ST. GEORGE-When a grand mother of four tall children found her family drowning or drowning because of clothes that didn’t fit, she solved the problem by sewing her own clothes, eventually making her own way into a unique clothing line named after a grandmother she adored.
Britta Foster, who is 6ft 1in and her husband David Foster, a staggering 7 feet and 3 inches tall, is America’s second tallest couple. And to paint a picture of her husband’s frameFoster said she made him a jacket for Christmas that took 30 yards of fabric.
Her four children – three boys and a girl – already outstrip everyone in their classrooms. Her 10-year-old son, Daniel, is currently 5ft 6in and is estimated to be around 7ft 2in. Her 7-year-old son Lawrence is estimated to be at least 6ft 9in tall, while her youngest son Joseph is expected to be around 7ft. Her one-year-old daughter, Lina, is estimated to have reached a growth spurt of up to 6ft 4in tall.
“I knew I should learn to sew when I had my children. It wasn’t a question of whether they were going to be big – it was how big?”
Walking in public, alone or with family, can easily become a public spectacle and Foster said they even have a family game they call “HTAY” – How Tall Are You, where they count how many times people ask to her husband her height. With the record number of 15 times at the same location, she said they were asked more at Costco than at Disneyland.
Foster said she and her family had lived a nomadic lifestyle for years, which prevented her from starting to sew. After her husband finished playing professional basketball three years ago, they moved to St. George and finally put down roots. At the time, she had a basic sewing machine that her sister had given her as a wedding gift, but she wasn’t quite sure how to use it — not even how to thread the needle into the machine.
The first item she sewed was a blanket for her youngest son. Then, after four boys, Foster said she was shocked and excited to learn she was pregnant with her first daughter. She knew right away that she needed to learn how to sew dresses that would look good on her, so she bought her first pattern on Etsy. Initially terrified of creating her first dress, she sat on the pattern for months. When she finally decided to do it, she realized it wasn’t as bad as she had imagined, and she’s glad she finally did it.
While making unique clothes for her daughter and posting them on social media, Foster said she received an outpouring of responses encouraging her to sell them publicly. A little apprehensive at first, she started with basic baby nightgowns, which she sold on Facebook Marketplace.
When Foster joined Sunflower seamsa model company that offers digital models, she said the model testing involved has allowed her to try new things, and even if she “totally fails” she enjoys the challenge and the experience that comes with it.
As she set about naming her business, Foster said her “Grammy Zola,” whose clothing line now bears the name, taught her many basic skills as a child. But over time and without practice, the things she learned faded away. After a neighbor came to show her the basics again, she began to hone her skills.
“My goal in all of this was just to put a lot of love into all of my pieces, which is why I named it after my Grammy Zola,” Foster said. “She was the neighborhood grandmother; she was everyone’s grandmother. She would make cookies for everyone. She even helped deliver someone’s baby in the back seat of their car on the way to the hospital. Everyone knew her and she was the nicest person.
Although her grandmother passed away when she was around 20, Foster said she remained close to her and wanted to honor her in a unique and beautiful way.
“She never met my babies, but she was with me through all of my pregnancies, in my dreams, and I felt her strength with all of my deliveries,” Foster said. “Even though she’s not here, she’s still a part of me and I try to put that love into everything I do.”
Through her clothing business, Love, Zola, Foster began creating more custom orders. When a friend sent her the link to apply to the MoFACo artisan cooperative, she said she was hesitant to apply, fearing she wasn’t good enough to have her art form featured at the gallery. She continued to practice and filled out the application a year ago. She was quickly accepted and her clothes have been featured in the shop ever since.
While Foster loves ruffles and flounces in girls’ dresses, she also makes a variety of boys’ clothes and recently created an adult-size cropped shirt, which she plans to delve into more. Swimwear for both genders, including boys’ swimwear and briefs, as well as girls’ one-piece and two-piece swimsuits, were just added this summer. As for future goals, she plans to open a Shopify store in the near future.
“It’s so fun to see how cute these kids are with my designs,” Foster said. “It’s really rewarding to be able to see people enjoying what I do.”
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