Morning loves! I’m so excited to be reigniting the Plucky Pioneer series today with the oh-so-charming Southern Proper. I have long admired the company’s selection of preppy chic aesthetic and their Town & Country inspired fall campaign (pictured above) left me weak in the knees. Founded by friends Emmie Henderson Howard and Reagan Howell, the company sells an array of southern-inspired clothing, bow ties, neckties and accessories. Without further ado, here’s Emmie!
Five words used to describe yourself.
Authentic, Grateful, Steadfast, Southern and Social
What inspires you creatively?
Guys in Ties, Alliteration, Old Dirt Roads, Vintage Books, Handwritten Notes, Plaids and Ginghams, Strolls through Southern University Campuses, Dear Friends, Soirees with Champagne, The Derby, Country Clubs, Creative Cocktails
Who were/are your design mentors?
Truly my design mentors come from all walks of life….from our Southern Proper designer and Chocolate Butterbean Entrepreneur, Joni Lay, to my mother, the librarian, who wins teacher of the year almost every year for her creativity and love for children! I also get a ton of design inspiration from icons such as Ralph Lauren, Chris Knott of Peter Millar, Kate Spade, J. Crew.
How would you describe your personal design aesthetic?
Tried and True. Crisp and Refreshing. Draped in New Fashion trends and blended with Old Fashioned Traditions.
What propelled you to found your own company?
Adoration for a well dressed guy in a brightly colored bowtie, bit loafers- no socks, and a seersucker suit!
Most glamourous part of owning your own company?
Brainstorming and Creating new collections every single day…along with the chance of knowing that I could possibly bump into someone wearing our product anywhere in the world at anytime!
Least glamourous part of owning your own company?
Piles of Paperwork and Boring Bookkeeping.
Best business advice you’ve been given?
You have to do business with people you trust….but it never hurts to keep their credit card on file!
Creative businesswoman you admire?
Mireille Guiliano and Kate Spade
What keeps you organized and on task?
A huge dry erase board with important dates, addresses, pricing formulas, etc. Along with personalized jotter cards that I carry with me everywhere I go for notes and to-do lists!
Moment you knew you’d “made it”?
Our first Southern Proper features in Southern Living and Garden & Gun magazines! It was in print for all the world to see!
Describe your typical work day…
At Southern Proper every day is anything but typical! We are always on the go with meetings, travel, product development and fun! But there’s one thing you can count on every single day, we are always dressed preppy whatever the occasion!
Your dream project?
Partnering with an iconic brand such a Ralph Lauren on a Specialized Southern Collection. Or developing our own reality TV show to help gentlemen every look and act their best!
What goals do you have for your business in the future?
Our long term goal for Southern Proper is to be the leading lifestyle brand in the southern region, dressing men from head to toe! We not only want our customers look the best in the world, but be the best for the world too by portraying to lifestyle and tradition of the South.
Advice to other budding creative entrepreneurs?
Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help, always utilize your resources, and lead with your heart!
Thank you Emmie! Be sure to check in tomorrow to see the Southern Proper Cheat Sheet—Emmie’s top picks for film, travel and more!