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Behind the Seams with A.K. Rikk's: Meet Emily Stephen

Posted on March 19 2018

Today as a part of our Behind the Seams with A.K. Rikk’s series we would like to introduce you to one of our E-Commerce Stylists, Emily Stephen. Emily has been with the A.K. Rikk’s family since November! We asked Emily what initially drew her to the fashion industry and what makes her tick in her Behind the Seams with A.K. Rikk’s interview!

How did you discover A.K. Rikk's?

Back in 2015, I was attending college up at Northern Michigan University. I learned that Nigel Barker was going to be visiting Grand Rapids for his “Models of Influence” book signing at a store called A.K. Rikk’s. The huge fan that I am, I made plans to make the 7 hour drive downstate for it. The memories that I have from that day far exceed just the meet and greet. I can’t think of how else to put this, except that on that day I had a feeling that one day I would end up working for A.K. Rikk’s…here I am 3 years later! 

What initially drew you the fashion industry?

I used to be really shy. One of the first things that helped me come out of my shell was expression through clothes. I began turning to fashion as a creative outlet back in middle school, and it’s been a constant in my life since! I have also had the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world over the past few years. Seeing how people dress in regards to where they live and the culture that they’re immersed in, really fascinates me. 

What is your favorite part about working at A.K. Rikk's?

A lot of people have been asking me this lately! Working for a company where your co-workers are so driven and passionate about their role, is inspiring. I love that we all push each other to be the best versions of ourselves, both in and outside the workplace. Constantly being challenged and educated as a creative here is also wonderful. The growth that I have experienced these last few months at A.K. Rikk’s is beyond what I ever thought I’d be capable of. 

What is your favorite brand? Why?

We’ve had some new brands come through the doors recently that I am really excited about. Danse Lente bags are incredible. They’re simple, but bold, and can easily act as a “stand out” accessory to an outfit. Self Portrait is another line that we now carry. Their pieces have strong architectural quality to them, and they play a lot with texture and shape! I cannot wait to photograph both these brands.

What can we find you doing if you aren't at work?

Oh boy, this is a loaded question. Hanging out at my older brothers farm is always a must. I definitely have a soft spot for animals, so I love visiting their horses, cows, goats, pigs, etc. Another thing that I enjoy, and hope to do more of this year is mountain biking! We’ve got some good trails around the area that I want to explore.

What is at the top of your bucket list?

One goal that I have is to build a tiny home. I want to build it myself…with the help and guidance from experienced sources of course haha. One thing that I have learned about myself recently is that I enjoy process. Taking on a project like this would take a lot of time, planning, and patience. It wouldn’t be something that would happen overnight, and I like that.

What's a fun fact about yourself? 

I did a meditation retreat over in Dharamshala, India! For 10 days, I was silent. There was a group of about 40 of us. We would sit in on Buddhism teachings and multiple meditations each day, with meal breaks in between. It has hands down been the hardest, but most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. 

What would you say is your life's mantra?

Improvise, adapt, and overcome. 

That concludes this Behind the Seams with A.K. Rikk's interview! Next time you stop in, be sure to say "hello" to Emily!!