Brown City Shaker: Bree Wijnaar, Founder of The Tall Society
When I first met Bree last year, I remember being captivated by this tall beautiful woman who was so friendly and charming. I was able to briefly chat with her and learned she was from the Netherlands, worked in technology and founded The Tall Society as a community where ladies blessed with height can connect, relate to each other and be inspired. She saw a void and filled it, that’s a #BrownCityShaker! I was really excited to connect with Bree again for this feature and learn more about her and the Meet Your Tall Sisters Brunches she is hosting all around the globe this year.
What was your inspiration for The Tall Society?
A community, a sisterhood is something that we as women of height have not really had. We are all very different people, however the experiences that we have as women of height are the same. An opportunity to bond over those commonalities is something that was needed. Growing up I wish I would’ve had a sisterhood like The Tall Society.
Over the past years we have seen a significant change in how we receive our information. Now when looking for a pair of jeans, people are more inclined to look at what their favorite blogger suggests versus flipping through a catalog. Understanding and leveraging the value of social media has been an important part of forming our community.
How do you balance working in technology and running The Tall Society?
Full transparency, it is hard, very hard. My evenings and my weekends pretty much belong to running The Tall Society. I am blessed to have such an incredible team of contributors and supporters around me that lend me a helping hand when they can.
I spend a good chunk of time on The Tall Society, but it is also my baby, my firstborn :). I will put in the work that is needed to continue our growth and success.
What was your highlight of 2016?
2016 has been an amazing year of transformation for us. We expanded the team to a group of Tall Sisters that create and edit our content. We started our signature events series “Meet Your Tall Sisters Brunch™” this year and we have hosted four incredible brunches so far. We launched our merchandise line, with fun tall girl-centric statements. To top everything off, we have seen tremendous growth in our readership this year, so I am counting my blessings. This growth tells me that we are doing something meaningful and to keep pushing forward.
What is a goal you have for 2017?
I firmly believe in continuous improvement and I am always thinking about how we can diversify and add more value to our Tall Sister community. It is important for me that we stay unique, one of kind. That I believe is where our success lies. I will always set out to be original. I can’t spill all the beans, so for most of it you will have to wait and see.
What I can share is that we are launching international brunches in 2017, with brunches in Europe that we are very excited about. We will continue to generate unique and original content for our readers. I am excited to explore some new topics and areas with the team. We are planning to share even more of ourselves in the New Year.
Europe? That's exciting! Tell us about Meet Your Tall Sisters Brunch?
Following the demonstrated success of two “Meet Your Tall Sisters” Brunches held in early 2016, we have taken our events to the next level.
A worldwide rolling calendar of The Tall Society events serves as touch points throughout the year where our community of tall girls and women connect and bond in person.
The events are filled with self-love and tall community speakers, a place to showcase the latest tall fashion, and facilitating networking opportunities -- all accompanied by delicious food and drinks.
It is so much fun! See it for yourself HERE.
What has been your biggest takeaway from the brunches so far?
How incredible our community is! At every brunch I meet such amazing women. It makes me very proud to be a Tall Sister™. In addition, nothing beats being able to look each other in the eyes and have a meaningful conversation. Taking it away from social media and making real in-person connections is invaluable.
What are you most looking forward to during your travels with the Tall Sisters Brunch?
To explore new cities! Some of the cities we are heading to next year. Like Toronto and Chicago I have never been to, so this is a fantastic opportunity for me to also expand my horizons and see more of the world.
What advice do you have for any girl or woman feeling insecure about her height?
We were blessed with height and therefore were created to stand out. Embrace your uniqueness! It truly is a gift, although it takes some of us some time to discover that beauty. Come home to The Tall Society and connect with fellow Tall Sisters™ that understand your challenges and opportunities.
What is your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
Friday is the day my boyfriend is off from work, so Friday nights are often date nights. Friday evenings are sacred to me, as with our busy lives, he and I really have to carve out time for each other. My favorite thing to do on a Friday night is to be with my love. We like to order in and watch a movie or we’ll go out for dinner and a dance.
What does being "brown in the city" mean to you?
Being brown in the city to me means finding and then pursuing your purpose. This thing called life, no one said it would be easy, but they say it will be worth it. I strongly believe that we control our own destiny and success, and with hard work we all have an opportunity to flourish and fulfill our purpose.