We were so lucky to have met Emelie on the set of our last Tubify shoot, one classically cloudy Vancouver afternoon in the fall. Her charisma and excitement for brand building elevated our work day (and the content we captured) and inspired us to hustle—and create, just a little harder. This is her story:
Emelie Johnson is a mother of two young girls. She also owns her own design business, Embermake, and is a Senior Digital Designer at branding agency, Studiothink. OH, and one of her hobbies is cooking yummy vegetarian cuisine for her whole family. In other words, she’s a mega multitask-er. All the while without sacrificing precious time with her daughters.
Q: Tell me about the new business you’ve recently launched!
I launched my freelance design business this fall and hit the ground running! Embermake focuses on brand development through strategy driven design and web development. It allows me to continue doing what I love while having the flexibility to be with my daughters more during the day.
Currently, I’m able to split my time between my own business and Studiothink. It’s a really nice balance because at Studiothink I have the opportunity to work on larger scale projects with the support of an amazingly talented team. Over the years, I’ve been able to explore things that only that kind of larger agency environment would allow me to do and really hone my skills in brand development.
On the other hand with Embermake, I get to define my own creative process and brand, wear a lot of different hats, and connect with clients on an individual basis. There are a lot of parallels but also a lot of differences. I love the variety.
Q: A note on juggling life?
It’s an ongoing learning curve; juggling everything. I think as women, and especially as moms, we want to do it all. I want a career I’m passionate about while still being a present parent in my children’s lives. We have so many opportunities these days to make it all happen and I really just want to take advantage of that. Over the past year I’ve taken time to evaluate what I want in my family life and my work--it’s all about balance. I really believe there IS a way to do it all but it definitely is a juggling act. If you can figure out what you want, it’s available to you...with a little creativity.
These days, I focus on Embermake any moment I can spare; nap time, early mornings, evenings, those are my freelance office hours. I really try and be present with my kids during the day but I often feel like I work in weird 15 minute intervals. With little ones, just when you think you have everything figured out, they change and you have to adapt. But you make it work. Juggling is definitely the right word to use!
Q: On being a female in this industry:
In the past, the design industry has been predominantly male but women are kicking ass in it today. Plus, I’ve had some amazing role models to look up to. As women, we can do so much by working together, lifting each other up and supporting one another. For example in design, there’s always opportunity for creative collaboration with copywriters or photographers. By coming together we can produce work we’re really proud of. There’s so many female entrepreneurs here in Vancouver and we’re all trying to simultaneously chase dreams and balance family life. It’s pretty inspiring really.
Q: What is your favourite thing about motherhood?
My favorite part of being a mom? It just opens up this whole new level of life. Being a mom was never a huge ambition of mine and I didn’t know if I’d be any good at it whatsoever (still not sure if I am). They teach you so much about life and when you get to re-experience everything through their eyes, well, they have a way of making you see what’s important. At least they have for me.
Feel Good Food #HACK:
“We all eat vegetarian at home and my go-to meal hack to type 'easy' in front of whatever vegetarian recipe I am searching for, usually on Pinterest. Eliminating the fuss of complicated recipes saves me time while still preparing delicious, healthy recipes for my family. And if we're really in a pinch, frozen broccoli cooked with Annie's Mac and Cheese never fails!”
Tubify is a community-centric brand. Our relationship with this community is how we truly measure our company’s value, and growth. So. we thought –why not interview some of the people who inspire our community impact? And so was born this series, #HumansofYVR.