Here at Makeup.com, we are fascinated by creativity and inspiration, especially as it relates to beauty. No matter how big or small an idea may be, it has potential to change the industry…and make our lives easier and more glamorous.
We had the opportunity to speak with Emily Matson and Julianne Goldmark, the teenage entrepreneurs behind Emi-Jay hair ties. As they plan to head to college this fall, the girls told us about their business which started as a weekend hobby inspired by fashion and Gossip Girl. Flash forward to today: a long list of celebrities have been seen spotted sporting these hair ties including Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Katie Holmes, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian. Even Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker’s daughters “only wear Emi-Jay and insist upon it!”
Here’s what they had to say about their business and future plans, as well as some beauty advice.
At what age do you remember a sparked interest in all things beauty?
Emily: I've been obsessed with lip glosses of every kind and with straightening my naturally curly hair for as long as I can remember! However, I didn't really start wearing make-up (on a daily basis) until I was around 14.
Julianne: Ever since I was maybe 10 years old I loved all things related to beauty. I learned how to blow out and curl my hair at a young age just for fun, and was always infatuated with makeup and beauty products!
How did this reinvention of the hair tie come to be?
Emily: Julianne and I had a mutual passion for fashion, which initially led us to start experimenting with making hair accessories of our own (inspired by those we saw in magazines and on shows like Gossip Girl). However, this weekend hobby turned into the business that is Emi-Jay once my mother's hair stylist, Chris McMillan, put one of our elastics on Jennifer Aniston to wear on the red carpet - and from there, Marie Claire magazine contacted us and we had to come up with a brand name and website, etc.
What advice would you give other girls with ideas to innovate in the beauty space?
Emily: Stay current. The beauty industry is one that is constantly changing and evolving, so the best thing one could do is to keep up with all the change. Whether that's by looking through magazines or blogs, it's SO important to have constant sources of inspiration!
Julianne: Think outside of the box! Imagine the unthinkable and something useful and versatile!
What is the most creative hairstyle you have achieved using Emi Jay hair ties?
Emily: I have to be completely honest in saying that one of my favorite ways to wear an Emi-Jay is on my wrist, as a bracelet. Although it's not what we created our product for, I think our hair ties make for adorable bracelets and our vast array of colors and patterns make them versatile enough to match any outfit!
Julianne: Our reversible hair tie of course (who doesn't love something with two looks). Also, our silk bows and upper-scale collections.
As you head to college this fall, do you foresee more entrepreneurial plans in the future?
Emily: I plan to continue my involvement in Emi-Jay although it's hard to say at this point whether I'll be ready to tackle new entrepreneurial endeavors on top of my course load!
Julianne: I think so! Personally, I've always been interested in having a business and I'm always coming up with new ideas in my head.
How would each of you define your beauty style in one word?
What color Emi Jay hair ties do you recommend for fall and winter?
Emily: I'm a huge fan of our metallic hair ties. They're so subtle and chic and go great with anything from a knit sweater to a peacoat. However, our new voltage hair ties are so gorgeous for fall too and come in beautiful, rich colors that I love—and they're reversible!
Julianne: We have a lot of new things coming out for fall and winter so I don't want to give that away! But look out for fun reds/Bordeaux and vibrant purples and blues.
And the hair look to use them in for each season?
Emily: I love a classic, polished high pony year round, especially in the summer when the weather is warmer and it helps to get your hair out of your face. But I also love sky-high ballerina buns!
Matching other beauty accessories to your Emi Jay: love it or leave it? If so which: Nail polish? Lipstick?
Emily: Love it! My favorite is matching essie's nail polishes (the only kind I use) with my hair ties. Their vibrant hues are always a stunning match with Emi-Jay's bright prints. It makes getting dressed fun!
Julianne: My favorite nail polishes are essie! I stick with classics like Fiji during summer then go for warmer colors for fall/winter! Not huge on lipstick.
Photos: Courtesy of Emily Matson and Julianne Goldmark