Emma Willis’ career has been anything but linear.
She’s gone from modelling as a teen to presenting a range of different TV shows and training to become a midwife on the programme “Emma Willis: Delivering Babies”.
And if that wasn’t enough, she recently launched her fourth clothing range with retailer Next – an autumnal collection comprised of outerwear, nightwear, tailoring and jewellery.
With such an exciting career under her belt, we wanted to know Emma’s secret. Read on for some of her career tips and get ready to revamp your work wardrobe with a little help from her latest collection.
Career comfort zones
Though Emma now has now worked on four collections with Next, the design process hasn’t been a walk in the park. Like with most career changes, there have been challenges. In fact, in a past interview, the mum-of-three said she would “combust” if she worked in the field of fashion full time.
Nevertheless, she admits she feels increasingly more comfortable with every collection she works on:
“Working with Next is always so much fun and I feel like with each collection I become more confident and familiar with the design process. It’s so important to me that the pieces in my collection are items that I would actually wear and would want to buy myself”.
Emma takes stepping out of her comfort zone to the limit – even if it feels like the odds are stacked against her. She admitted in a past interview that becoming a designer was never at the forefront of her mind, given her lack of artistic abilities at school:
“‘Delivering babies’ has been absolutely a dream come true. But designing clothes I suppose was initially something I never thought I would do as I didn’t train in that field. I didn’t go to design school and I am not naturally gifted with a pen and a piece of paper.”
She is living proof that trying new things and stepping out of one’s comfort zone is key to achieving success – even if you’re wanting to go into something completely foreign to what you’re doing at the moment. Career comfort zones are meant to be expanded; once you feel yourself becoming too comfortable with your routine, think about how you can switch it up and push yourself to achieve more.
“I like new projects [though], I like to keep busy and try new things and always try to push myself. I don’t like to get complacent and I like to be scared in a good way.”
Working as a team
Emma is also a firm believer in teamwork, and admits that if she hadn’t had the support and input of the people around her during the design process, things might have turned out differently. It also exposed her to different ways of working and ultimately helped her learn new skills.
“It was really exciting to watch how the designers at Next work. It was a real learning experience.”
Paying attention to others and working as a team in the workplace is vital. The ability to listen to the opinions of your colleagues and not simply run away with your own agenda or ideas will help you grow professionally.
“If there were times that Hannah [stylist] and I got carried away, the Next team would say, “Hold on, let’s just settle down for a second and remember what we’re doing” and obviously they know what they’re doing so we listened.”
Dressing for work in winter
Deciding what to wear to work can be time consuming. Ultimately, you want to look professional but feel comfortable all the same.
With winter fast approaching, it may be time to update your work wardrobe. Fortunately, Emma’s most recent collection with Next is chockful of key winter staples that can be mixed and matched.
Tailoring features an all-black capsule collection – with everything from jumpsuits and co-ords to elegant wide legged trousers and midi dresses in comfortable, easy to wear styles. These pieces are perfect for formal work occasions (think Christmas party!) or for those coffee-fuelled days when you’re dipping in and out of client meetings in a blur.
If you work from home or have a slightly more casual workplace, keep it low-key with beige and camel-coloured jumpers paired with jeans and a biker jacket over the top. Alternatively, inject a splash of colour into your outfits with a wine-coloured jumper, floaty skirt and boots.
Meanwhile, the powder blue suit combination is the perfect compromise between formal and casual – dress it down with a white t-shirt and trainers or jazz it up with heels and sparkly jewellery from Emma’s collection.
Emma adores jewellery; but as a busy working woman she appreciates the need for simplicity – these are essential, “no fuss” pieces. Each of the items is designed to go with any outfit or occasion – understated on their own, sitting well with additional accessories.
“They’re trinket-type, delicate items…I think finding the one piece of jewellery that you love that you can wear with everything is completely essential!”