MAAREE are all about supporting and championing women, in all aspects of life. Last year we came across Emily's company when we were also embarking on our own crowdfunding campaign. We loved her design, her attitude and the fact she was finding new solutions for our fitness distresses, just like us.
She may be based across the pond (but believe it or not, we have actually met in London last year!) but we wanted to create a platform for her so that we too can benefit from her amazing products here in the UK.
We asked Emily a few questions so that you can get to know her better and so that we can all support each other.
Buffr founder, Emily, talks to MAAREE about what motivated her to start her own company, being her own boss and female empowerment.
Why did you start Buffr?
The idea of Buffr all started in May of 2017 on the couch in my West Village apartment in New York City. It was the day after my now husband proposed and I was very tired from a long day of celebrating with friends and family... I told myself that I would go to the gym, but I didn't want to take off my ring (since I loved it so much and the feeling of wearing it was so new and exciting). Then it made me think.. what am I going to do when I go to the gym before work? This was something I had never had to worry about prior to being engaged. I didn't want to leave it in the locker room or in a bag and I didn't have time to stop back home between the gym and work. I thought that someone must have an answer for this. Then after about 3 hours of googling, all I found were ring alternatives, but no solution to protect my ring that I didn't want to take off.
I was shocked! I had spent years trying to think of "that idea" that didn't already exist and thought to myself "did this really just happen?" Then instead of going to the gym that day, I got to work and started to do research. I googled everything from industrial designers to manufacturing to the basics of starting a business. I knew it wasn't going to be easy and I had no clue what I was doing, but my motivation was "what if this is a really big idea one day".. I didn't want to look back and say I wish I had just tried. So I just told myself to start it. Figure it out along the way, ask for help, get advice, make mistakes and keep going. I spent the rest of the summer working on design after design. Figuring out a name (and ended up changing this a this a week before launch which was really crazy but that's a whole other story), shooting content for marketing and social media, working with a manufacturer, filing for patents and trademarks and finally sold my first Buffr in February of 2018.
It is still a very young business, I am working on growing it every day, and I haven't stopped learning. I could not be happier that I decided to start Buffr. I am also even happier that my husband proposed. Not only for the amazing business idea, but also to be able to marry someone who is so supportive of my growth and pursuing my passion.
What does female empowerment mean to you?
I have been empowered by women my entire life. My dad passed away when I was very young and my mom was a single mom raising my brother, sister and I all while running her own business. She is one of the hardest working people I know and she has also been my motivation to start my own business. She is very successful and is always so positive. Her famous words are often "it will all work out" when I am nervous about taking a big risk or "you're crazy, just do it" when I am on the fence about something. Her endless support and encouragement really helped me launch Buffr and get it to the place it is today.
Since I have launched Buffr, I have met so many women entrepreneurs and have built such a great community. They are all amazing girl bosses! These women have successful businesses, priceless connections and have been so empowering along the way. I am motivated by the energy of this awesome group of women. This keeps me going every day knowing that I have the support and I am not alone in this process. It is the best network and it also makes the work so much fun.
Why is exercise important to you?
Exercise makes me feel good. It makes me feel healthy and energetic. I feel like I am living my best life when I am in great shape. I am happy when I exercise and for all of these reasons I really try my best to workout between 3 to 5 days a week. It is an investment in myself to take the time to do that and I feel that this time each day pays off tremendously.
How has the experience of starting your own business been?
It is the hardest thing that I have ever tried to do. It's all on you to get things done. If you don't work hard and hustle, nothing is going to happen. You have to give it all your energy plus 100% more. You meet amazing people along the way (all of which want to help) and you learn so much from the process. You fail a lot, but you learn a lot and move on. You can't get caught up on things that don't work. You need to pivot and try something else. It is a grind, but it's so rewarding. I never worked so hard towards something, but it also has never felt like a job to me. It is a really exciting journey!
What has been your proudest moment with Buffr?
The day I received the certificate for my patents. That was just the coolest feeling. I turned my idea that I thought of in my New York City apartment into an invention. I actually invented my first idea.
What are you goals for the future? Personal or professional.
Buffr is far more successful than I ever thought it would be after only one year but I want to continue to grow it as much as I possibly can. I want to build the brand and expand into other products (we have a few in the works - stay tuned). I also want to help other people start businesses and reach their goals. It is such a great feeling to start something of your own and I'd love to help people do that in any way I can.
If you would like to view our range of Buffr Rings Guards please click here
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