Today we’d like to introduce you to Emma Bush.
Emma, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve been sewing for over 10 years with my mother and Grandmother making my clothes as a child. I started on Etsy selling art in about 2012 when I was in High school. In 2016 I geared my focus towards fashion and built soapboxclothing.com! A great deal of help also came from my boyfriend, Nathan Grebe, who helped take beautiful professional pictures of the first collection on Soapbox for Halloween. He is still my right-hand man and my favorite photographer to work with. I’ve focused nearly all my energy on Soapbox ever since I started and I love every moment of it.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Is it ever? Haha yes, of course, there’s been challenges- mainly in finding my place and what exactly I want to focus on creating. I like so many different styles and want to make so many different styles without losing any integrity in myself creatively. Ultimately this was resolved for me by not focusing so much on being cohesive, and instead on enjoying the process!
Another large challenge I work with is simply getting a name out there. Social Media is incredibly useful for sharing your work, but it’s finding the right audience that becomes the challenge. I am very lucky to say I have forged friendships through my work with people who want to support me and see me succeed by sharing what I do with their friends.
Please tell us about Soapbox Clothing For a Cause.
I hand make and curate clothing and accessories for feminine styles. I create not only clothing designs but also artistic designs that I personally screen-print onto t-shirts. Lately, I’ve also been focusing on integrating other artists I admire by featuring either their handmade items or their artwork as a collaboration.
A sort of signature that I became known for was first, a T-shirt with a design that said “pretty boy”- this design was inspired by the idea of allowing a feminine representation of men and boys in a culture that creates harmful ideas of how gender should be portrayed. Originally made blue with black print, this was made in multiple colors and may be seeing a redesign sometime soon!
I’m very proud of this community I’ve made with artists and patrons that builds an idea of not just acceptance, but support and representation of marginalized and oppressed people. Any time someone is inspired to be kind and giving in a world that tells them otherwise is an incredible opportunity for continuation of that kindness.
Personally, I’m proud that I am honestly doing what I love to do, and I’ve managed to create a life for myself where I can support myself in a way that makes me feel fulfilled.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Ooh… tough one. Cant choose a favorite but here’s a good one I was magic and had three wishes as a child that all came true. One was for a real kitten- I have a basket full of all the cat beanie babies and hadn’t had a real cat. Within a week this skinny little orange tabby run into our house and refuses to leave. She was instantly the most loyal and well-trained cat you would ever meet- and shes still around! Shes 18 years old now- I want her to sign up to vote.
Second wish was for a real baby- again not just a doll. Lo and behold along came my little brother. He will definitely be signing up to vote. Third was for a piece of gum. Found a whole pack- #nailedit
- T-shirts- $20-24
- Handmade items $30 and up
- Website: www.soapboxclothing.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/soapboxclothing
- Twitter: twitter.com/soapbxxx
Nathan Grebe instagram.com/fixedformat