Elle Wang is the Founder of CEO of Emilia George, a fashionable and sustainable maternity workwear for working and passionate women. In this interview, we discuss with Elle some of her favorite gifts to receive, and items that are essential to take on those day-to-day stresses that life throws at us. We’ll also discuss what inspired her to develop a product catered to women like her and their experiences.
Jackie: Hi, Elle, thank you. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us today and to share some of your favorite products with us. I’m really excited to hear them.
Elle: Thank you so much. I’m so glad to be here.
Jackie: So let me start post-holidays, what gift did you most like to give?
Elle: Of course, I really like something that’s almost like everyone can use. I would really go for, like, the small gifts from some of my favorite skincare brands. And also I tend to definitely give chocolate boxes from La Maison de Chocolate which is my favorite brand. And it turns out, all my friends have always loved what I give them. So very happy to share that. And some of my favorite skincare brands include La Mer and also Caudalie; I use their moisturizing cream and their group water facial spray almost every single day.
Jackie: That sounds amazing, I love chocolate a lot, I live dangerously close to it. And what gift do you most like to receive for me?
Elle: I’m one of those people who just, like, can’t really decide on the spot. And also I get to cancel at which period of the year. And, you know, like what I was I love. So I love the options. That’s why my friends give me gift cards I actually am most happy about. So they know that I have almost a two-year-old. So send my friends love to give me gift cards for Hanna Anderson , which I always ended up buying more than the gift card amount. And I also, you know, really love to shop at the marketplaces so that like from Motherly and from out there, like the sort of like places where they promote mom-owned brands. So I definitely really appreciate those.
Jackie: Oh, that’s great, and what items always make it into your carry-on, whether it’s on the airplane when we travel or away for a weekend?
Elle: Yeah, so that’s like always challenging, especially for women, just because we want to have, like, so many things. But for me, I always make sure that because my skin always gets really dry, I always make sure I pack a couple of, like, facial masks. I do like those super like there’s this one brand that actually appeared on Shark Tank. It’s called Lace on My Face so that you can like just bring one pack of those facial masks and they stay on your mask and they stay on your face when you walk around, which is amazing.
Jackie: Oh, wow. You provide the link to that. They have all kinds of coming ones, like hydrating ones. It’s really great.
Jackie: So they’re invisible, so they’re invisible.
Elle: They actually appear to be like lace look alike, but they have this design that will wrap around your ears. So they actually stay on. So you don’t have to like to lay down on your bed when you do the mask. You can walk around, you can walk around on the airplane, you can walk around wherever you travel, and then while you give yourself like a facial. So that’s a nice, amazing product. And, of course, you know, like facial spray. And I have like, my favorite slippers that I always carry. It’s like from Protei. I don’t know if you know that brand of super-cute slippers, but that feels comfier when you are not home. It gives you a sense of home away from home.
Jackie: Absolutely. And what would you say is the best design product in your home or office?
Elle: Right now, of course, home is the office. So I’m really obsessed with my desk, which I’m happy to share a picture of, I got the desk, I believe it was February 2011. It’s this really well-made, sturdy, classy-looking glass table. It’s just so chic and so well designed. I don’t think I will ever get rid of it unless it breaks down on me. One piece of furniture really helps you to stay productive. You’ve got to love your desk when you do work.
Jackie: That’s right. Especially if you’re spending all your time at home. And what is your favorite fashion find for me?
Elle: I always love, you know, some of the vintage and some really like natural sustainable products. And for my side hustle, I own a sustainable maternally brand called Emelia George. And my favorite thing about starting this brand was the ability to explore all kinds of sustainable fabrics.
I got to learn what Caparo is and what Tenso Lux is. According to the people who work at Tenso Lux, they told me that only Emilia George, another clothing brand in New York City, uses Tenso Lux Fabrics. It’s just so supremely soft and breathable and that they’re sustainable. Right, because they’re all made from — for example, Capral was made from waste cotton and is like such an environmentally friendly byproduct of the cotton waste. All of these amazing sustainable and natural breathable fabrics are actually my favorite fashion find.
Jackie: What products do you always keep in your purse for me?
Elle: I mean, again, like, since last year, I feel like everyone’s purse would include a mask and we did a collaboration between Emilio George. We really try to make sure that we encourage customers to wear sustainable masks and also to make sure that they always have some sort of like water or like a moisturizer that can calm their face, their skin, just because we are in masks when we go out all the time. And a lot of people have experienced some sort of skin irritation and acne issues as well. So I definitely make sure that I always bring, like product water, which is absolutely key to my survival of the skin, like outside. And also I always have our sustainable face mask in my purse.
Jackie: Yeah, that that that is a great thing, I know some of them have antibacterial or antimicrobial coatings, too, which I recently discovered and is a huge, huge help against maskne.
Elle: Absolutely I actually had people asking me if I know antimicrobial fabric suppliers just because I’m in the space. So I’m really, really happy that a lot more vendors and suppliers are trying to come up with higher quality products like fast face masks since we’re all going to be in masks for a very long time.
Jackie: Related question, which is in the last year, what item did you discover was indispensable?
Elle: Face mask is like a mask. Of course, we really encourage everyone to wear masks at all times, so they have to really be comfortable. I actually had a customer commented on our face mask that she has asthma and a lot of masks don’t really work for her. So like breathable masks like ours and some of the brands really, really help her and others in that condition.
You know, I also I am like a dress, like I’m a girl who loves dresses, pants don’t love me. I think just because we are at home so much. But of course, we have zoom meetings, we have life events online. So I would really think some dress that looks professional chic, but also super comfortable that you can be in there to like even if we want to take a nap, is super important. I always find, like, for example, already the dress, I, I had some occasions that I just had to jump on Zoom super quick or even like take some pictures. If you have this one dress that you can just to quickly put on without going through your closet and trying to find something suitable to wear is really, really helpful. And of course, lipgloss, I am like someone who doesn’t really do much makeup, but I do think like as long as your lips look shiny and it just everything looks a little better just on camera.
Jackie: Absolutely. Is there a particular product that inspires you?
Elle: Yeah, for me, I’m actually I’m giving birth in a month and I remember that last time I really didn’t like the hospital gown I had to wear because I had a C-section. I stayed in the hospital for four days like I was high risk. So I felt like I really wish I could have, like, a better robe this time. So I actually came up with a sustainable one-size-fits-all maternally robe so that all women who have to give birth during the pandemic because we also have to wear masks. It’s just, you know, with better fabrics wear with more like versatile and more like stretchy design that really makes a mom just their life a little bit easier while in the hospital to go through the labor process. So at least to feel comfortable with their skin and just feel good.
Jackie: Oh, God, what a great gift. I’m so glad to know about that. That’s a great gift to give an expectant mother. I know somebody bought me a sort of a nineteen-fifties bed jacket at the hospital. I wish I wish I had known about your maternity robe.
Elle: Thank you so much. Yeah. It’s available. Neiman Marcus and also Amazon as well. So we actually are working with a subscription service that caters to pregnant women. They are thinking about ordering like a bunch of these robes also for their customer as well. For me, nobody inspires me. It’s really something that I go through, like firsthand as a customer. I always make sure that the products that we come up with do like speak to moms, pregnant women, and postpartum women just because I personally went through it and
Jackie: Born of experience, quite literally.
Jackie: And what brand do you most admire and why?
Elle: For me, I feel like everyone who knows me knows, like I’m obsessed with Sarah Berkley, of course, she is wildly successful as a self-made woman entrepreneur is just because 20 years ago she came up with Spanx and this shapewear before it was even the thing. And she really went through, again, like as a customer. I went through a problem, and she came up with an innovative product to solve that. And that is really something that I admire for any brands that really focus on helping customers to solve their problems rather than more like romanticizing or like theorizing something that to make it look good or like feel good for a customer. But I do feel that products that really address consumer problems are the ones that are here to stay.
Jackie: Absolutely. That’s so true. And what is the product or brand that you like with a positive initiative, either sustainability or social initiative?
Elle: Absolutely, I feel nowadays when we have new brands, everyone always tries to think of ways to give back to the communities. Of course, we had very successful business models from Tom’s shoes when they sell one pair of shoes and gave one pair. So I would love to use this opportunity to also share like the fabric initiative by Emilio George. As I previously mentioned, for maternity wear, fabrics are so important when women who go through such drastic changes in their body. Also, they are going to hold their newborn baby so close when they breastfeed or cuddle, which affects the mother’s body and also affects the newborn’s body.
That’s why we really should, like, focus on making sure that the clothing is made of sustainable, healthy, natural fabrics. So no skin is irritated as well. So this is something that I really hope you can help more people to recognize the importance of pay attention to the fabrics through the fabrics matter initiative.
Jackie: Absolutely. And finally, what is your favorite guilty pleasure purchase? Maybe something you’d only buy for yourself, but you absolutely love such a treat to have.
Elle: Absolutely. Yeah. This is something that I haven’t been able to enjoy since last year, which is I love the Water Lounge at Greydon Spa in New York City. It’s such a small place on Great Jones Street. And it was just such a sort of like a piece of heaven for someone like me who have kids or like a very busy schedule, to just to really unwind on the block. Like, don’t bring a cell phone. And they have magazines, they have a skylight, they have a water area for you to just relax for a couple of hours. And that is really something that I made a deal with my husband.
Don’t take this away from me like I really need it during the pandemic has been closed. But I do appreciate the opportunity to go there once in a while. You know, you can purchase the water lounge pass separately without getting any spa treatments. That’s absolutely my favorite activity to relax.
Jackie: Oh, something to look forward to. That really sounds fantastic. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to share with us some of your favorite products and giving us such great suggestions. We really appreciate it.
Elle: Thank you so much.
Jackie: Thank you.
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