With her smoldering good looks and statuesque frame, you'd never guess that Alicia Jay was the target of bullying. But, growing up in Portland, the kids used to call this aspiring model a Jolly Green Giant and Big Foot.
"A lot of people thought I was a freak," recalls Jay, of Oakland.
Today, when she's not working in game operations for the Golden State Warriors, Jay, 31, pens the blog Tall Swag to help boost the confidence and fashion opportunities of uber-tall women.
On the site, www.tallswag.com, she sells her line of tall-pride T-shirts and posts daily style finds, like Shoes of Prey, a new site where women can customize their dream shoes, up to a size 15. Here are five must-stops, including some of Jay's favorites, for women who wear a size 11 or bigger and have trouble finding trendy shoes. Nordstrom: The national department hosts two events a year to cater to women who wear extended sizes (that includes 4 and 12). They also have exclusive contracts with certain manufacturers, like Sam Edelman, to make shoes in hard-to-find sizes. www.nordstrom.com Shoes of Prey. Australia-based website allows women up to a size 15 to customize flats, boots, platforms, and pumps in a variety of colors and styles starting at $140. www.shoesofprey.com Barefoot Tess. Baltimore-based fashionista Tess Williams started this site featuring trendy shoes for the size 11 and up crowd in 2006 after too many salespeople told her to shop in the men's department or comfort section. www.barefoottess.com. Designer Shoes. Barbara Thornton launched her website 15 years ago, before Zappos was online, to offer women with bigger feet more options. Her site features everything from Moda and Bella Vita to Aisha Jones' Takera, a line of Italian-leather shoes that starts at 10-and-a-half. www.designershoes.com. Payless Shoe Source. The value chain sells most of its women's sneakers, pumps, sandals, boots, and flats up to a size 13. www.payless.com.