Emma Zack grew up in Boston, and went to college in Los Angeles where she studied sociology and criminology. For the past six years she has been living in Brooklyn and working at the Innocence Project; however, this past December, she made the terrifying (and exciting!) decision to pursue her self-made business, Berriez, full-time. When she’s not running her vintage business, you can find her styling a photo shoot, singing jazz, getting distracted on Twitter, eating gluten-free pasta, or cuddling with her sweet cat, Lula.
1. You recently quit your 9-5 to pursue Berriez full time (congrats!!). What sacrifices does it take to turn your passion project into your full time career?
I’ll tell ya one thing – it hasn’t been easy! Berriez used to be an escape from my day job; but now that it is my day job, I’ve had to add more structure to it and become more business-minded (boring), which has taken some of the fun out of it. Plus, now that I’ve devoted my entire self to Berriez, there’s more at stake, leading me to experience imposter syndrome more so than ever before. Since I don’t have a background in the creative industry, I’ve been questioning if I even have what it takes to be a full-time creative. Despite the seemingly endless challenges, it has been 110% worth it.
2. What is one common misconception about the fashion industry that you are challenging on a daily basis?
Plus-size people deserve the same recognition, consideration, respect, and love as straight-size people – in the fashion industry and beyond.
3. What is your favorite thing about the community you are creating?
I’ve met and had the opportunity to work with so many amazing people – many of whom have become some of my closest friends. I love how the community is so fundamental to the business itself, and perpetually reinforces that both the vision and mission of Berriez have a purpose – within the fashion industry and society as a whole.
4. When do you feel happiest?
Dancing and/or singing alone in my room, preferably under the influence of marijuana (am I allowed to say that?). Hard times during the pandemic, so it’s the little things, ya know?
5. What is your love language?