Emily Hsu: Founder, Emily Hsu Designs

My NativeAdVantage:


Designer Emily Hsu is a professional dancer, singer, and actress who has appeared in over a dozen Broadway musicals in addition to television and film. She is an avid yogi and has always had a passion for fashion. In 2014 Emily began sewing leggings for herself and her daughters when she couldn't find anything on the market that fit all her needs: high performance activewear with a superior fit, on-trend prints, and amazing price point. Emily's signature legging features a high-waist which creates a sleek, smooth line and stays in place so you aren't fussing over it when you should be spending your time and energy getting the most out of your workout. Her choice of prints reflects her belief that your wardrobe should compliment your many moods and personalities - bright and bold one day, classic and sophisticated another. Emily's emphasis on fashion and function has made her line a favorite amongst the Rockettes, Broadway dancers, and top NYC fitness instructors. The EMILY HSU DESIGNS collection is designed to take you wherever you want to go… perfect for the studio, the gym, and the street.

What do I do best?

I have an overachieving personality and I never settle for less than giving something my best effort. I’m not afraid of putting in the hard work or learning something new. I’m a bit of a control freak and perfectionist (which isn’t always ideal) but it makes me push myself and strive higher.

What makes me the best version of myself?

I trust my instincts and I go with my gut. I follow what I am passionate about and try to stay true to myself and not be an imitation. Although I definitely admire and look up to so many other people I realize that I have to be the best “me” that I can instead of trying to be a copycat version of someone else.

What are my aspirations?

Well of course I want to create a global activewear brand that reaches women everywhere! I want the world to be wearing Emily Hsu Designs leggings! But more importantly I don’t want to compromise. I want to create pieces that I love and would want in my closet…beautiful, versatile, and high quality clothing at a price point I personally would pay. I love it when my customers tell me how great they feel in my pieces and how they get stopped on the street every time they wear my leggings.  There is so much pressure to look a certain way and we are inundated with images of unattainable perfection.  I want my customers to know how stunning they each are in their own way. I also want to be a role model to my daughters and teach them that you can create something out of nothing and show them that with hard work, dedication, and belief in yourself the sky is the limit. It’s hard to balance being a mother and running my own business but I hope they learn that you can try to have it all.

My Biggest Success?

I think my biggest success is that I have found a way to combine all my passions into a job that I love. I create my own schedule and it is all on my terms.  I have been a professional dancer (on Broadway) for 20 years and I have combined that with my lifelong love for fashion into a successful business.  I can work hard but still pick up my kids from school and take them to ballet.  I may work till 1am one night but then I can take a vacation with my family whenever I want to as well. I love the independence and freedom.

My Most Challenging Moment?

My most challenging personal moment was probably becoming a mother for the first time. Having a child changes your life and I think I had unrealistic expectations.  I went from working on Broadway and being in a dressing room with a group of women who were like family to being isolated in the suburbs.  I put pressure on myself to think that I should just be fulfilled and content being a mother, but the truth is, that wasn’t the case for me.  I felt lost and lonely and I didn’t know who I was anymore.  But eventually I found my way back to performing and realized that taking time away from my daughter didn’t make me less of a mother… it actually made me a happier more passionate person which in turn made my relationship with her better. Now I have two girls and I make it a point to teach them that I am a person with dreams and aspirations too…that while I love being their mother I also want to achieve other things in my lifetime.

My Motto?

Like Scarlet O’Hara always said in “Gone With the Wind” : “Tomorrow is another day.”  Which to me means it’s ok to fail as long as you try. No matter what happens, you can always pick yourself up again and learn from your mistakes. But you have to try. You have to have the courage to give it a go.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My favorite people are show people. There is nothing like the Broadway community of performers. They are warm, funny, honest and inspiring. We have all been dealt countless blows of rejection to get where we are. We put our bare selves out there to be judged each time we step into an audition room or onstage. If you can survive that you’re pretty remarkable. On a personal side I look up to my mother who is incredibly generous and patient; she teaches me the true meaning of loving and giving. 

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

As unglamorous or cheesy as it may sound, there’s nothing like Disney World with your children. Seeing your kids’ faces as they walk towards that castle for the first time is breathtaking. I love the laughs we share and the memories we create each time we go as a family. It’s precious and irreplaceable.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

Can’t live without my iphone of course. The way technology changes so quickly is incredible. I love my Tweezerman tweezers (brows are the frame for the face!) and organic coconut oil for the entire body. And my lifeforme yoga mat…it’s the best mat I’ve ever used.

My Current Passions?

Besides growing my business I love to ballroom dance!  I compete in International Latin and there is nothing like dance to free the spirit.