‘Never give up’: Metro Detroit entrepreneur hopes to empower other women by sharing story

Owner of skinytees said it’s important to ask for help when you need it

Linda Schlesinger-Wagner is sharing her story and hopes to help empower all women. She said she was living the life of her dreams until it all fell apart.
Linda Schlesinger-Wagner is sharing her story and hopes to help empower all women. She said she was living the life of her dreams until it all fell apart.

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. – Linda Schlesinger-Wagner is sharing her story and hopes to help empower all women.

She said she was living the life of her dreams until it all fell apart.

“I discovered that my adult son was a heroin addict,” Schlesinger-Wagner said.

At that time she was going through a divorce. She said she couldn’t afford to pay her bills and eventually did hit rock bottom.

“This was 11 years ago. I learned a big lesson that I think a lot of women have to learn. Ask for help,” Schlesinger-Wagner said.

Schlesinger-Wagner did ask for help. She borrowed $1,000 on a friend’s credit card. She used her background in knitwear to make money and came up with the idea for Skinnytees. It’s a collection of one-size-fits-all tanks and tops for women.

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“So did I reinvent the wheel? No. But I made it a lot longer because I was an older woman. I didn’t want to reach up or bend down and heaven forbid see my skin. So, I got that name skinnytees that came to me in the middle of the night,” Schlesinger-Wagner said.

Schlesinger-Wagner runs an all-women company with employees ranging from the ages of 21 to 73. Schlesinger-Wagner said she wanted to focus on helping women feel strong, confident and empowered.

She’s grown her company from a little home office into an 8,000-square-foot facility in Birmingham. Last year, her company brought in more than $6 million in sales.

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She has advice for other women.

“Never give up. And ask for help. And those two things. And work hard. But those couple things. You’ll be a success at anything you do,” Schlesinger-Wagner said.

Part of her mission includes giving back to the community.

In 2017, she donated 12,000 shirts after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. She also launched a pair of leggings to raise money for Cass Community Social Services.

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Click here to visit the skinnytees website.


About the Authors:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.