Meet Emma Vollrath, the founder of em:body, an activewear brand.
In 2013, Emma began her journey for an active and healthy lifestyle on a mission to become the best version of herself, mentally and physically. She was a personal trainer, so she constantly heard about her clients’ body confidence issues. The most common apprehension was centered around wanting to look good and feel good naked. Unfortunately, there wasn’t an innovative line of activewear available that Emma could recommend for their specific concerns. This gap in the market led Emma to create em:body in 2019.
Learn more in our interview with Emma below!
Our Interview with Emma Vollrath, Founder of em:body
What should people know about em:body? And why are you passionate about it?
I never forget why I started this brand- that’s why when I’m researching inspiration, selecting fabrics, and refining designs, it’s not just about the clothes; it’s about how they’ll make my customer feel. When you slip on your em:bodys, they act as shapewear to sculpt your beautiful figure. I didn’t want to stop there, though. The fabric blend contains discrete sweat-inducing technology to get even more out of your workout. Em:body activewear works hard for you.
I’m so passionate about it because this isn’t just another “cute” line on the market, but a real solution.
When you first decided you were starting em:body – how did you discover what fabrics would accomplish the goals you were defining, and how did you initially source those fabrics?
Testing and more testing! I decided my ideal blend would make you sweat but dry quickly and be gentle on skin. I visited fabric warehouses more often than I went out for my iced chai, and that’s a lot. Once I cut swatches, I liked I’d test them while doing different activities from Pilates to simply running errands. My products range from neoprene to a newer polyester fiber- both effectively make your waistline sweat!
Tell us about your product development today – how do you decide what products to make and what is the design process that those products go through?
I start with things that I know my customer wants, needs, and can’t find anywhere else. I create a moodboard, including fabric color swatches that align with a theme.
Since I’m an old soul, I live for the nostalgia of the 1970s and 1990s, so my latest collection launching in the fall is inspired by runway shows from those eras. When I’m vibing with a theme, I begin sketching specific pieces, and the sample process starts from there! I get tons of feedback from friends, family, and clients to ensure my looks are designed with the customer top-of-mind.
How has the COVID-19 climate affected em:body? Have you needed to pivot at all with your strategy?
The COVID-19 climate has taught me to always have a backup plan and to be able to adapt quickly. Since em:body is online-only, I’m thankful that key strategies haven’t had to flip upside-down, but I’m definitely taking extra measures to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved takes priority. It’s a scary time, so I’ve also been ensuring that I market products with compassion and empathy, truly just wanting to make my customers feel good.
What does your day-to-day look like – and what you love most about what you do?
I love to workout when I wake up because it sets the tone for my day.
After that, I’m clear-headed enough to make breakfast and sit down to answer emails and engage with my audience on social media. I make sure to pack orders next so that they ship promptly. Work meetings balance the rest of the day and school assignments depending on my schedule.
Evenings are a good time for me to catch up with family and snuggle up with my dog, Toby. I love being in charge of my day so that I can make time for the things I love!
What does success mean to you?
I believe success is freedom to walk the path you choose, on your own terms at your own pace. A conventional 9-5 job didn’t make me happy, but I thrive being able to dictate my own schedule.
Gratitude for where you are currently paves the way for success because you’re able to openly accept and appreciate the good things coming your way.
How do you practice self-care?
My workouts are a huge piece of self-care, along with eating healthy. I read at least one book a month, which is incredibly stimulating and motivating (I love reading about the law of attraction,) and for fun, I head to the beach or bake. M&M cookies are a must!
If you could go back and give yourself three pieces of advice when you first started em:body– what would you tell yourself?
Never take no for an answer. Don’t take anything for granted. Never abandon your vision just because it doesn’t work out the first time!
What’s next for you and em:body?
Expansion! I’m working on my next collection, which I’m so excited about as autumn is my favorite season for fashion and in general. Every product that comes from my brand is going to push boundaries innovatively, be unique, and make you feel confident. Stay tuned!