Mom Muse | Erin Olsson

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Erin Olsson is an always-on-the-go mother of two, lover of style, and co-founder + head of marketing at Emerald Cuff, an online fashion boutique. Erin and two mom friends started the company with the goal of making it simple for busy moms and women to look and feel their best. A goal that is very much in line with our own ambitions here at Mom Style Lab! Each month Emerald Cuff releases exclusive, hand-picked fashion collections in limited quantity, carefully curated to meet the needs of today’s busy, multi-tasking woman. We love it!

A promotional guru, Erin served as a marketing executive in San Francisco prior to starting Emerald Cuff and spent more than 15 years setting marketing strategy and programs for consumer technology and digital media companies. Her new venture is the perfect merger of her love of family, motherhood, fashion and marketing.

Erin lives in Seattle with her husband Nick and two young boys, Erik (6 ½) and Lukas (2 ½). (If you’re a mom you know how important adding that ½ to your kids’ age is!) One of their favorite family pastimes is exploring all of the beauty and adventure that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

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An Olsson family selfie.

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Erin and her hubby at an event.

MSL: Describe your style in five words or less.
Classic with a subtle edge.

MSL: What inspired you and your partners to start Emerald Cuff?
My partners, Erin Dekker and Maria Facioni and I met about two years ago through our children’s preschool. Along with many other moms and women, we find it increasingly difficult to carve out time for ourselves, let alone head downtown for an afternoon shopping trip. And, online shopping was challenging too… so many options, hard to know if you’re buying quality garments, and frankly, with our changing post-baby bodies many of our old favorite brands didn’t quite work anymore. Finding the right fashions to suit our new, busier lifestyles just seemed more difficult and time consuming than it needed to be. So, with Emerald Cuff we set out to solve the problem so many women face and deliver curated, quality fashion at affordable price points.

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Emerald Cuff co-founders Erin Dekker, Maria Facioni and Erin Olsson.

MSL: What do you enjoy most about your new venture? The biggest challenge?
Although it’s definitely hard work, Erin, Maria and I really enjoy working together to bring busy moms quality, on-trend clothing and outfit ideas that make it easy for them to feel stylish and confident. I think the biggest challenge right now is that we have to be super selective while not becoming overwhelmed by the many fashion options available. It’s really important that we stay true to our mission and curate the right collections for our shoppers each month so that they keep coming back.

MSL: Most exciting moment since you launched the site?
We hand-pick and launch new collections each month and it’s always super exciting to see how our shoppers respond. I have to admit, seeing the sales come through is a bit of a thrill, and watching how our community engages around certain products and collections is pretty cool.

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MSL: What are your long-term plans for the business?
Our primary goal will remain the same — to make it super simple for busy moms and women to look and feel their best. Right now we’re focused on pairing quality garments with beautiful handcrafted jewelry, and this fall we’re starting to move into accessories. Longer term we’d love to have our own label and that’s definitely something we think about. (We can’t wait!!)

MSL: What is your favorite part of motherhood? Least favorite part?
I think the unconditional love that comes with motherhood is so special, and watching my boys grow, laugh, learn and smile is an incredible privilege. Every day is a new adventure and I’m constantly inspired in so many ways by both of my boys. Least favorite part… dirty handprints and laundry! There’s always so much to clean! (We completely identify with that statement!)

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Going for a stroll in their neighborhood.

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On the beach at the family’s favorite summer vacay spot and Erin’s hometown, Westhampton, New York.

MSL: What’s the one item in your closet you can’t live without?
At the moment I have to say my light gray Free People ankle boots. I can wear them with seriously everything – from jeans to dresses – and I love that they deliver a unique style while also being very practical for everyday.

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Erin and her “can’t-live-without-them” Free People ankle boot.

MSL: Top three clothing items or accessories you’re buying for fall?
Distressed denim, jackets (I LOVE jackets – such an easy way to complete a look), ankle boots – there are so many great, easy-to-wear styles out there right now, and long necklaces (okay, technically that’s four things). Adding a great necklace to your look is another simple way to feel put together as you’re running out the door. (We couldn’t agree more!!)

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Wearing her favorite Emerald Cuff artisan necklace.

MSL: Which is your favorite Emerald Cuff collection on the site right now?
One of my favorite collections is the Queen Anne collection. I love this jacket! It’s so easy to style up or down and it has a beautiful texture that’s always being admired. I also like the fringe detail at the hem, which makes it a bit more unique than the typical cropped blazer. The black spinal earrings are perfect with this jacket – lightweight and very easy to wear. Plus, I love that all of our jewelry is crafted from real artisan materials exclusively for Emerald Cuff.

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Modeling her favorite Emerald Cuff buy at the moment, the Queen Anne collection.

MSL: What’s your best style advice for other moms out there?
Especially for new moms, I think it’s really easy to fall into a fashion rut. Pre-baby clothes often don’t fit quite right, finding time to shop is nearly impossible, you’re constantly exhausted and putting your needs last. But even when it seems impossible to carve out time for you, it’s incredibly important to look for simple ways to look and feel great without a lot of effort, and avoid embracing the baggy tee and running shoe uniform (I’ve been there!). A few of my favorite go-to pieces — dark denim or black pants in a flattering cut with a bit of stretch for comfort + easy-to-wear flats or booties for fall + a great cardigan or a more tailored jacket + a statement necklace or bracelet. It can be that simple. (So true, Erin, so true!)

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The family on the beach in Westhampton, New York.

If you haven’t yet, check out Emerald Cuff today for stylish pieces at a great price! The site also has styling tips and demonstrates several ways to accessorize the same item for a totally different look. Here’s how Angela styled the Montreal collection denim shirtdress and bracelet.

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