First up in the Gray Label Home Stories is Emily Gray, founder & creative director of Gray Label. Get a glimpse of her beautiful home and her family.
Please introduce yourself?
I am Emily Gray, founder of Gray Label. I live just outside Amsterdam with my husband, 3 kids, our dog Frankie & 5 chickens :-).
What are your backgrounds?
I was born in London and moved to Holland when I was 1,5 with my mother and sister. I grew up in Rotterdam and studied Concept & Brands at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. After my studies my friend and I traveled to South America for 3 months. I saw an opportunity there and became a distributor of an Argentinian brand for nearly 3 years. But when I got pregnant, my attention was drawn to children’s products, of course. And that’s when my idea for Gray Label started. We launched in 2011, the same year as I became a mother.
What drew you into fashion?
Well I think I was not specifically drawn to fashion as a product, more to create something that gives people a certain kind of feeling about themselves. And that changed overtime, too. Like with Gray Label: we started because I wanted to create something calming, a style and quality that would make children feel comfortable and to oppose the screaming, noisy world that children are brought up in. That is still the case, but in the process I learned that the organic / sustainable mission was a more and more growing part of what I wanted to do as well. Give people the feeling that they can actually make a difference by making conscious choices.
Could you share what you love about running your own business?
That a certain vision becomes a mission and then becomes real. All the effort, energy and time you put in, when it comes out is so rewarding.. And I love the freedom and flexibility that I have in combining my work with family and me-time. Although there’s always too little time left for that last one ;-)
What are you most proud of?
I have noticed that in the last 12 years, my core concept did not change. Yes, we have expanded and deepened what we create, but the identity that Gray Label has, is still very what I had in mind when I started. People know what they get and what we stand for. To me this means that my idea was a durable one and I am proud of this, because we all had some tricky years with everything going on in the world. Secondly, this means our values still speak to people, and that says something positive about our consumers. They become more and more conscious in the choices they made, and I believe that we contributed to this development by trying to inspire them as such.
Could you tell us a little bit about your creative process?
I am most creative when I am pulled out of my natural habitat. When I go out alone for a walk on the beach, a weekend trip or a cultural activity. Then my head starts to work in a different mode. The closer the deadline gets, the more productive I become. Last minute often works best for me (no matter how irritating). When I feel real pressure.
How do you define your personal style? What are your favorite brands?
Simple, minimalistic & comfortable. Less is more… I have a soft spot for sneakers. I’m not stuck to brands, but what I like for their vision and style is Arket, Acne, Filippa K.
Do you want to buy the Twinning Suits Emily and her family are wearing?