Talking Shop with Emily Ley

Written by Jennifer R


Posted on August 10 2015

You can imagine our delight when Emily Ley and her travel buddy, Brady, popped by our shop to say hello this past weekend. And you can imagine our surprise when this designer, Creative Director and Mom to three found time to sit down and answer questions for us about her trip to Chicago and the exciting new products she’ll be debuting this fall.

What brought you to Chicago? Our best friends recently moved to Lincoln Park from Tampa. Our little guy, Brady, is four and missed his best buddy (and I missed his best buddy’s mama) so we decided to get away for the weekend together!

Who were you traveling with? Brady and I took the trip together while my husband spend the weekend with our six-month-old twins, Caroline and Tyler. It’s hard being a big brother to twins sometimes, so it was really special for Brady and me to get away - just us. It was also his first time flying on an airplane, so it was extra special.

Was this your first time to the Second City? It was my second - but my first time really seeing and experiencing the city. I love it. It's like New York, only better. We had the best time and can’t wait to go back. Sincerely, Chicago is high on my list of favorite places I’ve ever visited.

What did you do while you were in town? We had two four-year-olds and an infant with us, so we took it pretty easy. We walked to a lot of local restaurants and parks, rode the train downtown, took lots of photos and celebrated Brady’s buddy’s birthday.

What is your favorite Chicago…

Restaurant: I’m a pretty healthy eater, but I couldn’t turn down the chance to have some local favorites. The Chicago-style hot dog at State was really good. I learned not to order ketchup on my hot dog…
Shop: All She Wrote! You guys have been such wonderful supporters of our brand. It was such a treat to stop in and say hello! And you were so sweet to Brady - even though I’m pretty sure he was eyeing your shelves trying to find a way to climb them.
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park. I loved that everything was so unique and nearby. It was really family friendly and had so many perfect spots for our boys to run and play and get all their energy out.
Sight-seeing destination: Seeing Soldier Field was really cool. My husband, Bryan, has been a Bears fan for as long as I can remember. We had a giant bull mastiff named Briggs, even. It was really great to see the stadium and take pictures out front to send home. Brady was tickled pink that, “Daddy isn’t the only guy that wears a Bears hat!”
Sports team: The Bears!

You’ve launched so many exciting new products this year, do you have a favorite? I love everything we’ve added to our shop recently. But the one that has my heart the most right now is our Baby Book. We battled infertility for many years before becoming parents. I designed our it when I was pregnant with Caroline and Tyler and poured my heart into its pages. I wanted it to be something easy to complete and treasured for years to come.

What can we expect from your new men’s line of office and desk accessories? I am so excited about Dapperdesk. We’re aiming for a late fall launch. My husband has been throwing the idea around forever, encouraging me to pursue it. He’s really involved in the back-end of the business in terms of finance and long-term goal setting. He works in sales for a large commercial insurance company so our jobs couldn’t be more different. But marrying the two - creating products for professional men who value style and quality - that’s been so much fun. I’ve let him take the reigns on some design decisions too (not easy!) so it’s definitely a collaboration. Men value different things than women and they organize their lives in a different way. I can’t wait to reveal these new products.

You frequently ask women in your Simplicity Series what are the six things you can’t live without… what are those six things for you?

Keurig Rivo: Makes a great cappuccino for when I can't make it to Starbucks!
Beats Wireless Headphones: I have a home studio so that I can be close to our littles.
Orange La CroixObsessed.
Simplified Planner: I keep it on my desk and keep everything in it. Seriously, it’s a mess of tasks and appointments and receipts and reminders and notes and ideas.
Kindle Paperwhite: I’ve developed a love for reading again and it’s been so nice to relax after everyone goes to bed and turn my brain off of work and parenting for a bit. I'm currently reading Where’d You Go Bernadette.
FaceTime: So many of our friends and family, including our friends in Chicago, live so far away. It’s so great to be able to connect “in person."



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