Janell: I’ve read you got your start in this business by creating fabric flowers as accessories. How did you take the business from there to where it is today, producing a line of garments and shoes? As you know, at House of Fifty we love a good success story of women making it happen!
line along with shoes and jewelry, and I’m excited to share we are working on a number of new product lines planned for 2013.
Emerson: We did get our start with women’s accessories. At the beginning I hired a small team to help me make the flowers and sold them online. Soon we were having a hard time keeping up with demand and in a span of a few months moved from our first tiny office of 200 square feet. We just recently settled into our new offices located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which are spacious at 15,000 square feet. I have been fortunate to have some really great employees, but it was mostly just a lot of hard work. And that is not to say we haven’t experienced our share of hurdles. There have been a lot of sleepless nights at the office alone and with the team. Today we no longer sell the flowers, clothing is our main product
A: I consider this to be the “Century of Women!” I believe we are in our most exciting time as women in history. When considering a new line I think about what this woman needs for her personal and professional life, as well as her leisure time. We are finally in a place where all those old clichés and boundaries are beginning to become shattered. We can drive the sports car, order the wine and build the business. We can have a sense of humor and be the best at what we are interested in, and do it while wearing stilettos if we choose to. There’s a great power in these ideas and shifts, and so I am thinking about the woman who is doing all that because I relate to her and we love her. I’m designing for that woman.
Q: When you begin work on a line, who is the woman you have in mind and where do you draw your inspiration from?