Written by: Chelsea Purdie
Emmy Deveaux is a high quality, comfortable, yet contemporary clothing label designed for women on the go. Launched in February of 2018, the brand set out with a mission; “to inspire confidence by providing simple yet significant pieces that make women feel powerful.”
Founder, Emily Salsbury-Deveaux, previously worked at the University of Alberta as the School of Retailing’s Executive Director, but left this position to pursue her long dreamt of clothing label. Emily explains that working in the position she did meant long hours and often multiple outfit changes throughout the day, and she struggled to find clothing that fit her lifestyle, so, Emmy Deveaux the label, was born. The original pieces created feature a double layer fabric design to provide a comfortable, secure feeling that maintains professionality while flattering curves. As the label has continued to grow, Emily has continued designing pieces that she would like to own in her wardrobe; long hoodies, skirts, jackets, and even handbags. Though the brand carries some items in grey, all Emmy Deveaux pieces are made in the colour black.
Though mainly an E-commerce brand, since opening in 2018, Emmy Deveaux has set up shop at popular retail locations like RAAS in West Edmonton Mall, City Centre Mall, and now, their own head-quarter and showroom building just off Calgary Trail. Their new building features space for offices, a boardroom, kitchen, studio, shipping area and showroom on the main floor to house all of their products and samples! Although based here in Edmonton, Emmy Deveaux ships their products all over North America, Europe and Australia.
Emily’s professional non-negotiable is full autonomy. She likes to be responsible for her own time, and flourishes working for herself. Also dear to Emily’s heart is the initiative of being a ‘no inventory waste’ company. In North America, 9.5 million tonnes of clothing and textile are sent to landfills as a result of the clothing industry keeping up with trends and seasonal collections. At Emmy Deveaux, the pieces created are timeless and anti-trend, and are product tested thoroughly to ensure that they meet the high-quality standard before they are added to the label.
Emily believes that starting her own clothing label has been the greatest risk she’s taken on, but it has brought her the greatest reward. She now feels the most accomplished in her career than she’s ever felt. Emily loves the complexity of the retail industry and believes that to survive in retail, you need to understand and become an expert in all areas; such as operations, supply chain, analytics and human resources, to name a few. Her advice to graduating students is to spend a lot of time learning and understand what it is you truly like to do. She suggests spending at least two years in the first job you get after university focussing on actual job related tasks that you enjoy, and cautions not to get caught up in just the job title itself. Emily wants the next generation of creative minds to set themselves up for success, and an eight-hour long work day is a long time to be doing something you aren’t passionate about!
Check out rapid-fire questions with Emily Deveaux, owner/founder of Emmy Deveaux. This is part of the School of Retailing Careers on Purpose video series.