Person of the Week: Skinny Tees founder Linda Schlesinger-Wagner gives back to community in big way

Posted: 8:56 PM, Dec 23, 2016
Updated: 2016-12-24 20:04:22Z

Have you ever heard of Skinny Tees? It's a company, based in Birmingham, and the woman behind the brand is so grateful for her success and her blessings she makes a point daily to pass her blessings to others who may not see them coming.

At 68-years-old, Linda Schlesinger-Wagner has built a blockbuster of a business and it all centers around brightly colored stretchy tees that come in every color and style imaginable. 

They fit just about any body type - including a pregnant woman.

Schlesinger-Wagner says, "We are very successful. We do millions and you'd never know it, we have it down to such a system."

We went to the Skinny Tees' warehouse in Birmingham where the fashion magic happens.

Linda and her all female staff, who she refers to as her family, take care of everything and she has four loveable pooches saved through adoption. Linda says the dogs keep their spirits up.

You see, while business is great now, Linda has been through her fair share of ups and downs: a heart wrenching divorce, a business she had to fold when the economy tanked and a son addicted to heroin.

Linda says, "Any money I had then went to rehab and we did that for a lot of years."

Like so many others, Linda was also in jeopardy of losing her home, but she got help and saved her home, but her son was in deep trouble after two stints in rehab.

A different rehab program in California helped save her son, who now is the Marketing Director for Skinny Tees, and the reason his mom had the courage to start again.

Today, these popular tops, loved by ladies and teens alike, are not just selling like hot cakes in Michigan, not just all over America, but all over the world. And it's a hot seller on QVC.

Linda says, "I think we're successful because, when I was down and out and I had this problem with my son and I would be lying in bed crying every single night, I managed to make it."

She gives back in a big way, helping so many, including disadvantaged students, the Salvation Army and Alternatives for Girls.

Most gratifying is when she and her employees anonymously go out in the community during the holidays and hand people money - including a 4-year-old who she will never forget, thanks to his reaction when she handed him $50 bill.

Linda says, "He looked at it and said is 'This real mommy', then he said 'I want to go back in and buy my mom a Christmas present'."

Linda says her story of success did not come without failures, but it's one we can all be inspired by.

Linda says, "We've all had challenges, whether it's financial or a spouse or losing a job or health reasons."

That's why we choose Linda Schleslinger-Wagner as our Person of the Week.