A NOTE ON A NEW CHAPTER: Lately I feel like there’s a growing emergence of women’s voices in media, women’s voices that have little to do with feminism and much to do with, most simply put, reality and life. From the hilarious Girls to the constructive The Conversation with Amanda de Cadanet and other new outlets there’s still so much to be said. I’m always surprised when young girls write to me for advice on all sorts of different things. Somewhere between being able to tie my shoe laces and take a photograph, I guess it could seem from a far that I’ve got something figured out. Truth be told, I don’t. What I do have are a million and one questions that only time can answer. We can all use advice and inspiration along the way to keep us headed in the right direction. So I’m starting a new feature on the blog posting as often as I can interviews with women that inspire me, Dreamgirls. As awe inducing as the Arianna Huffingtons of the world can be, you don’t have to be a media mogul to be a total superstar to me. Dreamgirls are the women I see creating the lives they’ve always wanted, making their own way by defining what success is to them, and finding that there are still a million and one things to learn and grow from. I hope they will inspire you as much as they do me. I think I’ve found the perfect start.
When I decided to start Dreamgirl I thought Emily Faulstich would be the perfect opening. She is a kindred spirit and a friend I found through cyberspace only to realize we were from the same California beach town. I admired her lifestyle photos long before I realized she was the co founder of the much adored Wildfox Couture, that has girls across the world now wearing their ultra soft and adorable knitwear and pinning and tumbling their incredible lookbooks to the ends of the internet. Emily and Kim Gordon managed to create a label based in fun, in self love, in friendship, and celebration of what’s good in life as girls. To build a successful business out of such positivity and creativity true to the things they loved is the dream of many, and a reality for them I congratulate them on. Now beyond Wildfox though Emily is a designer with something new in the works that I already can’t wait to get acquainted with. She is an adorable illustrator, a photographer, and curator of beautiful things. She is a curious traveler, a positive thinker, and believer like me that true love is the greatest thing in the world. Here’s some of my questions and her thoughts…
What wisdom would you offer to young women wanting to make it in any creative industry?
The creative industry is very fun but also very hard on people, since egos are strong and everybody has such a clear sense of what they want. Stay true to your own aesthetic and be confident in what you love. You know what that is. Compromise will be essential, but also can greatly improve something (a shoot, a t-shirt, a font choice…). As your skills improve, you will look back on things you did previously and be embarrassed, this is inevitable. I have made the worst shirts on earth at 2am, and love laughing at them now.
What motivates and inspires you?
Ahhh so much! Right now it’s music, weird animals, books, taking photos of my travels, and learning new things. People who inspire me are Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Christopher Guest, JK Rowling & Stephen Hawking. I’m reading “A Brief History of Time” at the moment and it’s so fascinating. The idea of nothing & infinity scares me to death, but it’s amazing to learn theories about it. I love when people find something they are passionate about and go crazy with it. That is very inspiring.
How do you define success for yourself?
I think it’s knowing what you love and being nice while working hard. There is no point in being mean to others to get your way, although it’s important to be straight forward. Feeling that you are trying your hardest (or close to it :). Helping those you would like to help is also something I think is an obligation if you are successful (charities, family, friends). There are many people who have very simple lives and incomes and are extremely successful because they are extremely happy.
What disciplines did you have to adopt that contributed to your success?
Don’t take anything personally, and be positive about your success. Also, try and have a healthy balance of work and personal life, even if you end up looking for lace pants for a shoot at 3am on a Sunday night.
What do you do to deal with discouragement or doubt?
I believe in the law of attraction and positive thought very much, so I try and practice that even when I’m bummed out. My friend Gala has been a great role model and I love reading her site. Music also helps if you are feeling discouraged, don’t you think?
What’s the hardest decision you have ever had to make?
Recently I had to choose between being with my husband or staying at my company, and, although the choice was clear from the start, it was an extremely difficult and surreal process. I built Wildfox in 2007 with my best friend Kim Gordon, and the amount of love and work that went into the company is impossible to express. It was my life every day for 5 years and I loved it very much. When my husband and I travelled to London in 2011 (he was my boyfriend then), he was not allowed to return to the U.S. for unclear reasons. Since then we travelled every three weeks to see each other in whichever country was in the middle of us. I missed him so much when we weren’t together, and although I was still working it was hard to be fully there. His visa is still in the processing stage with the U.S. government (so frustrating). This September I decided to move to Cape Town to be with him while he awaited his visa approval. This was probably the hardest thing to do, but it was all out of love for my husband and the desire to be able to see him. It was just very hard to have to make a choice.
What’s the most important lesson you have ever learned?
Hmmmm…I would think I should say to look for all the happy things in the world. Don’t be afraid to be weird, to be smart, to order too much room service or sing bad songs loudly in the car, haha. Oh! Also, it’s ok to get lost somewhere. It always ends up fun, I’ve noticed.
What is the most important thing your mother taught you?
My very beautiful mom taught me the importance of listening to others, how to make perfect strawberry pancakes, staying well read, and believing in true love & Robin Hood.
Art and ideas from Emily.
There are many people who have very simple lives and incomes and are extremely successful because they are extremely happy.
Photos by Emily via her tumblr Hawaiian Coconut!
Did you enjoy the interview? What questions are you looking for answers to? What women would you like to see interviewed?