabric first and then decide what garments I have sketched that will compliment the fabric.
MSL: Any sage advice for other women like you that have a vision and aren’t sure where to start?
I have two pieces of advice, one that I am learning and the other that I have applied in my leadership positions over the years. The first is that once you have your vision or business plan you can start anywhere that feels right. There are going to be challenges, delays, hardships and most likely a learning curve (I had that for sure!) but the best advice I can give is once you start, just keep going! Seems simple, but it gets me through the most challenging days because with that drive I know I am going to get through any challenge. The other piece of advice that has always served me well is to delegate what you can and leverage any support you have because you cannot do it all! You can still be the leader, in full control, and not be the one doing everything.
MSL: What are your long-term plans for Liv Tall?
I want Liv Tall to be a complete lifestyle brand. Right now, I am designing small collections for each major season (Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter) with a buy now/wear now delivery. For the future I would like to expand, not only within other clothing categories, such as swimwear and undergarments, but also into shoes. My original vision was to include shoes with the launch, but I quickly learned that was a bit much to bite off in the beginning, so now it is a long-term goal as I am able to grow the brand.
MSL: You also have a closet organizing and styling business – tell us more!
The Power of 3 Consulting! Another passion and business born out of the pandemic! I started a wardrobe consulting company with two of my closest friends/colleagues from Saks Fifth Avenue at the end of last year. We specialize in closet cleanouts, personal styling and beauty services, which is a combination of all of our talents and expertise. We are having so much fun together and are growing this business organically through networking and social media, as well as referrals. Our approach is to tailor our services to fit the client’s needs because no client is the same, and we absolutely love helping our clients get organized and feel their best!
MSL: As a working mom, any secrets you can share for maintaining a healthy work-life balance?
My biggest piece of advice is we have to prioritize because we can’t always get everything done. Ever since making this professional switch, I prioritize my family and home life above all else. Before the pandemic my life felt upside down and even though I wanted my family to come first, my work schedule just didn’t allow it. I am actually busier than ever, but because I am able to prioritize and have that control, my life feels much more balanced, and I don’t feel guilty about the time I spend on myself and my career because I know I am taking care of my family at the same time.
MSL: What’s one item in your closet you can’t live without?
Dresses! I am a dress girl through and through. It definitely comes from being tall, as it is always easier to find dresses that fit than separates, and the right dress can take you anywhere.
MSL: Best piece of style advice for other moms?
As moms, we are always putting an unnecessary amount of pressure on ourselves, so when it comes to clothes and personal style, I say go easy on yourself. Do what feels right and what you feel confident in. I think it is important not to lose your personal style when most days you may be wearing yoga pants, sneakers and a t-shirt (I may be describing myself there!). Prioritize finding time to put on a great outfit, go out on date night, and attend a charity event or happy hour with a friend.