Recently I had the opportunity to interview Genesis Emery, the Founder and Creative Director of The Little Dapper Collection. The Little Dapper Collection is a Chicago based fashion company that creates bow ties for infants, toddlers and big boys.
The bow ties are stylish, stunning and can be customized to fit the little gentleman in your life. Genesis is dedicated to designing bow ties that showcase the dapper side of little boys.
Tell us a little about yourself and what makes designing special to you?
I am the Founder and Creative Director of The Little Dapper Collection and the mother of my two-year old son, Noah. Before launching my own fashion brand, I previously worked as a spokesmodel for many beauty and lifestyle brands. In addition to this, I was the host for many Chicago fashion and beauty events, and also covered celebrity events as a red carpet media hostess. I had the pleasure of being featured in various magazines and on several television segments, before taking a short break from the industry to focus on my family and starting my new journey into motherhood. Now that I’m a mom, I have re-positioned my brand to focus on children and cater to fellow moms. Because, fashion and design has always been my passion, I wanted to continue my entrepreneurial aspirations and create a brand that would allow me to revolutionize the way that parents dress their children!
Your son Noah is the inspiration for your business, can you share the story on when you designed your first bow tie and what made you sell it?
The first bow tie I ever created was our white and blue gingham “Summer Hunk” bow tie. We didn’t sell our first creation. But instead, we used it in one of our very first photo shoots! And our brand just took off from there!
Tell us one thing that makes your business unique?
One of the things that make my business so unique is that we’re super niche. We are a brand for children but we exclusively cater to boys. I’ve often been asked to design accessories for girls and of course I want to and plan on launching a sister brand for girls in the near future. However, right now I just want The Little Dapper Collection to focus on boys and to be a one-of-a-kind brand that helps groom little boys into dapper young gentlemen.
The other aspect that makes us unique is the fact that we love helping others and giving back to children in any possible way that we can. We are partnered with March of Dimes and each month we donate a percentage of our sales towards organizations that help children. We also frequently donate bow ties to children with special needs and chronic medical illnesses to give them a sense of hope and healing during times when they need it most
Tell us about your partnership with March of Dimes
We decided to partner with March of Dimes because we truly love the mission that they stand behind and want to help them end infant prematurity and fight against infant mortality. We donate 15% of our bow tie sales towards March of Dimes and will also be designing branded bow ties for their organization soon!
You are truly inspirational. I’ve had the pleasure of working with you on the set of your first commercial.
You are always in such great spirits, so sweet and professional. Which leads me to my next question. As a mother we have a very hard job to do, taking care of our family, working, etc. how do you find the time to hand craft these beautiful bow ties, run your business, stay so positive and still be an awesome mom?
Honestly, as many of us know, being a mother is never an easy task. There are some days when I feel exhausted and like maybe I’m taking on too much. But then I think about my son and the fact that I want him to know that he can do any and everything that he sets his mind out to do. One of the reasons why I work so hard is because I want my son to know that dreams can come true and to always do what his passions are.
I also strive to be an influential role model for other women and for them to know that it is possible to balance both family and a business and yet still be successful.
Not only do I have my own business, but I also work full-time and I have a child with special needs. But the happiness that I feel about having a brand that gives back to children makes me feel complete and gives me the strength and motivation to keep on going!
I have always been an individual that strives for greatness and that wants to be highly successful. So on days when I get tired, feel down, or feel like giving up, I continue to think about the outcome that I want to see and difference that I want to make for other women just like me. And of course, I practice healthy habits like working out to give me energy and keeping me healthy, I enjoy personal mommy-time, and do things that make me happy like shopping, going to spas when I have the chance, and spending time with my loved ones.
Here on A Break 4 Mommy we like to encourage and uplift, can you tell us one time when you wanted to give up, but didn’t?
I thought long and hard about giving up on The Little Dapper Collection at the beginning of the year in 2016. My business was really slow and we hardly made any sales and financially I just wasn’t in an ideal place to grow my company the way that I wanted to. I was struggling just to continue making bow ties because things were not where I wanted them to be. But God told me not to give up so I just kept going and I’m glad that I did!
What advice do you have for women wanting to start their own business?
One of my biggest pieces of advice that I can give is to do your research and really identify what your passions are before starting a business. I believe that as women we are extraordinarily powerful and can do anything we want to do.
We can be mothers, business owners, significant others, head of our households, and still take on the whole world. I always support and encourage women to start their own businesses and create their own entities. But one thing that I believe that we need to improve upon is doing more research and finding ways to start profitable businesses that are more unique and different from what the person standing beside us is doing. I notice that a lot of female business owners do the exact same thing as what the woman next to them is doing. We have to first and foremost do what our passions are, but also research the market that we want to be a part of, as well as find ways that we can be different from our competitors.
Perfect example, I’ve noticed that many women have an interest in launching their own cosmetic brand or hair extension company. That’s ok of course, but we have to keep in mind that because there are so many others businesses and women that do the same exact thing, so why not start a business that many others aren’t already doing so that you can capitalize from it and be the go-to business that consumers flock to.
We have to start identifying the level of demand that our business may or may not have and business opportunities that we can actually capitalize from, as opposed to what everyone else is doing or what seems like the easy way to make money.
So in a nutshell, I think your first step should be doing what your passion is and actively researching things that you can do within your business to be successful and differentiate your brand from your competitors.
What are your future goals and plans for your business?
In the near future, The Little Dapper Collection will be launching its own non-profit organization to help support children with special needs and chronic medical illnesses as well as expanding our products to full collection items for dapper young gentlemen! We are also planning our brand’s first launch party and fashion show which will be held this fall! Stay tuned!
Where can people purchase your adorable bow ties?
You can purchase our bow ties directly from our website at The Little Dapper Collection
Thank you everyone for supporting The Little Dapper Collection and please stay on the lookout for the exciting things that we will be sharing soon!