It's been a while since we did a Little Labels, so we thought it was high time to get another small company on the shred map! This time we are featuring EMA, a bandana brand which is the brainchild of Maria Ferres, one of the most enthusiastic and industrious snowboarders we've ever met. Maria is also our Assistant Art Director, but before anyone starts claiming she gets preferential treatment, have a look at EMA and the super stacked team that supports Maria and you'll see that this little label is as legit as they come. So without further ado, here is EMA!
Hi Maria, tell us a bit about yourself and EMA.
Hola, hola! I just finished work and I'm getting ready to go to Andorra for some shredding. I'm from Barcelona but I spend all my free time in Andorra, I've spent my whole life in the sea and the snow, :) "EMA - protect your smile" is my brand, I started making bandanas for myself 2 seasons ago and last year I started thinking about starting my own brand for real!
What made you start a bandana brand, does your face freeze all the time on the mountain or are bandanas the new skinny pants?
I'm smiling all the time and I need to protect my smile, that’s why I need bandanas, :) I started EMA without thinking of it as a brand, I only did it because I love making my own clothes and accessories. I like to make things that you can't find in shops, I love being different and customizing things all the time. That’s how EMA started, just making ideas I had into real things, and people started asking me about them. You could say that EMA is the result of people's reaction to my creations.
Marc Swoboda looking fresh and clean (and warm) in his EMA bandana, 5-0 thru the kink Photo: Markus Rohrbacher
How does EMA stand out in the crowd, and how do you come up with the designs?
Nowadays the world is all messed up, things are too big and everything goes too fast. I think people have forgotten how important the little details are… EMA has that something special, which we call "chispa" in Spanish, that unknown quality that just makes you smile. I think people can feel it, EMA spreads good vibes and makes you feel happy. The most important thing about EMA's designs are colors and textures, I'm always thinking about original materials and combinations that express your feelings and mood when you see and wear the bandanas.
Are there any plans for more EMA products, are you going to expand beyond bandanas?
Oh yes… I can't stop creating and imagining new EMA products, I have so many ideas, :) Stay tuned!
What happens between the design phase and the production/sale phase, do you do everything by yourself or do you have someone helping you?
Ufff… I do almost everything by myself, it's a lot of work, believe me! I make all the final decisions on design and marketing, my mom and my grandma help me with the actual production and I also do all the sales by myself, but now Isy and Robin are helping me a lot with sales in Austria… thanks, you two, :)
How do you manage to do your work at EMA and be an assistant art director at the most hardcore shred mag in the universe?
Hahahaha, and that's not all, I also work with Les Ettes!!!! My secret is being happy and loving everything I do, that gives me energy and motivation… and being a little hyperactive is very important to help deal with my crazy day-to-day life too!!
When you're traveling, do you pack a lot of stuff and what would be the typical things you bring on a snowboarding trip?
Mmmmm, I think I always bring too many clothes! I also always have all my cameras, bandanas, nail polish and a tooth brush to always keep my smile nice, :)
Are the bandanas party-proof or just meant for snowboarding?
Hahaha, for sure, they're all terrain-proof! When you start wearing an EMA bandana you'll see that you can wear it anywhere and at anytime…
As an accessory designer, what's your opinion on all the different styles on the mountain and in the shred scene nowadays?
I think it's getting more creative everyday, I don't really like it when everybody dresses in the same style or copy each other. I love it when people try to be different and unique, that's why you can find many original styles in the EMA collection, there's a bandana for everyone!! "The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique." Walt Disney said that and it's so true, I love that quote!
Is there anyone you'd like to thank?
Natürlich!!! Special thanks to Marc Swoboda, Dominik Wagner and BWA (Isy, Jasmin, Kathi & Lili), they were the first happy, smiling riders representing EMA out there… Family & friends, thanks for your smiles! Method crew, thanks for your support! And I really want to thank all the people that are writing happy words to EMA… thank you, it gives me energy to continue making you all smile, :)
EMA Team Riders: Marc Swoboda, Dominik Wagner, Christine "Isy" Szumovski, Jasmin Reischer, Kathi Holzmann, Lisa Harml, Flo Galler, Gerald Fuchs, Wojtek Pawlusiak, Nejc Ferjan, Carlos Manich, Tyler Chorlton, Marie-France Roy and Laura Hadar.
Check EMA out online: www.protectyoursmile.eu
Interview by Edgar Lanting