Emily Williams - Texas Interview by Larissa Chelius Nomination by Addison Schale Photography by Emily Williams, Addison Schale, & Tammy Williams Featured in Issue 16 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Emily Williams is inspiring to me because she is hard working, patient and always has a smile on her face. At the age of 17 Emily started her own boutique from the ground up called Ellie Mae. She has put in lots of late nights, money and many phone calls to create a business she has always dreamed of. She is working every day to grow her business so she can eventually make it a full-time job & create a brand out of it. She is only a senior in high school, trying to figure out where she wants to go to college, make good grades & run a business. She always seems to amaze me with her uplifting spirit and hard work. I think that’s pretty inspiring to me:)
When did you become interested in fashion and how did it turn into running your own boutique? I have always been interested in fashion since I was a little girl. The fun clothes and accessories have always fascinated me. I really began my fashion career my freshman year of high school. I began to find inspiration in older bloggers and that would inspire the style of my outfits. I was always the odd ball out because I didn’t wear a t-shirt and shorts to school like ninety percent of the girls. I dressed up as if I was going out to a nice restaurant. That’s what I love though. Like Coco Chanel said, “The World is your runway.” Every day is a day I can style an outfit and show it off to the world. Which, in the end, is my way of expressing my personality. How fun is that, that men and women can express who they are through styling clothes in different ways? I absolutely love it.
Taking it way back, Ellie Mae (my boutique) started with me bringing it up to my mom one day. I was very nervous because it was way out there. I worked at two boutiques prior to starting my own, and I realized I wanted to do that. So long story short, my mom agreed, and my dad invested. Then, we made a logo, set up a website, bought some clothes, took pictures, set up social media, and took a shot in the dark!
How do you maintain good grades while running the boutique & do you plan on running the boutique while attending college? This is a tough one for sure. Time management is the key to this one. I organize my time and set my priorities accordingly. Yes! I do plan on running the boutique while attending college. It’s a one woman show. I take the pictures, edit pictures, do the website designs/editing, all the marketing, shipping, buying new products, everything that goes into, I do (with help from my sweet mom). Regardless, I will be able to find a way to maintain it, especially since I have a passion for my boutique and everything that goes into it.
Do you plan on expanding the boutique? Yes, I do! I have long term goals for my boutique, and short term. Overall, it is a huge learning experience. Learning time management, service to others, professional manners, financial components, maintaining consistency, and much more.
What advice would you give to others who are interested in starting their own business?
I would say two things. One, never give up. I know it’s cliché, but doubt and discouragement will creep in whether you start one or are thinking about starting one. You have to look past that and remember you are doing what you love. Two, hard work will pay off sooner or later. It took five months before I could start seeing my hard work pay off. It seems like a long time, but once you can sit down and say to yourself, “I did that”, then it was definitely worthwhile.
Emily was featured in Issue 16 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!