In 2009 Julianne Goldmark and Emily Matson began dying elastics in their Los Angeles homes as a fun, creative endeavor. With the support of two fearless females, their mothers Soomi and Jill, Emi-Jay has turned into much more! Soomi, Julianne’s mom, brought them downtown to seek out materials for their project, while Jill, Emily’s mom, helped them get in contact with well-known hair stylist, Chris McMillan, who happened to be seeking a cute, stylish hair tie with no residual damage. Chris was a fan of their creations and suggested them to a client, Jennifer Anniston, who wore an Emi-Jay hair tie to a premiere. This led to more and more exposure for Emi-Jay, and their company has now been featured in Oprah Magazine 12 times!
Emi-Jay has grown immensely. The company consists of 25 employees and has partnered with big-name companies, in addition to being sold in retail stores, Amazon, and a variety of venues across the country.
Julianne and Emily, now full-time college students, work on product development and branding. Soomi and Jill also work their magic, running the business and holding down the fort in Los Angeles. And it all started at the kitchen table, with an inventive idea and two fearless females: Soomi Goldmark and Jill Matson.
The external beauty of these Fearless Females is matched by their compassion and generosity. Philanthropy is at the core of Emi-Jay. Each year they donate 20% of their profits to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Soomi and I met 35 years ago when we were both chosen for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders in 1980. We bonded instantly and our friendship has stayed strong ever since! Once our cowboy days were over we both continued on to become flight attendants for Southwest airlines.
After years of fun times in the sky we parted ways. I headed to Los Angeles and Soomi remained in Dallas, but we couldn’t be kept apart for long. In 1992 Soomi visited Los Angeles for a birthday party she and another friend had planned for me. That night she met her husband, and shortly thereafter moved to LA.
So now, we are lucky enough to be starting another chapter of our lives together. Family. She has two beautiful girls, an amazing outlook on life, and I could not be more proud of her. I am so grateful that Soomi and I have maintained our friendship all of these years. We are stronger than ever, in the same state, and share the same happiness we have had since the beginning.
Interview with Soomi Goldmark
Me: As a business woman, what are some challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them.
Soomi: We constantly face difference challenges; whether it be production, sales, quality control or internal issues in the office. We learn as we go and luckily we have larded from our mistakes but every single day we have something new to overcome.
Me: Describe a day in your life as an entrepreneur.
Jill: Everyday is different but for the most part, we are all in the office everyday working with our team developing new product, working with our wholesale customers, working on new marketing strategies and overseeing production. The nice thing is there has never been an average day!
Me: What motivates you to keep going?
Soomi & Jill: We have a business that started by accident so the fact that we have accomplished as much as we have and have been in business for almost 7 years gives us all the more reason to keep moving forward. It's easy when everything i going great but its getting through the tough days when we hope we are setting a good example for our daughters.