Emily Somers is the lovely lady behind Bravery Co. she travels all around the world sourcing and designing fabulous headscarves for cancer patients and their friends. We chat to her to find out all about her headscarves, personal style and what the future holds for Bravery Co.
You were inspired to start Bravery Co. after your own personal experience. Can you tell us your story and how Bravery Co. came about?
A week before my 27th birthday I was diagnosed with 2B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. My life went from parties, advertising, design and 24/7 fun to chemo wards, oncology appointments and constant naps. I went into remission 6 months later but the bloody cancer came back for round two. By this time, I was over wearing itchy wigs and I suppose I had a bit more confidence with the whole ‘no hair’ look. I started playing around with tying turbans and never wore my wig again. The bigger and more colorful the better. By refusing to let go of my style and embracing my bald head, it was kind of a way I could stick it to cancer. Why shouldn’t we still look rad while having treatment!? Well, on the good days at least.
Now I’m traveling the world, designing and sourcing scarves for cancer patients and their supportive friends. I’m writing blogs for Bravery Co. about my experience and other cancer kickers that I meet along the way. If you told me 5 years ago I’d be doing this I would have laughed in your face, but I love it. My life is pretty great at the moment. I’m one of the lucky ones.
What about your personal style? What do you enjoy wearing? Whose style influences you?
I wear a lot of Australian brands. I’m obsessed with Mister Zimi, Camilla, Bhalo, Obus and Spell and gypsy for their patterns and colours in easy to wear boho styles. Samantha Wills for big bold jewelry. And I adore my friends at Honey and Heid.
I’m loving the designers I’ve discovered on my travels like Nala Designs and Frankitas – both in Kuala Lumpur.
However lately, due to my nomadic and beach drenched lifestyle, I’ve been living in my Seafolly bathers nearly 24/7.
Can you let us in on your ultimate styling trick?
My style normally consists of easy to wear, sack like dresses and shirts, (I’m all about comfort when it comes to fashion) matched with something bold, loud and quite often borderline gaudy. A killer ring, loud bag or, of course, a giant turban usually does the trick.
Bravery Co. sell some scarfs and turbans in beautiful prints and colors. Where do you get inspiration for your accessory designs? Are you heavily involved in the design process?
At the moment I’m sourcing scarves as I travel. (I’m currently on a program called Remote Year.) I’m finding beautiful and interesting prints that speak of the cities I discover them in. Missing out on travel was one thing that hurt the most so it’s nice to be able to incorporate it into Bravery Co. and send it back to other cancer kickers who are missing out right now.
Alongside this, I’ve started a collections of designs inspired by the cities I’m living in. I’m super excited about these so watch this space for the first Bravery Co. range!
Where do you see Bravery Co. in ten years? How do you want to the company to grow?
I want Bravery Co. to be an online community for young cancer kickers – a place they can go to hear cancer stories, style and advice told with a younger and more relevant voice. I felt so alone in the cancer world until I found other girls around my age with cancer. Nothing helps more than a chat with someone that gets it.
In ten years we’ll have a collection of kick ass limited edition scarves – popular with both cancer patients and friends wanting to support. Through these scarves, we would have raised a considerable amount of money for cancer research.
However, in a perfect world, I would want to see Bravery Co. closed. If we find a cure for cancer, there’ll be no need for Bravery Co. That’s the dream. Perhaps then Bravery Co. will simply be fashion.
More info on Bravery Co.