Once upon a female: The story of Emily Somers from BraveryCo.
EMILY Somers is covered in tattoos.
Not the inked version, but scars from radiotherapy, which she bravely wears.
A week before her 27th birthday Emily was diagnosed with 2B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, after she found a lump above her collar bone.
Her life went from parties, advertising, design and 24/7 fun to chemotherapy wards, oncology appointments and constant naps.
Six months later Emily went into remission and in her words “the bloody cancer came back for round two”.
“No words can describe how deflating that news can be. I was devastated. But after some tears and a tonne of swear words, you dust yourself off and start doing life again”.
And that is what Emily did.
During her treatment she was over wearing itchy wigs and found a new confidence with the “shiny bald look”.
“I started playing around with tying turbans and never wore my wig again.
“The bigger and more colourful the better. By refusing to let go of my style and embracing my bald head, it was a kind of way I could stick it to cancer.
“And instead of talking about my cancer, people would come up and talk to me about my turban”.
It has been 2.5 years since then and Emily is now the creator of BraveryCo, which sees her traveling the world, designing and sourcing scarves and blogging about her experiences. But Emily is also hoping to give bravery to others going through something she knows only too well.
“I am honestly living the dream”.
When The Just Saying Project asked Emily what bravery looked like she said it is the way you attack a challenge.
“It doesn’t have to be big things, like battling cancer. It could be walking into a room full of strangers and striking up conversations.
Emily describes herself as adventurous, positive, ambitious, curious and more than often hungry.
During dark periods of her life Emily has found the strength to keep moving forward thanks to family, friends and herself.
“I have always been pretty good at seeing the positives in sometimes terrible situations – having cancer was just that but on steroids.
“There is always something worse going on in the world. I was sick, but I had the love and support of my amazing family, in the first world with first world medicine.
“I also had episodes of Girls and Offspring to get me through,” she joked.
When it comes to body image and the stress that comes with looking ‘perfect’, Emily believes women need to be more caring and kind when they look in the mirror.
She said she is covered in scars from radiotherapy, her jaw is lopsided and her feet never fit into standard shoes.
“But that is who I am”.
“All those bits and pieces make- up the story of me.
“It is also important to remember that the ones we often compare ourselves to, have a team of people dedicated to their appearances. If we had Beyonce’s team, I am sure we’d all look like her”.
Along with learning to accept her flaws Emily believes another important life lesson is to accept that the world does not stop for you.
And while she was fighting some of her biggest battles, she continued to pursue her goals and stay focused on her dreams, even though focus is not one of her strong points.
“BraveryCo lived in my head for a couple of years before I mustered the self-discipline and determination to make it happen.
“But after a while I couldn’t bear the thought of someone else taking the leap and bringing my idea to life.
“Sharing my ideas worked for me. Having so many people react positively to the concept of BraveryCo was really encouraging”.
Based in Melbourne, Emily is currently on a Remote Year and on Christmas Eve last year was in Croatia.
“I’m on a program called Remote Year with a bunch of digital nomads who can work remotely. We are spending a month in a different city for a year in between my art directing, work hunting for headscarves and building BraveryCo”.
Emily is definitely a modern woman living in our exciting and ever-changing modern world.
“I think we are coming into such an exciting time (as women). There are so many women starting their own business and I think that is inspiring.
“I think this will consequently change the way the workforce is fun. We are starting to realise that a strong boss can lead with kindness and compassion and still be successful. And this can only result in a better world.
“What a rad time to be alive,” she said.
Q: If there was any advice you could give your younger self what would it be?
A: Stop stressing about the small things. Sometimes there are cooler people than the cool kids. Don’t let silly boys upset you too much. Don’t put up with mediocre. Stop dreaming it and go do it.
And don’t miss the Daft Punk concert. Big life regret. Massive.
Q: If you had five items to travel to a deserted island, what would you take?
A: My camera. My pen and notebook. My Macbook. A hot spot. And a bottle opener. (I’ll assume the wine is provided.)
Q: And lastly if you could have a dinner party who would you invite and why?
A: Ohhhhhhhhhh.… good question! Marie Forleo to pick her sassy business brain. Audrey Hepburn for some fashion advice. Daft Punk for above mentioned reason. Jesus so I can suss out what really happened. My grandparents and my great grandparents for all the stories. And Chris Hemsworth for obvious reasons.