Oct 1, 2019
This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra interviews Emily Hsu, Owner and Founder at Emily Hsu Design. Prior to being an entrepreneur, Emily was a Broadway, TV and film star, having appeared in over a dozen Broadway musicals. Hsu now runs a full activewear line — the Emily Hsu Designs collection — which is a favorite amongst the Rockettes, Broadway dancers, and top NYC fitness instructors. Her signature high-waist legging creates a sleek, smooth line and stays in place so that you can spend your time and energy getting the most out of your workout.
On the podcast, Emily discusses her accidental journey into entrepreneurship. Hsu began sewing leggings in 2014, when she had trouble finding fashionable leggings with an amazing fit at an affordable price point, but before long, these leggings — which she had only made for her family members — began receiving external attention. Emily is passionate about her product and discusses, among many other things, how that type of intense passion is necessary to succeed in the sometimes not-so-glamourous world of entrepreneurship.
“You can create something out of nothing. This business just happened out of nothing. I don’t come from a family with businesses. I dreamt it, and through hard work and perseverance, I made it happen. You can make your dreams happen too. That’s what I want my brand to represent."
“You have to set very clear and achievable goals for [your employees] so that you can help them succeed and not be micromanaging every time. It’s a fine line."
“I can’t be somebody else. I have to be the best version of myself. I have to trust my instincts, my taste, do what I think looks beautiful — what I love. And hope that people respond, and they love it too. As opposed to trying to copy what someone else is doing."
“Just make the list — start checking things off — and just start doing. When you set and think about what may go wrong, it doesn’t help. You just have to start doing one thing at a time — one foot in front of the other."
“There are so many things that people across the world deal with on a daily basis. And we’re just making leggings. So it’s all going to be okay."
“If you don’t really love [your business], entrepreneurship is hard, and you’re not going to be able to muster and stay strong through all of the challenges if you don’t feel like, ‘I have to do this, and I love it so much. And it means so much to me.’"
“I think it’s tough for women [entrepreneurs] because we’ve been brought up in society to be polite and be this and be that. But it’s okay to say, ’This is what I expect. This is what I want.’ And ask for it."
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t try to pretend to know more and be more than you are. You should be proud of every step you’re on along the way."
Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:
3:00: Emily tells the story behind her unintentional entry into the fashion and activewear industry.
9:25: Emily discusses how she decides on the unique patterns and product designs that her products are known for.
13:07: Hsu explains why it’s important that her products are made in the United States.
14:39: Emily retells a situation in her business where failure was imminent but quick thinking and flexibility made her come out a stronger person and businesswoman.
18:15: Hsu explains how she got connected with Miss Teen USA, which did a feature on her activewear line.
19:49: Emily discusses her favorite thing about being an entrepreneur, which involves something that her clothes are known for — flexibility.
21:56: Emily shares what is, in her opinion, the most difficult thing about being an entrepreneur — knowing when and how to delegate responsibility to others.
26:15: Emily explains why believing in your business is of utmost importance as an entrepreneur.
28:16: Hsu discusses where she’d like to see her business in 5 years and shares some inspirational thoughts around hard work and perseverance.
Bullet List of Resources –
Emily Hsu Design